July 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Birmingham gas station offers classic gas prices for classic cars

Birmingham — What do you get when you combine classic cars with classic gas prices?

A traffic jam of classic proportions.

Cruisers lined up to gas up at a the Birmingham Mobil gas station at 36101 Woodward Riday morning for gas prices dating back to the 1950s and 60s.

The low-cost, high-octane offer was part of National Collector Car Appreciation Day sponsored by Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in insurance for classic and collectible cars, motorcycles and boats.

Cars had to be at least 25 years old and were limited to 10 gallons. Cars less than 25 years old paid the station’s current price, $3.89 a gallon.

Eastpointe resident Russ Vorpagel paid $3 to top off the tank for his stunning 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.

“They look up the price of gas for whatever year your car is,” said Vorpagel, 72.

“It was 30 cents a gallon in 1957. I arrived at the station at about 6:30 a.m. and there was hardly anyone here. By 7 a.m. they were starting to line up down the street.”

To add to the atmosphere, uniformed staffers of Hagerty Classic Car magazine cleaned windshields like they used to do in the “old days” while a jukebox played rock n’ roll.

Waitresses on roller skates offered free doughnuts.

“I remember those times,” said Vorpagel, a retired tool maker.

“Attendants would automatically clean your windshield, check the oil and the pressure. Nowadays, they don’t even know what a windshield is.”

(313) 222-2345

Rachel Wickremasinghe of Garden City rollar skates by the line of cars waiting for gas. / Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News
Eastpointe resident Russ Vorpagel paid $3 to top off the tank for his ... (Charles V. Tines / Detroit News)
Diran Yazejian, 81 watches Nicolle Girard, 45, of Traverse City, fill up ... (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)