1979 Chevrolet Corvette Gasoline Usage History

When I got my 'vette, the gas gauge wasn't working so I kept close tabs on the gas I was putting in the car. This turned into a habit so I ended up recording the date, odometer reading, gallons and cost every time I put gas in the car. Some of that data is given below.

A complete history of local gas prices in Texas from 1979 to now is also available.

Usage Summary

This plot gives some indication of the distance I drove each year. Early on I drove 35 miles each way from my home in Rio Vista to work at the main Post Office in downtown Fort Worth. The flat spot at the end of this period is where the car was in the shop for 3 months and 2 days waiting for rear-end parts. The slope drops after this point as I left the P.O. to go to college full-time. The flat spot in mid 1988 is where I lived in an apartment just outside the back gate of work for several months. The steeper slope for a year after this occurred because I was house-sitting 10 miles from work during that time.

Miles vs. time (2672 Bytes)

This histogram shows my buying trends. There are obvious peaks at "nice" numbers like $10. Most of the time I fill the tank completely so the data is clustered around the $20+ area. Some of the "cheap" tanks in 1979 were due to gas rationing. The most expensive tank was an even $32. On November 28, 1995 the grand total reached $13,146.31, $9 more than the car cost new (less tax, title and license).

Tank cost histogram (1992 Bytes)

This scatter plot shows how much gas I put in the car each time. The $5,$10 and $20 groupings can be seen here too. The most gas ever put in the car was 23.2 gallons, 0.5 gallons shy of running out.

Sizes of fillups (5498 Bytes)

A '79 Corvette is obviously not very fuel efficient. The following plot shows how much fuel I used in this car compared to the average car in the United States. When the car was new and I lived far from work the consumption was atrocious. With time, my driving decreased offsetting the low economy. Toward the end consumption was down to about 1/2 of the average. Despite this tail-off, total useage from 1980 thru 1995 was 15% higher than the average. Since my new car is probably going to average about twice the MPG of the 'vette the downward trend in the data will hopefully continue.

Yearly fuel usage (2203 Bytes)

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