A keen interest in fuel economy isn’t a recent phenomenon. Back in the 1960s, many drivers were just as obsessed with teasing as much as possible from every drop of fuel.
“A great many people, willingly or unwillingly, are feeding their cars with much more petrol than they really require to do the work demanded of them,” said Autocar, before going on to offer some advice on frugal driving, which “need not be boring”.
“It is hoped that they may save a few pounds a year, without lessening the enjoyment they obtain from their motoring, for reasonable fuel economy goes hand in hand with an efficiently maintained and well-driven car.”
Tip one was decent upkeep of your car: “Excessive consumption may be attributed to wear or neglect; in such cases, no amount of economical driving will help much. Any resistance to free motion will increase consumption, as the need to overcome it will require that much more power (and, therefore, petrol) for a given performance.
“Lack of lubrication and binding brakes are obvious examples. Under-inflated tyres, too, give a decided increase in rolling resistance.”
Next there were the common-sense driving tips: anticipate the road conditions and traffic ahead, avoid heavy acceleration, maintain a suitable cruising speed and take advantage of gradients on undulating roads.
“On long journeys there is a tremendous scope for fuel economy, and there need be little, if any, reduction in average speed. The principle is to remember that every time you use the brakes you are wasting petrol – by destroying momentum which has been achieved by burning fuel and which must be restored by burning some more.