Gas Price Wars – 1967 Style

Remember Paying 27 Cents A Gallon For Gas?

Gas Price Wars 1967 photo by Fred Victorin

War Over? No, Not Quite.

Too late, sir, the gasoline price war is over. Or is it? This sign leaves consumer Don Lambert wondering. Yesterday the price had risen three cents a gallon. But that’s still four cents a gallon cheaper than the pre-gas war price. But you better fill up soon, the price may jump any time now. The latest gasoline war started in early April. Presently regular sells at anywhere from 22.9 cents a gallon (at Webb’s City) to 29.9 cents for the major brands. The major oil companies blame the independents; the independents charge the major distributors are trying to drive them out of business. – St. Petersburg Times; May 5, 1967 photo: Fred Victorin

For almost three quarters of the twentieth century gasoline prices hovered around 30 cents per gallon.

I filled up the car the other day at a Hess Station in New Jersey. I paid $3.27 per gallon.

The average national price of gasoline in 1919 was 25 cents per gallon. Of course if you adjust for inflation, it was just as expensive to fill up your vehicle in 1919 as it is today.

Until 1973 the price of gasoline never rose above 50 cents per gallon. Then the Arab oil embargo occurred causing gasoline shortages and steep price increases. We will never again see gas at 27 cents per gallon. You can debate if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

9 thoughts on “Gas Price Wars – 1967 Style

  1. Al

    In Southern California 1970 we were in the midst of the great gas wars. Independent dealers were making branded stations seem like they were going obsolete. Our lowest price was 17.9 for regular.
    2 years later I was at a Texaco station when the fight back began and we sold at 19.9 for regular with a 4c total spread to the sky chief (top tier) product.
    That went on until 1972 when the ??? fuel shortage??? pushed prices upward. We went through that one with huge increases then a drop to a price higher than the previous but lower than the max. A year or 2 later , I think 1973, the prices went higher than the last time then later settled down to a price higher than when the runup started. After that it just began a steady march upward. Nice sign pic though. I wish I had taken pics of our 17.9 prices back when I was in high school working for the first independent high volume location in our valley.

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  4. Dick

    The Fed is only part of the problem. It is our Gov /Congress that gave them the power that was only supposed to belong to the Government. Inflation has been caused by the government overspending like drunken sailors. and the fed printing money.

  5. Dan Groton

    Whoever penned a la “We will never again see gas at 27 cents per gallon.” – if you value your credibility, be very careful using ‘never’ or ‘always’ and other similar absolutes. As of today , 1-13-16, gas prices for regular gas fuel in Mass. are around $1.97/gal, which adjusted to 1967 dollars is 27 cents, for better or worse (if such applies).

  6. Larry Boston

    I paid 21.9 cents a gallon in Denison Texas in 1967. I paid as low as 15.9 a gallon in Haltom City Texas in 1963. However, I was only getting $1.25 an hour where I worked which was the minimum wage at the time. It was also the year my wife and I were married.

  7. Scott

    For anyone that isn’t aware, it is the value of the US dollar that has gone down, not the real cost of gas that has gone up.

    Sound money can buy gas at roughly the same price today as it did in 1964. In 1964 it cost roughly 25 cents to buy a gallon of gas. Today if you have a 1964 quarter it is worth roughly $3.50, which can buy you a gallon of gas.

    End the Fed!

    1. Doug

      The cheapest I remember seeing gas was between 25 and 28 cents in Southern California in 1966-68. When the fuel crisis hit in 1973, I remember people astonished when it shot up to around 48 cents. Of course prices would continue to rise throughout the 1970s and ’80s. The cheapest I ever remember it dropping after that was from about $1.25 in 1985, early ’86, to around 68 cents in the summer/autumn of 1986.


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