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Hundreds Wait In Line For Nickel-A-Gallon Gasoline

April 17, 1986

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Gasoline at 5.4 cents a gallon was an offer unemployed workers and hundreds of other motorists couldn’t refuse, even if it meant waiting for hours in a mile-long line.

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

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

″I saved $4 an hour today because I sat here,″ said Jeff Weinberg, 26, before pulling out with a full tank of gas and balloons tied to his radio antenna.

The line of cars, vans and trucks began forming at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, 7 1/ 2 hours before the special sale was to begin. By noon Wednesday, the line stretched more than a mile.

″The customers are so great. They’ve been waiting so long, and they’re still smiling,″ said Pierre Lucas, sales manager for Guttman Oil Co., which operates the gas station.

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

Joan Aland, 21, who is unemployed, listened to the radio with her twin sister, Janet Andreko, for four hours while inching her way to the pumps.

″My husband sent me. We couldn’t resist the price, and this thing takes so much gas,″ said Mrs. Aland, patting the dashboard of her 1976 Chrysler.

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