Jumpin’ Jack Flash it’s a Gas, Gas, Gas! (UPDATE!)

You’re gonna love this ( and read below for an update ) On this day, July 8th in 1959, The Esso gas company introduced  a campaign claiming that listening to “Rock an Roll” music on the radio while driving would result in poor gas mileage.  The Esso researchers asserted that “The driving beat of Rock music caused the driver to press heavier in the gas peddle, wasting America’s latest precious resource…..HUNH?

Don’t know about you but we find it so strange and counter intuitive! Especially when you consider that Esso was in the business of selling as much gasoline as possible..

It also underscores the level of confusion and disdain Rock music was initially met with…

“Rev it up, rev it up, buddy gonna shut you down”

What do you think?

SMS UPDATE! You’re gonna love THIS more. On this date, Sept. 15th 1965….

The Ford Motor Co. debuted the 8 Track Tape Player as on option for their entire line of vehicles, less then 5 years after ESSO Gas warned that listening to rock music in the car will reduce your gas mileage!….

Ah, but here’s the rub; As 8 Trk home equipment was still one year away, new 8 TRK Tapes could only be purchased at “Automotive / Auto Parts stores!

Do you remember “Mad Man Muntz” ?

His Green and Purple car parts and electronics stores became extremely popular with a whole new clientele overnight, selling these new 8 TRKS.And, get this in 1967 alone Mad Man Muntz did over $30,000,000 in car stereo’s and tapes!

Did you ever shop there?

Did you have one of those “infernal” 8 TRKS in your car?

Just for fun…Here’s “Shut Down” by The Beach Boys from1963…


  1. Just curious, but were those first 8-track Mustangs actual 1965 models? I’d love to know because it’s a detail in a novel I’m working on….

    • Hey John, the simple answer is Yes. But keep in mind Ford wa only offering the In dash 8trks as an option for all There models
      There is also an odd situation with Mustangs. The demand for car was so great that Ford began selling ther 1965 model in April, briefly creating the coveted 1964 and one half model which Ibelieve you could ad an 8trk if you wanted! Of course later in Sept. all wasback to normal and 8trks were an option on Mustangs.
      Is that suffefiently confusing. I believe if you Google 1964 1/2 Mustang, you’ll get More detail
      Hope that helped

  2. That is very interesting. My dad was an aeronautical/mechanical engineer and he was always working on ways to reduce gas consumption and emissions. Not a lot of press about it then, but they were concerned. Esso Gas I do remember. Maybe putting down listening to rock ‘n roll on the car radio was their nod to the value of green energy. (Ha ha) Libbie Jo

    P.S. My dad designed a movable gas pump that rolled out to the car for service needs. It was part of the Sinclair Exhibit where the dinosaur is. It was featured in the 1964 New York World’s Fair and there was an article about it in the New York Times a few years ago. Let’s see if this link takes. I have pictures of the bullet-shaped, aluminium gas pump on wheels being developed with the molds and final photos. Very cool.

    • Hey Libbie Jo, great to see you here and really enjoyed your story about your dad! “Who knew”? And your comment about Esso possibly giving a nod to green energy made us smile! We’re pretty sure American oil companies have no clue as to the meaning of Altruism!

      Thanx Libbie and we’d love to see some pix of his mobile gas pump!
      Thanx for joining in the conversation Libbie Jo and come back soon…

  3. Gas Eye,
    Boy did the Esso gas company say something really stupid. They should have advertised : while driving your car enjoy and listen to your favorite “Rock and Roll” songs for a great ride and make sure to fill up at your Esso gas station ! Always use the best while on the open road “ESSO GASOLINE” Groovy man ! Far way , way out. Sha sha ! the Worm Neck.

    • Yes, Ricky Is….Great slogan, anything but “Take your foot off the gas and turn off tha Rock music”
      It’s clear that the obsession with the evil of rock’n roll was permeating thru America…Whoa!
      Thanx Mr. Is

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