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Old 02-09-2018, 02:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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nuts behind wheels: the Mobilgas Economy Run


Just A Car Guy: the Mobilgas Economy Run, some info and photos

Jesse Bowers at Just A CarGuy does good work, and he put up a lengthy post on the Mobilgas Economy Run. Personalities and cheats, etc.

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After nearly a decade in abeyance, 1950 was a propitious time to rekindle the Run. Automobile industry executives were touting new engine designs that were more fuel efficient and powerful. GM engineers in May 1951 announced the development of a carefully timed, high compression engine with a better combustion chamber design which gave 40% more mpg than the Kettering V-8 in a Cadillac.

Concurrently, the Texas Company developed a new high efficiency engine that combined fuel injection with head design and spark ignition. And up for discussion in technical circles was a single valve engine design of Alex Taub and his associates that claimed enormous efficiency gains. Finally, the Chrysler Corporation unveiled its hemispherical head engine, or Hemi.
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While the main event took place in April 3-9, the sealed cars were delivered to the teams in March, and each team was allowed 2,500 break-in miles. The object was to become familiar with the particular car and to figure out which driving techniques would coax the best mileage from it a few weeks earlier.

Since teams could not tinker with the cars they instead had a rigorous break-in schedule. The enemy of fuel economy is friction, both inside the engine and in the running gear — all the moving parts that can sap energy. So they set out to reduce the cars’ rolling resistance.

Tires were scrubbed to reduce rolling resistance, brakes worn down a much as practically possible, and support cars dragged chains in front of the race vehicle so as to have as much dust and sand enter engines minus air cleaners. Cars were impounded and sealed before the race, but despite the precautions, tweaking and break-in resulted in cars that were quite different from an everyday vehicle.
Have any EcoModderers tried this? I didn't see a single word on the actual mileage figures, though; and no mention of the Nash Airflyte which i would've thought the highest mileage 1950 car.

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Old 02-09-2018, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That sounds like a horrible idea, a great way to lose compression. Maybe they thought it would break in the engines faster?
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That was a throw-away joke. It was a field-expedient that probably gained short term but killed the overall ROI.

I was looking for more on the Alex Taub single-valve engine, but can't find much. There is his paper on cylinder bore wear: SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research

OTOH I found out J. Bowers plagarized a 2009 post on The Automobile and American Life.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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...and support cars dragged chains in front of the race vehicle so as to have as much dust and sand enter engines minus air cleaners.
K&N!
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I thought there had already been a thread here on the Mobilgas economy runs, but perhaps I was thinking of this thread: How to save gas - Hypermiling 50 years ago! | CleanMPG
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks. Interesting.

A Chrysler Imperial won in 1956? The one with sparrow strainer taillights!
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This is what I found on Alex Taub

https://www.google.com/patents/US2506250

Alex Taub - Profile - SAE International

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