I found another article where they compare the 442 to the Turnpike cruiser.
As can be seen from figures in the spec table, the real clincher for the TC package is the excellent gas mileage it gives, which favorably compares with that of smaller, less powerful V-8s and 6s installed in much lighter cars. A typical example of its performance in this respect versus the 4-4-2 is when we gassed up after driving both cars over the same stretch of highway for a distance of 213 miles at approximately 70 mph. The 4-4-2 took 16 gallons to fill while the TC car required only 13. Premium fuel (which the TC engine requires, too) happened to cost 42 cents a gallon at that particular location. So you can readily imagine the savings on an extended trip.
Olds hasn't made one available yet, but a lower-compression-ratio, regular-fuel engine would make an attractive option. While not recording quite so spectacular mileage figures, the 5- or 6-cent cheaper price of regular gasoline would permit a further 10% cost saving.
The 442 got 13.31 mpg at 70 mph.
The Turnpike Cruiser got 16.38 mpg at 70 mph.
19% better fuel mileage at 70 mph is nothing to sneeze at as they say.
Seems much like my 1969 Buick- I have a 455, a cam with very low overlap (even less than theirs), a switch-pitch TH400, and 2.56 gears. I'm lucky to have the advantage of a programmable EFI system, which probably would have helped them. I thought I was being original, but I guess I didn't realize I was just copying their work!
(But my car will also do low 13's in the quarter mile, without nitrous...)
I hadn't looked into a hot-air system all that much, but since they report .75 - 1.0 MPG increase, seems like that will be a huge advantage. Gotta think about that one.
In the 1960's the automobile manufacturers were astonishingly wasteful of YOUR fuel-- they weren't paying for your gas, you were. While this article suggests they were at least thinking of fuel economy, it's pretty sad what they thought and didn't think. The article only mentions that a 4 speed manual tranny would be "impractical". Big (400 cu in) engines running slow (< 3000 rpms) is best to get the frictional losses down. The trouble with big is that it gives the driver the option to pour in the gas for way more power than can be used, or they wouldn't talk of spinning the wheels. We once had a 1967 Chrysler New Yorker with a 440 cu in V8, and a 4 barrel carb. It got 13 mpg. Mostly it operated on 2 barrels, but if you got enthusiastic with the gas pedal, it would open up the back 2 barrels and then you could see the gas gauge move, it took so much gas.
Disc brakes were beginning to go mainstream in the 60's. They had an appalling feature-- when not being applied, they simply dragged lightly all the time as there was nothing to hold the pads away from the discs. When you arrived, the wheel nuts on wheels with disc brakes would be warm from all this friction. The wheels with drum brakes had cool wheel nuts. When you drove alongside a concrete barrier with the window down, you could hear the disc brakes squeaking away. How could such a feature be acceptable?
Then I have some words from a 60's auto manual. A sign that the engine is running too lean is that in addition to an uneven idle and a tendency to stall while idling, fuel consumption was TOO LOW! Ran just fine when not idling, though might not have quite as much power as it should. Yeah, not burning enough gas was a bad thing! The recommendation was to enrich the fuel mixture.
And finally a nice little quote from Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber. Why you should use self service at the gas station, not full service.
Strawberry Nose sloshed a little (gasoline) on the ground to make it come out even, hung up the hose, approached, and said, "Eight Drachae Regums."
Disc brakes were beginning to go mainstream in the 60's. They had an appalling feature-- when not being applied, they simply dragged lightly all the time as there was nothing to hold the pads away from the discs.
Isn't that the case with modern vehicles equipped with discs?
Can't say that I've noted any feature that retracts the pads on my car...