Saving gas the Oldsmobile way

In 1967 with big slow turning V8’s:

Interesting article – thanks! I guess the MPG figures quoted were pretty good 40+ years ago considering no aerodynamics, carburetor engines and three-speed transmissions. As a point of comparison, my 1998 BMW 328i sedan, five-speed manual gets 33+ MPG on road trips with an average speed of 80+ mph.


Interesting article. I think since that time, the engineers have installed all those items in certain cars already. I have a brochure of a V6 Chevy Caprice of the late 80s. The Overdrive Axle ratio is 1.41. With 35 lbs of air in the RADIAL tires, the car got over 30 mpg of actual highway driving. Not bad for a 3950 lb car. Unfortunately, it did not sell well. People wanted more oomph.

To go 80-90 mph, you need to streamline the vehicle. Today’s Impala with the smallest engine in overdrive will achieve exactly what Oldsmobile envisaged in the 60s.

Back then, 20 MPGs at highway speeds was pretty impressive. I think 40 MPGs at highway speeds should be the new standard (with 35 MPGs in mixed driving).

I smirk a little every time I see that new Chevy commercial where they only show the highway fuel economy ratings. I think they should be forced to show the overall fuel economy numbers based on mixed driving.

Of course these days overdrive gearing is commonplace. One need not make sacrifices in acceleration in order to preserve highway MPG. Look at the Z06 Corvette, a 7 liter V8 that can get nearly 30 MPG on the highway.

people want one thing, and the other. a diesel chevette got 50+ MPG. you had your mileage cars, but you didnt take them. why?

cars of the 60’s got decent mileage. a '64 falcon with a 6 and 3-speed got 22 MPG. not bad.
it was after the government forced converters on the industry in 1975, that killed mileage. “saving the planet” and richening the middle east.

i know a guy that had a 1975 pacer, that got less then 10 MPG because of the pre-converter emmissions junk. the next car he owned (and still has) is a '76 305 camaro with a 2:1 axle, that made 20 MPG, and could get to 100 MPH.

people want one thing, then slowly, sub-consciencely change their mind. and when they realize it, they have a fit saying “what are you doing! we want this!”.
thats whats happening right now.

Thanks. That’s the coolest article I’ve read in a long time.

It’s interesting to look at history and realize what they could not have envisioned. Computer controlled fuel and ignition systems, multiport injection, materials and manufacturing technologies designed to reduce weight by an enormous amount, radial ply tires, handling and suspension that enable even an inexpensive car to cruise comfortable at 80 mph all day, manufacturing technologies and materials that allow streamlining in mass manufactured cars that was unimaginable back then…

But I gotta say, the '67 had better seats!

it was after the government forced converters on the industry in 1975, that killed mileage

Actually, gas mileage went up a little with cat converters because engines didn’t need things like retarded timing so much to meet the emissions limits.