AUTOS: Test Run

Before dawn one day last week, a caravan of 31 shiny new cars rolled out of Los Angeles, heading east. Each car was a standard 1950 model; every major U.S. make except Buick and Pontiac was represented. The cars had been tuned to perfection (but'not souped up), for a grueling two-day, 750-mile test to see which car got the most mileage and efficiency from its fuel.

Under the watchful eyes of American Automobile Association judges, the drivers had to keep an average speed of 42 miles per hour over the tricky course, save gas by skillful driving (e.g.,-a gentle,...

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