Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Car Efficiency and an Old Man's Buggy Memories

In 1978 I had a 1970 VW Beetle with 1972 engine. It was abysmally cold in the winter. It shook like a washing machine on spin cycle whenever I hit speeds of 70mph or higher. It really wasn't too great if I had more than one passenger as the back seat was pretty uncomfortable. It moved like a snail up steep roads.

I miss that car. It got twenty five to thirty miles to the gallon. When it broke down, I was able to fix it using a simple how-to manual and a small set of tools. It handled great in the snow and during some of the worst snow storms in Colorado, I was able to get out on snowy roads along with the jeeps and other four wheel drives to gather needed hot cocoa and other supplies. I haven't had a car that economical since I sold it in the mid-eighties.

I was thinking about that VW this morning as I got stuck in a snow bank in my Chevy truck which I've had about 9 years now. It has never done well in the snow regardless of how much sand I throw in the back. Twenty miles to the gallon is doing really, really good. I'm thinking of getting a new car (or a new used car) early next year. So, this article on the 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars got my attention. They are according to the article:

10. Toyota Yaris
9. Three way tie between Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute
8. Mini Cooper
7. Toyota Camry Hybrid
6. Nissan Altima Hybrid
5. Smart ForTwo
4. Honda Civic Hybrid
3. Toyota Prius
2. Honda FCX Clarity (hydrogen-electric)
1. Telsa Roadster

I have a friend who is lusting after a Telsa Roadster. But at $100,000 a pop, I'd have to drive it a whole lot of miles, even at 135 miles per gallon, to make it pay for itself. Personally, I am attracted to the Aptera. It isn't going to be available here in Colorado for a while. Maybe I could make due with a Yaris until then?

[Image: Grabbed this picture from a story posted on Car Lust called Our Cars---1969 Volkswagon Beetle. Go there to read another man's story about his bug. Mine had more rust of the fenders.]

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