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SHOULD AMERICA GO BACK TO DRIVING 1920'S 4CYL CARS?


MarkV
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As many of you know, I have a 1921 Chevy touring car with a 4cyl. It gets around well for it's age and gets excellent gas mileage with the 4cyl! Now, with modern upgrades such as juice brakes, and headlights, etc. should these cars be driven daily again? Considering excellent gas mileage? Would this be a better way to get to car shows considering the price of gas versus the gas guzzling muscle cars?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Would this be a better way to get to car shows considering the price of gas versus the gas guzzling muscle cars? </div></div>

They certainly would be an improvement over a gas guzzling SUV tow vehicle in my view, even without the gas savings. They're obvious limitations and "burdens" in driving moderate distances I see as part of the adventure. cool.gif

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Lets see. Choices on getting to work are with gas at $4.07 at the local filling station and 14 miles round trip to work:

1933 Plymouth at 16 MPG ($3.56/day)

2001 or 2004 Prius at 45 MPG ($1.26/day)

Public transport at $3.50/day and at twice as much time spent as other alternatives.

Bicycle at $0.00/day and I get my exercise too.

I generally use the bicycle.

By the way, I am compulsive on record keeping so those mileages are my actuals not guesses.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Skyking</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We could go back to horse & buggy and save alot. But then again, feed might go up. cry.gif </div></div>

Feed prices are already higher than a kite.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ply33</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Lets see. Choices on getting to work are with gas at $4.07 at the local filling station and 14 miles round trip to work:

1933 Plymouth at 16 MPG ($3.56/day)

2001 or 2004 Prius at 45 MPG ($1.26/day)

Public transport at $3.50/day and at twice as much time spent as other alternatives.

Bicycle at $0.00/day and I get my exercise too.

I generally use the bicycle. </div></div>

Great for using the bicycle!! Wish I could!

As for public transit. Add in purchase price, insurance, maintenance, parking etc and that $3.50 a day is the winner by far.

Dongle

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I've got the beginnings of a '15 Model T in the attic of the garage. I keep wondering;

1. Is the Model T really the first multi-fuel vehicle ever built?

2. I wonder if kerosine costs less than gas per gallon?

Maybe I should start working on it as a financial investment...

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Kerosene is about $3.75/gal vs. $3.95/gal for regular gasoline here in California at the moment. It could be that since California has unique gasoline formulation rules that usually add about $.15/gallon to what other states pay, that may be the difference. I know a bunch of Model "T" guys but I don't know of any of them who runs kerosene in his vehicle. I'll check with MIlt Webb. Milt has a couple of T's and writes for Skinned Knuckles sometimes.

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Kerosene burns hotter than gas and you will overheat easier. Also you do not get as much power out of it. If the car quits, You have to drain the carburator and fill it with gas to get going again. Also it is better to warm the engine up first on gas and then switch it over to kerosene. some of the larger tractors of the teens, 20's and 30's also had a water injection tank and two carburetors. One for fuel, and one for water. I have a 1924 McCormick Deering tractor that is this way. Dave!

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Later and/or retrofitted Stanley steam cars burned kerosene in the main burner and gasoline in the pilot light. Nowadays those cars generally burn a diesel/unleaded mix in the main burner (easier to find) and Coleman fuel or hexane in the pilot (cleaner).

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: oldcarfudd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Later and/or retrofitted Stanley steam cars burned kerosene in the main burner and gasoline in the pilot light. Nowadays those cars generally burn a diesel/unleaded mix in the main burner (easier to find) and Coleman fuel or hexane in the pilot (cleaner). </div></div>

Any idea what kind of miles per gallon of fuel a steamer gets? The only guy I know who has a Stanley (he has 2) says when he drives it, Stanley owners usually keep the boiler fired up all day if it's going to be run more than once, since it takes so long to heat up again. That has to adversely affect mileage.

I never thought to ask him about fuel consumption compared to an internal combustion engine. Can't be too efficient or someone would be trying to re-invent a steamer using modern insulation and technology.

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Interesting info about the "T"

I had an uncle tell me during the "big war" they would use 3 parts kerosene & 1 part moonshine. Thought he was pulling my leg, until I found out his kids finally sold the still in '78.

I've thought about Stanleys too. (Never seen one run, don't know much about them)

Saw Jay Leno's Doble on his website. (They had to use some very new technology to insulate the combustion chamber.) Seems it warms up faster than a Stanley, and has more of a closed system. Wonder why someone is not trying to improve that technology?

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I'm certainly not pushing Stanleys as paragons of efficiency. They're anything but, and they pollute something fierce! I was only pointing out that they can, and do, use kerosene and other fuels.

Some Stanley drivers keep the pilot light on all the time when they're using the car throughout the day. This is enough to keep pressure up in the boiler. When they're ready to go somewhere, they turn on the main fire, and off they go. I just bought my Stanley, so I have almost no personal experience with them. But I'm reluctant to walk away from a car that has a live fire burning, just because modern bystanders have no idea what they're looking at. They tend to scream for the fire department, or Homeland Security. Rather than put up with that, I'll relight the pilot. It doesn't take long to steam up if the boiler's already warm.

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I was also thinking, if you are the poor fellow following someone burning kerosene in an internal combustion engine, the smell will most likely give you a headach. cry.gif It has a smell all it's own and Black smoke seems to hang in the air for a bit. Also the plugs fowl more often from soot. whistle.gif Dave!

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I was at the Swigart Museum's car show last summer here in PA and there was a 1906 Stanley at the show that the guy drove 40 plus miles on modern road to get there. Watching him fill up with water for the return ride home he stated that he typically could make it 50 miles between water stops. He also said the car would cruise at 80 MPH and when he pulled out onto the highway he was flying. The Stanley has a strange locomotive type sound when accelerating.

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Dave, it ain't just the following driver who gets to smell the Stanley. The driver sits right behind the burner. Used steam, and the engine oil in it, gets exhausted out the back. But the flame in front burns in, and exhausts into, the open air. I've driven them with both kerosene and diesel, and both stink!

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Yeah, I guess those external combustion steamers also have their own smell. crazy.gif At least they don't have sparkplugs to foul.

How's the California emissions deal with these early steamers?

I wonder if you could run one on bio fuel? smile.gif Dave!

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