Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a historical look at the trucking industry through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.
Before the proliferation of large truck stop chains came to grace interstate highways, one-off mom-and-pop establishments found on two-lane highways were the norm.
In the 1960s, the peak of such operations, Overdrive offered an advertising outlet for those small businesses to make their locations, products, services and amenities known to the nation’s independent truckers. Small ads promoted the stops, some referred to as on-highway “terminals.”
Unlike the gleam and overall uniformity of today’s efficient operations, the truck stops of yesteryear offered a downhome, sometimes gritty feel, and often a distinctive character. As the 1960s ended, however, Overdrive’s truck stop ads became larger and more colorful as the interstate system fostered larger operations with greater amenities. Eventually many small truck stops closed or were absorbed by the big chains establishing a national reach.
Here are a few other unique ads pulled from Overdrive archives: