Gunners Garage

Gas-Sipping Classics

During last weekend’s Iola Old Car Show there were lots of complaints about national gas prices going up 25-cents to 40-cents a gallon immediately before the show.   At the same time the show drew more small, fuel efficient vintage cars than I’ve ever seen up here before.   There were 45 classic imports in our second-year “International Alley” display.  Also scattered about the grounds were a few additional sports cars, a Volvo and a little red Fiat that showed up from time to time.  And about 10 Nash Metropolitans also showed up.  Overall I would say there were 75-100 gas-sipping collector cars on the grounds in the car show, auction, swap meet and car corral.  That’s more than ever before and I personally think it’s the start of a trend I have talked about before.  As gas startes hitting $4, $5 and $6 a gallon, more and more people are going to start driving vintage cars that get top fuel economy.  And I think that wise hobbyists are going to start shaping their collections in line with the new trend.  Those who pay attention are going to be able to do the buy-low/sell-high thing.  Others are going to wind up paying more for gas sippers later on.

2 thoughts on “Gas-Sipping Classics

  1. John Griffith

    I completely agree with you, Gunner. I have only driven my 71 Buick LeSabre about 40 miles since I took it out of storage in May. I’m still running the same tank of gas that I put in last fall – with Stabil. I enjoy the car, but 10-12 mpg means any trip at all gets expensive when it costs $60.00 to fill it. My 72 LTD is somewhat better at 16-18 mpg, but I’ve only driven that about 150 miles this year. I did take it to Hershey last fall and it cost about $100 more for gas than it would have if I’d taken my 04 Grand Prix. I’d love to find a nice Corvair, Falcon, Valiant, Dart or Rambler. I’d be happy with a collector car that got 20-21 mpg !

  2. John Gunnell

    There were two Darts at the WPC meet I attended last weekend in Chicago. My guess is that there will be 20 next year and 200 in five years. However, one of the "small" 1950 Plymouths would also be pretty much a gas sipper without getting too small.


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