American Classics With Fuel Efficiency Thrown In

Classic American Motors are famous for a lot of things – but fuel economy is obviously not one of them. They were about making, style and presence people pay attention. They were built when the World thought that it had an endless supply of cheap gas and the well would not run dry.

Unfortunately car makers today have to take a new set of considerations into . . . consideration. Not all classic cars are 8 mpg guzzlers,. That may be anyway, the thing. There are simply a few which are capable of 20 mpg at a minimum so if you yearn for the traditional days when cars had individuality and character but must take fuel economy into account – read on.

Here are a few examples.

Plymouth Duster – 1976 – aka The Feather Duster – it was a pretty interesting yet largely ignored solution to the fuel crisis from the 1970’s. It cost only slightly more in comparison to the normal Duster unlike the premiums put on many hybrid or diesel options available in today’s market. The main saving was in substituting some of the steel for lighter aluminum which meant a considerable weight loss. The fuel economy is good, up to 36 mpg. Incidentally, in 1976 you’d pay around $.57 per gallon for gas.


Crosley Hotshot – 1950 – this was the first sports car to hit the roads following the war and was definitely built more in the mold of an MG Midget than it was a Corvette. This tiny motor had a tiny four cylinder engine and although it wouldn’t break any speed limits was able to 48 mpg. Gas in 1950 was around $.27 per gallon.


Corvair Monza 1961 – this air cooled classic might not have been that “cool” way back in its day but it was still fun to drive and could achieve around 24 mpg. The price of gas in 1961 was around $.31 for a gallon.

International Harvester Scout 1961 – this is one of the original SUV’s and even many of the modern varieties (check them out at san juan capistrano jeep) do not list fuel economy as a strong point. The trailblazer however was extremely lightweight (2,800 pounds) and remarkably simple with a rugged, 4 cylinder engine. When you drove it carefully, and let’s admit it, there wasn’t really some other way you could drive it, this little power house could achieve around 22 mpg.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser F-85 – 1967 – there are very few full sized Oldsmobiles around which can get anywhere close to 20 mpg, particularly one which has a gigantic 400 cubic inch V8 motor but this was something great. It was carefully engineered by using a GM Turbo / Hydramatic transmission system with tall ratio in the rear axle giving it the appearance of a fully grown American classic. It was actually capable of 20 mpg – unbelievable but true.


So, who said all American classic cars are gas guzzlers? Well, they’re wrong aren’t they?

If you want to experience great fuel economy without going to all of the trouble of finding one of those American classic motors they’ve got some fabulous ones at OC Auto. These days we’re talking of great importance and better fuel consumption numbers than 20 mpg together with the latest variety of hybrid and diesel motors.

We now understand that we have to take better care of gas supplies which are running out at a rate of knots and find alternative ways of powering our vehicles. We’ve also woken as much as the fact that good fuel economy is great for your budget balance too.

When You Think Paaying For Premium Fuel Is Worth It


Premium performance fuels like Shell’s V-Power Nitro , BP Ultimate or Texaco Supreme make offers to clean and protect your car as well as help squeeze more miles from your tank.

But when it costs more at the pump, is it well worth splashing on a tank of super fuel?

Premium petrol costs up to 10p a litre more than standard unleaded petrol.

And it’s not just the major names selling it: even supermarkets sell upgraded versions such as Tesco’s Momentum 99 or Sainsbury’s Super Unleaded.

What is premium fuel?

Super fuel or high performance fuel is petrol with a higher octane rating.

Most standard brands of fuel possess a 95 octane rating.

But super fuel typically features a higher rating – around 98 – which can make the engine work more efficiently and improve performance.

You can also buy versions of super fuel suitable for diesel vehicles too.

Will I notice any difference at the wheel?

But Matthew Minter, editorial director of motor manual publisher Haynes, says most people won’t drive in a way to observe any difference.

And 99% of cars works perfectly well on 95 octane standard unleaded fuel, he adds.

However, says Minter, with certain high-performance sports cars, some experts believe filling them with super fuel can improve performance.

My husband’s for ages been a super fuel cynic and considered the additional cost a waste of money.

Will super fuel save me money?

But after a work colleague talked up the benefits, he tried it in his Mercedes SLK200 and was surprised with the results.

He saved around £6 per tank due to the extra mileage the super fuel produced.

I, on the other hand, filled up my Peugeot 206 CC when it comes to researching this blog and didn’t notice any difference.

But it’s truly worth trying out super fuel says Chris Patience from the AA.

Different cars will respond differently to these fuels so the only way to figure out really is to use it and discover.

Does it have magic cleaning properties?

Premium petrol producers make claims of additives designed to clean and protect your engine but does this ensure it is worth buying regularly?

Premium fuels do contain more effective detergent additives which help the removal, preventing formation of, carbon and gum deposits on valves and other components inside the combustion chamber, says Patience.

If you would like look after the insides of your respective motor – just the occasional tank can do the trick, but there’s no reason to regularly fill with more expensive fuel.

Patience adds: If you’re planning to keep the car long term, using a premium fuel every fourth tank will help engine longevity and maintain performance over time.

In the event you start off with super fuel?

If you’re purchasing a new car, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says some manufacturers will recommend a particular type of fuel.

For example, Ford suggests using BP Ultimate in its vehicles.

Vauxhall however doesn’t recommend a particular fuel.

Vauxhall spokesman Simon Hucknall says you’d be wasting your money by putting high octane performance fuel into most of its standard variety of cars, with just a couple of exceptions on its top-of-the-range models.

Should I fill my secondhand motor with premium fuel?

Regularly flushing it through with a few tankfuls of premium fuel can certainly still improve performance, according to the AA, if you buy a secondhand car that’s been run for years on no matter what the nearest pump had to offer.

However you’re the only one who are able to decide if there’s a noticeable change in performance or measurable improvement in fuel economy that’s really worth the premium paid for the fuel, says Minter of Haynes.