how fast were the old muscle cars?



how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby grumpyvette » July 25th, 2009, 9:50 am

now after about 35-40 years, the facts can get a bit confused... and if you do some research into the older muscle cars weight and speeds at the end of a 1/4 mile drag race you can calculate the true rear wheel horse power levels, they had fairly accurately, obviously if you do take the time you find that many of the claimed horsepower numbers were wildly exaggerated, that doesn,t mean the cars were not fun to drive.
another factor is that suspensions and tires have improved a great deal over the decades making traction far better.
this was brought home very visually when we did a rear suspension and tire upgrade on a friends 1969 camaro into which he had swapped a 12.5:1 compression 454 LS7 big block decades ago, this car had an m22 4 speed trans and 11" clutch and 4.11:1 rear gears, and would simply smoke original tires effortlessly, once we swapped to a newer suspension and tires, the car was dramatically faster but smoking tires was obviously reduced.

YES I,M VERY WELL AWARE THAT every old geezer has a (FRIEND or BUDDY) that used to drive a 11 or 12 second nova or camaro, with a hot 327 or 396 BBC, and most of them knew a guy with a 10 second totally stock 427 fairlane , 460 torino or hemi cuda, 442 olds with a 455 big block,or 440 six pack road runner.
most of those cars didn,t even have headers and ran stock exhausts if you ask them,
well I'm old enough to remember driving and racing against most of those cars, tires sucked, car suspensions didn,t work all that well and IF you had, or have a 12 second car in most areas, even by today's standards that's a fast car, get firmly into the mid 11s and
about 95% OF THE STREET DRIVEN CARS CAN,T COME CLOSE TO YOU.

a consistent mid 12 second street car even today is a lot faster than most street cars,
I WAS WORKING ON A GUYS 1967 MUSTANG RECENTLY with a 289 that had about 200k miles, he told me the car used to run 12s according to his father, back in the day, but now with 200k miles its slower.........I just laughed, and after pointing out the fact that the engine was not even the 271 hp version,that that was at best a BAD MEMORY, stock low-po 289 mustangs generally ran in the low 16s or at best mid 15 second at best.
naturally he wanted to argue. so I pulled out some old magazines showing tested factory cars, he was CRUSHED to find out that it was not a simple intake/ carb and cam swap that would get him back into the 11 second range, and hes hardly alone among the younger crowd that believes all the myths about the old muscle cars.
he still didn,t want to believe me, but facts are hard to ignore!

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

Magazine performance numbers and chassis dyno figures mixed with a little Corvette history make a compelling argument that Chevrolet did have its horsepower ratings correct for early production L72s and the LS6, but in between, advertised L72 and L71 ratings were on the low side.

Magazine Quarter-Mile Times for L71 and L72 Corvettes
12.8 sec. @ 112 mph ('66 L72, Nov. 1965 Car and Driver)
12.9 sec. @ 111 mph ('67 L71, May 1967 Cars)
13.3 sec. @ 108 mph ('68 L71, May 1968 Hi-Performance Cars)
13.4 sec. @ 105 mph ('66 L72, March 1966 Motor Trend)
13.41 sec. @ 109.5 mph ('68 L71, June 1968 Car and Driver)
13.6 sec. @ 105 mph ('67 L89/L71, 1967 Car and Driver)
13.8 sec. @ 108 mph ('67 L71, May 1967 Hot Rod)
13.8 sec. @ 104 mph ('67 L71, April 1967 Motor Trend)
Average; 13.38 sec. @ 107.94 mph

Magazine Quarter-Mile Times for LS1 Corvettes
13.0 sec. @ 109.6 mph ('03 LS1 350hp convertible, 2003 Motor Trend)
13.2 sec. @ 109.3 mph ('99 LS1 345hp coupe, May 1998 Motor Trend)
13.2 sec. @ 109.3 mph ('99 LS1 345hp coupe, May 1998 Motor Trend)
13.3 sec. @ 106.8 mph ('97 LS1 345hp coupe, February 1997 Motor Trend)
13.3 sec. @ 108.6 mph ('99 LS1 345hp hardtop, September 1998 Motor Trend)
13.3 sec. @ 106.8 mph ('97 LS1 345hp coupe, February 1997 Motor Trend)
13.4 sec. @ 105.5 mph ('00 LS1 345hp convertible, February 2000 Motor Trend)
Average; 13.24 sec. @ 107.96

Average performance results show identical quarter-mile speeds for LS1 (107.96 mph) and L71 plus L72 Corvettes (107.94 mph).

BIG-BLOCK EQUIVALENTS
427-454
427 454 equivalent
L36, 390 hp LS5, 390 hp
L68, 400 hp LJ1, 400 hp*
L72, 425 or 450 hp LS6, 450 hp
L71, 435 hp LJ2, 460 hp
L88, 430 hp LS7, 465 hp
ZL1, 430 hp LT2, 465 hp


these charts might help your memory

http://www.musclecarclub.com/musclecars ... fast.shtml

http://www.musclecardrive.com/articles/ ... e-cars.php

http://www.angelfire.com/ia/chevysupersport/Z11.html

back in the mid 1970s I had a full roll cage, fully tubed rear,full roller big block equipped 1968 corvette on which everything that was not necessary was removed to reduce weight, I even had the pass seat removed, the drivers seat was an aluminum race seat with no adjustment to save weight, it had a 496 bbc with 13.7:1 compression and a crower constant flow injection,and I was only running 10.25 @ 137mph, the PRO STOCK cars were just getting into the 9s back then.
yet I constantly hear guys talking about their dads 11 second basically stock muscle cars........memories that NEVER EVER REALLY HAPPENED!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Randy_W » July 26th, 2009, 4:19 pm

Grump, the older we get, the faster they were!! :lol:
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby guysmontess » August 14th, 2009, 7:48 pm

I hear stories like this all the time,like the 283 powered 55 Chevy that would pull the front wheels for miles at a time.Or my neighbor,Roy Boy,telling me how his old '68 Firebird would run circles around my 550 hp 468 big block Monte SS.I asked him what it had for a powerplant,(I almost fell out of my chair),it had a 350 2 bbl LOL
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby grumpyvette » August 14th, 2009, 8:27 pm

yeah! I hear AMAZING B.S. at times
I have a neighbor that thinks his dads 67 nova had a factory installed corvette fuelie 327 and ran mid 11s in box stock form on original tires, I just smile and grin.
people are amazed to find out even 396 375hp BBC camaros didn,t run those times on stock tires in stock condition

heres a certified stock 427 COPO CAMARO running low 12s

http://www.yenko.net/features/2002/September2002.htm


Image
Image

so obviously the 327 and 396 combos will have had a difficult time matching that speed/ET
read thru this
viewtopic.php?f=78&t=678&p=8945&hilit=tempest#p8945

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=9768&p=36769&hilit=+Larry+buick#p36769
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Randy_W » June 17th, 2011, 5:49 am

The LS7 generates 505 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm, and 470 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,800 rpm. Those numbers lead to these numbers: 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds; a quarter mile time of 11.7 seconds @ 125 mph; top speed 198 mph; max lateral grip 1.04 g; 60 mph to zero braking in 111.3 feet. Of course, cars are about more than just numbers, but those stats sketch a picture of a world-class performer.


Modern cars do everything combined so well, you really can't even compare them to 40 year old technology. However, they will never have the character of the sixties musclecars! 8-)
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby northrnyankee » August 22nd, 2011, 6:38 pm

One advantage those muscle cars had if you knew what to order you could get gm to build you a race engine for your car and for a very decent price
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby grumpyvette » September 18th, 2011, 10:40 am

I just got thru talking with a guy that has a fairly original 1965 mustang with the hi-ipo 289,that he never did anything to but have 4.11:1 rear gears and slicks added to the car, , no headers, no cam or intake upgrades, thats been sitting up on jack stands in his garage for that last 40 years, that he swears used to run in the high 12s when he was in high school.
now if thats true its about as rare as, those factory hemi powered corvettes I sometimes hear about, I don,t know why but every once in awhile you run into someone who,s convinced them self's that they used to own, still own or their dad or brother owns or used to own a car that never existed.
Im sorry guys but any 289 mustang that I ever saw run, that was in stock condition had a hard time running low 15s or maybe high 14 second runs

I usually run into these guys after my wife introduces me to some of her gal friends husbands , at some function like weddings, or partys I get dragged too,I usually get introduced with something like,
"GRUMPYS INTO CORVETTES AND MUSCLE CARS, I hear your into cars also?"
she then figures I'm set talking about engines and won,t be bothering her about when can we leave to go home nearly as fast.
does your wife do that?
do you run into the same, nearly clueless "CAR GUYS"that probably could not tell a caddy 500 from a ford 429 or a buick 455 ?
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Randy_W » September 19th, 2011, 6:40 am

Yep, she means well, but it usually leads to me listening to an hour of clueless jabber or making somebody mad when I tell him he doesn't have a clue. :mrgreen:
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby DorianL » September 21st, 2011, 1:18 pm

Mine would never do that... she'd be bugging me to leave after everyone else is gone...
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby 55bowtie » September 22nd, 2011, 9:53 pm

Grump i think it was being fast enough to win in reference to speed and times.We street raced every fri and sat nite and in 4 years i lost 5 or 6 races .I had a 67 firebird 400. 400ci 4 speed ,headers and a curve kit in the dist,with a quadrajet..During the week i drove it back and forth to work..never got a time slip on it but ill bet it was mid to high 13s.Lot of fun,young and stupid HAHA...
Let me stop what i'm doing ,to fix your problem !!!!!!!!!!
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby grumpyvette » October 3rd, 2011, 1:28 pm

I was talking with one of the old geezers I know about the engines we built back in the day and how much we have learned in the last 45-50 years,remember we had SUNOCO 260 FUEL that cost about 37 cents a gallon back then that was easily 100 plus octane so detonation was not an issue with high compression engines, all of us look back and are amazed that darn near anything we built ran, and how gullible we were , reading magazine test results and believing the results that were posted, in most of those engines we build back in those days, following those magazine builds, the magazines either left out critical info or we overlooked it, because we didn,t know to ask.
I know more than one guy who installed a Z28 cam in a stock 327 and installed 4.11:1 rear gears in a 55-65 Chevy and never checked piston to valve or valve spring clearances, the idea that a Chevy cam, you could buy for $40 across the local parts counter, fit all Chevy sb engines was common
I think CRANE AND ISKY were the first company's to start indexing cams 4 degrees advanced,
from what I remember back in the early 1960s the main problem both company's had with many customers was customers INSISTING on purchasing a cam that was a bit too large for the application, under the "more is better and too much must be about right philosophy " so the cam company's partly covered their bets and made the cam run a bit better in the lower rpm ranges by advancing it in the dot-to-dot installed location, remember back then not one guy in 100 knew how to degree in a cam and darn few bother checking clearances
ever notice ADVERTISED duration seems to always be significantly MORE than duration at .050, thats simply because guy would read some magazine article and see racer (A) was running cam (B) with (X) amount of duration and they would call up the cam company, never ask advice , just simply look in the catalog and see cam (b)with (X) amount of duration and order the next more agreasive cam thinking it would give them the edge to make more hp.....


back in the late 1960s and early 1970s the z28 cam was considered really hot stuff, it was listed as having 346/346 duration,in almost any small block chevy,it made good hp, and if you were really a racer you built a serious stroker motor, and used that cam, in your stroked 327,or 350 to build the new hot ticket engine the 383 with about 11:1 compression pistons and ported fuelie heads

http://www.cranecams.com/product/cart.p ... il&p=23891

the REALLY smart racers used this cam below as it ran circles around the z28 cam in a 327,350,or 383 with high compression pistons and a z28 intake

http://www.cranecams.com/product/cart.p ... il&p=24424

NOTICE THE LOWER DURATION AND HIGHER LIFT, and WIDER POWER BAND and the torque STARTS BUILDING EARLIER IN THE RPM RANGE


Interesting marketing philosophy -- "Here's that bigger cam you think you need, but we've got your back and indexed it with a little more advance so you don't totally kill your low end torque, dummy."

One of my favorite quotes is Harvey Crane saying something like, "My customers always seem to want bigger cams than their engines do."


if you were stinking rich you could buy anover the parts counter only, LS7 454 big block that made well over 550 flywheel HP in a factory crate for about $1780 back then, but if you had an engine that made a real 500 flywheel hp, and had it in a light car like a falcon,anglia, nova ,vega, pinto, or monza, you were usually the king of the local drag strip

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby guysmontess » June 30th, 2012, 7:55 pm

I got a good one for you guys.My wife and I had gone to the local pub one night for supper and who staggered in but our neighbor,"Roy Boy".He sat down with us,then procedded to start making fun of my solid roller cammed LS-6 454 big block Monte SS.Told me that back in the day he had something that would run circles around my Monte.I asked Roy what he had.He said he used to have a '68 Pontiac Firebird.So I'm thinking to myself that even a Ram Air IV with good gearing and tires and a good tune would have a hard time catching my car.So I asked Roy what it had in it.His reply,and this is priceless,"350 2 barrel".I just rolled my eyes and said sure thing Roy.Some people just got no idea :roll:
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1986 Monte Carlo SS 468 Big Block,UDHarold Custom Solid Roller Cam,.668 Lift,243/249 Dur. @ 0.050,Isky EZ Roll Lifters,Manton Pushrods,Jesel Rockers,Doug Nash 4+1 5 speed,Hurst Inline Shifter,Ford 9 Inch w/3.00:1 gear
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Indycars » July 1st, 2012, 9:41 am


That's a good one alright!!! Makes you want to slap them around a few times and say "Wake
up as!@#le, I'm not as stupid as you look! :lol:

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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby guysmontess » July 5th, 2012, 8:17 am

Then there is Kenny McKinley's cousin who works at Kenny's body shop.He told me about the built 403 Olds "American Big Block" he had in his TA that made close to 700 HP and had a inch & a half lift camshaft,it had so much compresion it needed 24 volts to spin the starter over :roll:
Guy
1986 Monte Carlo SS 468 Big Block,UDHarold Custom Solid Roller Cam,.668 Lift,243/249 Dur. @ 0.050,Isky EZ Roll Lifters,Manton Pushrods,Jesel Rockers,Doug Nash 4+1 5 speed,Hurst Inline Shifter,Ford 9 Inch w/3.00:1 gear
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Indycars » July 5th, 2012, 8:24 am


You got to wonder who they think they are fooling with those kind of statements.

My car has 3 foot lift, but that's after it's been running for 30 minutes and you add them all together. :D

Rick
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: how fast were the old muscle cars?

Postby Randy_W » July 6th, 2012, 6:42 am

It reminds me of a one of the black kids in the little town I grew up in in NC. He loved cars but didn't have a clue, one day he comes by on his bike make engine noises, more ore less, and yells: "Listen to to this baby, she's got 3 deuces, two four barrels and a cam!" :lol:
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