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By 1986, most parts of the country were enjoying a reprieve from rising gas prices. For the first time in a number of years, petrol was again retailing for less than $1.00 per gallon, with $.99 becoming a popular price point for regular unleaded.
A lot can happen in the span of eight years. An industrious student can get through medical school, the United States can elect two presidents, and the television show Full House can run its full eight-season course.
When you hear the number 8 1/2, there’s a decent chance your mind turns to a film by that name, directed by Italian surrealist Federico Fellini. Released in 1963, 8 1/2 is the story of a movie director who is slowly losing his grip on reality. Fellini’s fantasy-like treatment of the lead character’s confusion led to popular use of the term Felliniesque, used to describe a situation that seems unreal.
The Gas Guzzler Tax is a federal tax on certain vehicles with especially low Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel-economy ratings.
We recently shared a list of Consumer Guide’s thirstiest gas guzzlers of 1973—you can check out that post here.
With the benefit of a few years’ time, I can now look back and safely say that the “Cash for Clunkers” (CFC) program was one of the strangest auto-industry events of the past 50 years.
Depending on who defines it, the automotive “malaise era”—the period of time during which vehicle performance declined steeply, mostly as a result of emissions issues—ended in the early Eighties. That said, what was considered quick by 1983 standards seems pretty quaint today.