Granted the minimum wage was $1.25/hr, but I swear it went a LOT further back then… That was six gallons of gas, compared to the $15/hr vs. $4/gal today.

A Woolworth menu, supposedly from the late 50s/early 60s…

And our favorite drive in when we were old enough to drive… Many a night circling between the two in town!

And a couple of car ads from back in the day…

Yes, Baldwin/Motion Performance was one of the ‘white sheet’ or COPO dealers that could order directly without approval from ‘higher’ in Chevrolet…


TBT… — 24 Comments

  1. Wow, nice ‘Blast From the Past’ ads. Thanks for reminding us of a far simpler time when owning a muscle car was an obsession. Now many of the cars look-a-like, with features like collision warning being a feature.

  2. I recall trips to the A&W “Root Beer Stand” and… I miss that. Even just a proper frosted mug of root beer and a corndog…

    I knew it was OVER when a not-takeaway order had paper cups.

  3. Good to see real cars again. Can’t imagine owning and driving one of these new things that shakes/rattles if I don’t stay in my lane like a good boy. Drove a friend’s new M Series the other day and it was awesome … but there’s almost no sense of car. Everything is mediated and controlled by the electronics, complete with a screen that stretches most of the way across the dash to the passenger. Screams “Watch me, Watch me,” not “Drive me!”

  4. I went to the corner grocery, mom & pop of course, got bread and milk and had change for the gumball machine. Didn’t know she existed then, but ended up marrying the owner’s granddaughter later — 1968 to present. She can’t get rid of me.

  5. Amazing the stuff you see here – my Dad wrote/placed that Richard’s Ford ad. He was their advertising agent for a long time…but I never saw any of the life of Mad Men in that process. Cracks me up that someone misspelled “license” in it also…might have to show it to him.


  6. I’m going to stop by the Chevrolet dealer today and ask if I can order some random car with Crane cams, Hooker headers, and a Hurst shifter as an option. And maybe one of those three barrel carbs.


  7. The reason we moved out to the county was a Sonic. They cruised it on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were on the corner. They peeled out at every turn, so it was constant revving, loud pipes, squealing tires. Lots of California air: tire smoke and rich exhaust. It was hard to get out of our driveway some afternoons.

    Dad was done and we moved to a small farm. Best decision ever.

  8. I remember Baldwin/Motion. I had a Z28 with the “rock crusher” back in the early 70s. The whine of that transmission…..music. I was 20 making under $250/week. Bought it for $4k. Right place, right time. Priorities. Still think about that car. In 2017 I bought a Camaro SS and sold it after two years – it was a distant second to the Z28.

  9. When I tell millennials that I once paid 25¢ per gallon for gasoline they think I’m kidding.

  10. Many many moons ago i was a grease monkey/pump attendant for an Amoco station not far outside St. Louis on Rt. 66. Won’t say the year… but I remember we got in a gas war with the Sinclair people down the road, and for a while were pumping gas for 9.9 cents per gallon. AND we pumped it for you, cleaned your windshield, checked your oil and tires and would even get you a cold Coke if you were pleasant (or pretty).

  11. I can remember McDonalds running a commercial in the late 60s or early 70s of a guy ordering 2 burgers, fries and a drink and getting change back from his dollar. Now a drink is a dollar.

  12. I graduated HS in 75. I had spent over a year building my 70 Camaro Z28. I worked since I was 4 years old every summer with my Grandfather as the smog in LA bothered me and my folks sent me to my Grandparents, and my Grandfather was a gardener in Tucson. Once I was 13 I was better and worked around my city. Gas in LA when I was in HS for premium was 22 cents, 19 cents for regular. This was before Carter hit office.

  13. Two points…

    Point one: When I was in college in the late ’60s, I shared an effecitcy appartment,bwith a friend. My budget was small…$10 a week for food and expenses. I can’t get breakfast for that today.

    Point two: In the late ’60s and early ’70s, I was in the Air Force. The gas stations outside the gates would engage in gas wars with the on-base gas station. Off base, the price of gas would drop to $0.099/gallon. The on-base station had their prices determines by special services and could only go down to $0.109.

    The gas wars didn’t last long, a week or two, but like clock-work, would start when the seasons changed.

  14. “15 cents, a nickel and a dime!
    At Burger Chef, you’ll eat better all the time!
    Cause a nickel and a dime will get:
    French fried potatoes, thick big shakes,
    And the greatest 15 cent hamburger yet!”
    First car (1970): 1963 Chevrolet Biscayne. 230 ci straight six, three on the tree. Points, plugs, carburetor, turn the distributer to time it, and a family of raccoons could live in the space left over in the engine compartment.
    Seat belts and an AM radio were options. I NEVER paid more than 25 cents per gallon, and it was almost always available at 21 cents, or less when there was a gas war. Amoco White Gas was 32.9, and their slogan was “It only takes a penny more to go first class.”
    Of course, my class (1971) and those before me spent much of our high school years dreading The Draft.

  15. Late 60’s into the 70’s, you could buy Sunoco 260, which was 108 Octane! Highest octane you could buy on the street. By the early 80’s that was Race Gas, not to be sold for street use. There would be a cop posted at the race track, and if he saw gas being put into a vehicle with a license plate, it was a $25k fine for the fueler.

    Trying to run those old hi-compression engines on the low/no lead, low octane gas was a miserable situation. Best fix was to add a second spark plug, so it didn’t need as much spark advance. Not always feasible, depending on the engine.

  16. I remember eating at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Omaha in the late 1970s. I thought the club sandwich was HUGE, and the milkshake enormous. And Flying Saucer pies – a cherry pie for $5.00, because cherry was high end.

    And my oil-patch uncle swearing like a sailor (no offense, gents)when gas hit $1.00.

  17. All- Thanks for the comments! Richard- I hope he gets a laugh out of it! RHT- Thanks! I didn’t know those were online!!!

  18. I remember Dad complaining when we were camping “Up North” and he had to pay 30 cents a gallon…

  19. In ’70-71, the price of regular gas was 33 cents/gal in South NJ. My ’65 Mustang Fastback 2+2 would make it to the Philly area (100 miles) on a dollar’s worth of gas. (the car had a stock ’68 302 2bbl with a 4spd driving a 2.80 rear end)

    Try getting that sort of gas mileage out of a 70’s-80’s vintage smog motor!

  20. 1957 til 1968 , ma and pa had a drive-in. burg .35 c-burg .40 , dog .25 , fries .25 , coffee/small drink , .10 , pie slice .15 … stopped for lunch at mc.d’s in 62 on a cub scout field trip … ordered 2 burgs pickles only … waiter looked at me and said ‘ gotta be different huh ‘? I didn’t really know what he meant . Dad later said ‘ it’s gonna be hard for a place like that to stay in business … look what happened though !! Pat