Oil price changes over time

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Nov 29, 2003
Consider Pennzoil...probably the most widely available-most widely recognized automotive engine oil in N. America. How much did a quart sell for when crude was $30 a barrel, or $40...or $50? Keeping in mind that 1985 dollars are not the same as 2005 dollars, I get the impression that changes in motor oil prices at the retail level for regular dino oil have not been significantly impacted by the rise in crude prices. Am I wrong? Is any data available on this subject that would track the retail price of dino oil? Also, it seems illogical that some products can occasionally be heavily discounted, unless of course the normal everyday price is a complete rip-off.
Good point. I remember arguing with a cashier at Wal-Mart about 15 years ago that the QS I was buying was on sale at $.96 a quart and a case shouldn't ring up at over $13. 12 times less than a dollar should be less than $12. She refuse to have supervision check it out. The PZ I went back to after finding sludge is running $1.50 or a little more now. It seems high now, but not as bad as gas.

On the other hand, they aren't made out of oil, and I think AC spark plugs are still available for about the buck a piece I paid over 40 years ago.
Regular grades of Supertech have rather consistently followed the price of a barrel of crude. They went, per quart, from $.74 five years ago to $.84 to $.88 to $.97 to $1.07 just this week. 40 cents a gallon compared to last year is matching finished grades of gasoline and #2 fuel oil.

Other oils one would suspect marketing or formulation changes reflected in price when supertech hangs tough but fair.
In 1986, I would get Castrol GTX for 69 cents a quart on sale at DAP (for my orange Fiesta!). Of course, it was in a waxed cardboard can that you had to poke two holes in....
And this month I bought Castrol GTX for .89 cents a quart and Chevron for .49 cents!

And the oil today is alot better than yesterdays IMO...

Love when Oil is on sale... Like most of the time.

Vavoline (SP) is .79 cents a quart right now...

Take care, bill

That would make it $1.96 a gallon. Very comparable to gasoline w/o all the extraneous taxes.

Motor oil is cheap.


I'm in my Mid 40s and I remember gas being .19 cents a gallon at uni-mart.

Now, in my state (which has average) taxes are .38 cents a gallon!

And they keep asking for more! And the Feds want to add more...

Wonder how they did it when gas was .19 cents a gallon??

Cheers, Bill
I just saw Pennzoil 5W-30 dino priced at $2.39/qt. at my local Kragen. I guess that's not bad compared to late 1970s prices and adjusted for inflation, but it does represent quite an increase over the past several months. Mobil 1 just hit $6 at the same establishment.
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