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Navigation aidSINCLAIR

Brief History

Sinclair started marketing petrol (gasoline) in Belgium and the Netherlands before 1920 and rapidly became one of the largest distributors. By the early-1920s Sinclair, along with Texaco and Jersey Standard, had a combined 78% market share in Belgium; in the Netherlands it entered into a joint venture with Petrofina under the brand Sinfina in the 1930s. Immediately prior to World War II Sinclair sold its European operations to BP. However by 1969, Sinclair was again selling petrol in Belgium when Arco acquired the operation, and Sinclair also bought the Abco and Gainsborough chains in the UK, althogh no maps are known from any of these 1960s ventures. Arco sold the Belgian Sinclair operation to Texaco in 1971, although there were still some Belgian stations branded Sinclair as late as 1975.


1965 Sinclair map of Belgium

1965 Sinclair map of Belgium - rear

Sinclair maps of Belgium are not common. Left dates from around 1965 and right from 1967, drawn to a scale of 1:300,000. Note how all the text is in (American) English on both maps.
(Enlarge front cover/rear cover)
Images courtesy of Michel Breugelmans.

1967 Sinclair map of Belgium - rear

1967 Sinclair map of Belgium

Sinclair map of Switzerland

This Sinclair Opaline map comes from Switzerland and is undated, although the naturalistic dinosaur is similar to those used on 1930s US road maps. It was produced by Auto Service Aeschenplatz AG of Basel. This company was established in 1929 and was controlled by the Fritz Meyer Group, which had four years' previously been one of the founding companies of the AVIA petrol co-operative. So it is likely that they sold Sinclair motor oils alongside AVIA petrol.
Image courtesy of Oliver Wileczelek.

Top of PageSinclair Refining was acquired by the AtlanticRichfield Company (ARCO) in 1969; Atlantic had also issued a few maps in Europe.

Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2000-16

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.