I always felt the company tried to copy Imperial Refineries operation somewhat.
Note the shield sign/logo with the price inside the shield, the outside tanks
and the station building, which was similar to several Imperial had in
Florida at the time.
A number of changes took place over the 24 years besides the price which went from
27.9¢ to $102.9. The outside tanks were gone by 1984 (Maybe the EPA had a hand in
that!!), The sign changed from some kind of metal or maybe even wood, to interior lit
plastic. A canopy was added and the little chimney at the top of the station was
removed. This was always a well maintained neatly kept station, again in the Imperial
mode. I doubt I have been this way since the 1984 photo and know I have not even been
to Ocala since 1988, so I have no idea if the station remains. However, with a good
sized lot, they would have had room to expand into a C-store operation and since there
was not a lot of other stations out that way, they might have been in a pretty good
position to keep their gallonage up. Very small brand, but always a nice station.
Two shots of an old Empire sign from Robert Droz, May 2003.