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Old 11-23-2008, 12:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
order99
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Newport NC
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Well, my first car was a 1976 Pinto, and it was getting a respectable 29-31 MPG in 1983 despite the automatic transmission. I suppose I was Hypermiling without realizing back then(little old ladies sometimes passed me on the road!).

My next car for well over a decade (12 years I think) was a 1968 VW Beetle. It achieved about 30MPG after the initial rebuild, 36 after the Slick 50 treatment and 40 after I had a Weber carb placed on it and did a partial Baja conversion after it was struck by a Camaro(I created a fiberglass cover for the motor instead of the stock 'cage', modded the front and fenders but didn't lift the chassis or mod the mufflers-took off over 300lbs!). At long last the poor beastie was hit by a bus-in the Parking Lot no less! The claims adjuster was going to total it but one of the passengers offered me $800 for the parts-half my parts ended up in a VW Roadster kit he was working on...

I pocketed most of the cash and followed a tip from my VW mechanic to a local salvage yard-found a 1971 VW Squareback Sedan with two smashed headlights, knifemarks in the paint and a broken windshield...$225 later and it was mine! One windshield, one Master Cylinder,two headlights and 6 cans of Tractor paint later, I was happily driving my new toy up the Interstate! I routinely achieved 30MPG+ with the Squareback despite a heavier frame (the engine had an early-model Fuel Injector). Eight years later a fellow VW fan offered me $700 for the car, and once I found out he wanted to do a factory restoration I let him talk me down to $600. He may have that VW still.

My current vehicle is a '93 Festiva that I purchased for $800 from a dealer who specializes in Technical Totals (mostly dent-and-ding stuff though, he'd rather part out a vehicle that's not roadworthy). There was wear and tear on the seats, missing paint and a few dings (I suspect a hailstorm) but the motor purred like a kitten. I used fabric glue and leftovers to re-upholster the seats, slipped on new covers and touched up the peeling paint with a spraycan (cheap? MOI?). I've consistently had between 42-46 MPG on the Red Menace, and no maintenance costs other than oil changes and new tires-though I did finally replace the starter this year(factory original it was too!).

I'm finally sanding and filling out the minor dings and have the whole body roughed and primed-but since the factory laid me off in September and i'm going back to school for A+ and Network+, any further work is on hold. Once I pass the exams and get a decent career going though, I intend to have the first 1993 Festiva in Metallic Ruby Flake with a Layered Clear finish! Well, I may play with some Bodymods first...
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