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Sputnik Signs (page 1)

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Dixie Liquor [gone]
Dyersburg, TN
Guero's Auto Sales
Austin, TX
Walli's Restaurant
Burton, MI
These signs, which look like giant toy jacks, are known as Neo-Lectras. Their six metal spikes were outlined with neon and mounted on a square central element. These sputnik or star-like sign add-ons measure 13 feet across. They were designed and manufactured in the 1960s by Jim Henry of Oklahoma Neon located in Tulsa, OK. The Standard Neon Supply Company distributed the signs. They advertised these as the Neo-Lectra model with "scintillating" flashing action. These signs did not rotate. There may have been 100 or so of these made but I believe there are only nine left. Jim Henry also designed the pinwheel-shaped, smaller Neo-Lectra Jr.. The Neo-Lectra and Neo-Lectra Jr. sold for about $1,000 when they were sold in the 1960s. Standard Neon also marketed C-152 Lectras. There are a handful of these left including these in Oklahoma.

Dixie Liquor restored their Neo-Lectra a few times. However, it was a frequent target for rock-throwing vandals so they stopped repairing it. These photos are from 2007. The sign was destroyed by a tornado in 2011.

Guero's Auto Sales also has a Neo-Lectra. The neon looks in good shape. Does anyone know if this sign is still lit at night? [map]

The Walli's Restaurant sign has two Neo-Lectras on top. This photo is from 2009. Sometime after 2010, the neon was removed from the sign panel. It is now lit with spotlights. Walli's had at least four restaurants in the Flint, MI area. One of the locations had a Roto-Sphere which is now located at the Dort Mall. [map]

Ranch House Cafe
Vaughn, NM
Sav-Mart
Wenatchee, WA
The long abandoned Ranch House Cafe has another surviving Neo-Lectra. For more, see this website. [map]

Sav-Mart has been here since the 1960s. I suspect this sign had two Neo-Lectras originally with one on each pole. [map]

Grigg's Motel
Richmond, KY
Tops Home Center
Elkhart, IN
The Grigg's Motel has a Neo-Lectra and a neon sign. The Neo-Lectra is missing one of its arms. [map]

This Neo-Lectra is installed on top of the sign that once advertised for Tops Home Center, a mobile home sales business. [map]

Century Motorcycles
San Pedro, CA
2008: 2013: 2014:
Century Motorcycles opened here in 1962. This Neo-Lectra was installed in 1963 or soon after that. In 2008, the sign was in bad shape. It appeared that the plastic panels had been blown out in a storm. There were attachments indicating that the sign originally had neon. By 2013, the sign had been refurbished with new paint and plastic panels. Later in 2013, the Neo-Lectra had been accented with what appears to be LED lighting. It flashes red, green and blue at night. For more, see this video. [map]

Brown Boys
Yakima, WA
Hockomock Plaza
West Bridgewater, MA
The Brown Boys Neo-Lectra is partially lit at night. The flasher works on four of the six arms. The sign was moved here around 2003 from Courtesy Motors in Union Gap, WA. For more, see this website. [map]

The Hockomock Plaza star is a Neo-Lectra Jr.. These signs were designed and built by Jim Henry of Oklahoma Neon located in Tulsa, OK. The signs were marketed by Standard Neon. It is believed that only a handful of these were made. This star has not spun in many years. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

Bridge City Cleaners
Bridge City, TX
The Bridge City Cleaners Sputnik has stumpier arms than the Neo-Lectras shown above. I don't know if it was produced by the same company. Bridge City Cleaners was closed in 2011 when this photo was taken. The building was still vacant. By 2016, the building was housing Elizabeth's Hidden Treasures and the sign was still there. [map]

More Neo-Lectras:
Blackwell Liquor (Atkins, AR)
Sinbad Motel (Miami, FL) [gone]
Roxy's Drive-in: 1, 2, 3 (Benton Harbor, MI) [gone]
Dickman's Wayfarer Inn (Rolla, MO) [gone]
Baricev's Restaurant (Biloxi, MS) [gone]
28-70 Food Mart (Lexington, NC) [gone]
Milner Western Motel (Santa Rosa, NM) [vintage; gone]
Motel Shawford (Santa Rosa, NM) [vintage; gone]
Kip's Inn / King Dragon: 1, 2 (Yankton, SD) [map]

Service Tire
Sherman Oaks, CA
Lone Star
Motor Company [gone]
El Paso, TX

This Service Tire sputnik is apparently vintage but is a recent addition to the plastic box sign. When the sign advertised for the previous tenant in 2011, Al & Ed's Auto Sound, the sputnik was not there. [map]

This sputnik sign in El Paso stood on the lot of the Lone Star Motor Company building. It looked identical to the one at the Montana Motel (see below). It was still there in 2013 but gone by 2015.

Montana Motel
El Paso, TX
2008: 2017:
The Montana Motel sputnik doesn't look like it ever rotated. The sign was repainted and updated with new panels by 2011. There was another sputnik like this at Viva Chevrolet (1, 2) in El Paso. [map]

Cascade Car Wash
El Paso, TX
2008: 2017:
The Cascade Car Wash sputnik sign is similar to those above but has smaller and fatter arms. It was repainted around 2014. There is also a mid-century modern building here. [map]

Gourmet Dinner House
San Bernardino, CA
2008: 2013:
The Gourmet Dinner House sign is topped with a Sputnik like those in the row shown above. It was probably built in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The sign was repainted shortly after the 2008 photos above were taken. In 2013, the restaurant appeared to be closed. [map]

Premiere Lanes [gone]
Santa Fe Springs, CA
The Premiere Lanes sign was designed by Wayne E. Heath. It was installed in 1959 when the bowling alley opened. The sign features eight Sputnik additions. The bowling alley closed in 2008 and its contents were auctioned off. The building was demolished in 2010. In 2013, the sign was donated to the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth, CA. In 2016, the sign was finally removed. The text part of the sign and several of the sputniks are on display at the museum. There are no plans to reassemble the sign and install it one poles like it was originally.

Vogue Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Alvarado Palms Motel
Los Angeles, CA
Fabricare Services
Grand Junction, CO
The Vogue Theatre was designed by S. Charles Lee and opened in 1935. It was remodeled in 1959. This sputnik sign is probably from then. It was definitely there by 1965. Since 2009, the theatre has been known as the Supperclub and features live performances. [map]

The Alvarado Palms Motel was built in 1959. This sign appears to be from then. The neon is lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

Fabricare Services, a dry cleaners and laundry service, is gone. In 2011, this sign was adapted and repainted. The neon cars on the long sign panel were removed. These photos are from 2012. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

City of Cars [gone]
Orlando, FL
Double A Motel
Fremont, OH
Atomic Signs [gone]
Farmington, NM
The City of Cars sign might have been inspired by the Roto-Sphere design. This style sign featured a greater number of spikes. These spikes were also fatter and edged with neon. There were originally two of these rotating signs at this car lot. I believe this design was called a Moravian Star but I don't know how many were produced. This is the only one I have ever seen. It stood on this vacant lot for many years until 2008 when a new car dealership was built. I believe this sign was demolished.

The Double A Motel sign's metal spikes are each tipped with a light bulb. Management has found it impractical to replace them due to the sign's height. [map]

The Atomic Signs sign was probably built in the 1960s. The "ATOMIC SIGNS" part of the sign was originally neon panels. The business closed and the sign was removed in 2016. For more, see this website.

Sputnik Signs (pg. 2) Roto-Spheres
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