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July 13, 1972 Southeast Missourian
New station starts gas war
Hundreds of motorists, some waiting in line as long as 20 to 30 minutes, flocked into two self-service filling stations here today to pay the lowest gasoline prices conceivable.
Most left wishing the tanks of their cars were only bigger.
A gas war like Cape Girardeau has never seen was sparked by the grand opening today of a new Saveway Service Station at Houck Place and Broadway. The U-Pump Service Station, Pacific and Independence, quickly followed suit after Saveway announced it would start selling regular for 21.9 and 23.9 cents this morning.
At noon, after two reductions, Saveway gas was going for 12.9 cents for regular and 16.9 for premium. The U-Pump Station at noon displayed prices of 15.9 for regular and 18.9 for premium. An assistant manager at U-Pump, Kermit Melton, indicated prices there would continue to plunge.
At times this forenoon, traffic at Broadway and Houck Place was extremely congested because of cars lined up to get to the station's pumps.
Mrs. Earl Dunn, co-manager at Saveway, said at 9:30 prices were dropped to 17.9 for regular and 21.9 for premium. At 11 a.m., the price plunged to 12.9 and 16.9 respectively.
When Mr. Melton was informed by a Missourian reporter that the price at Saveway was at 12.9 for regular, he said he would contact the general manager of the station and request that it, too, drop to the lower price.
Ironically, Standard Oil dealers here received word shortly before noon to raise its prices from the present 30.9 for regular to 35.9. One station owner said, "We won't know until tonight whether we will drop it or not."
Major dealers did not reduce prices during today's gas war. Independents with attendants to pump gas dropped from 28.9 to 23.9 for regular early this morning. Another drop placed most independents at 21.9 at noon. One independent station manager said he would go no lower.
Using the Consumer Price Index, a price of 12.9 cents in 1972 has the same buying power as 75 cents in 2017.
Here is a link to more gas station blogs:
Gas prices at the U-Pump, left, tried to keep pace with falling prices at Saveway, right.