Cycle Express: Vintage gas station houses shiny new parts

Publish Date: 
Jul 12, 2013

GLADSTONE, Ore. – Visitors aren’t always sure what they are getting into when they step into Cycle Express, but the exterior invites them to step back in time.

Darrell MacKay, 69, took pains to restore a late-1940s Flying A filling station, complete with porcelain pumps and a porch swing. Inside, MacKay sells motorcycle and ATV parts and accessories and in a back room, employees manufacture the company's gas cap hoses and ATV flagpoles.

The building, which MacKay bought in 2002, is a showstopper. It has appeared in calendars, on the cover of car magazines, in Mercedes ads, a Suzuki brochure and in the movies.

“When I first bought it 10 years ago, I intended to take off the metal garage doors and build walls,” he told The Oregonian. “But I realized that no matter what I do, it’s always going to look like a gas station.”

Customers found the step from an exterior of a bygone era into a shiny PG&A store inside jarring, so he redid the décor with license plates and Flying A-themed antiques and memorabilia found at flea markets, thrift stores and online.

The shop also serves as a gathering place on summer nights. “It’s nice to play Mayberry sometimes,” MacKay said.

Posted by Holly Wagner