Anyone old enough to remember the Iran Oil Crisis of the ‘70s?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by schja01, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    They were rear engine, like your bug. In fact it was nearly the same engine, just packaged with a different fan housing and relocated accessories to make it flat rather than tall.

    [​IMG]
    Photo shamelessly hotlinked from flickr. Of note, this example has been modified with aftermarket carburetors.

    One big difference is that the Squareback (and other Type IIIs) got the Bosch Jetronic fuel injection system starting with the 1967 model year, making it one of the earliest electronic fuel injected cars.
     
    #41 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  2. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Indeed! That used an *analog* computer, BTW. There were no microcontrollers in those days, of course.
     
  3. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Wait... is that a gas cap in the tailgate there?! I’m pretty darned sure ours had a filler cap in the front (right side, I think).
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    That’s the oil dipstick. You’re correct, the fuel filler was on the right front fender, and the tank sat above the front axle.

    The dipstick had that twistlock cap located in the rear door jamb so that you wouldn’t have to unload cargo and remove the floor hatch just to check the oil.
     
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  5. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Actually, thinking back, maybe not; I can’t recall for sure...
     
  6. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Gotcha. Thanks!
     
  7. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    Great ole VW stuff. My pal who'd summer with his family a few houses away got a 2 liter 914 instead of his moms older 911. They had relatives that had the squareback, but I only saw it once during a visit. iirc In the 70's the 914 came with either a 1.8 liter standard or the 2.0 liter upgrade and of course the 5 speed manual.
    What a strange and wonderful thing it was to get an overdrive where we typically used to shift into reverse.
     
  8. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    In 1968 we were in the market for a new car that my wife could drive, meaning that we needed an automatic transmission. Went to the Pontiac dealer to buy a Firebird with the OHC six cylinder engine. Only extras needed were auto and power steering. Back then they didn't have a sticker on the window with the price. The salesman only discussed the down payment and monthly price. I whipped out my pocket slide rule and figured that the price was close to $4K. Caught the salesman by surprise, and he sneeringly stated "Well, if you want to save money on a car maybe you should buy a Volkswagen." I said "Maybe you are right." and we drove directly to the closest VW dealer and bought a 68 Fastback with automatic transmission and Bosch fuel injection. Price was about $2500. Problem was that was their first year with FI and we had a lot of problems. Wife would be driving and the engine would just stop. Apparently the computer would just decide that the engine didn't need gas at that time. Sometimes it would start after a few minutes and sometimes it wouldn't. Happened both on the freeway and in town at a stop light. Had a problem with the transmission early on and found that the dealer took it out and completely disassembled it to use in a training session for his mechanics as this was the first one they had a chance to work on. We had the fastback for two years and traded it in on a Ford Pinto.
     
  9. CraigM

    CraigM Active Member

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    Aah yes, air cooled VWs! My first car was a ‘63 Karmann Ghia coupe. Then in ‘67, after my first exotic trip to Vietnam, I traded to a new Karmann Ghia convertible. I put on about 100,000 miles in four years. That car would probably be worth serious $$$ today.
     
  10. pghyndman

    pghyndman Member

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    I had and loved several VWs. We referred to the square back engine as “pancake” as the fan shroud was horizontal vs the upright housing on the bug or bus.

    The motor/clutch assemblies were very easy to extract and work on, but the attached (usually rusted out) heater boxes were always a PITA. Routing the throttle cable back through the shroud was also a pain... ahh but those were simpler times, when many of us were by necessity shade tree mechanics.

    Regarding.gas shortages, in our area some cretins even took to poking holes in tanks to steal it from vehicles with locked caps!
     
  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yeah, but horizontal instead of vertical. Which allowed for that flat load floor.
    Maybe not the easiest engine to work on?
    And I doubt you could design and legally sell a vehicle like that today.

    But as kid, I thought they were cool. And to be honest? I still think they are.
    Even though, I can live with just seeing one from time to time now. The desire to actually own one, has long passed.

    I'll deny it in court, but there are some perfect summer days, when I still think driving around in a VW thing would be a blast.
    VW Karmann Ghia? I liked those too....

    But maybe I was lucky that I really didn't have the resources at the time to assemble my "stable" of VW's. There's a certain luxury and freedom in simply enjoying something from afar, without the challenge of actually keeping them running.
    Even though my Aunt drove her VW bug for 10+ years, and it was still in perfect running condition when she sold it to a friend at work, after a motorcycle hit the front fender and dented it.
    She just didn't want to deal with having the bodywork done.
     
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  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I’ve never dropped an engine out of a Type III. I understand they were a little harder. My record (39 minutes) was on a 1980 Vanagon.

    …Had it back in 75 minutes after that, with a new clutch throwout bearing.
     
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  13. pghyndman

    pghyndman Member

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    I know it's OT but... Here's one of my projects many moons ago (while still under construction), a kit car (29 Benz SS inspired) on a '69 VW chassis. I bought a fire-damaged bug for $300, rebuilt and used what I needed, and sold the body parts etc to more than recoup my outlay. VWs were inexpensive and a hoot to work on!

    BenzzSS.jpg
     
  14. modeladay

    modeladay New Member

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    I remember this as well, on your day they would allow you 10 gallons. The problem was you might wait in line for hours and if they ran out of gas before they got to you it was tuff luck. I had two car one of them being a VW bug, I would fill up and go home and put it in 55 gallon barrels than go back when it was my turn again and repeat it got me to work and a little play. Before this business started with the middle east I saw gas as low as 18.9 cents a gallon during a gas war of sorts in Morgantown,wv I believe it was around 71 or 72
     
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  15. qmfernandez

    qmfernandez New Member

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    I remember. I was in college and a friend of mine had a Pinto, and always left his keys on a nail outside his dorm room. The rules? Bring it back with more gas than when you borrowed it. Pure genius.

    And there were odd/even days in California. I've been aghast at the popularity of minivans and SUVs for most of my adult life

    I recently bought a Prime not because of a fear of major shortages, but because I anticipate more short term interruptions and natural disasters in the next several years. On any given week, we might have gas OR electricity outages (so naturally I'm planning to go solar).
     
  16. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I rode a bicycle to work rather than waiting in those long gas lines. I've always thought that a 5% disruption couldn't cause the magnitude of the problem I was witnessing. Many people thought that the oil companies used it as an excuse to make shortages much worse than they were to jack up the price of gas.
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Yup. The 1973-74 Oil Crisis was caused by the OPEC (or Arab, OAPEC) Oil Embargo, October 1973 - March 1974, in which the Arab block embargoed oil exports to the countries they regarded as supporters of Israel in the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, a.k.a. Yom Kippur War or Ramadan War.

    The 1979 Oil Crisis was caused by the Iranian Revolution. It was soon followed by the Iran-Iraq War.

    No rationing reached my area, but it was all over the TV national evening news. Including stories about how some people creatively dealt with their needs to make certain long trips on days that they could not legally buy more fuel.

    Those stories are a primary reason why, even now, I better characterize where the true 'bottom' of my fuel tanks really are, or what the true fuel ranges really are. So if similar no-fuel-available situations ever re-occur, I can make a much more informed decision about whether a particular trip can reasonably be traveled without a refill, or whether contingency plans should be invoked. E.g. drive with reasonable confidence, vs cancel, go back, detour, or camp out until fuel availability returns.
     
    #57 fuzzy1, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  18. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Junior Member

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    My wife and I had a 68 VW bug AutoStick during the 73 oil embargo. We had the odd/even fillup days and 10 gallon limit which meant if you had a big hog, you had to get in more than one line to fill up at more than one station.

    The AutoStick was a semi-automatic stick transmission. It was a three speed on the floor but it didn't have a clutch pedal. The clutch was operated by a vacuum actuator. It was controlled by a ring switch on the floor shift column. It disengaged any time you moved the gearshift from center toward any of the gears. This was way before the era of child seats and if we were driving down the road and my daughter leaned against the gearshift the clutch disengaged and the engine just revved up.

    In addition, this kluge had a torque converter. You could pull up to a light and stop and it was happy to idle in third gear. When you stepped on the gas you realized the engine speeded up but you were barely moving because you forgot to shift to 1st.

    Vdubs had miserable heating systems that provided more oil fumes than heat. In the Ohio winter, you needed two hands, one to steer and the other to scrape the constantly frosting windshield. With the autostick, you could at least leave it in 2nd gear and floor it from a light and it worked the engine harder and produced a little more heat.

    They were also pretty dangerous in a front end collision since your first line of defense was your knees and forehead.

    Ah yes for the good old days.
     
  19. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    My first car was a 1979 Honda Civic. I’m still driving the most fuel efficient car on the road.
     
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