Do ignition systems really do anything?

Charlie Cheap

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Jun 5, 2018
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Zookeeper, no doubt even a big block can get good (not great) mpg if one keeps his foot off the gas...but who owns a big block, in a Vette or a Cobra, who got the thing to putt-putt around town? "Yes honey, I really loved the car, AND it just happened to come with a BIG BLOCK. I couldn't turn it down at that price!" Then she tells you if you like it so much, sleep with it tonight...which you do with a smile on your face. LOVE of women and cars is truly hard to explain.
 
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zookeeper

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Aug 25, 2001
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Lol, It actually is her car. She grew up on a cattle ranch and wanted a Corvette. So she saved money from bottle feeding calves that the mother wouldn't take and scraped up the $6000 needed to buy the car when she was 19 in 1985. These days it's tough to imagine a 19 year old girl restoring a 427/4spd Corvette with her own time and money, but she did. It needed a cosmetic restoration, which we did over the next year or so and she's owned it ever since. We rebuilt the engine almost 20 years ago and to this day it has around 80K miles on it. The sad thing is the car hasn't really increased in value at all in 20 years. It was a $25K car then, it's a $25K car now. Nice original car that hauls ass so it ain't all bad.
 

Charlie Cheap

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Jun 5, 2018
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Abilene, Texas
Okay Zookeeper, I also have a "Car Lady" for a wife. My bro-in-law had a split window 63 Vette with 4-speed, wonder-bar radio, and factory air, which was extremely rare. He was shocked when my wife Carolyn hopped in and shifted it like a pro. When he asked her where she learned to shift like that, she told him, "Charlies 40 Ford coupe has this same engine/transmission, and I drive it." She often helped me with car-building projects. We are lucky to have partners who love cars also. We had a 66 Mustang convertible that had a bad solenoid, so I showed her how to jump-start it with pliers, until I can change it. She took it to work and it failed to turnover, so she grabbed the pliers, popped the hood, told one of her lady friends to turn it over, and it started. After that, she was the go-to person for any car trouble at work.
 

zookeeper

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Aug 25, 2001
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Rogue River, Oregon
Lol, my wife isn't exactly what I'd call mechanically savvy, but you can't have everything. Years ago, she got so tired of people asking me questions about her car, she got a license plate frame that said, "No It's NOT My Boyfriends 'Vette" as a semi joke. So years go by, I moved to Oregon and my son and I are at a local car show and I come across a nice '69 Corvette with a 427 and 4 speed, exactly like my wife's car. There's a couple sitting behind it so I go back to talk cars and compliment the owner. I look past the woman sitting there and ask the guy with her, "Nice car, is it yours?" The lady did NOT look amused, as he pointed at her and said, "No it's her car, that's mine" and pointed to the '68 fastback Mustang next to it. I had just done the exact same thing to a lady car owner that irritated my wife for years. The weird thing is, what are the odds of another couple owning a 1968 Mustang fastback (husband) and a 1969 427 Corvette (wife)? Small world indeed...
 

Hack

15 Year Member
Mar 23, 2004
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I know it's hard to believe, but it's true and repeats so I know it's not a boo-boo with my math or a big tailwind. Here's the combination: 1969 Corvette (3600 lbs), 427 (390 hp) with a 4speed trans and 3.36 gear in the rear, 295/50-15 tires. The engine is mostly stock except the cam (Comp Cams 280H) and the carb, Holley Spreadbore, Q-Jet replacement. The thing is a dream on the freeway with a ton of torque and 65 mph puts it right in the sweet spot of everything being happy. Personally I think the tiny primaries on the carb and small intake ports of the oval port heads are the secrets to this combo, but since it's been that way since we finished it in '86 I'd have to say it works. It'll also get a whole lot worse if you get throttle-happy, lol
Oh I don't doubt you. I'm very impressed though. It's not easy to make any car run that well, much less a non-OD big block.
 

Charlie Cheap

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Jun 5, 2018
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Abilene, Texas
Under "65 engine replacement choices" on this site, I posted magazine pix of my old 32 Ford rumble-seat coupe. The wife, my sister, sister's gorgeous friend, and my niece, got in while we were at Fort Hood and drove around the base for hours. The rumble seat had 2 very nice young ladies and the cab had 2 more. The stereo was playing the latest music while they were admired by every soldier on the base. I was afraid they had been in an accident and this was before cell-phones. My bro-in-law was the base Command Sgt-Major and for weeks after, he said that 32 full of exceptionally fine women was the talk of the base. Over 40 years later she still remembers the fun they had in that 32. Her favorite car since was her 98 white Mustang, so "The Ladies" can be car-people too.
 
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Charlie Cheap

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Jun 5, 2018
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Abilene, Texas
Speaking of gas mileage, my 1940 Ford coupe made 250 HP with a much modified 289 and 3-speed 303 full-syncro tranny. With a 2100 two-barrel, on an aluminum double-plane intake, a 1" plenum spacer, electric fuel pump, mild hydraulic cam, cast iron factory headers for a GT, dual exhausts, hotter ignition, a bigger flywheel that was 10 pounds heavier, 2.79 rear gears, 29" tall rear radials and the car lowered for better drag-wind resistance, it got 25 mpg IF I KEPT MY FOOT OUT OF IT! Even with a big 2-barrel MPG goes south quickly when the loud pedal starts making noise! Reason for this build...with the 2-barrel there is less fuel to burn. With the plenum the fuel vaporizes better. With the mild cam, torque is made in the driving RPM range. With the heavier flywheel, "A mass in motion tends to stay in motion" comes into play. The 2.79 gears make for lower RPM at highway speeds, and with the taller tires, I just tapped the throttle about every 100 yards to keep it up to speed. A 40 coupe is very aerodynamic, and by keeping all under carriage parts tucked up close, air drag was minimized. The car weighed about 2900 pounds and was built for highway running. By building for that purpose I got the MPG I wanted with a nice Street Rod that was fun to drive.
 

zookeeper

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Aug 25, 2001
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A 2900 lb '40 is pretty light. My 1930 Model A pickup with 'glass fenders, a 289 /4 spd, 8 inch rear weight 2860 according to the local truck scales. But yeah, the driver plays a big part of all MPG arguments. I get 13 mpg or so with my F250, my wife gets 10 mpg driving the same truck.