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Danny Shields
Danny Shields HalfDork
1/2/19 11:57 a.m.

Who remembers the Double Nickel? Forty-five years ago today, President Nixon signed into law the national 55 mph speed limit.  I'm sure no one here ever violated it...

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/2/19 12:05 p.m.

I grew up with it and remember when it was fully repealed and the limits went up in Michigan. At the time I was driving 80's crap boxes that were absolutely designed around 55mph. 65 was uncomfortable. 

BenB Reader
1/2/19 12:10 p.m.

I had a “No 55” sticker (55 with the red slash through it) on my MGB back in the late ‘70s. At the time, I failed to see the irony in that, given the car’s performance potential. Still got pulled over pretty regularly because of it.

Tom_Spangler PowerDork
1/2/19 12:26 p.m.

It got repealed right after I started driving, so I didn't have to live with it for long. I do remember feeling like I was going to die going 70 in my 1980 Dodge Colt, though.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
1/2/19 12:30 p.m.

That was my senior year of high school, so as a relatively new driver I remember it well.

1/2/19 12:35 p.m.

Ya, I remember..... As teenagers we got paid to sit in lines at the pumps during the gas shortage.

1/2/19 1:05 p.m.

Oh yeah, I remember that.  Repeal was a lesson that big-government restrictions on liberty were not inevitable.

imgon Reader
1/2/19 1:12 p.m.

55 saves lives! I think that was one of their slogans. No it doesn't,  because now the family road trip takes all day instead of 4 hours and dad is going to kill one of his kids when they arrive at their destination, no lives saved. I got my license in 76 and remember being pulled over for going 57 on the highway, it was heavily enforced,  not the good old days.

Ransom PowerDork
1/2/19 1:23 p.m.

SVreX MegaDork
1/2/19 1:33 p.m.


And I remember the gas lines too. Most people here would not believe that we had lines at almost every station sometimes a mile long or longer, AND that you were only allowed to buy gas on days that were odd/even (depending on your tag)

SVreX MegaDork
1/2/19 1:34 p.m.

...IN the US. Not a third world country. 

iceracer UltimaDork
1/2/19 1:45 p.m.

I remember a truck driver asking a trooper how much over 55 would they allow.  "Five over and you can steal five".

TurnerX19 New Reader
1/2/19 1:50 p.m.

When it started I was driving an Austin Healey 100-4 with 4.56/1 rear, and a Sunbeam Imp. Neither cruised very well faster, but the Healey would go 122 mph for brief bursts between engine explosions....By the time it was repealed I had cars that would cruise in comfort at 85.

trucke SuperDork
1/2/19 2:19 p.m.

It kicked off  films like the Gumball Rally and later the Cannonball Run.

glueguy Dork
1/2/19 2:47 p.m.

And made Jim Jaeger and Mike Valentine very wealthy, and I thanked them for their innovations.

My high school yearbook comment was the unofficial slogan "Less court with Escort"



Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/2/19 3:33 p.m.

I got a ticket on a trip through North Dakota for going 65 or so, in 1979 or 80, I guess.  I tried to convince the cop that I was confused by the mph instead of kph, but that didn't fly.  Canada had gone metric at least five years prior to that!

Five bucks, paid in cash.  I think 70 was where they actually started to charge proper fines.

XLR99 Dork
1/2/19 4:00 p.m.

Things I don't miss.

When I was in school I used to go thru New York to get home.  They were proud to have these idiotic "New York Speed Limit is STILL 55" signs long after other states started using abit of common sense.  Keeping us 'safe' droning along in a straight line while making money for the Man...

JimS Reader
1/2/19 4:12 p.m.

I remember driving from DC to visit family in Mass with a little kid in back and doing best to restrain my speed. Everyone of us complaining. Miserable. Also, back during gas crisis locking gas caps were big sellers. You could only buy gas on certain days depending on last number of license plate. Awful time for enthusiasts. 

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
1/2/19 4:36 p.m.

I remember it well. There was a good  chance a State Trooper was going to be located at 42.7223313, -73.8088587 any given day or time, it seemed.

I also remember the speedometers that only went up to 85. Did you know that if you had a GM car with a digital dashboard, it would blink "85" at you the whole time you were going more than 85 MPH?  However, if you flipped it to kilometers per hour, it wouldn't blink until 140, so there was that.

jharry3 Reader
1/2/19 4:49 p.m.

I remember it. Happened when I was in high school.   Everyone bought CB radios and used them to keep track of Smokey and where he was giving out green stamps.  Channel 19 on the CB was the trucker's channel.  They were always entertaining.

   Cops would drive at 55 mph hour and there would be 50 cars stacked up behind them.   If you passed you were pulled over and the rest of the line was free to "speed" for a while.     

Grassroots solution to the overreaching government.   

  I don't think I would have gone over to the dark side and became libertarian if not for the 55 mph speed limit. 


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/2/19 5:01 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Cops would drive at 55 mph hour and there would be 50 cars stacked up behind them.   If you passed you were pulled over and the rest of the line was free to "speed" for a while.    

A few years ago, there was a guy who got stopped for driving 117 kmh on the 401 in Ontario. At the time at least, the normal flow of traffic was about 130 kmh with a 100 kmh zone. It pissed him off so much that he and a friend proceeded to drive at 100 kmh down both lanes of the 401, backing up a huge line of traffic.

He was charged with impeding traffic.


aircooled MegaDork
1/2/19 6:20 p.m.

Yes, I remember.  I got a speeding ticket on the 101 a few weeks before it changed!!!

Having AutoX tires in the back seat and a helmet on the passenger seat did not help my case.

AnthonyGS HalfDork
1/2/19 8:50 p.m.

This makes me think of Sammy Hagar and a black Ferrari for some reason.  I grew up in TX and went to HS in West TX.  No one out there ever drove 55.  When they got the speed limit up to 80, speeding actually became an issue there.  

Slammo New Reader
1/2/19 8:51 p.m.
iceracer said:

"Five over and you can steal five".

I'm either too young or too slow to get this.  What's stealing five mean?

M2Pilot Dork
1/2/19 9:54 p.m.

I remember those days. Fortunately one of my cars was a beater '64 Corvair that would flip its belts at 57 mph.

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