<VV> Mileage

Tim Verthein minoxphotographer at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 9 20:33:18 EDT 2005

So much talk about mmileage these days....

The latest Communique has a tech question...someone asking about
getting better mileage..one answer was to drive more conservatively
(basically).  I found this to be typical, good advice, advice that I
have preached to countless others over the years.  But..right there in
the magazine rack with the Communique was a 1960 issue of Motor Trend
(with a Corvair on the cover) with an article and test, demonstrating
that driving habits DO NOT have much effect on mileage at all, and
that's it's pretty much a myth.  Kinda made sense to me.  But I thought
it was weird that these two magazine articles, 45 years apart were
right there..fighting it out head to head.  I did a quick, dirty scan
of the article if anyone wants to read it and posted it at:

As for me, I average about 27 mpg mixed city/hiway (keep in mind..to
me..city is a town of 8,000 people, and I only deal with two stoplights
a day.) This in my '64 Monza, with 110 and four speed, 15" tires,
synthetic oil, and somewhat conservative driving (Unless some kid in a
piece of junk car challanges me at a light :) )

Everyone is talking about mileage, and why can't we build cars that get
38 mpg (that was a figure they're shooting for in some recent article I
read..sitting in a Doctors office...). Um...we can.  Just no one would
buy one.  I bought a new Escort Pony in 1988. Just got rid of it three
years ago.  Kept track of mileage all these years.  Worst tank full, 36
mpg. Best tank full, 52 mpg.  Average was 42. This car had a 4
cylinder, 4 speed.  AM radio and a heater. Nothing else in it. No power
nuthin'. No cup holders. No gps, power locks, power steering or power
brakes.  Drove the family of 4 cross country in it many times.  Never
needed major repair...finally had to put a clutch in at about 200,000
miles.  Only got rid of it because the thing had rusted away here in
the northern Minnesota salt and snow.

Althought I'm saving most of this tirade for a new editorial on my web
page, we don't get mileage because of all the CRAP in the cars. All the
convenience junque that conks out and costs a fortune to repair.  All
the safety stuff that, face it, we need because people have stopped
DRIVING.  Hardly anyone considers DRIVING a skill anymore. They just
want to get from here to there. (I know some of you know what I
mean..if you don't, you're one of THEM). If everyone was paying
attention to what they were doing, we wouldn't need 16 explosion
deploying airbags, lights that stay on all the time (face it..if you
don't notice a 2 ton Buick coming at you without yellow lights blazing
away on the front you're NOT paying attention) and all the other stuff
they are forced  to put in to protect people so they don't have to pay
attention, and participate in their driving, we wouldn't have these

Look at all the crap in cars because people are either lazy, or dense. 
Lets look at my Corvair for example.  I don't NEED a remote key lock
(and it's associated electronic doo dads...radio receiver..solonoids,
remote key thingie). Know WHY? Because I know HOW to lock my doors all
by myself.  And I have enough grey matter left to remember, 8 feet away
from the car, that I locked it..so I don't need to hear the horn
honking remotely to let me know I locked it. 
I don't NEED a light and a buzzer to tell me the headlights are on. 
See..there are BRIGHT lights right ON THE FRONT of the car!  If I don't
have enough brains to know if I turned them on, I have enough to notice
the LIGHT in front of me!  Electric windows?  Please! Everything I've
ever owned that had them, they have conked out.  And repair is
EXPENSIVE....so..I live with them screwed up.  The windows on my
Corvair, I'm betting, have rolled up and down just FINE for 41 years.
Amazing!  I don't need lights and bells to tell me to put on my seat
belt.  And I can TELL if it's ON me. I don't NEED cup holders.  I'm not
dining, I'm DRIVING! And BECAUSE I'm DRIVING, I notice the traffic
WITHOUT having to have on all the time lights on them. DVD players? 14
speakers? My heavens man, DRIVE! How about a blinking light and a
buzzer to tell you the parking brake is on? I guess you might need
that, if you can't a: remember you set it, b: don't notice the lever is
pulled ont c: don't notice that the car won't MOVE, or 4: don't realize
that you have to floor it to go 10 mph!  There are more pages in my
wife's Windstar manual explaining how to use the various sound systems
than there are in my Corvair's ENTIRE owners manual!  Good gosh man, is
it a CAR or a theatre?

Anyway, I'm saving this for my editorial...good thing I didn't get up
to full speed!

Anyway, I thought the article on mileage was appropriate anyway.

Tim in Bovey

You *can* repair a flip-flop with a capacitor!

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