Remembering the 1973 oil crisis

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by cwerdna, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I stumbled across Remembering the 1973 oil crisis ... Bay Area photos : The Poop this today. I wasn't born yet for this but have heard stories about the lines (and the minimal amount of gas people could buy) from former coworkers and TiVocommunity.

    I only have vague memories of the odd/even gas rationing in ~1979 and the different colored flags. Maybe that's why my parents bought a 1980 Chevy Chevette (what a POS) back then. I'm sure consumed it way less than my mom's 78 Malibu Classic w/some V6 (3.8L?).

    Feel free to add other stories or pictures from this oil crisis.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i was in college. all i remember is, it was a real pita. i worked in a hockey rink and had to get gas for the zamboni. they didn't want you to fill gas cans, then there were some accidents and the safety can was invented.
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The odd/even-day gas rationing is one of the reasons why I occasionally practice with maximum fuel range and operating in the lower limits of my fuel tank, in relatively safe situations before there is any need to know.

    The TV evening news had numerous stories about people who needed to make single-day trips near or beyond normal tank range, on days they could not legally buy gas. One common solution was to cache one family car somewhere along the route a day earlier, prefilled. On trip day, they would exchange cars during the trip, then fetch the remaining car on a different day. A considerable waste of time and fuel, but sometimes it was the only practical way.

    Having no confidence that this crisis can't happen again, I want to know my vehicles' fuel ranges more precisely than is possible with the common rule of refilling when the gauge reads 1/4. My targeted minimum range is >400 miles. This allows a one way trip to the parents' place without finding fuel, and if necessary, a return by refilling from a farm tank.
     
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    TivoCommunity thread

    On a very old thread at TiVo Community (you need an account there to view it), someone asked "Why were there gas lines in the 70s?"

    A bunch of people recounted their stories. For some, I'm not sure which crisis they were from... Here are some good quotes, but most here are from the 79 crisis.
     
  5. SPEEDEAMON

    SPEEDEAMON Professional Car Nut

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    I remember well the long lines and gas was $0.39/gal. We panicked it would go above 40c. People were running out of gas while waiting in line and gas cans were being sold at the inflated price of $5. There were no self serve as they were all full serve. The attendants had their work cut out for them. My '66 Mustang was doing about 12mpg on a good day.
     
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    There are still some states where it's full serve only and self serve is illegal. Oregon is one of them. I hear NJ is another.
     
  7. priuscritter

    priuscritter I am the Stig.

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    I wasn't born by 73, so i don't remember the rationing, but I do remember our Chevette. several people in our family had them. and i do remember when regular gas had lead in it and unleaded was all the rage. most places were full serve too.
     
  8. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    Sort of sad, that nearly 40 years on we haven't even begun to learn the lessons from those days. I remember them well, and was advocating alternatives, conservation and tough CAFE standards then. My '58 bug got ~ 32 mpg, my fathers '66 Dodge got ~ 15 mpg. You would think that 40 years on people would be ashamed of 32 mpg, and yet they still drive SUV's that get sub 20!

    Crazy world, and indeed we learn slowly,, if at all.

    Icarus
     
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  9. pingnak

    pingnak New Member

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    I was 6~7 when this stuff happened.
    I remember people didn't wear seatbelts, either. My mom would cut a corner and we'd all slide down the vinyl seat. Everybody smoked.
    Gloom + doom + ridiculous gas mileage remedies that pop up again, today.

    Oil prices borked the economy.

    Oil is what we're spending our national defense budget on.

    As long as we depend on petroleum, we will get f***ed again and again.
     
  10. amm0bob

    amm0bob Permanently Junior...

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    Do I remember the embargo...

    Yes...

    I had to pay $10 to fill my Charger's tank...


    It used to be $5... same car, same miles... just without arab oil.
     
  11. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    About a year before the embargo we were paying 17 cents a gallon for full service in Indiana, plus they would throw in a free coffee mug if you filled up.

    Tom
     
  12. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    Oh, I remember those!
    Free glassware. This was in California. You could get a set of glasses if you stayed with the same station.

    Similar to the glasses that they used to put in boxes of Dreft laundry soap.
     
  13. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    I think we have one plate and a few pieces of cutlery left from gas station giveaways.

    I only vaguely remember the lineups and headlines. I wasn't old enough to drive back then. ;)
     
  14. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    I was too young to remember much from the first one, but I do remember the one in '79. I think that's when we drove past a Philips '66 station, and I asked my dad how it got that name, and he said (sarcastically) because that's how much they charge for gas, and I was shocked (gas was probably low 50 cents at the time). I don't remember lines or odd/even days either time, but we lived in rural areas in Montana ('73) and Minnesota ('79), probably not quite as big a deal.

    Early in 1980 I think we bought a Mazda GLC, one of the better Japanese econoboxes that become popular then. (It became the 323 then simply the Mazda 3). It was a pretty good car, and got well over 30 mpg which was considerable. Not as good as the diesel VW Rabbit which got an unbelievable 50 mpg on the road. But the Mazda was a great starter in the wintertime, which was an important bonus when living in northern MN. It could be -40'F and it would start right up.

    Icarus, this chart from the EIA does show that we reduced our overall petroleum usage for quite awhile but gradually forgot the lessons, particularly during the years of cheap oil during the 1990's. One shudders to think where we'd be now if we didn't have the oil embargoes.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Yep,

    I remember the free glassware and the free steak knives offer a the Shell station.Regarding the 1973 oil embargo, this brings up 2 questions:

    1. What has improved in the U.S. as far as our appetite for gas?

    2. IF improvements did occur, that has made a major or drastic change in our daily lives, then why are we having this discussion??? Hmmm. make one wonder.


    DBCassidy
     
  16. cit1991

    cit1991 New Member

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    Correcting for inflation, gasoline price:

    1922 $3.32
    1935 $3.12
    1981 $3.36
    2008 $3.35

    Cheapest ever: 1998 $1.40
     
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  17. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Why would we learn to kick the habit, when the enablers do such a good job of keeping us addicted? The prices are artificially low, not historically high.
     
  18. pingnak

    pingnak New Member

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    Let's pay for all the military, economic and other attention we give to the Middle East at the pump, rather than in our taxes.

    See how 'affordable' all of those petroleum products are, then.
     
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  19. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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    people were stealing gas from your car with this......



    [​IMG]





    so these sold like hotcakes and couldn't be made fast enough

    [​IMG]
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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