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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

15 Cars To Own In A Gas Crisis

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Category: Magazine Articles

Magazine article from Motor Trend August 1973

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15 Cars to Own in a Gas Crisis

Of the 15 cars tested for gasoline economy
the Fiat 128 came out on top with 34.821 mpg.

"The Fiat's gasoline operating cost per mile was 1.17 cents -- so close to a penny a mile it's amazing."


Motor Trend conducts a midsummer fuel-crisis cruise to learn just how economical these economy cars are / By Kyle Given

1   Fiat 128 sedan
2   Datsun 1200
3   Lotus Europa 5-speed
4   Honda Civic
5   Toyota 1600 2-door


Datsun 1200

2-door Coupe

32.500 mpg

Top-ranked in terms of economy among all Japanese-made entries, the Datsun was another surprisingly strong runner. Somewhat quicker off the line than the Fiat its styling was light years ahead and the interior was clearly designed for the U.S. market. Good leg room. The Datsun 1200 gets 70.018 miles on a buck's worth and the fuel operating cost per mile is 1.25 cents. We admire the quality of finish on the Datsun, we like the company's racing background and we respect this model mightily.



If all the preceding remarks read like encomiums, so be it. They are. We like the econosedan genre, and we like the cars as individuals. They're sensible, rational alternatives to giving far too much of our natural resources for sheet metal and far too much of our energy by running it through carburetors.

For all that, the econosedans take some getting used to. They really don't work with automatic transmissions, air conditioners and foot to the wood starts. And, as a group, all the cars in this test shared two absolutely unacceptable characteristics.

The radios were rotten. (Buy an aftermarket unit.) The interior ventilation was roughly equivalent to a cattlecar. To a less extent, noise levels were far too high for Americans accustomed to window's up, a/c-on summer driving.

But when the weather's right, when the traffic's good, these cars on a whole are more fun than any other type of cars since the original masochist's delight -- the sports cars of the mid-century. And, boy, do they beat the cost of living.


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