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[ihc] The Mobile Economy Run - Or:- How To Get 60MPG With Your Scout?!

Greetings All,

Steve said:

: > John, do you remember the mobil economy run?  Got some 
: amazing mileage 
: > (25 /
: > 30) from cars that normally got around 10.
: > 
: > Steve

Ah yes, The Mobile Economy Run!!  Well, since John conveniently doesn't seem
to have any recollection (in true John Dean fashion! ;-)) of that, I'll
share what I know - which ain't much. It's all 'second hand'.  But my source
is, ahh, "unimpeachable"! :-) 

As some of you know, one of my non-Scout passions is (was, until Bill
Elliott retired at the end of the '03 season) NASCAR Nextel (nee Winston
Cup) Racing. One of my lifelong hero's was (until his death in 2001) Henry
"Smokey" Yunick. Gawd, I still respect & revere the guy. 

Smokey (when he learned he had leukemia) put many of his memories,
experiences & adventures down on paper and CD. Yeah, this all comes to
gether in a minute... Keep reading!  I have a CD of this book. It's called
"Sex, Lies, and Superspeedways: Stories From Smokey Yunick's Best Damn
Garage In Town". The audio CD is narrated & forwarded by none other than
John Z. DeLorean (another guy you gotta respect!). To the youngsters in the
crowd: Remember the gull-wing car in "Back To The Future"?  John did the
'real' production version of that car. To the oldsters: remember the Pontiac
Goat (GTO)? Sure you do!  It can safely be said, if it weren't for Smokey,
there wouldn't be a Daytona 500. Not knockin' kids, but it's unfortunate
that so many younger race fans think Dale Earnhardt (#3 or #8!) hung the
moon and the stars in NASCAR history. Just gotta give props to the OF's in
the sport.

To those that don't know, Smokey was the *UNDISPUTED KING* of chea...
Errr... Uhh... I mean... INNOVATION! Yeah, that's it! His motto was "It (the
rulebook) didn't say you couldn't!".  Smokey usually didn't outright break
the rules.  But he sure bent  & circumvented them 10 ways to Sunday. He
BOLDLY went where there were NO rules before (but usually were AFTER the
fact!)! If you're interested in the book/audio, check out your local library
or http://www.smokeyyunick.com   Smokey was the mechanics mechanic. The
engineers engineer. A fine author. A great human being. A friend to many in

Tom M., et al: You might like to get your hands on a copy of one of Smokey's
other books called "Smokey Yunick's Power Secrets". You'll never look at
Lil' Devil the same way again <muhahahaha!>.

Ok, enough (too much) background. Anyhow, in the 'book', Smokey recounts
being asked to do another "Mobil Gas Economy Run".  This was an annual
'motoring event' from Pasadena to Detroit, New York, Boston and so on.
Paraphrasing Smokey here - Back in the winter of '58, Knutson, "the boss at
Pontiac" asked Smokey to represent them the run. It was an easy run - if you
could drive 16 hours a day.  Smokey along with Fireball Roberts & Goldsmith
always did a test run over the whole route. They learned how to draft behind
a bus, coast downhill, timed every PHASE of EVERY traffic light (red, green
& yellow!), studied local traffic laws, etc. They found that in Albuquerque,
NM it was legal to run on the sidewalk, so they passed on the right, got up
on the sidewalk and beat the light.  

The cars had to be "bone stock, except for the tune-up and other 'small
details'". Enter Smokey Yunick! Smokey tells us what was included in his
rendition of a tune-up for the Economy Run: 

"(We) loosened up the engine, upped the compression, changed camshafts,
lowered the alternator output, shaved the water pump, opened the oil pump to
reduce pressure and parasitic power losses, unhooked the speedometers and
ran them for 5,000 miles to reduce the components friction. We also
disassembled the engines and blue printed the whole thing ala race engine
preparation.  From the factory we got a special straight light wheels and
special hard tires made of extra hard rubber compound with a narrow tread.
We filled these tires with 60 pounds of air and changed the air pressure
gauge to read 26. These tires and blue-printed engine then went into a
chassis that had been built low and light with no sound deadener (sic) and
no undercoating.  Finally, we jacked the carburetor around very lean,
lowered the idle speed, dialed in a very advanced timing. Yeah, a genuine
strictly stock deal!  Even with all that stuff we did to cars, the biggest
gain we achieved was in driving technique. You'd drive like you had an egg
between your foot and the pedal."  

Smokey goes on (& on) recounting other tweaks, techniques, etc.  What the
real economy should have been, and what they got (wrung!) out of the car.
You get the idea. The other part of the narrative deals with the "fun" at
the hotels/motels BEFORE the and during the run. Other aspects of
undertaking such an event. And he hasn't even talked about RACING yet! ;-)
Various other escapades well beyond the scope of the IHC Family Digest! ;-)

If you liked this story, thank Smokey & buy his books (he's deceased, but
the money goes to the Smokey Yunkick Foundation
{http://www.smokeyyunick.com/Foundation.html}, and Steve Stegmann for
"opening the door" to yet another Pete recollection.  The Smokey quote is
more or less verbatim, w/o permission, from the CD. If you didn't like the
story, too darn bad, I told it anyhow and you can blame me! %^}

IHC content: If anyone tries any of this with a 304, lemme know how it works
out for ya! ;-)

Happy Draftin',


     ||             ||
   \/-----------------\/	Peter Ferris
   ||( )| | | | | |( )||	Binder AT pferris DOT com
   | ----------------- |	'77 Scout II, 304, a/t, p/s, etc.
  [/\_@@ ==== ==== @@_/\]	More 'stock' than 'not'!
  [/</]   \_/       [\>\]
  [/>/]             [\<\]

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