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Art & Inspiration Gas rations - wartime

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Vanness, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Vanness
    Joined: Aug 5, 2017
    Posts: 404


    Was reading Joe Rosales sport coupe page and saw that his sport coupe was converted to pickup for gas rations.
    My roadster pickup was also converted to a hardtop (home built).
    Who’s got some pictures of their adapted model a? Also, how were rations given (pickup vs car etc)

    The day I bought my a.
  2. One of the oldest myths out there. Cars were not converted to trucks in order to get more gasoline. Ration books were issued to people, not vehicles. The amount of gas that you were allotted was dependent upon your job and your importance to the war effort. Most people got an "A" sticker which allowed them 3 gallons a week. It didn't matter if you rode a motorcycle, drove a 16 cylinder Cadillac or a truck. You got three gallons, period. Truck drivers got more, but truck driver needed to be your occupation. Mere ownership of a "truck" didn't qualify you for extra fuel. The real, top secret, reason that people converted their old cars to trucks was that they wanted or needed a truck
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    270dodge, studebaker46 and FlyFisher like this.
  3. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 567

    from Sweden

    With no domestic oil production, a shortage of fuel was a fact in Sweden during WW2. In november 1940 there were over 20 000 wood gas powered vehicles registered, another 50 000 a year later.

    mike bowling and tinsled like this.
  4. brasscarguy
    Joined: Jun 12, 2010
    Posts: 169

    from seattle

    WW2 in Seattle my father owned an electrical repair company. After Pearl, the navy commandeered his business as well as his employees. They were to specialize in repairing the "pancake" motors 4 on each elevator that raised the planes on aircraft carriers.

    So all during the war they did essential work for the navy and were allowed extra ration coupons for their delivery trucks to pick up and deliver essential war materials. The same was true for rubber goods, such as tires. The materials needed for motor repair were available as well.

    While it was patriotic and everyone did their part. The same procurement officers during the war were in charge of selling the surplus after the war. That is where my father made his fortune buying and selling surplus commodities for number of years after the war.

    My brother and I flew all over the world in a Piper Cub that never left the ground. My father bought it at a surplus auction and we had it in our back yard to play in. It was new and had never been assembled. My father hung it together and we were the envy of the neighbor kids.

    just remembering,

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  5. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,757

    from Idaho

    Actually, if the "truck" was being used in agriculture, the fuel would be dispensed as with any truck or tractor.
  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole

    There must be plenty of web sites with the details. But there were different levels A, B, C stickers on the windshield told the gas station what you were entitled to, and you had to have the appropriate coupons. Farmers, doctors and essential workers got more than the basic ration.

    There were a lot of experiments with mixing naphtha gas and kerosene with the gas to stretch it. Some of the first butane or propane conversions were done at this time. You could modify a low compression engine to run on straight kerosene once it warmed up on gas. None of these were rationed, just gasoline and that was mainly to save tires.
  7. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,795

    Atwater Mike

    I bought 2 Model A Coupes that had been 'converted'. Neither seller had any idea "what went with the trunk lids"...(where they went; Grandma's folklore)
    mike bowling likes this.
  8. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,119


    :D Mom and Dad went through two WW one and two.They said that they got along pretty good.Dad and Granddad hunted and fished,so meat was`nt a big problem.Fresh veggies was`nt either.Had a nice garden.Gas was`nt a big problem either,as Dad worked civil service at the local Navy base in Vero Beach,Fl.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  9. To receive a gasoline ration card, a person had to certify a need for gasoline and ownership of no more than five tires. All tires in excess of five per driver were confiscated by the government, because of rubber shortages. An "A" sticker on a car was the lowest priority of gasoline rationing and entitled the car owner to 3 to 4 US gallons (11 to 15 l; 2.5 to 3.3 imp gal) of gasoline per week. B stickers were issued to workers in the military industry, entitling their holder up to 8 US gallons (30 l; 6.7 imp gal) of gasoline per week. C stickers were granted to persons deemed very essential to the war effort, such as doctors. T rations were made available for truckers. Lastly, X stickers on cars entitled the holder to unlimited supplies and were the highest priority in the system.
    No mention of farming or agriculture. Also, nothing regarding trucks, only truck drivers. My point is, cutting your old car up and making a truck out of it was done for the need of a truck. You couldn't get an extra teaspoon of gas just because you now owned a truck
    loudbang and 302GMC like this.
  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole

    I knew an old mechanic who built 22 tractors during the war out of old cars and trucks. New tractors were impossible to buy. Trucks likewise. If any were available they were rationed and you had to get permission to buy one. No doubt lots of cars were converted into light trucks for lack of anything better.
  11. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,976


    My parents lived in a lumber camp in northern Michigan during WW2 and they got extra gas stamps because of the war effort. She told me about watching them march the German POWS to the woods every day to cut pulp wood for paper.
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,738

    jimmy six

    My dad had "B" sticker on his 29 Ford during the war. It was still on the windshield where he stored the car when I was a kid. He bought the 39 Indian Sport Scout in 1943 which was better on fuel. He worked in a machine shop in North Hollywood and lived in Glendale.
    Vanness likes this.
  13. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,668

    from Ioway

    As I recall reading, "X" stickers - unlimited fuel purchases - were available to US congress members. This perq did not endear them to the general public.

    While everyone knew by 1940 the US was being dragged into the war few understood how it would play out. Pearl Harbor was attacked 7 Dec 1941, all civilian manufacturing for consumer goods basically ended by February, 1942 and rationing began almost immediately for some items (tires) and increased in scope over the next several months to include sugar, flour, eggs, meat etc. Cigarettes weren't rationed as such, but they were damn hard to get. By the end of the war GIs were mailing them home to Mom & Dad.

    Within a matter of a few months after Pearl though no more purchases or availability of things like radios, washers, bicycles, cars, etc. All the factories converted over to war production. Even buying a tube of toothpaste required turning in the empty tube. Scrap steel, copper, aluminum was in great demand, along with paper, and waste fats like bacon grease. It is remarkable what a nation can accomplish when they are united in resolve. Of course this also held true for Great Britain and the Allies, as well as the Axis powers, for that matter. I'm not sure we would meet with the same enthusiasm or cooperation today. (Anyone who tries to tell you "Diversity is Our Greatest Strength!" is smoking their socks.)
    Truckdoctor Andy and loudbang like this.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,625


    I've heard the putting the truck bed on the car because of gas rationing and getting more if you listed it as a truck since I was little. Remembering the old couple who drove a Model A coupe with a truck bed on it when I was a box boy at Safeway and putting groceries in it for her it was probably as much a case of turning a cheap car into a pickup so you could carry milk to the creamery in town. haul grain or feed back and forth meaning you hauled a few sacks of grain into the mill and they ground it on the half and for every 100 lbs you took in you took 50 lbs home. Hard to haul in the back of a coupe. Main thing I remember about that woman was she would have me go in the back to see if any of the flour sacks had the same fabric pattern she was looking for. I don't think I ever saw her in anything except a dress/skirt made out of those flour sacks. She thought it was funny that I liked her Model A that at that time would out patina most of the rigs you see now.
  15. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 576

    from Texas

    I was seven years old in 1944 and remember the buzz caused when the local veterinarian got a new pickup---actually a held over 1942 Chevy. Some new vehicles we reserved for essential uses which a vets work (meat supply) qualified for. We walked to save up gas for a once a year trip to Sioux Falls where the rest of the family lived. For the 120 mile trip we had two spare tires, as many tubes as we could find, a tire patch kit, and a tire pump. Never remember making the trip without pulling over for at least one tire change.
    Truck64 and Vanness like this.
  16. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 277


    Here`s what the gas ration stickers looked like.


    Vanness likes this.
  17. Vanness
    Joined: Aug 5, 2017
    Posts: 404


    Thanks for all the stories and images etc. to honor my trucks history I’m going to get some and put them on my windshield.
  18. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,596


    I just wonder what the attitude of the people, to rationing, and converting everything to war effort production, was then vs if a war effort like that was required today.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  19. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,103


    Gas rations were given according to usage. My granddad had A rationing. He was the CO of the gun battery in Marin County. Farm vehicles I believe were B ration as were commercial vehicles. C would have been the lowest and people were encourage to car pool or use public transit as much as possible.

    Now here is a funny anecdote, my Mother in law worked in Diego in the war effort. We are actually talking about this the other day. She got ration stamps at the plant ( she did something in ordinance) but she had no idea why, she didn't drive or own a car. She traded her stamps for food and the like.

    Note: I may have the rationing backward it has been well over 40 years since I spoke with my granddad.

    If rationing happened today ( which is not likely) I would just deal with it. I get by always and rationing wouldn't be any different.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  20. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,779


    My mother used to have a couple of old "steamer trunks" she kept all kinds of stuff in. Growing up, I remember seeing ration books, stickers, cards, stamps, all kinds of things she'd occasionally sort through. My Father was career military; US Army Air Corp, and then the USAF when they separated them. My Mother passed at 93 years old, and my older and younger sisters took the task upon themselves to go through all Mom's belongings. They tossed stuff out, took stuff to Goodwill , kept some stuff, divided other stuff up to be shared with the rest of us. I had to tell them to stop doing everything until everyone was on board with what they were doing; a lot of stuff was gone, including what was in the old trunks. Missing jewelry, photos, money, you name it. I managed to keep them from throwing out an old cast iron frying pan, and a few other things that really had no value to anyone but family; mostly me. Like most people who lived through the Depression, Mom was very frugal, and had lots of stories from that time. I wish I could have kept some of what was in the old trunks.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    sailingadventure likes this.
  21. Barrelnose pickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 853

    Barrelnose pickup

    The 30 coupe I’m building at the moment made its way down here years ago and I have been telling people the arse end was cut out and had a tray fitted to be able to get more fuel during the war era,as I had been told,,some of you have just burst my bubble.
    Still it makes more sense people just needed more room to cart more whatever.
    Ingenuity at it’s best,and as usual,don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole

    Food was of critical importance and a lot of farming was still done with horses and mules. A veterinarian was very important to the war effort and could get extra gas, tires, and a priority for a new vehicle if necessary.

    If someone needed a tractor or truck and none was available a local mechanic welder or blacksmith would improvise something.
  23. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,117


    One of the main reasons gas was rationed was because of the shortage of rubber. We had access to a lot of oil but no natural rubber. then came synthet rubber but it used oil to make it.. . I came along at the end of WW 2 and I herd a lot of stories on what people swapped stamps for.
  24. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,668

    from Ioway

    Chocolate, booze, cigarettes, nylon stockings...

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