Once upon a time, there were eight shell-shaped gas stations in North Carolina: seven in Winston-Salem and one in nearby Kernersville. Built in the 1930s by Quality Oil, a local distributor of Shell oil, these Shell Oil gas stations were meant to serve as hard-to-miss advertisements to entice customers to stop by. And boy were they ever! I mean, wouldn’t you choose to get your gas from a fun place like this over any old, boring, regular place? I sure would!
Today, only one of those original eight Shell stations is left standing. The final remaining Shell Oil clamshell station stands on the corner of East Sprague Street and Peachtree Street in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
You can still stop at the glorious bight-yellow stucco roadside attraction to take photos, but don’t show up with an empty tank, it’s no longer in a functioning gas station! The station closed in the 1950s, and briefly housed a lawnmower business in the 70s and 80s. But today, the clamshell is just for show.
Just because the old Shell gas station has lost it’s function, doesn’t mean this North Carolina roadside attraction is going away any time soon: it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
It’s one shell of a stop for your next North Carolina road trip!
(For other funky gas station road trip stops, check out the airplane-shaped service station in Powell, Tennessee and the fun-loving dinosaurs at Sinclair stations around the country.)
Photos of the Shell-shaped gas station in Winston-Salem, North Carolina:
Site: The Shell-shaped gas station
Location: 1111 E Sprague St, Winston-Salem, NC 27107 (corner of E Sprague St. and Peachtree St.)
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See