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Roving DuPont Gasoline Test Car Checks Filling Station Fuel

An oil company knows the quality and octane of a gasoline batch before it leaves the refinery, although the Unita Oil Refinery Company apparently contracted with Dupont to test their regular gas blend out in the field. These photos were taken in 1954 by a Vernal Express Newspaper photographer in Vernal, Utah, for a promotional effort by Unitah.

The samples collected at Ashley Farmers Co-op gas pumps were checked by DuPont in Test Car No. 40 to find out how well they performed out on the road. The ten small tanks in the trunk held the collected samples, which were checked individually by the use of solenoid operated valves that connected them one at a time to the automobiles main fuel line.

Share with us the make and model of the car and what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the J. Willard Marriott Digital Library.

15 responses to “Roving DuPont Gasoline Test Car Checks Filling Station Fuel

  1. Interesting that they appear to have purposely removed the lower 3/4 of the trunk weatherstripping for perhaps ventilation?
    That was a highly volatile trunk.

  2. And so there you have it,Folks.Proof that Unitah gasoline is the best money can buy.And you can rest assured that each and every tankfull of Unitah gas is backed up by years of extensive research and development that only Unitah can give you so you can get that great Unitah ‘Get Up and Go!’ feeling every time you step on the gas

    Now back to you,Jim….

  3. I believe there’s a typo in the name of the oil company. Uintah Oil was a Utah company owned by the Utah Cooperative Association, which Ashley Farmers Co-op was part of.

  4. The truck in pic 2 looks like a late 40’s IH K (or KB) 8 or 10. There was no K9 for obvious reasons.( a dog of a truck)

  5. I do believe that the absence of weather stripping is due to the fact those are channels for the water to travel down and exit out the bottom.

  6. So, the samples were run through the engine and what? The drivers impression that the car was running smooth, rough, better, worse? Compared to what? Each other? The fuel in the big tank? A real test would be to run the fuel through an engine on a dyno. Impractical in the field, but I’m not sure this really meant anything.

  7. Judging by the apparent color mis-match and the overspray on the insulation, it appears that the underside of the trunklid had been re-painted. Did some of that gasoline at some point perhaps present itself as a little more volatile than previously supposed?

  8. In reference to volatility: notice the built-in fire extinguisher behind those fuel containers and a spray head on the left. And is that a sensor just above them in the center? I’m not sure I’d want to drive this vehicle even with those safety items. Nomex, anyone?

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