Every once in awhile, we get lucky by poking you with the right questions, and it looks like we hit the jackpot with this one. Back in the Dec. '06 issue, I asked whether or not fuel mileage influenced the way you built your powerplants, namely due to the ever increasing cost of petrol. You read, you wrote, and here's another sample of the latest influx of e-mails. Still, guess what? I've yet to have a single person make a request for an 87-octane build. Don't be shy, we'll do it. All you have to do is ask. -Henry D
More Fuelish ThoughtsYou pose a very good question pertaining to fuel economy, and this subject is something I am very passionate about. Let me start by saying that fuel economy is the very last thing on my mind. As a relatively young man at 28, most people have come to question my ideology of the musclecar. With such a vast amount of modern upgrades, why am I still so set on the ways of the past?
Don't get me wrong. I am astounded by some of the leaps that have been made in today's musclecar market, but I am only truly impressed by those improvements on the original designs of what once was. For example, AFR and Demon's continuous improvements on original designs.
However, I cringe and my stomach turns at the sight of fuel injection or modern type turbo engines taking the place of the powerplants that powered these vehicles through their glory days and into American history. Give me a single-carb small-block Chevy any day of the week and your turbos will find their way to my scrap steel pile without a second thought.
Growing up helping my father turn wrenches in his auto shop that he ran out of our home, I came to appreciate his finicky choice of vehicles to work on. The marvel of the simplicity behind these engines, yet so many people choose to replace them or add bells and whistles.
In short, fuel economy goes out the window every time my engine selections are made. I yearn for the day of the true musclecar, not these days of jacking up the shell and putting a new car under it.James of OhioVia e-mail
I had to e-mail you on your article on corn-based fuel. I have a '69 Z/28 Hugger Orange Camaro that I took to the Car Craft Summer Nats this year. There were thousands of musclecars cruising the streets with open headers, and all of them were either running on premium or eye-watering high-test. Actually, there was one car on the dyno that was corn-based, producing 475 hp. Personally, it's new and I still believe it's just a fad. I've owned musclecars all my life and now, at 36, I'll gladly pay $4 a gallon to drive on weekendsMark WilliamsonVia e-mail
I agree with you; the cost of gas will not stop me from souping up my '69 Camaro. In fact the price of gas never entered my mind. My Camaro is never going to be a daily driver and only used for local cruises and the occasional ride around town.
I was lucky enough to buy my Camaro 411/42 years ago (of course with an understanding wife and two teenage daughters) which will be restored back to mostly factory specs with the exception of the engine. If gas was $10 a gallon, the big cam would still go in the engine, along with the factory 12-bolt BV-coded 4.10:1 gears and muncie close-ratio tranny! Mahalo and aloha. DanielVia e-mail
I started my engine build back in 2006 and fuel economy played a vital role in the direction I went; I dropped an LS1 into my '69 Camaro and it runs awesome, all the while getting great fuel economy. Greg SnakeVia e-mail
I happened to be lucky enough to come across an '87 Monte Carlo SS with a 350 ZZ4 crate motor. I got this car for a steal from a guy I worked with and have been slowly-and with five kids I mean slowly-fixing this car up. My wife said there was nothing practical about this car, and I told her that wasn't why I bought it. Let's just say that she is now the proud owner of a new fuel-friendly vehicle