And Now For Something…….Completely Different: Dinosaur Hunting in Florida – Vintage Road Side Attraction

Here's a Picture With Rick D'Louhy And The Dinosaur - This Creature is Immense And It's Eyes Light Up at Night Too! Who Could Ask For More???

Hi Gang… 

I know the automotive world is not all fiberglass.  However, there are times when some of you…. or some of me…. will want to share something – not related to the fiberglass genre in any way.  

In this spirit, I’ve created a new category of stories in honor of Monte Python and their famous segway which went something like this: (Click on the Play button below – which looks like a small black triangle):  

[audio:https://www.undiscoveredclassics.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/completely_different2.mp3|titles=completely_different2]

Anytime I run a story like this, I’ll warn you with the 6 words that appear in the first part of the story title.  This is also the category name for such stories.  

So….without adieu….  I present the next in what will be a series of articles (unstoppable) called…

“And Now For Something… Completely Different” 

I hope you enjoy the story… 

Geoff  

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Hi Gang…

I Managed to Persuade My Mom and Brother Jon To Join Rick and I on This Trip To See The Legendary Sinclair Dinosaur Of Spring Hill Florida.

Click on the link below (black triangle) to listen to “Walk The Dinosaur” – music that’s appropriate to read this story by…

Was (Not Was) – Walk the Dinosaur

What can I say???  I love history and folk-art kind of structures.

If left to my own devices, I’d live in a two-story fire station with a pole to slide down to the first floor, or maybe a geodesic dome by Bucky Fuller like my good friend Ray Palicki used to live in, or any number of folk-art type futuristic homes like one of my favorites called Xanadu – if only I could have called that my home!  (click here to visit memories of Xanadu).  Or how about my space age favorite “flying saucer” home called a Futuro?  Click here to visit the Futuro House of the future.

So….when I called my good fiberglass friend Rick D’Louhy and said “let’s go dinosaur hunting” he jumped in his car, drove across the state of Florida, and off we started on our next non-fiberglass adventure on Sunday morning.  I called my mom and brother Jon to see if they wanted to go and the answer was “yes” (although not as enthusiastic sounding as Rick on this adventure to be…)

There’s a lot of vintage Florida left over from the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s.  And dinosaur themed attractions and buildings were popular down here way before the movie Jurassic Park.   So we left Tampa and headed north.  And more north.  And even more north.  And after we just about gave up….we found what we were looking for.  A long-lost (to us) dinosaur roadside gas station and auto repair that we remembered from our youth.

Rick was surprised it was still there.  So was I.   Much of Florida gets turned over and re-developed given the population explosion of recent years.  But much to our amazement it was still there and in continuous operation as a automobile repair shop too (although the gas pumps were long gone…)  It’s now Harold’s Auto Center but back in 1963/1964 it was built to house….what else?  

A Sinclair gas station.

What A Great Place This Would Be To Call Home. No Doubt This Would Extend My Bachelor Years Into Infinity (But What Splendor I Might Enjoy...)

The following information was taken from the wonderful roadside attraction website called Roadside America (click here for the full story).

Dinosaur-shaped Building

This dinosaur/garage is right down the road from Weeki Wachee. It appears to be in good condition. The base has sea foam colored tile near the entrance to the garage’s office. It’s eyes look like giant olives. It’s a good little stretch of Florida roadside fun from the dinosaur to Weeki Wachee to Homosassa Springs.

Gas Station Dinosaur

The Harold’s Auto dinosaur was originally a Sinclair gas station in 1964, inspired by the Sinclair Oil mascot prominently featured in ads and on signs since 1930. Near Weeki Wachee Springs, it shares a short stretch of Rt. 19 in Spring Hill, Florida with the Pink Dinosaur a few miles South. Dino, an “Apatosaurus,” stands 47 feet tall and is 110 feet long.

Summary:   

Inside The Secret Lair of The Sinclair Dinosaur - A Perfect Place (Rick and I Think) To Restore Vintage Fiberglass Cars.

So….if you’re coming to Florida, drive south on Route 19 which is on the west coast, and look for the Sinclair dinosaur near Spring Hill, Florida.  And as you prepare for your trip, you can visit other Florida dinosaurs too.  Click here for the “skinny” on all of the dinosaurs you can see across our great sunshine dinosaur state.

And by the way….you’ll be very close to the last live mermaid show in Florida.  Click here for more information.  But that story’s for another holiday – get ready Rick….I’ll be calling soon.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

And Now For Something…….Completely Different: Dinosaur Hunting in Florida – Vintage Road Side Attraction — 1 Comment

  1. I am aware of both of the dinosaurs you mention in this article. However, there is a third one too! I used to like to drive the farm roads around Pasco and Hernando county Florida and remember seeing half a dinosaur on one of those drives. It was the rear half only, and I have never been able to figure out what came of the front of it. As to where it is I forget. I think it would probably be on a road off of US 41 between SR 54 and Brooksville, probably east of it. There is also an interesting gas station ruin from the 20’s to the 50’s somewhere in Kathleen Florida, but it has been several years since I have gone exploring out that way. I also recall seeing an old sports car kit car body off a main road north of Dade City (SR 41?) in a big rig storage lot. If memory serves, it’s north of the now-defunct VW junkyard (the county forced them to liquidate or crush all the cars a few years ago) where they used to have that split window Beetle in the air as a display. It’s a bit of a drive though, and may even be as far north as Levy County. Sorry I can’t be of much help, but rising gas prices have all but killed exploring for me (even with a 3 cylinder Geo Metro to drive) and it’s been too long with these things to remember any real details.

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