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The Sandwich Shop

These are my thoughts. They are based on what I see going on around me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

I know very little about myself. If I did know myself better, I probably wouldn't be doing this.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

44mpg in 1981 !
Any male over the age of thirty who drives a car has heard some version of the urban legend about the carburetor somebody's uncle invented that allowed a car to drive a hubdred miles on a single gallon of gas. You know, the carb that the oil companies paid big money to keep off the market so they could keep sticking it to us at the pump.
Most everybody thinks that story was dreamed up at a bar one night, by a couple of good ol' boys who were bendin' their elbows and bitchin' about how much of their paychecks went to put gas in their gas guzzlers. That may be, but it doesn't explain the March,1981, issue of Popular Science magazine ( Vol.218, No. 3 ). Popular Science, isn't exactly the National Enquirer or the Weekly World News; it's pretty much looked at as a legitimate news source.
On page 67 of that issue, there's is a one page article titled, "44-mpg two-seaters, Ford EXP/LN7". The article is written by Herbert Shuldiner. Mr. Shuldiner test drove these preproduction models in Phoenix Arizona.
" I tested preproduction versions of both cars on smooth, flat interstates and curving mountain roads near here-and finally on the track of Phoenix International Raceway.
The two cars do not act like the conventional Escort/Lynx. Handling is precise,predictable, and has a definite sports-car feel. They behaved perfectly in hard cornering and braking.
In addition, I found no hint of the handling problems the Popular Science auto-test team described in its test of the base Escort [PS,Jan.].
The EXP/LN7 suspension is not sensitive to changes in power. When I deliberately took my foot off the accelerator in high-speed turns, there was no noticeable changes in steering when the wheel was not turned.
The EXP/LN7 standard suspension produces a flat, firm ride. There's almost no lean, even on hard turns. The optional TRX suspension, features Michelin TRX tires, improves the EXP/LN7's already good handling characteristics.
While handling is sporty, there's no sports-car performance in accleration-even with a four speed manual transmission." End quote.
So these babies handled like a sports car, but weren't rockets out of the gate. Is that what killed them ? Whatever the reason was, you have to wonder how much more gas would be available ( at a lower cost ) at the pumps today if for the last 25 years commuters were driving cars that got 44 miles per gallon.
By the way, there are pictures of these cars in the article and no, they are not skateboards with motors on them. They are normal sized Exps and LN7s. They are very much the same size of many cars we see today that do not get 44 miles per gallon. Go figure! Are we marching backwards into the future ?
PS: Yes, I have a copy of this issue in my possession. My facts did not come from somebody's Web page.


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