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View Full Version : Who remembers gas wars?



Raymond Fries
06-04-2014, 7:04 PM
I remember taking my wife to Detroit to visit her grandmother and filling up for 19.9 cents per gallon. Hard to believe it costs so much now.

Rod Sheridan
06-04-2014, 7:56 PM
Hi Raymond, what was you income like then versus now?

When I first started driving gasoline was about $0.40 per litre which meant I could purchase 4 litres of gasoline per hour of my wages.

Gasoline now is about $1.35 a litre which means I can buy more than 40 litres per hour of my present wage.

For me gasoline has never been less expensive in relative terms.

Regards, Rod.

Jamie Buxton
06-04-2014, 8:33 PM
Hi Raymond, what was you income like then versus now?

When I first started driving gasoline was about $0.40 per litre which meant I could purchase 4 litres of gasoline per hour of my wages.

Gasoline now is about $1.35 a litre which means I can buy more than 40 litres per hour of my present wage.

For me gasoline has never been less expensive in relative terms.

Regards, Rod.

That's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. When you started driving you were a kid, and you made considerably less than the average wage. Now you're an experienced guy who makes a lot more compared to the average wage.

Raymond Fries
06-04-2014, 8:46 PM
I think I made $1.60 per hour back then. my point was that the businesses competed for the lowest prices to get you to buy there. These days it seems that they are all fixed to be almost the same price.

Rod Sheridan
06-04-2014, 9:17 PM
That's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. When you started driving you were a kid, and you made considerably less than the average wage. Now you're an experienced guy who makes a lot more compared to the average wage.

I agree, and I'm sure that it"s typical of most adults..............Rod

David Weaver
06-04-2014, 10:07 PM
In 1996, I paid 71.9 cents per gallon somewhere near fredericksburg virginia.

Fred Perreault
06-05-2014, 6:58 AM
In 1971, when I went more heavily into the heavy equipment business with several more trucks, bulldozers, wheel loaders and excavators, I abandoned my temporary looking 275 gallon diesel fuel tank and installed a 3000 gallon tank in the ground with a used pump etc. from a local gas station. I bought the first 2500 gallons of fuel for 12.5 cents per gallon. At the time I also had a 2000 gallon tank in the ground for gasoline, and I was buying Gulf Regular gasoline for 26.5 cents per gallon. I was working the Caterpillar machines I owned for rates between $18 and $30 per hour. The most common hourly rates today for machines of the same size is from $125 to $175. In 1969 I had a new Chevy Camaro Z-28 and was buying 103 octane Sunoco for well under a buck.

My, how times change... :-)

Don Huffer
06-05-2014, 8:11 AM
I can only remember gas prices at 19 cents a gallon. Gas wars used to be great.

Don

Don Huffer
06-05-2014, 8:14 AM
I'd like to know how pour people buy gas. Must be a major burden on their lives.

Don

Paul McGaha
06-05-2014, 9:15 AM
I can only remember gas prices at 19 cents a gallon. Gas wars used to be great.

Don

I remember those prices too. I think during the 60's. I was born in 1957 so i was just a kid but I remember my mom and dad gassing up their vehicles.

I think I've seen it as low as $.12 per gallon back then. And the gas station gave you some free drinking glasses if you filled up.

PHM

David Weaver
06-05-2014, 10:27 AM
http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/hankel_money_2301.html

I watched a lot of videos on this site a while ago, and was able to track it down. Not gas wars related, but depression era where the guy describes buying two gallons of gas once a week to get to and from town, and basically trading their farm output for the rest of the stuff they need.

So, it might've been cheap, but as my grandparents described, stuff was cheap because nobody had money to spend. Nobody bought anything and nobody sold. (this guy says almost the exact same words somewhere in the video).

http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe30s/movies/hankel_life_10.html

This is another video where he describes the rural electric becoming available and not being able to take it because it was $4 a month. In another set of videos on the site, there's a woman whose dad was going door to door trying to get people to hook up to the new rural electric and she complains that a lot of the people refused to spend $4 a month on electricity (she was implying that they were stingy) :D

Always have to remember how much liquid disposable cash people have when comparing prices, and how much of that is allocated by law to different things (I'll bet property taxes, health care costs out of pocket, etc, are all MUCH higher now than they were back then, even normalized for inflation and productivity).

Tom Stenzel
06-05-2014, 10:40 AM
Probably because it's too dangerous to have a price war.

In 2007 I was driving to work and passed two gas stations at Springwells and Fort streets (southwest Detroit). The prices were really low so I stopped and filled up.

At lunch time my coworkers that went out for lunch found Springwells blocked by the police-the owner of one gas station had shot and killed the owner of the other gas station.

I'm glad the shootin' didn't start while I was there.

-Tom

Jerome Stanek
06-05-2014, 11:30 AM
I remember going to fill up my 70 cougar and giving the attentent a five and getting $3 and change back. Filling up a Triumph motorcycle for .50 cents. Then going to North Carolina and only able to get 5 gallons at a time. Coming home we had a loaded extended van with my SIL and new baby stopped to get gas and the town was without power just made it to the next town and was told only 5 gallons but when I asked how far the next station was because of the baby they let me fill it.

Sean Troy
06-05-2014, 1:01 PM
My first car back in 77 was a 1966 Triumph Spitfire. It cost me 3.00 or so to fill it up.

Bill Edwards(2)
06-05-2014, 1:41 PM
This was my father's station in the early 60's.

I helped him change those signs to the low teens a lot.

I remember a couple time falling below 10 cents

290714

Bruce Page
06-05-2014, 2:03 PM
18 is as low as I remember seeing it back in the mid 60’s. I could fill up my ’65 VW bug for less than $2.

Jim Rimmer
06-05-2014, 2:14 PM
That's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. When you started driving you were a kid, and you made considerably less than the average wage. Now you're an experienced guy who makes a lot more compared to the average wage.

Here's another way to compare: when I was in high school minimum wage was 55 cents and gas was 35 cents. Now minimum wage is $5.50 (I think, or close to that) and gas here in Houston is $3.50. No change in relative price.

Brian Elfert
06-05-2014, 4:12 PM
Here's another way to compare: when I was in high school minimum wage was 55 cents and gas was 35 cents. Now minimum wage is $5.50 (I think, or close to that) and gas here in Houston is $3.50. No change in relative price.

Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour which overrides state minimum wage if lower. Do the same comparison in 2000, or even 2007, and you'll figure out why people complain about gas prices now. People remember paying well under $2 in 2000 and maybe $2 in 2007.

Jerome Stanek
06-05-2014, 6:19 PM
My first car back in 77 was a 1966 Triumph Spitfire. It cost me 3.00 or so to fill it up.

My sister had a spitfire was a fun car to drive. She had the rag top hard top and tonneau cover with real knock off spinners.

Garth Sheane
06-05-2014, 8:23 PM
A rule of thumb that I use is that price is generally 10 times what it was in 1970 (I'm in Canada). A $3000 car then would $30,000 now, and my first house that cost $35,000 would be $350,000 now. Of course, there are lots of exceptions. A person who made $4800 a year probably makes a little more than 10 times, about $60,000. Gasoline up here in 1970 was about 50 cents a gallon (our gallon being about a fifth larger than a US gallon). So, gas should now be around $5 a gallon here (if we still had gallons, which we don't). There are about 5 litres in the old Canadian (imperial) gallon and we pay right now $1.37 / litre, or $6.85 / gallon. So, we pay about 37% more than what we did back when, with most of that in taxes, I suspect.

I just did a road trip in the US a couple of months ago and gas was about $3.80 / gallon on average, which is probably about 10 times what it was in 1970. If a 1970 $2 /hr job pays $20 per hour now, I guess it is all relative.

Brian Elfert
06-05-2014, 11:04 PM
Gas prices compared from the 1970s to now is about the same as what prices would be if they followed inflation. The problem is gas prices didn't follow inflation perfectly. Gas prices shot up dramatically in 2008 and prices now aren't much different than 2008. If gas prices had gone up by the rate of inflation every year nobody would complain about gas prices too much.

Dok Yager
06-05-2014, 11:15 PM
I can remember gas wars between the Phillips 66 and the Conoco I worked at dropping to as low as 12.9 a gallon in 69.

Kev Williams
06-06-2014, 1:08 AM
The gas wars these days seem to be fought on Wall Street. I'm still waiting for a rational explanation as to how in 2008, gas (nat'l average) could go from $4.11 on July 7th to $1.61 on December 29th. Around our area I remember the spread went from a high of $4.27, and at one point the next January one station sold gas at $.89...

So, back to the days of 25 cent gas, anyone else confess to siphoning gas because ya couldn't afford it? ;)

I graduated high school in '72. I missed the war but got nailed by the "oil embargo". I still remember sitting in Denny's having coffee with some buds sometime in '73, and we all swore that we would walk before we'd accept only 2 gallons of gas for a buck...

What I wouldn't give... these days, you can't even get 2 gallons of WATER for a buck!