Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Gasoline overflow in the 50's

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,775

    Gasoline overflow in the 50's

    In my childhood, on a hot day sometimes I saw a car with gasoline overflowing from the gas tank. My father's explanation was that people bought a full tank of gas that was cool from being stored underground and the gas expanded as the car sat in the sun. I haven't seen this happen in modern times. What's changed? - is the automatic shut-off on gas pumps a modern thing?

  2. #2
    The automatic shut off is part of the reason it tries to prevent you from over filling. That is why they don't want you to "top off". The other factor is that modern gas tanks are sealed so that vapors can't escape. The caps will let air in, but nothing goes out unless you remove the gas cap. I also think that modern tanks are designed with some air space so that the expanding gasoline can compress the air and vapors inside the tank. The plastic tanks are also more flexible than the old steel ones.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    302
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    ... is the automatic shut-off on gas pumps a modern thing?
    My first real job while in high school was working in a gas station. (Lasted one day, but found another station that was willing to keep me on longer.) There were no automatic shutoffs then (1956) and I never really felt confident that I was getting a tank full unless I went too far.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    4,876
    My job as a teenager was filling boats with gas, and oil. There were no auto shutoff nozzles in the '60's either.

    edited to add: The pay was small, but the bikini's were smaller.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    My job as a teenager was filling boats with gas, and oil. There were no auto shutoff nozzles in the '60's either.

    edited to add: The pay was small, but the bikini's were smaller.
    They had bikini's when you were a teenager? I must be a lot older than you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    302
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    My job as a teenager was filling boats with gas, and oil. There were no auto shutoff nozzles in the '60's either.

    edited to add: The pay was small, but the bikini's were smaller.

    I thought I was pretty cool working in a gas station but you sure ruined that for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Coastal Southern Maine
    Posts
    307
    During school I had a job at a gas station. When the other kids talked about their exciting summer plans I would tell them that I was going to work on the islands.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Posts
    1,658
    Pumped gas for a summer in mid 60’s. I have many fond memories from cleaning windshields.
    Last edited by Michael Weber; 05-07-2020 at 12:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,775
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    There were no automatic shutoffs then (1956) and I never really felt confident that I was getting a tank full unless I went too far.
    Another thing I saw in the 50's were cars where the finish was discolored around gas tank cap - apparently from gas overflows. I haven't noticed this in modern times. I wonder if this is because overflows are rare - or is it because car finishes are more durable?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,982
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    Another thing I saw in the 50's were cars where the finish was discolored around gas tank cap - apparently from gas overflows. I haven't noticed this in modern times. I wonder if this is because overflows are rare - or is it because car finishes are more durable?
    Probably a little of each.

    Since this has turned into a bit of an old fart discussion, I'll tell about the time in the early '70's when I went to the gas station & got a very dirty look from the attendant when I asked for $.25 worth of regular. No danger of overflow there

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,339
    I have noticed if I am in traffic by a older carburetor car at a stop light I can quickly smell the unburned gasoline coming out the tailpipe.
    A neighbor growing up had old gas station price signs as tin roof panels for his chicken house. Prices stayed the same for years so they had permanent signs with the price painted on.
    Bil lD

  12. #12
    A quarter's worth of gas was pretty much a standard purchase when I was in high school. If my buddies were along we might splurge for 75 cents worth. This year marks our 65th class reunion.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    21,654
    Blog Entries
    1
    Back in the day 25Ę worth of gas would get me all over town.

    Of course if this were in the later '70s it might not get some cars out of the gas station driveway.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,621
    In my area in the late '50's it was very common to just put a bucks worth of gas (4 gal) in at a time. Continuous gas wars for years kept the price at about $.25 for quite a while. HS grad- 1960

    Best I ever paid was in the late 60's in Texas. $.22 per gallon on a trip...it left my tailpipe yellow with sulfur residue.

    Then the first oil crisis in '73....price doubled from about $.30 to $.50-60. Then the second round in '78, and it doubled again.


    Perspective: Late '50's, I was in High School, making $1.25 an hour.
    1964, I got married, making $2.50 an hour cleaning carpets. Same year started as Fireman for $440 mo.
    1973, Promoted... making $1150 mo.
    1978, Promoted... making $1600 mo.

    '70's years were inflationary, with prices rising on everything, not just oil.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 05-13-2020 at 3:07 PM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    In my childhood, on a hot day sometimes I saw a car with gasoline overflowing from the gas tank. My father's explanation was that people bought a full tank of gas that was cool from being stored underground and the gas expanded as the car sat in the sun. I haven't seen this happen in modern times. What's changed? - is the automatic shut-off on gas pumps a modern thing?
    Carbon canisters. Hard to say much more on a touchscreen, I canít type on this darn thing, never could.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •