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1937 Ford Coupe - Readers' Pages

Letters, Cars, Projects

Speedway Hero

Who: Steve and Keren Gantz

Where: Ankeny, IA

What: '68 Torino Grand National Stock Car

Why: Few readers' rides have this kind of history

Goodies: Steve didn't tell us how he actually acquired this car, originally prepped by Holman-Moody and driven by David Pearson all the way to the '68 NASCAR Grand National Championship, but he is responsible for its restoration. As the photos depict, the resto is impeccable, good enough in fact that the Ford Motor Company invited the Gantzes to display it at the Ford Centennial Celebration. It's functional, too, although Steve says cruising the 427-powered Torino through the high banks at Charlotte was made more exciting thanks to the 30-year-old Firestone rubber. Thankfully, car and driver emerged without a scratch.

Mileage Master
When can I expect to see an article with some good tech tips on achieving 20-plus mpg from a late-'60s/early-'70s musclecar? Gas is approaching the $2 mark, and I don't want to just stick the old car in the garage because I know there are plenty of tricks for good mileage.

I drive 120 miles per day round trip. Last year I put 30K on my '70 'Cuda at 20 mpg, and I loved the commute. On the 'Cuda I had a '95 Magnum 360 with a Tremec TKO 1, 3.23 gears and a Carter 625 for the fuel. I was getting between 17-20 mpg, and I was happy with that. Even with that fuel economy, I was not giving up any performance because on several occasions LS1 six-speed cars were beatable.

On the car I own now, I'm interested in the same mileage but without the high-dollar tranny. I have a 390/automatic with 3.15:1 gears and a 650 AVS. I know with the gears in the car now, I will not see good off-line performance, but that is fine.

I know 20 mpg is not out of the question for this setup, but a tech article with some tips would be nice. I hope to see in the next few months something outlining a plan to achieve this.
Chris Holley
Via e-mail

If there is enough reader interest in these kinds of stories, we can certainly accommodate you, Chris. You're on the right track with the Carter AVS carburetors. With the metering rod design, you can dial in a relatively lean cruise air-fuel ratio. Don't overlook the idle feed restrictor when leaning the carb. That plays a big part in part-throttle metering, especially at cruise speeds on the highway.

Cadillac Torque
I read your Cadillac article. I really enjoyed it. Your comment about being unable to find the torque rating for the V-16 really piqued my interest. I immediately recalled having my late stepfather Ryan Connell's old Motors Auto Repair Manuals. In the 1954 edition, under the Cadillac section, page 483, it notes the '40 V-16 (valve in block) had a bore and stroke of 311/44x311/44 inches with a displacement of 431 ci, max brake horsepower of 185 at 3,600 and a maximum torque rating of 324 lb-ft at 1,700. Ryan would be amused that his old book was still informative. Thanks, Ryan, I still think about you. We still like old stuff!
James Floyd
Clovis, NM

Reader's Top 10 List

l'm sure you guys get these all the time, but l thought l would drop it on you anyway. This is something that l never would've considered writing 10 years ago. These are my Top 10 reasons for justifying marriage, especially for my wife, Ashley.

10. She wakes me up to tell me I'm late for work without yelling even though l fell asleep under the car in the driveway

9. She tolerated that l wanted to leave the reception to do a burnout in my Camaro in front of my friends

8. During our honeymoon we went to the swap meet at Charlotte Motor Speedway

7. Also during the honeymoon, she understood that l wanted the Camaro in the landmark pictures

6. She let me put a pool table in the formal dining room and hang up pictures of old cars

5. She woke me up for work and told me l was late without yelling even though l had fallen asleep under the car in the driveway ... again

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