The Mobilgas Economy Run

A History of the Long Distance Fuel Efficiency Competition, 1936–1968


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SKU: 9780786475629 Categories: ,

About the Book

The Mobilgas Economy Runs were annual competitions in which new American production automobiles vied not for speed, but for fuel economy—even as the industry was turning out bigger, more powerful cars year by year. This first complete history of the runs (including the predecessor Gilmore Economy Runs) follows each year’s competitors day by day, covers some aspects not reported at the time and features a wealth of photographs. It includes coverage of the related Mobil Mileage Rally, held for imported cars from 1958 through 1961. Complete results for all of the competitions are provided in an appendix.

About the Author(s)

Originally from Los Angeles, Dave Hermanson is retired and currently lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Dave Hermanson
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 332
Bibliographic Info: 148 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7562-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1322-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  v
Preface  1
Introduction  3
1. The Gilmore Years, 1936–1941  5
2. Grand Canyon  27
3. Sun Valley  41
4. Colorado Springs  65
5. Sun Valley and Galveston  83
6. Kansas City and Minneapolis  106
7. Chicago  134
8. Detroit  150
9. New York  178
10. Boston  214
11. Detroit and New York  234
12. Cancellation  265
13. Mobil Mileage Rally, 1958–1961  268
Appendix: Results  275
Chapter Notes  303
Bibliography  317
Index  319

Book Reviews & Awards

James Valentine Book Award—Society of Automotive Historians, Southern California Chapter
“this work provides definitive competition results from year to year, and is profusely illustrated with photographs not only of the cars involved, but the stunning landscape that often was the backdrop for this ‘race that wasn’t a race.’ In sum, this is a definitive work by all accounts”—SAH Journal; “the text includes extensive anecdotal recounting of each run, and reproduces advertising that demonstrates just how seriously the Big Three and AMC took all of this. It’s certainly not your typical motorsports book, but it ably fills a longstanding historical gap”—Hemmings Classic Car; “we frankly have never seen a book quite like this one before, a big, richly researched salute to what used to be one of the most ferociously fought automotive competitions in the United States”—Hemmings Motor News; “for the Buick–centric there is plenty to engage the eye and mind. But it’s more likely you’ll get caught up, reading every page and looking carefully at each photo for the book is as much about a time as an event and the cars and people”—Buick Bugle; “this book is definitely a ‘must have’ addition to any automotive library”—Plymouth Bulletin; “a well-researched and detailed history”—; “this book is the first to chronicle the entire history of the Run. Hermanson doesn’t waste words, packing each page with information and facts….one of those ‘must haves’”—AVANTI Magazine.