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Old 04-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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History of "economy competitions" at SAE meeting, Detroit - April 14/11

FYI, University of Dayton auto historian John Heitmann will be presenting a history of "economy runs", once sponsored by oil, gasoline and car manufacturers from the 30's through the 60's.

Heitmann will discuss the history of the competitions Thursday, April 14, in Detroit at the annual meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Automotive History Review published his research on the competitions in 2008.

The economy runs were for American cars of the current year, taken directly from factory and showroom floors. Routes varied in both altitude and temperature. The MobilGas Run was the best known, evolving into a coast-to-coast event, Heitmann said.
"During the 1950s and 1960s, these annual competitions were the most publicized of all corporate promotions, making them the largest single public relations effort of any corporation during the immediate post-WWII era," he said.

In 1935, renowned "economy driver" Austin Elmore achieved a record run of 34.04 mpg, driving from Los Angeles to Reno in a V-8 in a Gilmore Oil-sponsored economy run. Gilmore not only gained great publicity but also used Elmore as a spokesman, Heitmann said. He would show drivers how to get 11 to 41 percent better mileage by practicing good driving habits: smooth acceleration, maintaining a steady speed, shifting into higher gears whenever feasible, avoiding brakes unless necessary, and always thinking ahead.
Heitmann also advocates bringing back the competitions.

Full article:

University of Dayton - News - Bring Back the Economy Runs

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Heitmann also advocates bringing back the competitions.
...he's not the only person who thinks they should be resurrected!
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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u know what might be fun? have a mpg version of one lap of america.

least fuel used to circle the usa is the winner!

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