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Old 08-11-2009, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How many of us here come from a racing backround?

I've always wondered how many of us "new" hypermilers come from a high performance and racing backround? I certainly do. I've been interested in modifying cars for over 30 years. I've drag raced for the first 20, then got into road racing on pavement [and in the winter on frozen lakes]. I've also been involved in dirt oval racing, hill climbs, and rally racing. Now suddenly, I'm here. My family and friends are shocked. They've never seen me drive slowly. My wife now tells me to speed up on trips, instead of slow down! My son says he's tired of the slow take offs from a stop and wishes I'd forget about hypermiling and go back to my old self.

Me, I'm enjoying the change. I find modifying a car for better mileage just as challenging as modifying it for speed. The technical challenge and the ability to display my mechnical abilities is what attracted me to my new hobby.

My question to all of the "motor heads" here is: what drew you to ecomodding?



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Old 08-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm from a racing/fast cars background; I own a '95 mustang GT and do enjoy speed.
I've also liked efficiency, in lifestyle and the home, for my whole life. I started my folks on recycling, and loathe waste.
I wanted to get a car for FE for awhile; finally had the cash at the right time. Now I don't drive the mustang enough to keep the battery charged.
I think wanting to practice what I preach plays a role - I'm a high school science teacher, and I can't tell my kids to conserve if I drive a sub-20 mpg car. It's also expected for a Physics teacher to be a bit weird, and my car is that! I still drive the mustang to school occasionally, which they all love seeing.
The only other thing I can attribute is my age - turning 28 this year and I have a 1 year old - I don't need to drive crazy or fast anymore. I don't need to compete with other males out there for speed. I have better things now.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was the same, it was pretty much v8, v8 v8, evrything else is straining for manliness. A hillbilly attitude. I am rather thin, got asked twice to drive at local racing, I hung out in the pits just one race and changed my mind. I built a chevelle took that to the dragstrip just ince. A wheelie and average times, and never went back. I peaked off with a 165mpph monte carlo SS, me and some friends built, and my very next car was a 3 main boxer. The ecomod stuff is way beyond racing mentally. fuel can do amazing things with the right engine. I wasn't much for ecomod, unitl I realized the physics I was truly after naturally was an ecomod. I have had 3 main bearing subarus for the last 13 years..when they are done in my life, I won't be hanging out here much. Nothing has an excuse after the genius of those engines...nor thier extinction.
Thier is a true winner after all...in every category.

I can't say as I am a slow driver, I hope to never have to hurt my own skill and pace of mind trying to ecomod, as I said, no 3 main boxer? I won't even bother talking anymore.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im also from a raceing background... ive been to plenty of NHRA races when i was a kid, and i had a Dodge Ram 1500 that i used to bracket race back in highschool.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...for awhile ('71-'74), I owned and raced my 1970 Plymouth AAR 'Cuda 340/6BBL in FS/M class over at the Holtville Dragstrip in California. Then, the OPEC Oil Embargo "hit" and I got married...so, no more 'Cuda!

...how many of you read HOT ROD Magazine back in the fall of 1973 and the spring of 1974? Recall reading any of these articles?:

Aug'73 - Basic Engine Physics & Math
Nov'73 - Drag Strip Dyno
Nov'73 - Header Science
Mar'74 - Budget-Building the Mopar 318

...or, HOT ROD YEARBOOK No. 14?

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Old 08-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm from a racing background also.

I started out in my teens racing big cubic inch V-8 engines in the early 80's.

Then in the last 10years I went to the small cubic inch four cylinders and took a efi101 class put on by Ben Strader. I was then hooked on efi systems and never looked back.

My fastest car I built and tuned was a 68 Camaro that went 8.0@178mph in the 1/4. But my favorite car was a my 94 Honda Civic with a single cam 1.6L that went 11.8 @130mph spinning to half track. This car got great fuel mileage and was a great car all the way round.

Once I started looking at the great BSFC numbers these modern small engines run at, and the fact that they have very little drive-train loss and are light weight. I never had any reason to build a big cubic engine again.

So my new goal is to have my Del sol get 50+ miles and be able to run 10 second ET's. Plus I made it a flex fuel vehicle. It will run on E85 at the track and regular pump gasoline when its in a daily driver mode.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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...remember back when Edelbrock and HOT ROD did a 'project' high-performance street Camero that "passed" all CARB-emissions and got 30-something mpg and ran like a scalded ape?

...today's pocket rockets are way ahead of that era!
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by blownb310 View Post
I find modifying a car for better mileage just as challenging as modifying it for speed.
Substitute "driver" for "car" and you have my take on it.

In my university days, I spent a silly amount of money (to me) on high performance driving, skid control, racing instruction & track/lapping days. Unmodified road cars & open wheel cars. Fun, fun, fun. Loved the challenge of constant refinement of technique and the immediate feedback: smoother transitions, better lines, faster laps & catching up to other drivers (or taking longer to BE caught by some ).

But at the same time, I was also becoming interested in fuel economy. I honestly never had any interest in buying or building a fast car, even though I also liked monkeying with mechanical stuff. I guess I was more interested in learning the skills to go fast than actually doing it.

Economy driving is equally (possibly even more) challenging, and has the added bonus of being easier on the car, the wallet, and less likely to attract the wrong kind of attention! (Usually.)

Plus, there's more than a little bit of overlap between the two skill sets.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm from a Motorsport family , Dad was a Was a rally Driver , Uncle was in Touring Cars, I personally have done some Formula ford but for the main part I've been Endurance racing in Karts, At Le Mans, British 24hr etc Its the ultimate contradiction of going as fast as you can but trying to save fuel so that you do less fuel stops. Quite a lot of the techniques I picked up there are mirror'd in Hypermiling techniques!
good things come to those who wait, sh*t turns up pretty much instantly

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Old 08-15-2009, 02:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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...'Formula Ford' made new life for the FOB engines used in imported Mercury Capri's and Ford Fiesta's...also used in early Pinto's too.

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