Yeah, the Ford full size cars seemed to all do quite well once they switched to fuel injection. Even my great aunt's 88 Lincoln Town Car used to get 26/27 on the highway. I just looked it up, and 20% over EPA highway would be 31.25 MPG, should be quite doable to get the car close to 40 with some agressive mods.
I agree w/ the Corvette picture posted... anything with the LS based engine is capable of AMAZING stuff. I'm a Camaro/Firebird enthusiast and they had the LS1 from 98-02 and there are guys in my club who average over 30mpg highway w/ their cars. Some even have upgraded valvetrain, lower rear axel gears (4.10's and even 4.56's), wider tires, bigger wheels, and pcm tuning, all geared towards performance. One car in particular has made 490hp and 475tq at the rear wheels and has achieved over 30mpg on a trip out west.
The LS-series engines are just untouchable as far as FE goes.
Electronic ignition out of a 75 Chevy van, platinum plugs, flipped air cleaner lid upside down, and aftermarket cruise installed.
Then in 75 they started putting emissions crap on light duty trucks and FE dropped quickly.
That's rediculous. I can't really believe that our milage has dropped so bad. Although I guess 55MPH limits helped and it was probably 100% gasoline (10% ethanol drops our energy content a bit and I think effeciency of the burn too).
I guess gasoline was cheap enough too that using more to cool the charge and power the catalytic wasn't too bad in their eyes, but that's still rediculous.
At the time I owned it E10 was not mandated here, but "oxygenated" fuel was required in the winter. The mileage didn't drop as much with E10 because it was a carb with no o2 sensor.- The truck didn't know it was burning leaner. It was even designed to run on leaded fuel. I usually ran midgrade with lead additive added to each tank. I never really drove it hard because then it got under 10 MPG. (Then again I was only paying $1.079 for midgrade - those were the good old days... ) I realize that not all 74 Chevys got that mileage, I made small mods that helped like the electronic ignition, widened the plug gap, and switched to platinum plugs. I also drove it respectably, I think I could do even better if I still had that truck.
I initially bought it as a toy. A beater to drive once in a while and have fun. Back then the BWH was a beautiful car and was waxed weekly. The truck ran so well that it quickly became my daily driver, and the Buick became the toy. The truck got better mileage, and I had better visibility in the truck so I ended up driving it a lot. After driving it for a few years I started thinking that I loved the truck so much that I looked into getting the rust taken care of. It had the typical early 70's Chevy Cancer - rust holes in the fenders so large I could stick my arm through them, and it had rust holes in the floor of the bed. I remember when I bought it the guy jokingly said "Don't haul any sand in it" I figured that by the time I replaced the bed, doors, fenders, and put a quality paint job on it that I'd be spending at least $5,000 and I'd still be driving a 20+ y/o truck with over 300,000 miles. I was afraid that it would be just my luck to spend that kind of money on the truck, and have something serious happen with the engine not long afterwards. I figured I'd look at newer trucks.
When I bought Rusty he had 95,000 miles and was 10 years old, garage kept, and looked fantastic. The truck was even optioned just as I would have ordered it from the factory, right down to the paint colors. $5,000 and it was mine. I sold the 74 to my sister who had it as her DD for about 2 years, and her beater for another 3 or 4 years.
Actually I have. My dad just bought a new 08 Focus sedan 5 speed a couple of months ago. I thought it was a nice looking, fun little car to drive, plus the Microsoft SYNC is really nice. The car controls his MP3 player and cell phone by voice commands. Also, I can buy one on the employee plan so I would be getting the best deal possible. The only thing I would do differently is dad's Focus is the middle trim level. I'd go to the higher trim level and leather seats to get more comfortable seats. The standard seats are a bit too firm for my liking.