May 2012 Issue

First Word: May 2012

The Airplane of My Dreams

During the summer of 1968—and I’ll date myself here a little—I was putting the finishing touches on my first car. It was a 1956 Chevy rodded up with a 283, fuel-injection pistons, a Duntov cam, a 411 rear—the works. I could never get the fueling right and as was the custom in those days, I kept throwing carburetors at the problem until in a fit of supreme pathetic excess, I borrowed a friend’s Edelbrock manifold mounted with three two-barrel Holly carbs. That did it. It also yielded gas mileage of about 8 MPG which, even in the days of 28-cent-a-gallon gas, was unsustainable on my summer-job salary. My next car was a Volkswagen. An economist would call this price elasticity response, but I called it sanity.

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