Gane Air Flow Needle - Possibly does a thing!

Automotive news now, from 1950. Get ready to holy shit yourself, motorists! Some people who use a thing report different gas mileage than other people!

Miracle mileage extenders are still made today, and why not? We're still making dopey people, aren't we? They need an outlet for their dopeyness. Here's Jalopnik's list of ten of the worst bogus mileage boosting products still sold today.

The Gane Air Flow Needle is supposed to improve your gas mileage. I haven't tested one, but it has all the earmarks of bogusness. Plus, there's the likelihood that, if this doohickey did what it claims, the cars would be engineered with one already. The auto industry is competitive, and as such, employes really smart engineers who are always looking for an edge over their competition. cars are pretty much tuned to the limits of technology and production budgets. if a two dollar screw-in needle could boost mileage 25%, it would be in there.

Note that nowhere in this ad does it make a promise of actual performance. It uses the lawyer-safe phrases of "up to 25%" and "some users report". These statements are not falsifiable or meaningful in any real way. Know what number technically falls within the description of "up to 25%"? Zero does. Users may actually report improved mileage. They may also report that their neighbor is a lizard alien. Wording like this sounds like actual evidence, but it doesn't actually mean anything. Language like this is still the gold standard for B.S. gimmicks. Look for them on your favorite UHF rerun of the day!

But hey, let's not overlook the implicit bigotry of the art in this ad. Did you spot it? That's right! It's one of our favorite nearly-obsolete bigotries, the old "Scots are stingy" prejudice, as previously reported here and here. See the letters at the top of the ad? the ones that say "SAVE GAS?"? They're not painted plaid on accident. Someone went to the trouble of simulating a tartan pattern in those letters because, as every racist old-world cracker from 1950 can tell you, Scottish people are cheap, so they would be interested in saving money on gas. Clever, right?

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This ad also had a little flippy overleaf thing with some decent clip art of a man pointing at us. He's very compelling, even if his hand is strangely undersized. Be careful what you allow him to make you do! Better yet, point him at other people to make them do things.

"You there. Yes, you! Don't notice my freakishly tiny hand, but click for my bigness."

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