Bug Tales: Beyond Drafting

Despite its excellent fuel economy, on my youthful cross-country rambles in my VW Bug I sometimes found myself a bit tight on gas money. So I would draft trucks, as in really close up: ten or fifteen feet off their back bumper. I could just feel myself getting sucked into their vacuum shadow, and my throttle position eased up dramatically. According to Mythbusters, ten feet is the optimum drafting distance, resulting in a 40% to 50% improvement in fuel economy. Which explains how I eked out a 55 mpg average out of one tankful. But the view sure sucked. So I found myself thinking of ways to take drafting to the next level, where I could just turn the engine off altogether.

As in a hitch, that I could extend to hook my Beetle to the truck’s “Mansfield bar”. I fleshed out all kinds of permutations, although a giant magnet was not one of them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, to hitch a ride, put it in neutral, and just take a nap? I guess my years of hitchhiking was making itself felt. As well as youthful daftness. Needless to say, like so many mental exercises, it didn’t ever get off the virtual drafting table. Do or did you ever draft trucks?