Economy from an MG-A

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Sir,

I wonder if you or any of your readers would be interested to hear of some of my recent exploits in my 1962 MG-A, especially noting some of your recent correspondence on fuel economy.

A friend and I recently undertook a trip to Falmouth in Cornwall. The intention had been to use his Hillman Imp for economy, however, this was not possible and the only other choice was my MG.

So anticipating a rather more expensive trip than originally planned the car was filled up in Maidenhead and we set off.

A rather roundabout route to Falmouth was followed and the distance covered was 268 miles. On brimming the tank at Falmouth 6.6 gallons of petrol was needed to fill it, creating an average m.p.g. figure of (a very surprising) just over 40 miles. This journey was covered for the most part at around 60 m.p.h., though on several occasions the speed was increased to 75 m.p.h. and beyond.

In Falmouth itself, during the three days we were there 59 miles were travelled and 3.3 gallons of fuel were used at 17½ m.p.g. Not surprising at the short stop-start journeys undertaken and the hilly nature of the locality.

The return journey was slightly shorter than the one down, taking 256 miles. On again brimming the tank, this time in Maidenhead, 7.7 gallons were purchased working out at an average of just over 33 m.p.g. I can account for the lower m.p.g. figure due to the return journey being undertaken during the day (whereas the journey down was on a Saturday night), so that we were held up by lorries and cars pulling caravans, necessitating considerable use of second and third gears. Also there were considerable traffic jams in St. Austell and Exter.

So at a summary of consumption figures at the end of the .weekend were:—

Maidenhead to Falmouth: 268 miles, 6.6 gall., 40 m.p.g.

In Falmouth: 59 miles, 3.3 gall., 171 m.p.g.

Falmouth to Maidenhead: 256 miles. 7.7 gall., 33 m.p.g.

Total (overall for the whole trip): 583 miles, 17.6 gall., 33 m.p.g.

I must admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by these figures especially as the car is something of a Special having an engine bored out to 1,800 c.c. with a Derrington aluminium crossflow head, a high-lift camshaft and several other uneconomical modifications.

As the car is a convertible the journeys were undertaken with the hood down and the whole affair was very enjoyable.

So perhaps it is possible still to have some motoring fun with reasonable economy. I think that the figures I have quoted compare very favourably with some present-day sports-cars.

Does anyone else have similar experiences with this type of car?

Maidenhead J. B. Castle