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Gas-Saving Gimmicks Then And Now

Over the weekend I saw an old Thunderbird in beautiful condition on the Turnpike. It was a car that I thought was really cool—when I was ten years old. The older I got, the less interested in cars I became. By the time I turned 16, I had lost all interest in driving and my parents had to beg me to get my license.

As a consequence of that attitude, I have owned an unbroken string of boring cars. I have no regrets. If anything, I care even less about cars today. Ironically, I eat lunch at work with a couple of devoted car fans. I even find myself becoming genuinely interested in their conversations, although I don't have much to contribute. I think it's also amusing that my brother has a Porsche 928. It's a nice car.

Today, the Dodge Charger came up, and Ryan mentioned that its big V8 has something called a Multi-Displacement System which allows the engine to run on only four cylinders while cruising. That's a good thing these days. But then I thought, hey, that's nothing new. I had a ’67 Impala V8 that had exactly the same feature. It didn't save much gas though.

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