Saturday, November 7, 2020

Roadside Relics - Exit 58 Truck & Auto Repair (Former Amoco) - Townsend, GA

Interstate highways are a funny thing.

Despite being arteries of modern transit, hauling untold billions in goods and untold millions of people every week, there's a weird mysticism to them. A slightly ethereal, odd quality. They cut through places new and old, and so when you take off the highway on an exit, well, there's just no telling what you'll find.

Sometimes it's a perfectly normal place, a small town of not too much note. An assortment of gas stations, some current, some modern. A nicer hotel, a cheaper motel. A place for breakfast, a place for lunch. Sometimes they're nice little cities, college towns, places that exist off the highway. You'll see a mix of new, shiny commercial buildings mixed with offices and the occasional house. Rarely, you get the places that hardly exist. They could phase out of reality at a hat drop, places you'd probably not notice if their name was erased off a map.

This is one of those places.

Let me welcome you to the town of Townsend, Georgia. Sitting off I-95 along GA-57, you can lodge at a Days Inn-turned-Motel-6 sporting a renovated vintage restaurant, an OYO squatting in a former Knights Inn whose parking lot is so crater-infested it's frightening, or, if you fancy a drive into town, the single-level timewarp of the Eulonia Motel.

Gas has plenty of options too- you have an Exxon, a Shell, a Marathon, "Solar", and if you like to take some chances, completely unbranded gasoline in front of the Motel 6. However, you no longer have the choice, of Amoco.

While Amoco has returned to some markets, as a brand of their new corporate overlord BP, this station is an original Amoco. Still flying the Amoco torch, this location was an absolute delight to find by complete accident.

I was only able to do a quick run around from this side, but it's clear nothing has changed. Here we can see the old "Food Shop" signage over the old c-store, along with the very faded striping next to it.

This photo gives us a better look at the equally intact canopy, still bearing the Amoco name, and this time with far less faded stripes.

That is, unfortunately, all I have from this wonderful little station. I can only hope this remains into the future, as it's perhaps the best preserved example of an original Amoco I've seen.

We'll be seeing more from this road trip, in the future- more weird and vintage gas stations, and some other abandoned delights.


  1. Nice post! I think it would make a great series. You're definitely right about areas just off of a major highway having some of the most interesting retail relics.

  2. Great post. I dig the vintage Amoco.

  3. That is a neat Amoco station. Amoco stations were not common here in the Houston area even though they had a major refinery in the area. Still, it's neat to see one kind of preserved like this.

    Here in Houston, almost all of the major freeways/Interstates have continuous feeder roads. As a result of this, much of the retail in the city is right off of the freeways. Driving down certain freeways feels like driving down a tunnel of retail. It's a bit of a unique situation. I'm not aware of other cities which have continuous freeway feeder roads/side roads the way that we do. Maybe there are areas in Florida like this, but I don't know.

    Anyway, we do obviously have some oddball retail, hotels, restaurants, such on our freeways. An example that I can think of is an old shopping center on the I-45 Gulf Freeway which has a very old and decaying sign for beepers on it, lol. Some of you might be too young to even know what a beeper is, but it's one way people kept in touch before cell phones were popular. If you had a beeper, you could find out if someone was trying to get in touch with you and you could then head to a payphone to call them. Those were the days!

    The beeper sign also has an ancient looking flip cell phone on it: