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irishraine

1955 Chrysler Windsor gas mileage question

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I recently purchased a 1955 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe, 4 door. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if getting 9 miles per gallon sounds right for this car? Thank you for any information you can give me.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Might get better answers over to the boards at www.forwardlook.net -

While the motor isn't too huge and runs a 2bbl, assuming it's all original, the trans is only two speeds and that will put a dent in the gas milage; it also depends on what rear gear the car has. Plus it's well over 4000 lbs for one of these. So 9 MPG city is probably about right. A manual trans or even a later 3-speed automatic would improve things somewhat; by 1961 Chrysler won the Mobilgas Economy Run with a Newport with 361 CI motor, at around 22 MPG average.

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Thank you for the info on the board at forwardlook! I will go there next.

I use to have a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker, with a 331, 4 barrel, automatic, and I was getting pretty good gas mileage. We drove it from San Diego to New Orleans and back, 14 years ago, and used it as a daily car. Recently, I bought this car with the smaller engine and mistakingly thought I wouldn't have to worry about gas mileage and planned to ride it around town often, but it's killing me at the pump. Since I only had this car a month, I wanted to see if the mpg I was getting was correct. If not, then I would research the problem. This car is in mint condition, all original, pristine paint and chrome.

Is there anything I can do to improve the gas mileage while staying true to the originality of the car?

Thanks again for your help. =)

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Mileage all depends on YOUR individual usage. If you cruise a moderate speeds along boulevards at 45 MPH with little traffic or ply less-traveled routes with few stops it will be better than the if you drive 1/8th of a mile and hit a stoplite, idle for 90 seconds then repeat this for your entire trip it will be less. If you make short trips of like 5 miles your choke will be running rich for at least 2 miles of that till the car gets warmed up completely.

Most newly acquired vintage cars can benefit from a carb rebuild anyway.

My old 371 CID Olds 98 would get about 10 MPG back in the 60s. It's all relative when gas was 15¢ compared to $3.50.

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Well, I had a 54 NY T & C wagon, 331 V8, 180 hp, 2 bbl carb, powerflite tranny, PS, PB w/booster. Ran & drove out great, but it SUCKED gas. 10 mpg was what I averaged, and I got only slightly better on trips. Drove it to PA from TN, gas gauge didn't work, and car only had 17 gallon tank. I knew I had to fill up every 150 miles or so. Also complicating things were the speedometer & odometer being off somewhat, registering around 95 when you were only going a little over 80. A great car, loads of fun, but I couldn't afford to drive it these days. So, your mileage sounds about right according to my experience.

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For what its worth I have just done a 1000 mile tour with trailer behind my Aussie 57 Chryslet Royal ( 313 V8 with 2 speed ) much like your 56 Plymouth, averaging 45mph and returned 16mpg overall

chrish

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, I had a 54 NY T & C wagon, 331 V8, 180 hp, 2 bbl carb, powerflite tranny, PS, PB w/booster. Ran & drove out great, but it SUCKED gas. 10 mpg was what I averaged, and I got only slightly better on trips. Drove it to PA from TN, gas gauge didn't work, and car only had 17 gallon tank. I knew I had to fill up every 150 miles or so. Also complicating things were the speedometer & odometer being off somewhat, registering around 95 when you were only going a little over 80. A great car, loads of fun, but I couldn't afford to drive it these days. So, your mileage sounds about right according to my experience. </div></div>

At 80 MPH it is going to get terrible gas milage, anyways, unless it has like 2.54:1 gears in it.

I know a few Mobilgas economy run winners -

1951, Studebaker, 239 V8 - 3 spd - OD - 25 MPG

1960 - Pontiac, 389 8.6:1, 4 speed Hydramatic, 21 MPG

1961 - Chrysler Newport, 361, Torqueflite, 22 MPG

The problem with the 1955-earlier Chrysler is the same as the Chevy, a 2-speed trans is just less efficient. I have a 1961 Car Craft with a tech question, a 52 Olds with a '55 engine with a hot cam and he was only getting 9-11 MPG. I think that it would be reasonable to expect 15 MPG from most 50's cars - but as was mentioned a carb rebuild and tune-up may help, and it depends what gear ratio in the rearend and how you drive it.

My own '60 Pontiac would do 18-19 highway with a 3.08 rear, the 10:1 compression motor and Hydramatic. It actually got better gas milage than a 1987 Pontiac Safari I had (full size RWD wagon, 307, 200R4), and better than the Suburban I have now. It had 75,000 miles on it when I got it, but was well maintained. I drove it 65-70 on the highway.

The key to getting the best milage is to find out what RPM the torque peaks at, and cruise on the highway with the engine around that RPM. My Suburban got a best MPG for me of 17 - fully loaded on a trip I averaged 70-75 MPH on.

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When I was a kid we had a 1954 Dodge hemi v8 2 speed powerflite transmission car. That is not too far removed from a 1955 Chrysler even though it is a bit smaller and lighter.My dad drove the speed limit but took off pretty easy. I remember him mentioning gas mileage to uncle Bill and seems the number was around 17-18 when driven on the open highway.

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