Bill Hamlin got in line at 6 a.m. Thursday to fill his truck’s
42-gallon gas tank. Three hours later, he made it to the pump at the
Shell Station at 550 N. Hollywood Way where 87 octane was $2.01 a
The wait was worth the effort, Hamlin said. After all, the fill-up
cost the Burbank resident nothing.
Hamlin was one of hundreds of motorists who lined up on Hollywood
Way, some at midnight, to take advantage of a promotional giveaway
sponsored by Delaware-based ING Direct, an online bank breaking into
the Los Angeles market.
ING Direct spokeswoman Ashlee Stokes said the company gave away
about $50,000 worth of gas in the one-day promotion at three stations
throughout the area.
“When people show up, they get their free tank [of gas] and
they’re on their way,” Stokes said. “They’re under no obligation;
it’s strictly goodwill.”
Glendale resident Gregory Pyburn didn’t mind being a little late
to work. Pyburn, who had waited since 6:30 a.m. for his free gas,
said he had to get out and stretch his legs after sitting in his car
for three hours. Pyburn said he is interested in checking out ING
“It has spurred my curiosity, that’s for sure,” the said.
The long line, reminiscent of the gas shortages in the 1970s, was
backed up from the station to Alameda Avenue, and at one point
wrapped around Alameda Avenue to Lima Street, Sgt. Rick Madrid said.
“Once the morning news started [broadcasting] with their remotes
that there was free gas, everyone started showing up. A guy even
drove in from Anaheim,” Madrid said.
Four fights were reported, along with a few minor fender benders
at the scene.
Shell Station owner Issa Khoury said Thursday was the best day of
business for him since he purchased the station 14 years ago. During
a normal 24-hour business day, Khoury estimates he takes in $10,000,
but Thursday morning, he made nearly that much, with ING Direct
footing the bill.