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.
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.