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home : opinions : opinions November 20, 2014

4/1/2012 9:56:00 PM
Letter: Greed, lies rule over common sense


I purchased a foreign car in 1975. That car got 58 miles a gallon on the road. I tested it very often and it always gave me 58 miles per gallon. They only made that car for two years and then it was taken off the market. I drove that car for over 15 years. But the technology of it went away.

It is amazing that in the year 2012 we can't get a car to get over 30 miles per gallon, with all the technology we have now. Also one of my co-workers had a small (domestic) wagon that got 56 miles a gallon and that car also disappeared off the market. What a bunch of liars. Between the car companies, the oil companies and our government we are getting shafted. It's like the gold mines. We do all the work and the three bullies get the gold. This country is going in a backward direction. I would say God help us, but we told God to get out of our lives, and He is, and we wonder why everything is falling apart. Deception, greed and lies.

David E. Brown


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

What I would really like to see is a diesel electric hybrid. A small car could easily have a <1L diesel engine coupled with an electric motor for assistance and could probably get 100 mpg or close to it. There may be good reasons as to why diesel engines and electric motors can't go together, but if so I don't know what they are. Anyone?

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ Hey Tom:

It does not surprise me. California has a way of leading the country over the abyss of impracticality. By the way, I believe both Ford and GM build and offer these nifty little diesel units in many of their cars they sell in Europe. There are also larger versions that work in mid-size luxury cars. Although these cars don't offer eye-ball-flattening performance, that is not what they are intended for.

@ @ Hokas Pokas:

That is how the Japanese car makers built their reputation. Good, cheap, solid car that just ran and ran and ran and ran. I eschewed the Japanese cars and bought myself a used 1967 Sunbeam Alpine, being a stupid kid, I had to have a sports car. Not only did it not have all the items you list, it hardly had what you would call a roof. It cost me about what 3 months of gas would cost me today. Being British (but sold new through Chrysler dealers) it was definitely NOT reliable (Lucas electrics, need I say more? Leaked oil . . .). I liked working on cars (still do) but with that thing, I had to. I guess I got around 30-35 mpg with it.

I would be willing to bet that if you took a Prius, yanked out the batteries, electric motor, AC/DC power supply, regenerative braking system and kept the same size engine with a good 6 speed manual transmission or good electonically controlled automatic, the gas mileage would be within 10-20% of the vehicle as designed. I have nothing against them, I think Toyota did a great job engineering them, but they are a costly waste of resources. They are built to sell to the "PC" market, which is decidedly larger in the U.S. than in Europe. In Europe, Toyota sells less than 25% of the number of Prii than they sell in the U.S., all of Europe having about triple the population as the U.S.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Wasted Breath!! !!

This is the generation that protects big oil. They keep protecting them with subsides, use our military might to protect their transportation routes and continue to BLOCK ANY INVESTMENT IN FUTURE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY.

The legacy of the Tea Partiers. My kids will be left with one crapy world just so that the old (people) can have their own myopic world view. ...

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Hey Tom

The reason the US doesn't import the excellent diesel engines of Europe is California emissions standards. Even though the cars are probably cleaner than ours CA has this goofy emissions clause that doesn't let those cars pass. And if you can't sell it in CA you don't bring it to the US. They have BMW diesels, Mini Cooper diesels, a lot of 40mpg cars we don't get.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

@"Cordes Coyote", same with the Prius, always reliable. Not a single issue.

Hopefully our exchange will turn some folks on to these wonderful vehicles.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Take a look at the VW Turbo Diesel Golf instead of a hybrid, electric or Volt

The little four door gets well in excess of 40+ MPG at 75+ MPH.

It has been available in the US for several years.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

"put your FOOT down" my bad :)

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: U couldn't see this one coming ??

Mr. Brown should have used "I" instead of "we" only because the Honda we've owned since 2006 has gotten 40 to 50 MPG.
As everybody knows when you buy a car that you think is unique, you then start to see others just like all the time.
Some of us learned a lesson from the oil embargo's of the late 70's and changed our driving habits. Others just refused to see a changing world and moved to Arizona.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The average car in Europe has a 1.8 Liter turbo diesel engine for best mileage with $10 a gallon fuel. does any American car have such an engine? If not why not?

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Sheesh Deluxe

Maybe we are in this fix because we are superstitious enough to think that God has something to do with gas prices.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

Rev, Sunset Point was no problem. The way the first generation Insight was set up, it had a 1.0 ltr 3-banger that ran all the time to move the car and charge the battery, with an electric motor that would come on variably when you put your down. Using both motors, it was actually quite peppy. I never had trouble on either sunset point or climbing the even harder rim to Flagstaff. It would definitely use some battery power, but then at the top of the hill you would go back to charging.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: d m

I would say God help us, but we told God to get out of our lives, and He is,.. and he is driving a '65 Cadillac.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Andy Anderson

There are many cars that get 30+ mpg that are NOT electric or hybrid. I drive a Hyundai Elantra back and forth from Humboldt to PV and consistently average 33 miles to the gallon. If I take it to CA and drive 90+ MPH, obviously that decreases the MPG.

Very curious - why talk about a car you owned that got 50 MPG, and leave out the make, year, and model of the car? Don't you think that would be the first question on everyone's mind while reading this article? Hmmm...

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Tin foil hat removed

you're right. Actually you're wrong. I have been in the automotive industry in one way or another (now again as a mechanic) for over 25 years. I have been hearing about the 80mpg (actually 200 mpg) car for all these years and have attempted to follow up the stories and they always end up being false. This urban legend has been around since the 1930s with the Pogue carberetor. It is a simple rule of BTU output from gasoline. There are plenty of cars in the not too distant past that got 50+ mpg, but not anything you can comfortably drive with a family of 4 and feel safe in. No carb on your dad's Cadillac is gonna get him 80mpg.
I have also attempted to track down at least one person who has 'mysteriously' died after inventing a miracle mpg proiduct and have yet to get an actual name of a real person. This is the product of Art Bell listeners. If a name of one of the supposed victims of 'Big Oil' hit men could be given I would forever be humbled.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: @ Hokas Pokas

Nope my Colt didnít have power steering,,,didnít need it, didnít have ACÖdidnít need it in Detroit. But it did have this nifty (and very simple) air induction system that shuttled fresh air into the exhaust port to continue to burn the exhaust gas down the manifold making it run extremely clean (later know as the MCA JET engine and also used by Kawasaki on many in the KZ motorcycle lineup).

What it didnít have was front wheel drive/ AWD, anti lock, traction control. What it didnít have was POWER: door locks, windows, antenna, trunk release, moon roof, or heated seats, cooled seats, wipe your seat or not even (heaven forbid) remote keyless entry. Nor did it have safety door frames, 7 airbags, LCD display, Sirius XM radio, 14 courtesy lights, 5 heated cup holders, a backup warning system, or even a cutsey girl to splain via GPS just where the heck I was.

Now that I look back I just canít believe I ever made it to work and home again.

Musta been a stinkin miracle!

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Zig E.

Re-read my post Tom. I said that they only share a name. The numbers I quoted came off the door pillars of those vehicles. Keep in mind that curb weight is different from gross vehicular weight.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Go Figure

An old friend i around 1979 drove to see me in CA from MA in a diesel VW Thing. He said he got 50 or maybe he said 55 MPG. That was what he said, could have exaggerated. Seems those were known for good mileage.
As a side note, Honky, Christians do not sacrifice animals any more. We stopped that when Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins by giving His life for our sins a long time ago. Hey, speaking of which, we celebrate His resurrection this weekend! :-) PS Sorry to interject religion into this thread but just answering a commenters question.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Hokas Pokas

@ Tom G

GREAT RESEARCH SIR! GOOD JOB! I agree with you 100%!

I also agree with "Really ." when you say ". . .technologically, today's cars are marvels . . ." with todays performance, comfort, gas mileage and reliability they do not compare with cars 35 years ago. Sure, a '72 Colt (built by Mitsubishi) got great mileage and took a thrashing but did it have A/C or pwr steering?

Higher fuel prices caused by a lack of production or higher taxes, not only effect all products, a higher cost of living effects the lower income groups the most.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Tom G

This "Cherokee" from the mid 70's:

is in no way, shape or form the same vehicle THIS "Cherokee" from the mid 90's was:


My 1996 Jeep Cherokee (NOT Grand Cherokee) has an advertized curb weight of 2955 for the 4 cyl stick to 3,357 lb. for the 6 cyl automatic. I couldn't tow it behind my RV if it was heavier than 3500 lbs.

Old CJ Wranglers could NOT be sold today as a new car. The "safety nazis" insisted on full roll cages and longer and wider wheel bases because stupid people would hurt themselves in them. The new vehicle only has a V6, air bags, cush zones, roll cage all making them heavier than they used to be.

CJ-5 Curb weight 2273 lbs.

Dimensions: wheelbase of 81 in
Length: 135.5 inches
Width: 71.1 in


2012 Wrangler curb weight range: Curb weight (C/D est): 3800Ė4350 lb (2dr 4dr, soft top, hardtop, Rubicon equipted, etc.)

Wheelbase: 95.4Ė116.0 in
Length: 152.8Ė173.4 in
Width: 73.7Ė73.9 in Height: 70.8Ė70.9 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 3800Ė4350 lb

Not sure where you are getting your facts but you should check them before you post.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

Cordes Coyote, on that first gen Insight what was the power like on 17 coming up from Phoenix?

[Zig E., May heaven smile upon you.]

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Zig E.

As a side note - my " bald face lie " comment was a bit rash. An example of finding myself caught up in the moment. My apologies. Vehicles from those different era's share only their names. My " Cherokee " from the mid 70's has a gvw of 6200 - My " Cherokee " from the mid 90's has a gvw of 4900. However I would guess that a typical Jeep cj from the 60's would be quite a bit lighter than the modern cj's. As I said, apples and oranges.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Mav Rick

David Brown
Make and model please. My motorcycle got only 56 mpg and it was foreign made. Can't remember? Wonder why. Maybe it's not true!

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

Tom G- Nice article. I have had 3 of the vehicles on that list, including the first generation Insight, which had the best fuel economy of any production car to this day. It died because practicality-minded hybrid buyers could not be sold on a two-seater. The CRZ is based on the same platform and is doing better sales, being more sport oriented.

The old Metros and CRXs got incredible mileage even by today's standards, but it was largely due to their low weight. As a result those cars had 1 or 2 star safety ratings, which consumers simply will not buy in large numbers today. You cannot build a cheap passenger car with a 4 or 5 star safety rating and all the goodies consumers want that weighs less than 2500 lbs.

I have also owned my share of American and German V8s, and yes, with VVT especially, but also computer controlled design and manufacturing technologies and modern fuel and intake systems, today's 4 cylinder engines are putting out as much power as the old V8s while still getting 35+ mpg. I believe innovation like that is a result of many things, and regulatory pressure is one of them.

I do believe that taxes should change in the US to allow us to take better advantage of small, torquey and efficient diesel engines such as are in wide use in Europe. American fuel and license taxes are based on the assumption that only heavy duty vehicles use diesel, and thus they are responsible for a greater share of road wear. This is one reason we have very few small diesels- they are prevented from being economical.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Zig E.

It's going to end up being an apples to oranges comparison. Basically newer vehicles are larger than older ones. But the push has been to make them lighter for fuel economy reasons. Hence all that plastic. Even the windshield on my old truck is thicker than a replacement one. Gas was cheap in those days. If an honest comparison could be made, which it can't, you'd find that the older cars/trucks were heaver. All that said, I looked over the "web" and depending on the vehicle, some of them today are indeed toads. The main reason seems to be all the options that are now included as standard equipment but weren't even available back in the day. But I do have a hard time believing the mileage that David sites. I don't think I ever got better than 16mpg out of a old V8.

Posted: Monday, April 02, 2012
Article comment by: Best Car Ever

For all the nay-sayers. I once owned a 1972 Dodge Colt manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. It had a 1600cc engine and manual trans. That car ran and ran like a rocket regardless of how my terror teen years treated it. And for all you disbelievers it got 45mpg all day, everyday. To this day it was the best car I ever owned and still miss it.

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