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Thread: Check out the 40 mpg, $8,300 '82 Dodge 400

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Check out the 40 mpg, $8,300 '82 Dodge 400

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWs4w...eature=related

    A quarter century later and we're paying $15k for 32 MPGs....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWs4w...eature=related

    A quarter century later and we're paying $15k for 32 MPGs....
    Excellent point. There were also many other decent sized 40+ MPG cars back in 1982. For instance a 2.5 liter Iron Duke powered 1982 Pontiac 6000, 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity, 1982 Buick Century, and 1982 Olds Cutlass Ciera all cars that could fit 5 large adults in them along with loads of luggage got 40 MPG on the highway.

    Here check out this article with a long list of 1982 Cars that got 40 mpg or better:

    http://www.mpgomatic.com/2007/10/09/...high-mpg-cars/

    Check out the 5-speed manual (Diesel) 1982 Jetta and Rabbit on the list both got 59 miles per gallon on the highway, that's much better than a new Prius.

    ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    Excellent point. There were also many other decent sized 40+ MPG cars back in 1982. For instance a 2.5 liter Iron Duke powered 1982 Pontiac 6000, 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity, 1982 Buick Century, and 1982 Olds Cutlass Ciera all cars that could fit 5 large adults in them along with loads of luggage got 40 MPG on the highway.

    Here check out this article with a long list of 1982 Cars that got 40 mpg or better:

    http://www.mpgomatic.com/2007/10/09/...high-mpg-cars/

    Check out the 5-speed manual (Diesel) 1982 Jetta and Rabbit on the list both got 59 miles per gallon on the highway, that's much better than a new Prius.

    ..
    Well, they were rated at 40 mpg, but rarely got that type of mileage. Remember that the EPA had to adjust the mileage figures in 1985 because of complaints that cars didn't even come close to getting their advertised figures. In 2008, they were readjusted again to reflect the more demanding requirements of today's driving environment... more suburban driving, more use of AC, etc.

    I do have no doubt that many cars back then did get better gas mileage real world. That's because they weren't addled with 500 plus pounds of extra safety and emissions garbage. They also didnt have every conceivable power gadget known to man in their interiors.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Well, they were rated at 40 mpg, but rarely got that type of mileage. Remember that the EPA had to adjust the mileage figures in 1985 because of complaints that cars didn't even come close to getting their advertised figures. In 2008, they were readjusted again to reflect the more demanding requirements of today's driving environment... more suburban driving, more use of AC, etc.

    I do have no doubt that many cars back then did get better gas mileage real world. That's because they weren't addled with 500 plus pounds of extra safety and emissions garbage. They also didnt have every conceivable power gadget known to man in their interiors.
    Yep - if you could lighten up a modern car, something like a Toyota Yaris (which already gets about 38 mpg highway) by a few hundred pounds, that alone would get the thing well into the 40s. Shave 500 pounds by designing a similar car free of federal bumper-impact requirements, etc. and you could maintain the same performance level of the current Yaris with a smaller, less powerful engine - and probably get close to 50 mpg highway.

    The cost of the car would also be thousands less...

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Well, they were rated at 40 mpg, but rarely got that type of mileage. Remember that the EPA had to adjust the mileage figures in 1985 because of complaints that cars didn't even come close to getting their advertised figures. In 2008, they were readjusted again to reflect the more demanding requirements of today's driving environment... more suburban driving, more use of AC, etc.

    I do have no doubt that many cars back then did get better gas mileage real world. That's because they weren't addled with 500 plus pounds of extra safety and emissions garbage. They also didnt have every conceivable power gadget known to man in their interiors.

    Excellent point with all the federally mandated stuff, cars have gained lots of weight.

    For instance when Volkswagen released the original Golf/Rabbit in 1976, it had a curb weight of 1,900 lbs. A base 2009 Golf has a curb weight of 2,746 lbs. The 1976 and 2009 are about the same size, yet the 2009 weighs over 800 lbs more. A 1979 Mustang had a curb weight of 2,700 lbs, 30 years later the 2009 Mustang has a curb weight of 3,336 lbs. This is the case with just about every car, it has gained weight over the years. More weight means lower mpg.

    If you drove economically with older cars you could get close to the EPA figures (which meant driving at 55 mph on the highway to match the highway figure) - however most people did not. For instance a 4bbl 5-speed manual 1983-1984 Camaro Z28 with the L69 HO V8 had a highway EPA highway mpg of 27. I knew a few people back in the day that owned them and when driven around 55 mph on the highway on trips, they got 27 mpg exactly what the EPA figures said.

    In my old V6 Fiero it had a shift light which would tell you when to shift gears to get the optimum fuel economy. When I followed it my mpg figures were way up. It was quick little car, even though it had a 4-speed manual transmission if I went 55 mph on the highway it got 30 mpg.

    As for the diesel Rabbits and Jettas, those cars would go what seemed like forever between a tank of gas.

    People also tend to drive a little more aggressively in recent years which means less mpg. Back when I first started driving in the 1980s, it seemed people had lighter foots and tailgating was rare. Erratic driving was an extreme rarity. Teenagers were wild drivers but they tended to calm down once they got a little older. People then did not seem to be such a hurray when they drove. Now everyone is in a rush and even many women (who were once careful drivers) now drive like maniacs just like a lot of men. Twenty years ago it was extremely rare for someone to be a few feet from your rear bumper in the right lane on the highway, now it's an everyday occurrence no matter how fast you are going. Casual peaceful driving is a thing of the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post

    People also tend to drive a little more aggressively in recent years which means less mpg. Back when I first started driving in the 1980s, it seemed people had lighter foots and tailgating was rare. Erratic driving was an extreme rarity. Teenagers were wild drivers but they tended to calm down once they got a little older. People then did not seem to be such a hurray when they drove. Now everyone is in a rush and even many women (who were once careful drivers) now drive like maniacs just like a lot of men. Twenty years ago it was extremely rare for someone to be a few feet from your rear bumper in the right lane on the highway, now it's an everyday occurrence no matter how fast you are going. Casual peaceful driving is a thing of the past.
    Thank God. I can't stand slow driving. Despite this allegedly more dangerous driving style, fatalities have continued to drop on a per mile driven basis.
    Last edited by swamprat; 02-26-2009 at 12:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Thank God. I can't stand slow driving. Despite this allegedly more dangerous driving style, fatalities have continued to drop on a per mile driven basis.
    Henry,

    There's a difference between driving fast and driving fast and eratically. When people drove fast years ago they drove fast safely. Now they drive fast but very squirrely. For instance a woman driving a BMW X3 almost clipped me this morning on the way to work, she was in her lane and that lane was not going fast enough for her so she just moved over (no turning signal) I slammed on the brakes hard and she missed me by a couple of inches. It didn't even phase here as she blasted from 65 mph to 75 mph (while talking on the phone). She then proceeded to tailgate the next car in front of her and then made another crazy lane change. This kind of driving is becoming the norm everyday.

    The reason why fatalities are down is cars are heavier in all the different car sizes. Anti-lock brakes, air bags, and other safety features have also helped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man View Post
    Henry,

    There's a difference between driving fast and driving fast and eratically. When people drove fast years ago they drove fast safely. Now they drive fast but very squirrely. For instance a woman driving a BMW X3 almost clipped me this morning on the way to work, she was in her lane and that lane was not going fast enough for her so she just moved over (no turning signal) I slammed on the brakes hard and she missed me by a couple of inches. It didn't even phase here as she blasted from 65 mph to 75 mph (while talking on the phone). She then proceeded to tailgate the next car in front of her and then made another crazy lane change. This kind of driving is becoming the norm everyday.

    The reason why fatalities are down is cars are heavier in all the different car sizes. Anti-lock brakes, air bags, and other safety features have also helped.
    What you say is true that people are driving a bit crazier. I think a lot of that is amplified by the fact that our highways are jammed 24/7 all the frigging time with people, largely due to politician neglect of the highway system and corrupt commercial developments in counties and suburbs. This hodgpodge approach to road way and traffic management drives people to do stupid things.

    The only good thing I can say about driving today is that my driving speeds are far more acceptable now than they were in, say 1986. BAck then, it seemed as if driving at 70 mph was like flying a supersonic bomber. Now, I can drive 75-80 mph on the freeway with impunity. My driving style hasn't changed a whole lot since those days, but the overall pace is generally quicker. I'd rather encounter some woman talking on her cellphone while applying makeup at 75 mph than have a roadside encounter with a cop. Back in the supposed good old days, that was very likely if you were driving more than 65 mph. Times, in that respect, have changed for the better.

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