Harbie The Seal

harbie_vintageBringing up the Shady Dell again, I was wondering about the origin of Harbie – the faded fiberglass seal that greets you at the boat. I figured he was some old mascot for some forgotten business, but I couldn’t help but think as to how a seal which generally goes with the ocean found it’s way out to the Arizona desert mountains near the Mexico border.

Enter Google…

Right off the bat, a photo of a vintage Harbie turns up at RoadsidePeek.com. Apparently, Harbie is the mascot of Harbor Gasoline – a Los Angeles/Orange County chain of gas stations that lasted through to the early 1970s. Can’t remember Harbor Gas at all, but it probably never made it down to south O.C. at all.

Alumni of Hawthorne High School remember Harbie a lot. A Harbie was spotted at a Colorado River resort (could this one be the Shady Dell Harbie?) and another remembers the gas station…

Do you remember the Harbor gas station at 115th and Inglewood ave. Had the little plastic seal and even had decals. Name of seal was “Harbie”.

Another alumni remembers a Harbie at an Anaheim trailer park…

There are two posted at the entrance of a trailer park on Harbor Blvd in Anaheim (Harbor and Chapman?, just south of the Target store.)

Meanwhile, these folks find a Harbie out near the Channel Islands beach:

we lived in a waterfront apartment in channel islands while we waited for our house to be built. there was a playground opposite the apartment where aly fell in love with a horrible old fiberglass seal called ‘harbie’

19 thoughts on “Harbie The Seal”

  1. Harbie decals were given out to kids and the fiberglass harbie stood happily on Ventura Blvd. In Studio City. Just south of Colfax Avenue on Ventura Blvd., on the south side. They blew concrete onto the hillside to stabilize it during the rains in that era. The station was modern for 1960 but became a Gulf station in about 1963-64 then many other off brands in the later years.

  2. I actually own a harbie! My grand father worked at gulf oil and acquired it when they bought out harbor gas. It now greets folks as they enter my grandmothers driveway. MY grandfather gave me harbIe when I was about 6. Someday after my grams passes it will make the trip to my house and greet people here.

  3. I remember the Harbor station in Studio City quite well. Harbie had a lantern in his outstretched flipper and it lit up at night. Harbie was friendly looking to a small child – the Bardahl gangster guy at the gas station was creepy. Thanks for jogging my memory!

  4. The owners of Blair Station a RV parts store in Sky Valley, CA have a Harbie the Harbor Seal on their roof as you enter the store

  5. I have a Harbie, in excellent condition (sans the faded paint). It spent its early years in front of a Harbor Gas station in the San Fernando Valley. I have had it since approx 1972. At one point Harbor Freight Tools Co. wanted it for ontop of one of their stores but I never sealed the deal. Now I am glad I kept it.

  6. Also one on the corner of Olive and Buena Vista in Burbank years ago. It’s now a Chevron station.

  7. I remember these gas stations. There was 1 at the corner of Manchester and Sepulveta, near LAX. As a grade school kid, we walked past it every day in the late 50s/early 60s. Used to get their stickers all the time.

  8. There is a Harbie the seal mascot at Sparky’s Restaurant (famous for their world famous Hatch green chile cheese burger) in Hatch, New Mexico! (It’s just up the road from El Paso, Tx!)

  9. I have one I’m looking to sell
    There was one for sale on eBay
    For $4,500 make me an offer

  10. We’re lucky enough to have 3 Harbies in our collection of fiberglass statues. We got the first 2 back around 2008 and the 3rd one a year or so ago. We’ve never seen one with the lantern though. There was also a smaller version used on the roof of a Harbor company truck.

  11. There is one up for auction ending next week. Visit Aumann Auctions and view the 3 catalogs under Bobs Gasoline Alley located off I-44 Cuba,Mo. Online only auction LOTS of neat items

  12. A quick update to say our Harbie family has now grown to 4. The latest was found in Indio in the 1980s and lived in a shop outside of Palm Springs until earlier this year.

    We’ve happily accepted that we seem to have become a retirement home for these guys. We love ’em!

    Jeff & Kelly
    Vintage Roadside

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