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Old 05-22-2011, 01:03 AM   #1
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MPG for older vehicles

Hey everyone,

I joined this site as I have been search for a list of older cars 50s to mid 70s that get good gas mileage. I know there are some out there but I am hoping you guys can help me out.

So does anyone know of old cars that get good mileage?
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

I don't know of any such list; I think if you or we want one, you or we will have to make it.

To keep such a list from getting ridiculously big, perhaps there should be categories and low-end mpg limits, say, exclude everything under 28 mpg.

Then where does one get the mpg numbers? They weren't tested back then, and hardly anyone keeps/kept fuel logs, so do we go by hearsay, or just have hypermilers relay the mpgs of old cars they are familiar with?

What are you going to do with such a list anyway?

Anyway, my '66 Corvair can get better than 30 hwy so that should make it.
VWs should make it too. And Toyotas. Maybe Ford Falcons would; maybe not. Are we just talking American cars, or cars available in America, or what?
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #3
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

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Originally Posted by mgr52 View Post
Hey everyone,

I joined this site as I have been search for a list of older cars 50s to mid 70s that get good gas mileage. I know there are some out there but I am hoping you guys can help me out.

So does anyone know of old cars that get good mileage?
Lots of older cars get decent mileage. I owned a 1.6 Liter Ford Escort and a Chevette and it gave 35-40 MPG. Both had 4 speed manual trannies. Lots of old Japanese cars got 40 mpg. If you want an old car that gets good mileage, get one with a small 4 cylinder and a stick shift.

Newer, bigger cars are being equipped with six-speed trannies and tall overdrives, so their mileage is getting a lot better. Chevy Cruze, Ford Fiestas and Foci with automatics are all getting 40 mpg highway. Hyundai too, but I can't remember the model. Hybrid mileage w/o the hybrid price tag!
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

In the 50s, there was probably a handful of cars that got acceptable fuel economy.. The only vehicles that got good fuel economy during those times were all economy cars. We don't really know the MPG of various vehicles from the 50s-70s but just know what vehicles got good fuel economy overall or at least for their time. I know the Honda Civic CVCC had the best fuel economy at the time. What is your motivation for wanting a 50s-70s car? Building a car for fuel economy purposes and don't want to deal with emissions testing?
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

I used to get 32 to 34mpg from my 68 VW beetle. Also the European microcars from the 50's used to get very good mileage. These include the various BMW Isettas, Messerschmidt KR200, Heinkel Kabine, the original Mini and others.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

I drive a 99 Honda civic ex coupe
Stats
-5 Speed
-176xxx miles
-Short ram intake
-3 inch cat back exhaust
-Summer avg mpg with ac on 33.74MPG
Im not sure how my car averages this but it does. I drive mostly on the highway but i average over 70MPH, I get a little over 375 miles to a tank with some city/town driving. The only explanation i can give for my high fuel economy is that im getting better air and exhaust flow with my aftermarket parts.
Is anyone else getting this high gas mileage with a 99 honda civic?
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

mattng06, 34mpg is an ok number for a 99 Civic 5 speed on this forum, but plenty of our users with Civics do a lot better and I bet you can too.

Your intake may be helping, but not the way you think. Many people install a short ram intake in their engine bay where it can't get cold air the way the stock intake can. A warm air intake is known to help some cars improve their fuel economy, and Civics are probably one such car.

An economical driver uses only a tiny fraction of the total intake and exhaust capacity, so adding capacity doesn't help (unless the engineers who designed it were severely unqualified, but do you think Honda would hire idiots?). About the only airflow modification that could potentially help fuel economy, and I haven't seen any good data supporting it, would be mandrel-bent exhaust instead of crush-bent, and longtube headers.

Now, if we're talking about maximum power the engineers need only be half-assed, not complete idiots, to leave such an inexpensive and downside-free issue incompletely addressed. Good intake and exhaust systems are part of the reason why cars come from the factory with so much more power than they used to.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:09 AM   #8
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

This thread was originally created for information on 1983 & older model year vehicles whose MPG information is not available on www.fueleconomy.gov However, for your Civic, it was originally rated at 32 city/37 highway and under the new standards its rated at 27/34. From a quick search of the 99 Civics listed in our garage on the site, they appear to have lifetime averages of about 35 - 36 MPG.

-Jay
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

oh, and if you want to see what a Civic can do if taken to extremes, check out the following car:

http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/40
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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Re: MPG for older vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattng06 View Post
I drive a 99 Honda civic ex coupe
Stats
-5 Speed
-176xxx miles
-Short ram intake
-3 inch cat back exhaust
-Summer avg mpg with ac on 33.74MPG
Im not sure how my car averages this but it does. I drive mostly on the highway but i average over 70MPH, I get a little over 375 miles to a tank with some city/town driving. The only explanation i can give for my high fuel economy is that im getting better air and exhaust flow with my aftermarket parts.
Is anyone else getting this high gas mileage with a 99 honda civic?
I used to average 31 in mixed driving and 34 highway in my 99 Civic Si. That had a lot more power and shorter gearing than the EX.
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