The USA and other countries (England and maybe others) had the Mobile Economy Run at various times during the 1950s. 60s, and 70s, but Canada had its own attempt at big time economy runs with the 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run. I recently was able to acquire an original license plate from that event. My plate is shown below. The plate has sufficient “patina” that I believe that it was used by one of the competitors not merely be a left-over.
License Plate From The 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run
There is an account of this event in the November 1970 issue of Canada Track & Traffic. In that report is a picture of the start of the event. One of the license plates from the event can be seen on the front the Renault 16. I noted that the navigator in the car shown in the report was Terry Epp. I know Terry from my stage rally days and Targa Newfoundland when he was the head of CARS, in charge of the Canadian Rally Championship.
The First Car Heads Out In The 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run
The 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run was organized by the British Empire Motor Club of Toronto. The British Empire Club also organized the Canadian Winter Rally in that era. Starting in Toronto, the economy run route went north through Orilla, Pembrooke, Buckingham, Montreal, and stopping in Ottawa for an “overnight” stop. It was a short night though, as the first car was off again at 2:00AM. The cars then went through Silver Lake, Kingston, Peterborough, and then back to Toronto.
The results were determined by multiplying each competitor’s actual miles per gallon by the car’s weight in pounds divided by 2000. This results in a value of ton-miles per gallon. To take into account the speed and timing aspects of the rally, 0.5 ton-miles per gallon was deducted for every minute early or late at each control.
Scott Harvey and Ralph Beckman Were The Event’s Overall Winners
The class winners and some of the top finishers are shown below. Another entrant who was not listed in the top overall finishers was the great race car driver, Stirling Moss who was driving a Toyota Corolla.
Listing Of Event Winners And The Top Finishers From The 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run
I am not familiar with all of the other economy runs in Canada, but I am aware that the Sport Motor Car Club Of Montreal had staged an economy run in the 1960s and as recently as just a few years ago. I participated in and won (as Mike Kamm’s navigator) an economy run in Montreal in 2011.
In these days of heightened interest in fuel consumption, it is something of a mystery to me as to why economy runs are not common today. In the meantime, I’ll have the 1970 BP Canadian Economy Run license plate to remind me of this dearth of economy runs these days.