AMEC Economy Run IV Weekend
in a 1992 Toyota Levin GT-Apex

Montréal to Amsterdam
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I had driven from Montréal to New Orleans in May 2009 (See webpage), and passed through Amsterdam, NY. The drive on NY 30 through the Adirondack Park was beautiful, so it was a pleasure to follow the same route down to the Adirondack Motor Enthusiasts Club's Economy Run IV in nearby Fonda, NY. You only have to follow two roads: QC Route 138 to the US Border, then NY 30 across the state. It's really that simple.

Amsterdam Castle
Originally, my co-driver and I had planned to camp before the rally. But when we stumbled upon a B&B called the Amsterdam Castle we decided that it would be much more fun to spend Halloween night in a castle. Well, really it's a former National Guard Armory. But you still get to sleep in a turret! I definitely recommend staying here next time you're in the area. Another interesting place to visit in Amsterdam is the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, which we discovered quite by accident, and enjoyed.

Honda Civics... can tune them into anything. They can be Fast & Furious or Economical & Efficient. This is now 8h30 the next morning at a Mobil gas station in Fonda, NY. Competitors prepped their cars and filled up to the top. Masking tape and clear plastic food wrap were on the menu for creating sleek aerodynamics.

Taped Up
Different competitors took the event more or less seriously. Chang's CRX definitely raised the bar high. He drove all the way from Massachussets with the plexiglas additions. Getting in required a Dukes of Hazard slide through the window. This would be the car to beat!

Saab 93B
The sole historic entry in the rally was a Saab 93B featuring a 2-cycle engine mounted in front of the front axle. This is definitely an interesting powertrain configuration! The car has sleek aerodynamics that Saabs are know for.

Halfway: The Longest Bridge
The competitors left Fonda at one minute intervals, arriving in Blenheim, NY 87km later. We had a short break to explore the world's longest single-span wooden covered bridge. Interestingly, I had passed this exact spot on my trip to New Orleans without realising the historical significance of the bridge. After the break, we followed a similar route back to Fonda, with many competitors bunched up in groups.

CRX Result
Back at the Mobil gas station, we pulled up to the same pump, and the same operator slowly filled the tank to the same level. Chang's CRX set the tone: 107.5mi on 1.119 gallons of gasoline. 96 mpg out of a 20 year old CRX with original powertrain!

Levin Fill-up
Here rally organiser Mike Kamm fills up the Levin nice and slow. During the rally we bet on what economy we'd achieve. And it turns out that we were both too pessimistic...

Levin Result
The Levin achieved 51mpg or 4.6L/100km purely as a result of driving style. Outstanding for a 158HP sports car! After filling up, almost everyone stuck around for lunch and trophy presentations.

Overall Results
Gasoline Class
11989 Honda CRX95.98mpg
21998 Honda Civix EX61.43mpg
31993 Nissan Sentra SE-R60.73mpg
42000 Ford ZX2 S/R51.20mpg
51992 Toyota Levin GT-Apex50.98mpg
61998 Mercury Tracer41.51mpg
72001 Ford Focus40.88mpg
81986 BMW 325ES40.41mpg
92003 Mercedes-Benz SLK23039.96mpg
101981 VW Rabbit34.90mpg
Hybrids + Diesels Class
12000 Honda Insight86.73mpg
22000 VW Jetta TDi74.65mpg
32004 Toyota Prius63.90mpg
Historic Class
11958 Saab 93B36.32mpg
It is impressive what mileage many of the cars achieved. In Gasoline Class, the 4th and lower finishers relied almost exclusively on driving style, with no aerodynamic mods. The hybrids and diesels pulled out some fanstastic numbers. And the 50 year-old Saab still achieved 36.32mpg which is even commendable by today's standards. We didn't expect to finish as well as we did in Gasoline Class, but the 1.6L normally aspirated Toyota engine proved to be more miserly than expected, even in its 20 valve form.

Click here to see the recap on the AMEC forum with lots of photos.

After lunch, we decided to do a little sightseeing through Schenectady and Albany. We were quite surprised by the eclectic mix of architecture in Albany, the state capitol of New York. It was a great place to enjoy the sunset before a dark drive up I-87 and Autoroute 15 back home. It was definitely nice to open up the throttle on the mountain passes on I-87. It had been tough to resist the urge to stomp on the throttle throughout the 170km Economy Run and its scenic roads.

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