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    Thread: Top fuel efficient classics. (Hagerty Source)

    1. Member
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      04-07-2012 03:00 PM #1
      Crosley Hot Shot — 48 mpg
      BMW Isetta — 44 mpg
      Honda S800 — 42 mpg
      Fiat 850 Spider — 38.5 mpg
      Lotus Elite — 38 mpg
      Nash Metropolitan — 37.5 mpg
      Austin-Healey Sprite — 36 mpg
      Morris Minor — 35 mpg
      MG Midget — 35 mpg
      Fiat X1/9 — 34 mpg

      http://www.hagerty.com/classic-car-a...pping-classics
      1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks.

      The rest are caused by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

    2. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 03:10 PM #2
      I had no idea the Nash did that well.

      I wonder what it would do with a little Toyota 22RE.
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    3. Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 03:11 PM #3
      Off the list, if cost were no object, we’d probably look for a slightly scruffy but mechanically sound Porsche 356 sunroof coupe. The combination of reliability and practicality is hard to beat at about 30 mpg.

      Buy a solid 356 coupe in the upper 20's to mid 30's, get it sorted, and enjoy a fuel efficient car that'll only appreciate in value. Speaking of which, I'm going to go out in mine right now.

    4. Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 03:53 PM #4
      My old roommate from 10 years ago had an MG Midget. The only way you're getting that fuel economy is by driving slowly. Then again, his had a top speed of approximately 50mph even after replacing the whole fuel system, carb, and intake manifold. The guy he sold it to didn't even make it from Phoenix to Tucson on the highway without having to call a tow truck because it overheated due to inability to maintain highway speed. Oh, and that was also even after he did an overhaul of the cooling system! Bottom line - classic cars cannot be directly compared to modern cars, but I appreciate the effort they made.

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      04-07-2012 04:36 PM #5
      The Henry J Standard deserves an honorable mention.
      The 68 hp I-4 was very efficient.


      (tho a trunk opening was optional, so they can be rather awkward to use for normal grocery getting)
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      04-07-2012 05:55 PM #6
      While not as good as those, I wouldn't be surprised if my '66 Mustang 6cyl is getting low 20s with mixed driving. People have claimed higher 20s under ideal conditions. They don't weigh much. I've heard that certain 50's-60's Ramblers got pretty respectable fuel economy too.

    7. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 06:09 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by jettagli1991 View Post
      While not as good as those, I wouldn't be surprised if my '66 Mustang 6cyl is getting low 20s with mixed driving. People have claimed higher 20s under ideal conditions. They don't weigh much. I've heard that certain 50's-60's Ramblers got pretty respectable fuel economy too.
      Yeah.
      A friend snatched up an original 66 i-6 3 on tree Mustang in great shape about ten years ago.
      The old guy selling it sold it to him for just $3k because he was going to drive it as is- and everybody else wanted to buy it and drop in a 302 (make it a hot rod).
      He said it got very good fuel economy, but was also very slow and would run hot in bad traffic.

      Note some people can get 35 mpg in the four banger Henry J.

      http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...j-vs-maverick/
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      04-07-2012 06:12 PM #8
      An the government says old cars are not fuel efficient. It is a conspiraciy I say.
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    9. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 06:15 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by 8V Fury View Post
      An the government says old cars are not fuel efficient. It is a conspiraciy I say.
      New cars pollute less even if they use more fuel- that is a fact.
      Who is saying all old cars are less efficient?
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      04-07-2012 07:45 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      I had no idea the Nash did that well.

      Its powered by a B series motor, the 1500cc that is in the MGA. The Nash is small and relatively light with maybe 90 hp so that will make for good mileage.


      I love old cars and will probably never own another 'new' car in my life but the good mpg is kind of a false economy. They might make a few more mpg but theyre down on the safety factor.


      AZGolf- A Midget should be able to 70 mph easy. If its only 50 mph, theres something wrong.

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      04-07-2012 07:53 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Yeah.
      A friend snatched up an original 66 i-6 3 on tree Mustang in great shape about ten years ago.
      The old guy selling it sold it to him for just $3k because he was going to drive it as is- and everybody else wanted to buy it and drop in a 302 (make it a hot rod).
      He said it got very good fuel economy, but was also very slow and would run hot in bad traffic.

      Note some people can get 35 mpg in the four banger Henry J.

      http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...j-vs-maverick/
      I just finished reading a Motor Trend comparison test from 1966 of 2 Mustangs; one a 271hp version, and the other the baseline 200 cubic-inch 6-banger with a 3-speed. Their recorded fuel economy with the six was 19mpg highway. Not so hot, really.
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      04-07-2012 08:00 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by vwlarry View Post
      I just finished reading a Motor Trend comparison test from 1966 of 2 Mustangs; one a 271hp version, and the other the baseline 200 cubic-inch 6-banger with a 3-speed. Their recorded fuel economy with the six was 19mpg highway. Not so hot, really.
      Wow- that's miserable.
      My 1988 300 ci i-6 F-150 gets 18 mpg on the highway.
      I guess everything is relative.
      He previously owned a 1st gen RX7 and also had a V8 truck.

      And back then the VW Beetle was considered a real fuel miser at 25+ mpg.

      Did they offer different carbs on the i-6?
      And it was probably tuned for power and not economy.
      Being fuel efficient was not a top priority until the later OPEC embargoes.

      And he did say his ran hot in traffic- so maybe it was tuned lean.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 04-07-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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      04-07-2012 08:41 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Yeah.
      A friend snatched up an original 66 i-6 3 on tree Mustang in great shape about ten years ago.
      The old guy selling it sold it to him for just $3k because he was going to drive it as is- and everybody else wanted to buy it and drop in a 302 (make it a hot rod).
      He said it got very good fuel economy, but was also very slow and would run hot in bad traffic.

      Note some people can get 35 mpg in the four banger Henry J.

      http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...j-vs-maverick/
      Weird. I picked mine up for $3K too, except mine is automatic. I get the same "When are you putting a V8 in it? Are you going to restore it?" comments all the time. Someone else can do that, I'm happy just to drive a classic that doesn't get 10mpg, seeing as any trip I take is at least 15 minutes of 55mph country roads. My brain used to hurt when I would constantly calculate how much a trip in my Cutlass (350 2bbl) cost me, and it wasn't even that fast.

      I really need to calculate my mileage this year. Since I generally make the same 30 mile round trips to town and back, I've noticed that it does better than my 19mpg Jeep, in terms of how many trips I can make before I go though X amount of gas. It is definitely slow, and I drive both with a pretty light foot. I've never had any cooling issues. If I wanted a fast older car, I'd do a modern drivetrain swap in my Pontiac to get the best of both worlds.

    14. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 09:22 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by jettagli1991 View Post
      Weird. I picked mine up for $3K too, except mine is automatic. I get the same "When are you putting a V8 in it? Are you going to restore it?" comments all the time. Someone else can do that, I'm happy just to drive a classic that doesn't get 10mpg, seeing as any trip I take is at least 15 minutes of 55mph country roads. My brain used to hurt when I would constantly calculate how much a trip in my Cutlass (350 2bbl) cost me, and it wasn't even that fast.

      I really need to calculate my mileage this year. Since I generally make the same 30 mile round trips to town and back, I've noticed that it does better than my 19mpg Jeep, in terms of how many trips I can make before I go though X amount of gas. It is definitely slow, and I drive both with a pretty light foot. I've never had any cooling issues. If I wanted a fast older car, I'd do a modern drivetrain swap in my Pontiac to get the best of both worlds.
      Not to dis old Detroit build quality, but it is possible that the one in that article vwvlarry read was not in correct tune/spec.
      Varied real world performance for the same model used to be rather common.

      And highway can mean a few things- most older cars seem to do better going 55 than 80 (due to bad aero).

      Now that I think about it, My friend's running hot issue was at a huge rod run in the heat of summer (up in the mountains). So it was probably not a recurring thing as I previously suggested.
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    16. 04-07-2012 09:35 PM #16


      you would hope so

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      04-07-2012 10:00 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by c0mmon View Post


      you would hope so
      Not that number one was much more substantial.

      I love how the ad says "Sport car" singular, as in there was only one sport and it was probably some sort of soap box derby or other downhill go cart momentum powered race.




      Also, "Hot Shot" is a pretty cool name.

      Before there's too much complaining about how modern cars are too heavy, a lot of that weight is safety related with stronger frames, airbags, advanced breaks, and more. I'm not thinking many people are going to lie in a hospital bed saying "at least I saved some gas money".
      That said, my first car was light, efficient, and probably similarly safe to the Hot Shot.
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