The sale of items from the legendary late collector set new participation records for a Sotheby’s UK auction.
Vintage Pennzoil signs are original advertising signs promoting the American oil company Pennzoil.
History & Description
Founded in 1913, Pennzoil is an American oil company based in Los Angeles, California.
Before automobiles became widespread, gas stations were uncommon and were only located on the busiest highways or in the main cities. However, from the 1920s, as the market for automobiles began to grow, so did the competition among oil and gas companies.
As a result, large, colourful signs were produced to inform customers and drivers which automotive products could be obtained from gas stations.
Guide for collectors
Vintage gas and oil company signs are extremely competitive markets and individual items can sell for thousands of dollars. However, most collectors covet smaller, regional brands like Wilshire, Gilmore and Signal, which means that bigger brands such as Shell, Mobil and Pennzoil do not fetch the highest prices. Nonetheless, vintage Pennzoil signs tend to sell between $600 and $1,000 at auction.
The first Pennzoil signs were produced in a variety of materials, such as porcelain, tin, baked enamel and sheet steel. Pennzoil signs are characterised due to their bright yellow colour scheme, bold black text and “Sound Your Z” and “Safe Lubrication” slogans.
Notable auction sales
On June 10th 2006, a die-cut example of the popular Pennzoil: Sound Your Z sign realised a price of $650 through RM Auctions in Auburn, Indianapolis.
On April 21st 2007, a vintage Pennzoil sign realised a price of $1,700 through RM Auctions in Auburn, Indianapolis.
On November 1st 2008 at Rich Penn Auctions in Waterloo, Indianapolis, a two-sided Pennzoil: Sound Your Z sign in excellent condition realised a price of $850.
On April 28th 2007, a vintage Pennzoil porcelain advertisement sign realised a price of $700 through Burley Auction Group in New Braunfels, Texas.
In October 15th 2012 at Matthews Auctions LLC in Nokomis, Illinois, a vintage Pennzoil: Safe Lubrication sign realised a price of $600.
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