In October 1973, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) issued an oil embargo. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen from $3 a barrel to $12. The embargo was issued in response to America’s involvement in the Yom Kippur War. In addition, the U.S. was rationing gasoline at the time due to dwindling supplies of oil.
Every driver was obsessed with buying and conserving gasoline in fears that it might not be available in the future. Some drivers invested in locking gas caps to prevent theft, while others installed fuel drums and extra tanks in their vehicles.
While high gasoline prices hurt most of the economy, the sellers of gas-saving devices had a record year. The OVG gauge, for example, was nothing more than a simple vacuum gauge that would’ve cost $65 in 2016 dollars!