With gas prices back around four dollars per gallon, we figured it was time to revisit a Napoleon mechanic who claims he's modified his 1987 Mustang to get about 100 miles to the gallon, and put his car to the test.
We filled Doug Pelmear's V-8 Mustang all the way up with E-85 fuel, then went on a road trip: 103 miles from Bowling Green to Blufton and back. Then we refilled the tank. We were able to squeeze about 2-gallons in, so Pelmear's ride averaged about 50-miles to the gallon. But, according to the EPA, E-85 is less efficient than gasoline, and cars that use it get 26% fewer miles per gallon. That means that, with regular gasoline, Pelmear would get about 63-MPG today. Not bad for a car that should get only about 15-MPG.
Pelmear says, he perfected a device that his grandfather developed decades ago that increases mileage and performance.
He claims the old Mustang with it's approx. 300 cid engine, boasts about 400 horsepower. We couldn't verify that. But he did lay plenty of rubber when he took off in a local parking lot.
Pelmear, a master mechanic, will not let us see under the hood or trunk, but we did look under the car and did not find anything that could be used as an auxiliary gas tank. He is entered in the Progressive Automotive X Prize: a race to find a marketable automobile that gets at least 100 miles per gallon. H e says, he'll win; and when he does--he'll share his secret. "Mainstream.", he says, "It's gotta go mainstream so we're not paying every time there's a hurricane coming through that we don't need it crippling our country".