If you're ever traveling from Santa Fe to Taos or vice versa you
absolutely need to stop in Embudo and spend some time (maybe several hours) at
the Classical Gas Museum. The museum is the creation, and passion, of Johnnie Meier.
Johnnie has been collecting what he terms "road culture" objects since the late
1980s, with a particular emphasis on service station memorabilia - lots of gas pumps, globe lights,
neon signs, cans of motor oil, maps, signage, and such. After retiring from a career
at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he built the Classical Gas Museum to house his extensive collections.
Items from his collections are routinely used in movies and other venues.
Admission is free and Johnnie always has time to answer questions and talk about his collecting, or any other topic that pops up. Donations are accepted and are gifted to a local animal shelter. I stopped in September of 2021 and spent some quality time chatting with Johnnie and browsing through the museum.
Gasoline Pumps, Lots of Gasoline Pumps
Driving by the museum, the first things that caught my eye were all the gasoline pumps. There are new pumps and old pumps, and everything in between. There is also a 50's style diner next to the museum building.
Damn Fine Stuff
After perusing all the gas pumps at roadside, I walked through the gate at the side of the diner and into the land of "Damn Fine Stuff". Not only was there more automotive stuff scattered about, but the the Blues Brothers were performing, and actors from Jurassic Park were milling around. Lots of surprises.
Stuff Más Fina
I walked into the museum building and was absolutely blown away. I could easily have spent a whole day wandering around looking at all of the "road culture" artifacts, most of it like new. The museum must house one of the largest collections of pristine gasoline pump globes in the world. Kudos to Johnnie and his most excellent museum.
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