• Last modified 425 days ago (March 22, 2023)


Pumped about automobilia

Staff writer

Dennis Frantz’s love of all things automotive is obvious at his Hillsboro farm.

In addition to several antique cars and trucks that he has restored or is working on bringing to back to life — some of which the Record wrote about in September — Frantz also collects gas pumps, automobile-related signs, old license plates, and Oliver tractors. He also keeps a room in one outbuilding dedicated to pop machines, bottles, and cans.

“This one is 31½ cents a gallon,” he says about a Texaco ethyl gas pump. “I just like to look at all the different kinds.”

His oldest pumps — he’s collected about 15 of various ages — date to the ’30s. They feature glass globes on the top.

“You’d pump gas into that globe, and it would tell you how much gas was in there, and then it would empty from the globe into the car. You could see how many gallons you were going to put into your car.”

He owns about 75 license plates — the oldest also dates to the ’30s. His various Oliver tractors and other farm machinery are housed in barns and outbuildings. Some are on display outside.

“I had about 100 at one time,” he said.

He even has an old fuel tank that fit on a Model T.

“They used it to take fuel to farmers,” he said.

Mingled with his automobilia are insulators, an old popcorn machine that says “French fried popcorn” on one side, a safe, coolers, and dozens of pop bottles — mostly Dr Pepper and Pepsi.

Frantz has sourced his collections from “just different farms and stuff.

“We’d drive on Sunday afternoons and go visit some farms,” he said.

Last modified March 22, 2023