Tower Conoco, a sort of Taj Mahal of Texas
gas stations, was built in 1935 when times were hard. Situated
at an important intersection of former Route
66 and Highway 83, it would’ve been the first ‘foreign’ station
encountered by Oklahomans heading west on their famous exodus from
the Dust Bowl.
The station has recently been restored and is now one of the more
famous artifacts on old
66 (currently Interstate 40).
Deco on the Plains by
Joe Berry designed it as three buildings in one: the Tower Conoco
Station, named for the four-sided obelisk rising from a flat roof
and topped by a metal tulip; the U-Drop Inn Café, which a local
schoolboy named by winning a naming contest; and a retail store.
The café was so popular that the proposed store never materialized,
utilized instead to seat more hungry customers.
In its heyday, the U-Drop-Inn was the only restaurant within 100
miles, small, vibrant art deco oasis on Route 66 set against a backdrop
of unrelenting realism... " Read
closer view of the immaculately restored Conoco pumps at the Tower
Photo courtesy Noel
Kerns, January 2008
| A watercolor
/ lithograph of the Tower Conoco Station by famed watercolorist Dana
beautiful Tower Conoco station in Shamrock, Texas was used as the
inspiration for “Ramone’s Body Shop” in the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars”.