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Hundreds Wait In Line For Discounted Gasoline

April 17, 1986

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Hundreds of motorists lined up for more than a mile outside a gasoline station Wednesday to fill their tanks for 5.4 cents a gallon.

″When you’re not working, a buck goes a long way. For a dollar, I can ride around all week,″ said Ron Dreshman, 30, as he relaxed in his car.

Dreshman took his place in line around 6:30 a.m. and four hours later was still a few blocks from his destination, a Texaco station participating in a promotion by Pittsburgh radio station WDVE.

″We couldn’t resist the price,″ said Joan Aland, 21, who is unemployed. ″This thing takes so much gas,″ she said, patting the dash of her 1976 Chrysler Cordoba.

Advertisements for the promotion had said the station, operated by Guttman Oil Co. of nearby Belle Vernon, would begin the 12-hour sale at 7 a.m. The line of cars began forming at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. By noon Wednesday, the line reached more than a mile through the city’s Oakland neighborhood.

″The customers are so great. They’ve been waiting so long, and they’re still smiling,″ said Pierre Lucas, 29, sales manager for Guttman Oil.

WDVE, a rock music station, on April 4 offered $1,000 and concert tickets to any gasoline retailer who would offer the lowest price. Guttman Oil won with its nickel gasoline and ordered 16,000 gallons to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

Some motorists listened to the radio or watched tiny portable televisions while they waited. Others drivers mingled outside in a cold drizzle and nibbled on hot dogs and chips from a stand near the gas pumps.

″I saved $4 an hour because I sat here,″ said Jeff Weinberg, 26, who took his place in line at 7 a.m. He pulled out with a full tank of gasoline and balloons tied to his radio antenna 3 1/2 hours later.

″This is just an incredible thing to do,″ he said, grinning. ″They’ll get my business next time.″

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