Gunners Garage

Classical Gas

The big topic of discussion at our weekly Burger King Cruise on Wednesday night was gas prices above $3 per gallon.  No wonder.  I stopped to top off the tank in the MG and even that cost me over $25!!! Five years ago, when I bought the car, it was hard to spend $25 filling it up.

Anyway, at the cruise, folks were talking about how much it cost them to drive to Jefferson last weekend and some were wondering about how much upcoming shows were going to cost to drive to.  Here in Wisconsin, a lot of hobbyists have to drive 100 miles or more just to get to a Sunday show.

In addition to my MG, two of the other cars at the cruise were a Nash Metropolitan owned by Keith Mathiowetz of the Old Cars Weekly staff and a ’64 Rambler Hardtop that our good friend Ken Buttolph just picked up at Jefferson. All three of these cars are probably good for 25 mpg, which is pretty good for an old car.

That makes me wonder if there won’t be renewed interest in collector cars that give good mileage this summer. We may be seeing a lot of Crosleys, Austins, Nashes, Falcons, Corvairs, Novas and Henry Js at the shows this summer. What do you think?  Click “comments” below and tell us.

2 thoughts on “Classical Gas

  1. John Griffith

    Hi Gunner – I think you’re probably right, that there will be renewed interest in collector cars that give good mileage. I’ve always had a soft spot for good, low mileage, base sedans or coupes that no one else seems to like. However, I don’t know that many of them really are that great on gas. I had a ’64 Falcon with a 170 6 cyl. and Ford-o-matic in college and as I recall, it didn’t get much more than 18-20 mpg. I took my 72 LTD to Hershey last fall and averaged 17.5 mpg, not that much difference, and if I had stayed at 65 or under, I probably would have averaged over 18. Of course, the LTD only gets about 14 mpg around town where the Falcon probably still gets 18. I do know where there is a nice blue ’64 Buick Special Deluxe sedan with a V6, automatic and am radio with 54K on it for $4000.00 – Mmmm….

  2. Gunner

    Thanks for contributing. I think a lot of the fuel efficiency of the older cars has to do with rear axle gearing. My MG TD which has a low rear end (around 5.25:1) won’t do much better than 20 mpg on a long trip. My MG TF, which has a somewhat higher rear end ratio, does much better on gas. But even the TD goes much, much further on a gallon than my straight eight Pontiacs. My ’36 Pontiac, which has the straight siz, is probably as bad as the eights. But I would think a Falcon six with economy gearing could get up into the mid 20 mpg range. A good article on this topic might prove a hit right now.


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