To the Editor:
I read with great interest Patrick R. Foster's July 10 column ("Remember the days of real mpg?"). I, too, remember low-tech vehicles that got gas mileage far greater than the vehicles of today. It makes me wonder what the engineering departments at the automakers are doing in these times of high gasoline prices.
I also find it ironic that each time gasoline prices spike, we talk about finding alternative, renewable energy resources and finding ways to make vehicles more efficient. I remember hearing exactly the same thing during the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargoes, after the exit of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and after Hurricane Katrina.
Once the immediate threat is past, we go back to our Ford Expeditions.
I have a customer who drives a 2000 Ford Focus wagon that gets 30 mpg.
One of his previous cars was a 1985 Chevrolet Sprint with a three-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. It routinely got about 50 mpg.
I find it hard to believe that my wife's 2004 Chrysler Pacifica manages to get only a measly 15 mpg.
In this day and age, we can send a man to the moon, but we cannot develop a vehicle that gets more than 35 mpg.