We thought getting 72 mpg in the 2007 Honda Civic i-CTDi was pretty damn good, but feast your eyes on this 1959 Opel T1. Admittedly it's far from stock and doesn't exactly have the greatest of creature comforts, unless plastic seats and hippy paint are your cup of tea. The car landed in the 1975 Guinness Book Records with 376.59 mpg and recently resurfaced after years of languishing in the Talladega Museum (for some weird reason). The real question is how did they do it?
By using good old fashioned common sense. Really, there isn't anything surprising here — The modifications include the following:
- chopping the top (reduction of frontal area)
- stripping out all unnecessary weight - giving us that sexy camino shape
- using super hard tires (reduction of rolling resist)
- shifting the 4 cylinder engine to a mid mount and replacing the driveline with a chain (improvement of driveline efficiency)
- And perhaps most shockingly - driving slow. 30 mph during the test.
Sure, the things given up to get this monumental figure of 376.59 mpg is unrealistic in real life, and the car is undoubtedly a death trap, but that doesn't mean this kind of craziness isn't still food for thought. As an aside, we love how the source of this story, the SeattlePi, is based in Seattle and yet lambastes the macchiato swilling yuppies driving their Prii.