Roger Dorr of Panora has an eclectic collection of vintage car signs and related items.

By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

Roger Dorr’s tribute to Sinclair gas stations of the past.

Roger Dorr’s tribute to Sinclair gas stations of the past.[/caption]Roger Dorr of Panora has an eye for items from the good old days. If he finds something quirky or weird, even better. A tour of Dorr’s yard and garage yields an eclectic collection of vintage car signs and related items — and a few things that are difficult to classify. 

In explaining why there is an eight-foot-long green dinosaur in his yard, Dorr said, “I used to own a convenience store 22 years ago out in Council Bluffs. It was a Texaco station, so then I started getting into the vintage gas pumps and all that stuff. The house we used to live in, I had it all set up in Texaco stuff from the 1940s and 1950s. So, here, I decided to do the Sinclair ones.” 

Dorr says he has been into cars his entire life. 

Roger Dorr’s garage is full of vintage car items.

“Classic cars, restoring cars, I probably got that from my dad,” Dorr explained. “I’m really big into the AMC stuff. I always liked cars that were different than everybody else had. A lot of AMX’s and Javelins, and I had a Pro Street Gremlin. It’s just stuff that nobody else had.”

One of the most notable items in Dorr’s garage is a bright yellow 2004 Chevrolet SSR. SSR stands for Super Sport Roadster and is a retro-styled retractable hardtop convertible pickup that was produced from 2003 to 2006. Dorr said many of the major car manufacturers sold quirky vehicles around that time due to the brief popularity of the PT Cruiser.

When asked if he takes his vehicles out and about, Dorr answered, “All the time. I do mostly parades and auto shows.” He participated in a recent fundraiser ride to benefit the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, driving from Adel to Perry.

Dorr recalled an incident that was painful at the time but said he can laugh about it now.

Pointing to his large AMC sign, he said, “That’s an original AMC dealership sign. It was on my sister’s building when I took it down. I dropped it, and it broke, and I just about had a heart attack.”

Dorr said he was up on a ladder on the side of a building that faced the highway, and the wind caught the ladder and he fell to the ground.

“But I was more worried about the sign,” he said, noting that he hobbled over to the sign and saw that it had broken, but he was able to patch it up. 

Dorr says he started collecting his unique array of items around the mid-1990s and has no plans to stop. He often spots items at small shops as he travels.

“I’m always looking for stuff,” he said. “I’m on Facebook Marketplace probably too much, but I’m always looking.”