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Old 11-16-2006, 08:37 PM   #1
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Blast from the past: Mobilegas Economy Runs?

All:

Is there anyone else here with an interest in the Mobilegas Economy runs of the 1940s-1960s? If you read the print of a lot of car publications of that era (especially imports or "off brand" US cars such as Kaiser, Studebaker, Nash, etc.) you will see reference to these.

Anyhow, I have been digging up some info on the testing methods if anyone else here actually cares....
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
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Please, post at will!
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spule 4
All:

Is there anyone else here with an interest in the Mobilegas Economy runs of the 1940s-1960s? If you read the print of a lot of car publications of that era (especially imports or "off brand" US cars such as Kaiser, Studebaker, Nash, etc.) you will see reference to these.

Anyhow, I have been digging up some info on the testing methods if anyone else here actually cares....
I have been interested in these economy runs forever. I was just first driving around 1955 when I first heard of them. I am interested in your info.

Somewhere around here I have a report/program on one of the runs with entries, results, pics, details, etc. Don't remember exactly what year it covers but may be before 1950. I have also always been interested in the Mexican Road Races of the 1950's. The auto factories were heavily involved in both these activities.

I will try to find it. I will contact you if I do.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:26 PM   #4
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Spule 4 -

Never heard of it. Before my time. Please spule forth.

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Old 11-17-2006, 07:15 AM   #5
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Well, the first bit of info I got did not go into as much detail as I hoped, I may have to start trolling not in motor magazines, but Popular Mechanics maybe? I alredy have a large collection from the 40s/50s, dunno. The net has been useless in this search.

Much of it applies to what is going on here, only a vaccum gauge Vs. scan gauge (technology of the time) to monitor throttle position.

The biggie was no non stock modifications, even things such as valve lash, points, tire pressure, plug gap, advance has to be set within factory specs. Scrutineering was done by AAA. Now, I did find another reference that did allow smaller carb jets, but not in the 1953 info I just got in the mail. All cars had to have less than 2,500 miles on it for AAA selection, but the body of the article says 8,000 or more miles were often put on the same model/spec car (they tested manuals, V8s, automatics, as the interest was a win by class and overall) for data collection.

The driving techniques are all the same as today, the only difference is turns, so not to "spill" gasoline (carbs here folks). Major criticizim for not allowing the cars to warm up prior to driving by the author of the article. Another thing was wind data was a biggie.

The other neat thing that SHOULD come back is not just MPG but ton mile per gallon. This is "the product of the car weight and fuel consumed, divided by distance" or:

Weight x fuel used / miles driven.

This was interesting as some cars that won overall MPG (fuel used/miles driven) were actually blown away by others that were using the other formula. Example, the little Henry J 4 cylinder got the best overall 1953conventional MPG at 28.26 MPG, while a Ford Six MT with overdrive got 27.03 MPG. HOWEVER, the TMPG figure for the Ford was 56.7 (best overall for '53) Vs. 48.58 for the Henry J, making the Ford more economical overall than the J.

This would be neat today, especially with the heavyweight cars now. For example, how many people realize that a Honda Fit weighs more than a 1959 Studebaker Lark?
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:28 AM   #6
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Also, average speed was 44.7 for the '53 run, you have a driver, an observer, and they cary a bunch of stuff (sound like LeMans?) in a kit that "included everything but fishing gear". The photos of the kits show them in large MOBILEGAS ECONOMY RUN OBSERVER'S KIT in a typical for the period "salesman's kit". No mention of kit weight.

No mention of route (in another article they did take another small car of the era, a '53 Willys Areo from NY to CA, now that would be a drive) but the photos show city streets, open road, snowy mountains, etc.

The cars were also filled by fuel price, not gallons "To divide thbe gallons into many small parts (for accurate readings), gas pumps were set at a high price. The cars were then filled on a price basis, rather than by gallons". The price? $0.49 ($3,41 in 2005, adjusted for inflation). Not sure I fully understand this concept.

Cars were checked by dipstick and leveled, and temperature of gas (expansion) was another consideration.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CO ZX2
I have been interested in these economy runs forever. I was just first driving around 1955 when I first heard of them. I am interested in your info.

Somewhere around here I have a report/program on one of the runs with entries, results, pics, details, etc. Don't remember exactly what year it covers but may be before 1950. I have also always been interested in the Mexican Road Races of the 1950's. The auto factories were heavily involved in both these activities.

I will try to find it. I will contact you if I do.
You may have more luck than I am thus far. I thought I had some 1966 data, but it fell through.

The Mexican road races are neat, and are still going on. A friend did some work on a Packard that races down there. Studebaker has dominated that race for years now.

http://lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx/resultados_05.asp

http://lacarrerapanamericana.com.mx/resultados_04.asp

http://www.panamrace.com/results2003b.html


...you get the idea.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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I've seen the videos of the economy runs online.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:47 PM   #9
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http://www.archive.org/details/ShowEmth1954

http://www.archive.org/details/ShowEmth1954_2

I can't download them because this isn't my computer, but I think this is related to what you're looking for.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....article_id=745

This is a Road and Track article that goes into some detail about them.
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