Feeling Fuelish?

During a recent cross-Florida trip, we did our best to track our Safari's fuel economy.

To be honest, we were apprehensive to compute our 1975 Pontiac Safari Catalina’s fuel economy. What was the reality? 10 mpg? 8? Less?

This past weekend we drove across Florida for a little garage party, so we figured it was time to do some mpg calculations. Before leaving home we made sure our tire pressures were properly set.

For the first leg of the trip—the all-highway run from Daytona Beach to Tampa—we recorded 14.9 mpg. Hey, that’s nearly 50 percent better than anticipated.

We filled up as soon as exited the interstate so we could track our in-town milage. Okay, here we didn’t excel: 6.6 mpg, although that was only over a 17-mile sample and much of it was very much stop and go.

For the highway run back, we saw 13.3 mpg. What was the difference between our outbound trip? Perhaps the Orlando traffic helped us rather than hurt us, as our return speed was a bit higher since we didn’t have to slow down while passing Disney World.

Total mpg over the entire 300-mile trip was 13.2 mpg. No, we’re not in hybrid territory, but that’s not so bad for a two-and-a-half-ton vehicle powered by a 400-cubic-inch engine topped with a carburetor.

Can we work on our driving style to improve that figure? We’ll have to see.

Get all the latest of our classic projects in your mailbox six times a year. Subscribe now.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
View comments on the CMS forums
Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
10/18/13 10:15 a.m.


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/22/13 1:23 p.m.

You know, we have debated aftermarket EFI.

Sponsored by

Classic Motorsports House Ad

Our Preferred Partners