Seventy eight cents a gallon? Omega? I'm taking a wild guess here that you and the car are not in Arkansas. That would make getting it made right a real challenge.
A direct replacement carb is available and would be the easiest fix if getting parts is a challenge. If you change the carb type, hoses and linkage can be a challenge with a NAPA next door. Have you found drawings for the correct routing of the vacuum hoses if you are going to replace them?
Keep us up to date with what you do and remember, pictures help.
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'lo ocifer, it's run what ya brung. Got a beer?