I would have to say that this is how all this information initiated. The ebay auction for the 59 Opel included a website about the Opel where most of the background information on the Opel was first reported (2008). In that website was reference to the book "Fuel Economy of the Gasoline Engine". In that reference was mention of the Opel, Fiat, Chevrolet and the Studebaker. That is where I found first mention of the Fiat. That site is http://www.race-cardrivers.com/Shell%20Opel.htm . From there, I started doing internet searches. Then I came across several sites on the Fiat. They were http://green.autoblog.com/2007/07/31/1959-fiat-500-that-got-244mpg-in-1969-found-rusting-in-back-lot/ and http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/05/26/big-oil-conspiracy-continues-244-mpg-fiat-600/ . There is some pretty good information given in those websites. I believe I have covered the biggest part of the internet findings. Since all this is new and actually happened around 40+ years ago when there wasn't internet, it will take a lot of talking to get more information to tell. Hopefully, someone from the marathons will read this and have more to share.
Now, there are the SAE reports. Society of Automotive Engineers' reports. They are not generally available to the public. But, interestingly, these reports cover sensitive issues such as fuel economy and ways to improve it. Well, for the Fiat, there were several reports written about the results obtained during the mileage marathon runs. Again, I'll say there is lots of information written about how to improve fuel economy. Downside to some of this information though is that some of the modifications can't be used on public road ways. Sorry guys, I can't copy and disclose the report to post on the website. But, I can give you the article names "9 Ways to Better Fuel Economy", "150 Miles Per Gallon is Possible" and "Mileage Marathon from 50 to 244mpg". So, if you are a member to the SAE or would like to join the SAE, you can get that information just like I did. You won't be disappointed.
The Fiat was also the subject in an article wrote and printed in a national magazine. That magazine was Popular Science April, 1970. The article tells about the modifications to the car. The article was well written. Article title was "Tricks You Can Use To Save Gas".
Then there is the option of talking to the actual team that designed, tested and operated the car. That's an option more valuable than all the research information found. Hopefully a story can be written on the team to share their views of the marathon races.
Another valuable source of information was the book "Fuel Economy of the Gasoline Engine"referred to in several other websites as well as this one. Buy this book!
In this site will be bits and pieces about the car. Like we have always heard, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Pictures will be available too as we trek this adventure to resurrect one of the historical record holders of the Shell Mileage Marathons. 1959 Fiat 600 244mpg record holder. 304mpg in 1973.
More to come... Last updated 4-6-2012