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Old 10-29-2020, 06:39 PM   #35 (permalink)
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ND Miata - '15 Mazda MX-5 Special Package
90 day: 38.91 mpg (US)

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Originally Posted by Charlie Cheap View Post
When I built my last 1940 Ford coupe (I have owned 5) I built the 289 out of a 67 Cougar with a 3-speed standard. Everyone asked why a 3-speed rather than a 4-speed. I explained it was better to get into high gear as soon as possible, without lugging the motor, for best economy. With the big car flywheel that was about 10 pounds heavier than the Mustang/Cougar, with 2-barrel, 2.79 gears, 29" tall rear tires, and the engine built for torque at highway speed RPM, it worked great on the interstate. To get 24/25 MPG with 250 HP in a 1940 Ford coupe with tilt steering, multi-speaker stereo, Air Conditioning, cruise control, custom upholstered bucket seats, and Black Lacquer paint that looked wet, was another fun car I drove for 12 years.
I'll admit I'm skeptical of less gears = better, as evidenced by manufacturers adding more and more gears to chase economy, but those are more than decent numbers for a car of that era.


Today I found myself using 2nd to 6th a couple of times. 2nd gear will do approximately 78mph but the engine has gobs of torque, so I took 2nd from a stop out to around 35 and then straight into 6th. I'm certain this wasn't best for economy, but it was certainly lazy, and I got around 47mpg on my return commute, all city driving in the rain with the outside temperature in the 30's.
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