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Esso Tiger Advertising Statue

September 16th, 2008 · 31 Comments

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Esso Tiger At Retroplanet

1950’s Esso Tiger Advertising Statue “Put a Tiger In Your Tank”

These pictures and video are of the Esso Tiger we restored a few years back and that still guards the Retroplanet.com world headquarters. The pictures show the ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ stages. At Vintage Vending we restored 3 of these over the years. This one is the smaller of the two sizes that were used by Esso, and is different then most Tigers because of the embossed Esso logo on the back leg.

Esso Tiger Statue

Esso Tiger Head

Esso Tiger

Primed Esso Tiger

The Tiger is fiberglass so the restoration process entailed stripping the old paint, fiberglass repair work, primer, sanding, a basecoat of paint, airbrushing the details and then clear coat to finish.

Here are a couple of tips if you decide to restore one.
1. If you sandblast—be very careful. Use a media that is not that abrasive; you do not want to break through that outer layer of fiberglass. I believe we used crushed walnut shells.
2. Also, do your best to find one with its tail. Many are missing theirs and they’re not the easiest things to duplicate.

All in all, it is not a hard restoration, especially if you have access to a good airbrush artist. Good luck.

Tags: Antique Advertising · Esso · Gas Pumps & Station Items · Restorations by Vintage Vending Inc. · Unique & Unusual

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 nicole vinette // Nov 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

    A major sponsor of Hockey Night Hockey during The Original Six era had a car related commercial. Someone driving in to a gas station with a specific car problem. I am looking for a one word answer to the specific problem. I assume it was an Esso commercial. I was pretty young at that time. Can you help? please and thanks

  • 2 Bill // Jun 23, 2009 at 10:58 pm


    i have just acquired one of these tiger statues. I was wondering how much i could sell it for? It is in decent shape.

  • 3 vintagevending // Jun 24, 2009 at 9:07 am


    We aren’t able to give estimates on the value of an item. If you keep an eye on Ebay or Craig’s List, your item is sure to be listed at some point. That may give you a rough idea of it’s value but keep in mind prices vary greatly depending on condition. If anyone can help with a value of this item please comment.

  • 4 Glenn // Sep 20, 2009 at 3:02 am

    The “Put a Tiger in Your Tank” campaign dates from ca. 1964, if I’m not mistaken. I remember the commercials, and my dad picked up white hooded sweatshirts from an Esso station for us kids, with the Esso Tiger’s head on the front, and his tail on the back.

  • 5 Peter Williams // Feb 6, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Interesting page ! . . . would like to find more Esso or Exxon Tiger advertising material from that classic marketing time, anything, stickers, logos, slogans, merchandise . .


  • 6 JIM // Aug 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm


  • 7 albert brewster // Jan 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

    brew1948gate@yahoo.com ,I have a tiger and want to sell,I’ve had it for over 40 yr.

  • 8 JIM BIGGS // Jan 17, 2011 at 11:22 pm


  • 9 John // Jan 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I also have a esso tiger, has some minor damage to one ear and the tail was badly repaired, looks like it spent some time at the circus also as it has some gold flake paint in places. Located in Cincinnati, OH.

  • 10 Dale // Jan 30, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Hi John,
    Indication of price your after and happy to ship to Australia?

  • 11 Jim // Jan 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I have an Esso Tiger in great shape
    Anybody know what I could sell it for

  • 12 Dale // Feb 17, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Interesred in buying. Do you have a price in mind.
    Dale. stapo4@bigpond.com

  • 13 Bob // Mar 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Does anybody know the value of the ESSO tiger head coins?

  • 14 Anna // Jun 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Does anyone know where I can find an Esso tiger in Massachusetts or California? I need to take a picture of one. Thanks.

  • 15 Mark // Jul 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I just purchased a tiger over the weekend and am in Newburyport Ma. If you would like a picture let me know. Mark

  • 16 Jeanette Mayo // Sep 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I am interested in a large oval Esso tiger sign. I think it is from 1972. I first saw one at a restaurant in Greenville, SC. Anyone know where I can get one? Thanks!

  • 17 Lori // Oct 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I have an Esso Tiger (the stuffed edition) from the early 1960’s. He’s been carefully cared for all of these years, his tail tho is a little loose, though still intact. Anyone know the value of this little guy?

  • 18 Tom // Feb 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Looking for an Esso Tiger. Would prefer unrestored example if possible. Please respond to: wsgoat@comcast.net

  • 19 Jules // Sep 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I know this is an older conversation, however I thought I would give it a try. Anyone still looking for a UN-restored esso cat? Please email me at azmomof6@juno.com. ALSO would like to know what they are going for? Thank you

  • 20 Lawrence // Oct 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Same as Jules above. I know an older fellow with a fiberglass Tiger from the 1962 Esso campaign. He would like to sell. What are the going rates? It is in GRREAT shape! Oh yes, Reply to loisnot@shaw.ca

  • 21 JIM BIGGS // Jan 27, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Interested in buying old esso tiger.

  • 22 Dan McSwain // Apr 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I would like purchase one of these Esso tigers in any condition !

  • 23 dave // May 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I know of a large 6′ Esso tiger for sale. [good tail, could use paint] It’s located 60 miles East of Kansas City Mo. along I-70. It’s priced a little more than I wanted to spend — he’s at $700 right now. Let me know if anyone is interested and I’ll put you in touch with the man who has it. boynton3@hotmail.com

  • 24 lewis // Jul 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I have a large tiger in original condition with embossed Esso on the rear hind quarters. Some minor damage at the end of one rear foot. Make an offer. Pay shipping.

  • 25 Tom // Aug 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Lewis, I’m still looking for an esso tiger. Email me at: wsgoat@comcast.net

  • 26 Keyra // Aug 31, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I have the old glass pitcher and glasses with the tiger by the tail from Exxon on them. If interested e-mail me. kerwin@canyonisd.net

  • 27 andy // Oct 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I would like to hear if someone has one for sale, and would be happy to ship to the uk. cash waiting. I am interested in anything esso tiger related.
    please email me at amh.funtley@sky.com.

  • 28 mills braswell // Jan 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I have an esso tiger for sale. The story on this one is the lady that designed it lived in Portsmouth Va. and was given this one for he win in the design competition. Years went by and she got divorced and ended up giving it to a neighbor down the street in the 80’s. Then this person gave it to his older brother who has it know and I am selling it for him. If anyone wants pictures mail me at mab245@gmail.com and I can send you some pictures of it. I am not sure of it’s value and if this story is true and if it is if we can contact the designer/artist that is now elderly.

  • 29 keith henrey // May 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Looking for fiberglass tiger statue in any condition. Our local elementary school’s mascot is a tiger and they have asked me to find some for their school. Thanks in advance. Please send pics and price of what you have for sale or any suggestions on where to find them would be greatly appreciated. keithhenrey@gmail.com

  • 30 Gene // Jun 5, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I have a esso for sale. this is the larger of the two.
    It has been Professionally Restored. Email me at (gwest24@live.com).

  • 31 Jeff // Nov 22, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Looking for an Esso tiger statue. Condition not important as long as it’s complete. Thanks! jeff@vintageroadside.com

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All Images are the Property of and Copyrighted to Vintage Vending Inc.