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Navigation aidMARATHON

Brief History

Marathon has sold gasoline in the USA since the 1920s and in the 1960s found large quantities of oil in Libya. As it seemed sensible to develop markets for this North African crude in Europe, Marathon acquired the SAPE (Saarpetroleum) outlets in West Germany and a second small retail chain in Northeast Italy. Marathon soon realised that it would be more profitable selling the oil to established concerns, so it sold the Italian network to Conoco in 1968 and the 74 German outlets to Gulf in the following year.


Front of 1960s Marathon map of Italy

With under 250 outlets spread across two countries existing for less than 5 years, Marathon maps are very uncommon. This Italian example dates from the late 1960s and has a simple front cover. The rear shows a typical Marathon station, featuring two Alfa Romeo Spiders and the slogan "Dà ritmo, rritmo, rrritmo MARATHON la nueva grande benzina". Inside was a straightforward Vallardi map at the scale of 1:1,250,000.

Rear of 1960s Marathon map of Italy

Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 1999-2005

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