Hidden gas caps serve to clean up the exterior styling of any vehicle.
It would seem the trend began as early as the 1940s with automobile manufacturers like Cadillac and Tucker hiding the gas filler cap in sundry covert places.
Eventually, the trend took off to become a sleek feature with many automobile designers competing to find unique places to hide the gas filler tube that still makes sense from an engineering perspective.
The hinges for some of these hide-away gas filler caps are absolute genius. Here are some cars with hidden gas caps.
1. 1948 Tucker Model 48
I remember watching a film either in middle school or high school wherein Jeff Bridges played Preston Tucker.
Designed by Alex S. Tremlis, the Model 48 was ahead of its time.
This was one of the first cars to feature a headlight that turns with the steering wheel and push button door releases.
To cement the Tucker 48’s forward thinking aesthetics the gas filler cap is located inside the metal grille of the driver’s side rear fender.
2. 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air
Can you guess where the gas filler cap is hidden on this Bel-Air?
The Chevrolet Bel-Air is one of the most beloved American cars to come out of the 1950s. It lasted for 25 years from 1950 to 1975.
Originally offered as a 2-door hardtop, body styles also included sedans and station wagons. You can find the gas filler cap on this model behind the driver’s side tail lamp.
3. 1957 Chevrolet El Morocco
The best way to think of an El Morocco is along the same lines as BMW Alpine, Mercedes-Benz AMG and a Porsche sourced RUF car.
But whereas these cars also receive performance enhancements, the El Morocco is strictly an appearance package which were built from 1956 to 1957.
Hinged on the right, the driver’s side tail lamp opens like a door to reveal the hidden gas cap.
4. 1957 Pontiac Chieftan
These post war Pontiacs boasted rock-solid mechanics and a distinctive style.
They were dependable family haulers built as coupes, convertibles and station wagons.
Back in the day a Pontiac was a car you splurged on costing a bit more than your average Chevy, Ford or Plymouth.
On the 1957 Pontiac Chieftan, the gas filler cap is located imperceptibly on a side panel just before the driver’s side tail lamp.
5. 1958 Cadillac Coup DeVille
After WWII, America enjoyed economic expansion which led to the rise of car culture.
Cars became bigger, faster and flashier with the Cadillac Coupe DeVille standing front and center as the poster child of the era.
When new, these cars cost about $4,900 or $46,000 in today’s money. Lift up the rear driver’s side tail light and you’ll find a cleverly concealed gas cap.
6. 1960 Ford Thunderbird
Initially intended to compete against the Chevy Corvette, the Thunderbird was originally a two-seater gaining a second row of seats in 1960.
It was Ford that began the trend of hiding the fuel filler cap behind the license plate, which today seems rather common sense.
So much so that GM picked it up incorporating it into the design of many of the cars from the 1970s.
The 1960 Ford Thunderbird hid the gas fuel cap behind a spring-loaded license plate.
7. 1968 Volkswagen Beetle
One of the things that made the classic Volkswagen Beetle a car that endured for decades is the fact that they were easy to keep running with some basic mechanical know-how.
For 1968 the Beetle got larger front and rear brakes, an upgraded carburetor, head restraints for the front seats, a collapsible steering wheel and larger tail lights among other upgrades.
On certain years of the Volkswagen Beetle, you have to open the front trunk to get to the gas filler cap.
8. 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon
This was my dad’s first car. It looked similar like the one in the image above. He had owned a Cutlass Salon until I was in first grade.
The Salon was the top-of-the-line Cutlass for ’74. It was classified as a personal luxury car.
While not ferociously powerful this was a comfortable and quiet car. The gas filler cap is cleverly hidden right above the license plate.
There’s a small slot for your finger to open the cover to the gas fuel cap.
9. 1974 MGB MK3
Why is the MGB such a favorite? Because it’s good-looking, fun to drive and like the Beetle, easy to maintain.
Since these are British cars where the driver sits on the right side of the car.
It’s only fitting that you will find the gas cap filler nozzle above the bumper to the left of the right tail light.
While not exactly hidden it’s certainly not the first place you’re going to think when you want to fill up your MB with gas in countries where we have the steering wheel on the left.