Sinclair Oil Corporation Inspired Pixar’s Dinoco

The Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916, by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation’s logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur. And there is where the Disney/Pixar tie-in begins!

Dinoco is an oil company/gas station that has been seen in Toy Story and Cars. In Toy Story, the logo is an Apatosaurus. In Cars, the logo is a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinoco may have been based on the Sinclair Oil Corporation, because it also uses an Apatosaurus as its logo (above).

I recently came across a vintage promotional film for Sinclair service station owners entitled Sinclair: You Are a Retailer. It likely dates from the early 1960’s if the vehicles in it are any indication.

This was an extremely well done film for an in-house effort! And it yielded many interesting images…

    Sinclair Sales Video 006

Directly above, you can see what a typical Sinclair service station looked like back in the days of full-service and friendly attendants. Below is what a Dinoco service station looked like in Toy Story:

Dinoco Station Toy Story

Let’s compare all three dinosaur logos side by side. First will be Sinclair, then Dinoco from Toy Story, and last Dinoco from Cars:

    Dinoco Toy Story         Dinoco Cars

The first two dinosaur logos are very close, but it appears the Dinoco of the Cars franchise decided to power up their Dino!

It was a real treat to find this vintage promotional film from Sinclair! And it is good to see that Disney/Pixar is paying homage to companies that have helped to shape the landscape we pass through on a daily basis.

Ding Ding! Fill’er up please!