Road Ahead

Vintage Car Owners Line Up for Fuel

by Tom Murphy
Jul 11, 2014

Some 300 classic-car collectors flocked to the Mobil station in Birmingham, MI – and caused quite a traffic jam – to take advantage of the sweetest deal any of them had seen in many, many years.

If you own a classic car, the place to be Friday morning was the Mobil Gas Station on Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, MI. Where else would you find gasoline priced the same as it was when your vintage auto was brand new?

Some 300 classic-car collectors flocked to the Mobil station – and caused quite a traffic jam – to take advantage of the sweetest deal any of them had seen in many, many years.

In honor of National Collector Car Appreciation Day, Hagerty Classic Car Magazine celebrated by offering owners up to 10 gallons (37.8 L) of fuel at a deep, deep discount.

For instance, the owner of a ’31 Cord would pay the lowest price, a measly $0.17 per gallon of regular unleaded, while the owner of an ’82 Pontiac Firebird would pay the most – $1.31 per gallon, a princely sum back then.

“This is the greatest day ever!” declares Thomas Semaan, whose ’80 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray fueled up for a mere $8.60 instead of the $38 he would have paid for the same amount in today’s dollars.

The magazine is part of Hagerty Classic Cars, based in Traverse City, MI, which insures about 900,000 lovingly restored autos nationwide. The magazine paid the difference for the fuel and added to the festive air with coffee, doughnuts, a jukebox, attendants on roller skates and gas jockeys wearing bow ties, caps and crisp white shirts.

The event was intended to harken back to the golden age of the automobile.

Hagerty employees have taken on several car restoration projects, including a ’69 Chevrolet Camaro SS that had been totaled but was rebuilt, repainted and driven at last year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

The latest project was a ’64-½ Ford Mustang coupe in honor of that nameplate’s 50th anniversary. Once again, the car will make an appearance at this year’s Dream Cruise, which will be held Aug. 16 along metro Detroit’s most famous thoroughfare.

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