Forty years ago the stickers emerged.
Stickers designed in pretty colours with a day of the week printed upon them, and designed to be firmly affixed to the windscreen of a car.
In this case, every petrol-powered vehicle which weighed in less than 4400lbs (1995kgs) excluding motorcycles.
The owners of those vehicles had to designate one day of the week during which they would leave their wheels parked up.
And the sticker they would accordingly be issued with would have to be affixed to the windscreen.
This nationwide "park it up for a day" scheme, later generally summed up by the motoring populace as "a shambles", was introduced on July 30, 1979.
Its name-tag was 'carless days'.
Carless days were introduced by the National Government, led by Robert Muldoon, and were aimed to assist the health of the declining economy after the oil shocks of the late 1970s.
The second oil shock of 1979 occurred following the revolution in Iran.
Economies were globally rattled and there was panic and speculation about what was going on, and where it would all end.
So things needed to be done, and the government of the day sought to cut back the use of cars to lessen the purchasing costs and ensure the availability of oil and petrol.
At the same time there was a reduction of the open road speed limit from 100km/h to 80km/h, as well as limits on the operating hours of garages and service stations.
It did not go down all that well, although Kiwis being Kiwis it was a case of just go along with it for now ... she'll be right.
The most popular carless day chosen by motorists was Thursday, but it was not completely applied to all.
There were some exemptions.
Exemption stickers were issued to those who had urgent business to attend to that could mean requiring a motor vehicle on any day of the week ... although these vehicles still had to show a carless day sticker and were only allowed to use it for a very sound and specified purpose.
There was also exemption for remote country dwellers where there was no access to public transport systems.
It was not the most popular scheme to be passed into legislation, and there were always going to be those who would err, or defy it.
The first motorist to cop a fine erred.
He was Christchurch man Gordon Marks who forgot that at 3.45am, after a post-party nap in his car, his car-less day had started at 2am.
While the maximum fine was $400 he was issued with a $50 penalty.
Napier man David Turnbull remembers the introduction of carless days but can't recall exactly what day he picked out.
"We didn't worry too much about it," he said, adding he and his wife had cleaning jobs in the evenings to supplement their income and had to get to work somehow.
"But we didn't abuse it just for the sake of it — we had no option."
On one occasion, after they had wrapped up their cleaning at the old UEB plant at Awatoto, he left a note on the notice board saying he hoped they had done a satisfactory job and wrote they would always do their best to get there, despite the circumstances, to get it done.
He signed it "Carlos Daiz."
And his take on the whole carless scheme?
"Dopey stuff," was his succinct reply, adding that the cost of mass printing of stickers and posting them out would have cost a tidy sum.
Merv Le Quesne of Napier said he chose Wednesday, but it didn't affect him at all.
"We had two cars and the other one was a Sunday so it didn't bother us at all."
The scheme itself he described as "a load of rubbish" and an unwanted inconvenience for many people but took it on the chin, given the economic circumstances the government was attempting to work around.
At the end of the day the whole exercise was pretty much a failure, and lasted less than a year, being scrapped in May 1980, although the 80km/h open road speed limit stayed in place for a few more years.
It was effectively doomed to be ineffective from the start, for in the wake of the exemption factor a black market for such stickers, and the appearance of imitations, soon had that segment rattled.
There were also stories about people actually driving further on other days to do things they would have probably done on the carless day.
Also, a good number bought a second runabout car so they could drive seven days a week anyway.
As well, many defied it all anyway.
So, petrol use continued nicely.
On the legislation front it seems highly unlikely it would happen again.
One motoring source said the growing electric vehicle sector would take a lot of heat off the demands for oil-based fuels.
While carless days no longer exist, several overseas countries have a "car-free" day approach.
In 1995 the informal World Car Free Days Consortium was formed to promote car-free days along the lines of initiatives already set up in the UK and France.
Five years later the European Commission set up a Europe-wide initiative called "In town without my car" and the whole scheme revolved around encouraging people to use alternative forms of transport for a day, and by 2004 more than 40 countries were participating in the event.
New Zealand is in that mix, as on September 22 every year it is deemed to be Car Free Day — and while councils throughout the country support the idea it is up to the individual motorist to make that choice.
No exemption stickers required.