March 23 2008

376.59 Miles Per Gallon Car Sets World Record (in 1973)

The Toyota Prius is a nice car. It's also tops in fuel efficiency according to the EPA. (See their list of best and worst mileage cars in America for details.) Still, it doesn't hold a candle compared to our contender. What do you ask could unseat the Prius from it's green throne? Perhaps a futuristic concept car from Germany? A 1-seater, 2 cylinder "mini-me" micro-car? Well, no...

How about a 1959 Opel T-1?

Fuel Efficient Opel_Image 01

Yup. That date isn't a type-o. The specially modified Opel broke the world record for gas mileage back in 1973 with a blistering 376.39 mpg performance! Now... you wouldn't mistake the car for a luxury sedan. There's only one hard plastic seat without seatbelts, no trunk, no car radio, no air conditioning and well... no doors.

Fuel Efficient Opel_Image 02

Fuel Efficient Opel_Image 03

Still... 376.39 miles per gallon! In 1973!

While admittedly, the mileage record was broken driving a steady 30 miles per hour on a closed course, you have to wonder why some automakers struggle today to hit a 27.5 mpg average fuel economy standard when the technology existed back in 1973 to do so much better.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported recently on the recent acquisition of our super-star performer by Evan McMullen, the owner of Seattle based Cosmopolitan Motors. Learn more about the car and it's new owner at the P-I Story at

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