Book About The History Of The Mobilgas Economy Run

Some people who have been looking at this website for sometime will know that I have an interest in economy runs.  There are very few economy runs these days, but I have had the opportunity to participate in a couple of these events.  These events have an interesting set of challenges and are very competitive in order to squeeze every mile out of a gallon of gas.

In order to understand the history of these events I recently acquired a book titled “The Mobilgas Economy Run” written by Dave Hermanson.  This is a book about the history of the most well-known series of economy runs in the United States the Mobilgas Economy Run.  The cover of this book is shown below.

Economy Book Cover

Cover Of The Book About The History Of The Mobilgas Economy Run

In the early years, in the late 1930s, the Mobilgas Economy Runs were one-day events, but later events in the 1950s and 1960s, the economy runs would be multi-day events with distances of over 2,000 miles.

Economy Run Javelin

An American Motors Javelin In The 1968 Mobilgas Economy Run

Over the next few weeks, as time allows, I will be reading this book in order to better understand how these events were held and to learn more of their history.  I intend to summarize some of these issues in this website.

I have been somewhat puzzled why economy runs as competitive events have disappeared at a time when there is so much emphasis on fuel economy of cars.  Perhaps this book will help me understand why.

If you have any comments or questions about this post either leave a comment below or contact me by private email at: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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7 Responses to Book About The History Of The Mobilgas Economy Run

  1. Rich Bireta says:

    You might check with Scott Harvey (Sr.). He used to compete in the Mobil event.

    • Hi Rich,
      You are right; Scott Harvey (Sr.) would be a good source of information. I saw several pictures of Chrysler products with him driving in these events. Further, as I was preparing this reply, I looked up his name in the index of the book and saw that his name is mentioned over a dozen times throughout the book. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. ianhgb says:

    This is interesting, for last year when the Twin Cities Rally Club here in Minnesota were mulling over ideas for events to put on. The ecomony run was suggested and I said “I’ll work on that.” I haven’t got very far. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on this book.

  3. Greg G says:

    did the book have any mention of what I believe were Mobil sponsored driving simulators at the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows? I remember challanging my father to a couple of runs on them. I was about14/15 at the time and didn’t have my learners permit. I believe I beat Pop on both the runs we did. If I recall you were scored on safety and reaction time and the other points were driving for gas milage.

  4. Greg G says:

    The pic above is from Seattle in 62. But the set up was similar at Flushing. I believe the year’s run ended at the Pavilion in NY, There are some pics on the web of the cars drivers and trophys in front of the display.

  5. Dave Hermanson says:

    In response to Greg G’s comment … yes the 1964 Run ended in front of the Mobil Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair before the Fair was opened to the Public. There are probably more pictures on the Web (as well as on eBay) from 1964 than other years and these are primarily for the Buick entries. In the book I briefly mention Mobil’s Driving Simulators at the beginning of the chapter covering the 1964 Run and from personal experience these were fairly difficult as I did not do well! Surprisingly there were no competing cars of trophies on display at the Pavilion from either the 1964 or 1965 Run.

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