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".
- 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! So, the "good ol' days" weren't all that good after all.