Identify the Cars in Line During the 1979 Energy Crisis

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OK, car-spotters, here’s a photo from Wikipedia from the 1979 Energy Crisis. See how many cars you can identify.

While you’re figuring that out, check out the July 5, 1979 edition of the Wellesley (MA) Townsman. The front page featured a story on how the town was dealing with the Energy Crisis, and page 2 and 3 had a few home-grown solutions to the challenges facing Wellesley residents.










The 1979 Energy Crisis occurred thanks to reduced oil production as a result of the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Global oil production only decreased by about 4 percent, but widespread speculation caused the price of crude oil to skyrocket from $15.85 per barrel on April 5, 1979 to $39.50 per barrel by the same time in 1980.

Thanks to the memories of the 1973 Oil Crisis, motorists suddenly began panic-buying gasoline leading up to the 4th of July weekend in 1979. By the time the July 5th issue of the Wellesley Townsman was printed, long lines at gas stations were (literally) front-page news in town, with local selectmen working with fuel stations to help figure out traffic and congestion issues related to the hours-long fuel lines.

As a service to its readers, the Wellesley Townsman printed the hours of all the fuel stations in the area on page 2, along with a list of carpool options for readers so they could catch a ride along the 128 belt and beyond.

Were you one of the people who wrote in to the paper to carpool? How did you get through the 1979 Energy Crisis?

Here’s a challenge: the lead image comes from Wikipedia


Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald

Writer, editor, lousy guitar player, dad. Content Marketing and Publication Manager at