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'49 chevrolet gas tank plugs......

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I am doing research on an unsolved mystery from 1956 where a person was charred to death inside a '49 chevorlet tudor sedan on a country road within 3 minutes or so... The fire burned quickly. I am looking for information concerning the 1949 Chevrolet Tudor sedan and the gas tank plug. What were the plugs used for? Could they have been knocked out easily and dislodged if trying to maneuver out of a country road ditch? The investigating authorities theorized that the gas tank plug was loose or knocked loose - spilled gas on to the ground - and quickly charred the victim inside the car and the car itself. Could the '49 chevrolet sedan ignite without help from an outside source or another person and burn so violently and quickly? Thanks for any of your auto expertise on this intriguing matter. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

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I had a '50 Chevy Fleetline a few years ago, and while I was under the car a lot, I don't exactly remember a drain plug; if it did have one, it was either a flush-type with a recessed head , or if it protruded from the bottom of the tank and had a square or hex-head (these plugs were usually NPT 1/8" pipe thread), it wouldn't have been low enough to the ground to have been a "drag" hazzard.

Usually the lowest point of the back end of a car is the center section of the rear axle (the "pumpkin"), as far as ground clearance goes.

As for the possibilities of someone being incinerated <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> in a car of that period, the interiors were made from natural fibers such as wool upholstery, seats stuffed with horsehair padding(quite flammable) and cotton batting, kickpanels and doorpanel backings made from paper-board, often parrafin or asphalt impregnated, jute padding under the carpets....lots of stuff inside the cabin that burns... plus, if the fire were the result of an accident, the gas tank could've been punctured...

If this incident happened in 1956, then the subject car would've been six years old, if it were travelling "country roads" (unimproved?), the gas tank or fuel lines could've become damaged by rocks and gravel; what it also possible is that the cloth-covered wiring could've shorted and started the fire, which then ignited other flammable stuff in the car....

I would think that the cause of death would've been suffocation due to smoke inhalation; the victim would've (hopefully) lost conciousness before being immolated.

I suppoes there were no witnesses?

I don't think the "drain plug getting knocked loose" is very plausible....but that's only my little opinion...I haven't been under a '49-'50 Chevy car for about 6 years now.

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