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A Drive Down Memory Lane (the "good ol' days")


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#1 OFFLINE   SnowStorm


    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 959 posts
  • Region:U.S. Southern Atlantic
  • LocationVirginia
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:C-Max SE

Posted 05 September 2018 - 11:47 PM

Just came across a June 1961 Science and Mechanics magazine (35 cents!) with an article "How Economical IS the Rambler American?"  It had the 196 cu. in. flat head 6 with 3 speed manual (didn't have the overdrive option).  The fine print test data filled an entire page!  Some highlights:

  • General road and weather: "Portland concrete, generally smooth and level", dry, 25 to 45F
  • Regular gas, SAE 20 oil, 2560 curb weight, 24 psi in tires, spark at 4* BTC @ 500 rpm!
  • "True MPG" at 40F, 75% humidity, 29.4 in Hg, 500 pounds "carried weight":
    30.7 (20mph), 32.1 (30mph), 28.8 (40mph), 25.4 (50mph), 21.8 (60mph), 17.8 (70mph)
    They also give "True Ton MPG" figures which are 1.53 times the above ones!  Rather bizarre!
        The ratio obviously comes from the cars total weight (2560+500) divided by 1 ton.
        Seems quite worthless to me, especially for steady state driving!
  • "Traffic Fuel Consumption" of 17.8 MPG @ average speed of 21.8 MPH
  • "City-County Fuel Consumption" of 24.4 MPG @ average speed of 32.7 MPH
  • Overall mileage was 18.3 MPG and oil consumption was 4000 MPQ!
       (That compare to our C-Max at 47+ MPG and maybe 100,000 MPQ!)
  • Acceleration was 17.3 sec 0-60 and 20.8 sec 20-60 in 3rd gear!
       (I think I'll take the C-Max!)
  • Quarter Mile: 65.0 mph, 20.9 sec.
  • Best acceleration 0-60 with driver alone, premium fuel and best spark setting was 15.1 sec!
       (Sorry Paul, but they were doing this kind of thing 57 years ago!)
  • At 65 mph speedometer read 70 mph!  (Holds down on speeding tickets!)
  • Then a bunch of stuff about Lateral Sway, Cornering, Brake Fade, Longitudinal Dip and Parking Brake tests.
  • "Chassis Dynamometer Horsepower": 49 HP @ 65.6 mph, 2900 rpm
  • A bunch of other wild stuff like "Average piston speed" and "Power performance factor".

Other specifications:

  • 90 HP @ 3800 rpm, 160 ft-lbs @ 1600 rpm
  • Compression 8.0 to 1
  • Minimum road clearance: 7.5" at differential (Isn't that SUV class?)
  • Highest curb doors will clear: 12.9"
  • Highest curb bumper will clear: 9.8" (What's the C-Max? 4 inches?)
  • 20 gal gas tank (You'll have to hold it to about 35 mph to get that 600 mile tank!)
  • 17.5 cu ft luggage space
  • Other standard dimensions and things I've never seen before like windshield and rear window area and "Driver's eye-to-road distance"!

Comments from the review:

  • At $1845 (2 door) it was the "lowest of any U.S.-made sedan."  (With inflation, this would (supposedly) be $15,550 today.)
  • "King-size wing vent windows"
  • Almost an entire paragraph praising the ashtray!  "The ashtray in the American is a masterpiece,"
  • "Almost complete absence of gear noise"
  • Limited back seat hiproom; "Makes two in back company, but three a crowd."
  • The engine "has an 8.0:1 compression ratio that should tolerate Regular gasoline most anywhere in this country"

Now SnowStorm's first car was a 1964 Rambler American with that same lousy "flat-head" 6 (but I had Overdrive!).  Before overhaul, there was so much blow-by that under heavy load the smoke from the oil filler tube would drift up the steering column and come out around the steering wheel!  Now you know why I say the C-Max is the best car I've ever had! :lol: So, the "good ol' days" weren't all that good after all.

  • JAZ likes this

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