The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur – Gas Station in South Dakota

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If you had a choice of stopping for gas at a gas station with a big green dinosaur or one without a big green dinosaur, which would you choose? Duh. No contest. Obviously you’d choose gas station with a green dinosaur. And that is why Sinclair gas stations are the perfect stop for roadside-attraction loving road trippers: they have the Sinclair Oil Dinosaur.

Gas stations are a popular location for roadside attractions to hang out at. (Or to BE: just check out the Shell-shaped gas station in Winston-Salem, North Carolina or the airplane-shaped service station in Powell, Tennessee!) I’ve seen many a pink elephant next to the pumps. With such competition over gas nowadays, often with a station on all four corners off major highways, it’s no wonder these outposts would do anything to get you to choose them over the guy across the street.

Enter Sinclair.

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a  Gas Station in South Dakota.
The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.

What gas station has a green dinosaur? Sinclair Oil!

Sinclair Oil was formed in 1916 by Harry Sinclair and soon became one of the seventh largest oil companies in America. The company is recognized by the Terror-Free Oil Initiative as they do not buy oil from terrorism-sponsoring states, such as those in the Middle East.

While that’s all and good, the company is probably best known as the gas station with a dinosaur logo. The logo is so popular the oil company is spoofed in many Pixar movies (like Cars and Toy Story) as a fictional company called Dinoco.

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a  Gas Station in South Dakota.
The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.

Why does Sinclair have a dinosaur?

In 1930 Sinclair adopted the now famous Apatosaurus (brontosaurus) “Dino” that still graces the gas station’s logo. The idea and advertising came when the company was promoting lubricants refined from crude oil thought to have formed when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Not only does the Sinclair dinosaur appear on the company’s logo, packaging, and other Sinclair Oil merchandise, it also makes an appearance at many of the stations itself in the form of a fiberglass reptile.

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a  Gas Station in South Dakota.
The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.

Where are Sinclair Oil Dinosaurs located?

This big green dinosaur can be found at some of the Sinclair gas stations throughout the United States. I first found this Sinclair dinosaur at an i90 gas station in South Dakota on my way to Mount Rushmore.

I just had to give him a big wet sloppy kiss and a hug!

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a  Gas Station in South Dakota.
The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.

The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur

Location: Off of I-90, South Dakota
Cost: Free (gas will cost you)
Hours: Always visible.
Date: August 30, 2008


Love dinosaur roadside attractions? Be sure to check out the Rapid City Dinosaur Park while you’re in South Dakota!


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The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a  Gas Station in South Dakota.
The Sinclair Oil Dinosaur at a Gas Station in South Dakota.
Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

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