New pages

New and improved pages on the
European Petrol Road Map Web Site

The webmaster's blog...

Coming Next..

For the reasons below, updates to this site will be more intermittent in future; however although the first 2017 update only comes from late April, I do have a backlog of interesting maps and images to add, and the gradual introduction of larger images has reached a running total of 240.

I am still working on the Road Map Collectors Association Petroleum Map Catalog for maps from North America, adding updates as they become available. It contains all known US issuers, arranged by brand then age, showing sections produced and the cartographer.

I have also started on academic research into how (and when) service stations are depicted on road maps. This will reduce time available for the non-academic map pages, I fear, but should ultimately feed through into more, or better, information on this site too. However it does mean that the possible pages on Australian maps are likely to be delayed further - paper copies of the articles are available in the quarterly magazine of the Automobilia Collectors Club of Australia (ACCA). Due to lower numbers of maps, I may yet be able to add sub-Saharan African pages, which would probably group countries, rather than taking a brand-led approach, but there's a big uncertainty about the prevalence of maps from the last 30 years or so - have the new entrants to the main markets (which have often displaced Shell, BP, Mobil, Caltex/Texaco or Total) issued maps at all? If you can help me by providing scans (or actual maps!) from names such as AP, Goil, Kenol/Kobil, NNPC, OandO, Oilibya, Oryx and Puma, as well as Engen outside of its home base of South Africa, then please send me an e-mail.

Now on line:

A later Petrol Caltex atlas
Uniquely, the Chevron-Texaco joint venture used the "Petrol Caltex" branding in Italy. In the 1950s, it issued spiral bound atlases of the country at 1:650,000, and a later example, dating from around 1956, is now shown. This included 68 small town plans and was given away free in association with the launch of new Caltex motor oils.

More errors on maps
To start the new year, I have found a couple more South Coast errors. One is on an Esso atlas of Europe, produced by George Philip & Son that omits the built-up area of Poole in Dorset. the other is from a 1984 Mobil Deutschland und Europa atlas that show the town of Hythe as the main channel ferry port. (Updated 27 January 2019)

Esso Road Atlases from the United Kingdom
As the price of its sheet maps rose sharply after the 1973 oil crisis, Esso sold a number of hardback road atlases, with full colour printed board covers. Published regularly until a seventh edition in 1983, Esso then produced two further atlases, with different cartography in the early 1990s. A new page has been created charting these road atlases, including extracts of the maps themselves (of the area around thee Forth Road Bridge). (Updated 15 December 2018)

A joint Purfina, Goodyear and VAB map
Purfina did not issue its own maps in Belgium in the early 1950s, but instead collaborated with the Flemish Automobile Club, VAB and, on its 1954 issue, Goodyear tyres. (Updated 6 October 2018)

A Shell postcard map from Hungary
In the late 1960s, Hungary's New Economic model allowed limited joint ventures to be set up with selected European oil companies to operate service stations. Shell, with local partner Interag, produced a postcard showing its 10 locations in 1971. (Updated 23 August 2018)

An Oslo Tourist Board map with Mobil advert
Many Norwegian maps have carried adverts for a petrol or oil company, rather than being directly sponsored by the company. Mobil, in particular, has been a frequent advertiser, dating back to the 1930s when it only sold lubricants in the country. More recently, adverts have been found on the Oslo Tourist Board maps (in English), but it is only now that an Oslo map with Mobil advertising, dating from 1986 or 7, has been found. The advert included an oblique aerial view of the city, indicating the locations of most Mobil service stations.
As several larger images from adverts were also uploaded, this brings the number of larger ones to exactly 250. (Updated 10 August 2018)

French supermarkets with petrol
The scope of this website includes supermarkets or hypermarkets that sell fuel, usually under their own brand. this has been most common in France, with many chains selling petrol, and several very occasionally issuing maps. Three more examples have been added: a summer 1991 Leclerc map promoting tourist sites; a 1995 from Casino's hypermarket chain of Géant, showing places to cool down in hot weather, and a vanilla (but good quality) map dating from 1995 from Radar. (Updated 8 May 2018)

An older map of Luxembourg
Although a pre-war Standard map of Luxembourg is believed to exist, until now the earliest example shown dated from around 1960. A late 1940s Esso map of the country has now been added, featuring an unusual reversed logo. (Updated 8 May 2018)

Another example of errors on maps
It's hard for non-local cartographers to get unfamiliar place names correct, though when they start making multiple mistakes it does look like carelessness. Foldex managed at least 4 mistakes on the English side of the Channel on the 1967 map of NW France for Elf, including two on the Isle of Purbeck. (Updated 28 March 2018)

Four regional atlases of Germany by Aral
Aral have discontinued many of their sheet maps, presumably in response to falling sales of maps in general. however in 2014 they did repackage their regional maps at 1:200,000 into four regional atlases, and these are still on sale through service stations. The East German regional atlas is now shown ion this site; I have also added a further 10 large map images to this page. (Updated 22 March 2018)

Esso scenic maps of Belgium, Holland and Switzerland
I have made a major upgrade to this page, increasing the number of images from 13 to 22, and adding enlarged images for each map. This has completed the known scenic cover maps from 1950 to 1961 for the three countries, which meant adding a 1950 map of Switzerland, 1952 map of Belgium and 1955 and 1959 maps of the Netherlands. All the rear cover designs are shown for the Netherlands as well. (Updated 22 March 2018)

The final Purfina map?
Petrofina changed its brand name from Purfina to Fina at the end of the 1950s in those countries still using the older brand. this included its home market of Belgium, where the joint venture between the company and the USA's pure oil had started in the 1920s. A 1958 Purfina map of Belgium & Luxembourg has now been added to the site. (Updated 13 February 2018)

A Texaco handy map of South England
I have been collecting these maps for 25 years, but occasionally still find surprises. The latest is a 1986 Texaco Handy map of South (sic) England, produced in conjunction with NatWest Bank to promote the handful of Texaco service stations where NatWest's Servicecard could be used. (Updated 3 January 2018)

An unlikely location error - Trowbridge on the A5
Maps often contain small errors, and there's a page on this site devoted to them. One unlikely error has been added - a 1993 Mobil International Driver Directory located the Wiltshire town of Trowbridge on the A5 in Bedfordshire, where Hockliffe should be. (Updated 31 December 2017)

A generic 1930s Uniti map
Grey covered maps issued by members of the Uniti trade association are sometimes seen dating from the late 1930s. A plain covered map has now been found, presumably for use by very small members unable or unwilling to pay for customisation of the covers. (Updated 17 December 2017)

Klaus Salm
Klaus Salm was an independent German operator of filling stations that was acquired by Conoco (Jet) in 1971. A map from around 10 years before has been discovered, by Klaus Salm had just 11 filling stations. (Updated 17 December 2017)

BP stations in the Saar
Looking at a BP map of France dating from around 1960, I realised that it still marked all BP locations in the Saar, a leftover from the postwar period when the Saar was under French control. I have added this map and extract to the Saar page. (Updated 31 August 2017)

A 1933 Agip map of Italy
Until now, the only pre-war map from Agip came from North Africa, with the compnay preferring to advertise on other publishers' maps of Italy. however a dedicated 1933 map has now been found, carrying a very graphic rear cover. (Updated 23 April 2017)

Adverts for branded map racks
Petrol companies encouraged their dealers to sell maps as a service to their customers, but had to advertise the benefits of doing so using special branded maps racks. Two examples of adverts aimed at dealers have been added: from Esso in the 1960s and Mobil in 1982. (Updated 20 December 2016)

Overprinted BP maps - Kemwel
Kemwel specialises in arranging automobile rental for US visitors to Europe with local car hire firms. It overprinted a 1968 BP map of Europe for its customers. this has been put onto the top level BP page, alongside a slightly later BP map of Europe overprinted for Trafalgar Tours. (Updated 29 October 2016)

An Esso map of the Isle of Wight
Dealer sponsored maps are rare in Europe, and even rarer in the UK. However a late 1960s Esso map of the Isle of Wight, placing a local map from G Dean & Co into custom card covers has now been found. (Updated 21 October 2016)

A sectional map of the Commonwealth of Independent States
Continuing the Ukrainian theme, I have now added a 1994 Shell/Mairs (Marco Polo) sectional map of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This section, titled "GUS" (German for CIS), covers North and Central Ukraine, as well as most of Belarus and part of Western Russia. (Updated 19 October 2016)

Although I created a Crimea page after Russia's annexation, I had not updated the Ukraine page for several years. However the recent discovery by a friend of a 1969 Soviet era map from the state oil monopoly has prompted me to update the main Ukraine page, including adding several more images from OKKO maps issues in the 2005-7 period. As I lack a regular correspondent in the country, I have to admit to being unsure whether any oil company maps have been issued recently. (Updated 10 October 2016)

An A5 atlas from Maxol
Last year, the Irish company Maxol gave away an A5 atlas of Ireland, co-produced with the Irish Daily Mail, to customers who paid for a car wash. Despite being free, it was actually a high quality product with maps at 1:700,000 (about 11 miles to the inch). (Updated 8 October 2016)

Small atlases from Fleet Sales
In the 1950s, Fleet Sales Service Ltd marketed atlases of England & Wales and Great Britain with basic maps from Geographia Ltd. Among the companies that used their maps were the Leeds office of Shell-mex and BP Ltd, and United oil Co. (Stoke-on-Trent) Ltd. (Updated 4 September 2016)

Two more Italian Agip maps
Agip issued a variety of maps in its home country of Italy, often switching between cartographers and formats. I have added a 1966 small format "Vademecum" atlas by Corbellini, and a 1995 single sheet map of the country by A.C.I., the last known regular map issue. (Updated 1 September 2016)

1976 Texaco of the Netherlands
An earlier Texaco map of the Netherlands by Falkplan has been added; it uses a variation on the large Texaco sign above a country outline on green cover. I have taken advantage of this update to add a further 14 larger cover images for Texaco. (Updated 31 August 2016)

BP Bundesliga Service 78/79
In summer 1978 BP gave its customers in West Germany a free 52 page booklet called "Bundesliga Service 78/79" that included 18 pages of maps showing the location of the leading teams' football grounds. (Updated 21 July 2016)

Another Fina atlas of Great Britain
Although Fina sheet maps are quite uncommon, their atlases appear from time to time, and a fourth design from the period after the ending of the Pool has now been discovered. This is another hardback atlas with a cover price of 12/6d, making it unlikely that very many were ever sold. (Updated 17 July 2016)

A Chevron map of London & SE England
It had been assumed that Chevron never sold sectional or regional maps of the UK, instead selling single maps covering the whole country (or England and Wales). However a 1969 map of London and South East England has now been discovered. (Updated 7 June 2016)

An Agil map of Tunisia
The Italian company Agip sold fuel in Tunisia for a number of years, but in 1975 sold out to the Tunisian Government, and the name was replaced by Agil a couple of years later. Although it has long been assumed that Agil might have had maps, only now has one been rediscovered. (Updated 6 April 2016)

A 1990 German Shell map of Egypt
Shell co-branded road maps with its regular publisher, Mairs Geographischer Verlag of Stuttgart for many years; sometimes they carried also other Mairs group branding such as euro cart. These maps were widely sold through Shell filling stations in Germany, but also overseas through bookshops and occasionally in Shell's local service stations. I bought a German Shell/Mairs map of Romania in a filling station in Bucharest. I have recently found a German Shell/Mairs (euro cart) map of Egypt carrying an Egyptian price sticker; this may - or may not - have been sold in an Egyptian service station as it was published about the time that Shell re-entered the Egyptian market. (Updated 18 January 2016)

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