People are driving old cars from the 80's to get better gas mileage

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Marius567, May 10, 2008.

  1. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

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    I see people are Driving old cars from the 80's to get 40 to 60 mpg. Everyone drove a small cars back then to save money on gas.
     
  2. SyddyKitty

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    My car is from the 80's and it eats through gas. It was a considered a luxury car back then, so that might explain some things. :p
     
  3. SteveHd

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    And I thought my 1995 car was "old".

    I wonder how many cars from the 80s evaded the "crusher"?

    A car that would get good fuel economy would be a 1932 Ford Three Window Coupe! I see gobs of mid-30s Fords at the various car shows I go to so there's plenty of them.
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I'd imagine not many. The 80s were a time when electronics first became common in cars and, if you recall (or not as I don't know how old you are), they weren't all that reliable. American cars sucked in general back then, but there were a few great Japanese cars available. Economical European car manufacturers were largely phased out as they couldn't meet increasing federal crash and emission standards so we were left with Volkswagen and (ahem) Yugo. The Volkswagens from that era weren't bad, but they tended to rust out fairly quickly if you lived in a place where road salt was used. The 80s were really all about the triumph of the Japanese manufacturers. They were making excellent small cars and legitimized Japan as a maker of very high quality cars. The first Civics to reach the US were fantastic cars and loads of fun to drive. The Corolla too was similarly loved, if not as much fun, and Nissan had some good models too. Prior to the 80s people were wary about buying Japanese cars as the quality wasn't quite as good as it later became and, compared to American cars of the time, they were absurdly tiny.
     
  5. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Cars were getting 40 - 60 MPG back then? I must have missed the days when cars were that small, aside from the Volkswagen Bug.
     
  6. LambHair McNeil

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    And they were cramped, low on horsepower, and not nearly as crash-worthy as what you can find today. And you - being around during this time - have to know that you are stretching the truth (40-60 mpg??).

    They also belched out more pollutants per mile than even a full-size pickup does today, gas mileage notwithstanding.
     
  7. SyddyKitty

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    I can certainly attest for crappy 80's electronics, as Best Buy's garage techs told me my radio doesn't work because of electrical problems with my speakers. =D

    1989 Acura Legends LS. >_>
     
  8. B_Marius567

    B_Marius567 New Member

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  9. SteveHd

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    There were some cars getting 40ish then; I think 60 is someone's imagination.

    At 24, you might not remember the Volkswagen "Rabbit". I don't remember its MPG but there were diesel models later in its life-cycle. There was even a "Rabbit MPG" which was tuned for high mileage. Don't even think about asking what its 0-to-60 was!
     
  10. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Nope, the Bug is the smallest car I remember from that period. And it's design wasn't exactly aerodynamic, so that alone is going to cut severely into its potential gas mileage. That's why I figured 60 was a bit outrageous.
     
  11. SteveHd

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    Another small 80s car was the Chevy Sprint a.k.a. Geo Metro with a 1.0L 3-cylinder engine! Built by Suzuki or jointly by Suzuki and GM, some variants of it got mileage in the 50s.
     
  12. saxxa

    saxxa New Member

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    If I was to own an old car it would have to be a 1959 Cadillac convertible in pink with a white top. It is classic space age design with 50's colour. However it would be driven on special occasions only since it gets about 10 gallons per mile.
     
  13. dong20

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    Really, where and more importantly why? Most cars made today are far more fuel efficient size for size than 20 years ago, by some considerable margin. Not to mention safer and more reliable. can't speak to style, but that's another issue again!

    I suppose they're cheap to buy and insure so even though they probably don't use less fuel, the 411 is possibly ultimately lower- assuming it doesn't breakdown of course ... or rust away.!
     
  14. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    I remember the Metro and it's infamous 3 cylinder engine. For some reason, I thought the Bug was smaller though.
     
  15. dong20

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    Well it was 80s, that much is true!:smile:
     
  16. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Of course, there is that point of diminishing returns with insurance. The older the car, the harder it is to come across replacement parts. Not to mention, the archaic design means it's harder to find a mechanic well-versed in it and not out of practice on such. After all, a huge percentage of cars from the 80s are atleast 20 years old.

    As for me, I'm fine with the middle ground offered by my '94 Camry. It's big enough to hold all of my non-furniture belongings and, even with that extra weight, went from Knoxville, TN to within an hour of the Georgia/Florida border on less than 14 gallons of gas. 33 MPG. And it's not so old that I have to search high and low to find compatible parts for it when needed, nor do I have to pay out the ass when I find them. And for that reason, my insurance is cheap.
     
  17. dong20

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    Quite true.

    I guess what I was trying to say was that one may purchase an 80s vehicle for many reasons - yet of all the motivations for doing so (rarity, design, low purchase cost and so on) I struggle to see fuel economy as a plausible one.

    But then I can only speak with any authority on European cars, my recollection of US made cars from the 80s was that they were (broadly speaking) anything but fuel efficient!:smile:
     
  18. b.c.

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    I dove my old car...right off the seawall and into the muddy Lake Pontchartrain. And hey, my mileage got better immediately. :rolleyes:
     
  19. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    DeLoreans were NOT good cars back then. I know, I had one.

    I bought a 1984 Nissan Pulsar NX new and even with my lead foot it got 45 MPG. The 1977 Honda Civic station wagon we had before that (blue with racing stripes!! woohoo!!) got 54 MPG.

    Now I help people get awesome mileage out of their newer cars, but there is a trick: it only works if the car is already equipped with a high performance engine, and it can't be a California emissions vehicle. (there's no helping them)

    My 1988 Thunderbird Turbo coupe used to get 19-24MPG. With a little tweaking, now it gets 32MPG. Not bad for a big, heavy,4 cylinder automatic.

    My 1995 Mercury Sable used to get at best 27MPG. Now that it's been tweaked and I got rid of Ford's "silencers" it's getting 35MPG and I'm not done with it. I'm hoping to get 37.

    b.c.: Don't feel bad. I flipped a Mustang off the sea wall in Galveston.
     
  20. transformer_99

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    From my recollections, about the only cars from the 80's that were getting 40+ were the diesel VW's, the Metro and the like I never really researched as a consumer. The Yugo, that was Fiat's last attempt to sell in America. I wouldn't mind having a Yugo today if only for a vintage piece of history. I drove a Mitsubishi Mirage/Plymouth Colt DL that when I babied it and kept it @ 55-60 mph would get get close to 37-40 mpg, but a heavy foot it was more like 32/35 city/highway. It was miserable driving that slow and shifting at low rpm's, while not trying to lug the motor. Honda Civics were fun little cars, fuel efficient Japanese hatchbacks were popular. Iaccoca and Reagan sold America on K-car Chrysler bailout cars, even though Ford's Tempo/Taurus and GM's X-car (Citation) were better vehicles. Funny about the bailout Chrysler cars, everything that Chrysler was selling that was worth buying was a Mitsubishi rebadged. A far cry from where they stand today.
     
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