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Old 09-13-2011, 12:31 PM
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Fastest Factory cars of the muscle car era?

Several year ago I watched a show where they had gotten together about 6 original muscle cars for a series of performance tests.

They were:'70 Hemi Cuda(or challenger, I dont remember)
1970 Boss 429 Mustang
1970 SS454 Chevelle(LS-6)
1969 Pontiac GTO 400
1970 Olds 442 W-30 455
1969 Buick Stage 1 Gran Sport 455

They did a slalom test with cones, 1/4 mile, braking test, etc. The cars that did best were: 1.Boss 429 Mustang 2. Gran Sport...I dont remember the rest of the order, but I was also surprised to see that the Gran Sport was 2nd best in the slalom, after the Boss 429, with the Mopar finishing almost last in slalom. The Gran Sport also did good in braking.

But I also read one of these tests in a car mag about 12 years ago, and there were quite a few on the list that were tested in only the 1/4 mile, and the overall winner was a 1963 Pontiac Catalina with the underrated super duty 421 with 2 4bbl, which ran a 13.3.

Aside from that I had always heard that the actual fastest 1/4 mile car was the 1964 Ford Thunderbolt Fairlane with a 650 or so horsepower 427 High Riser with 13.3:1 compression and 2 4 bbl. and its teardrop hood scoop. They only made 100 of them, which makes them stock, and supposedly stock racers would simply install slicks and run 10's and 11's. In fact, racers won the 1964 NHRA Super Stock title with it....

But the best ever 1/4 mile time with an authentic Thunerbolt Fairlane with today's slicks was 9.23 seconds, according to records on Wikipedia....

Then there's the ZL-1 Corvette, but amazingly only 2 were ever made, even though any number couldve been ordered and produced.

But the 427 A/C Shelby Cobra had the fastest 0-100-0 record for stock cars for like 35 years or so, and was listed on a poster my brother had as all time fastest production car.

But there is also the little known Ram Air II 1968 Firebird which supposedly would easily do low 12's(low 12's) with bias ply tires.

So its hard to say which of all muscle cars was the fastest. What do you think?


Last edited by CometCyclone; 09-13-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:08 PM
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All of my research was done on the street, so slicks and racing surfaces did not apply.

During the muscle car boom I had a '57 Vette with a "loaded" 331 smallblock, and felt it was my mission to try everyone on. :-) It ran pretty good, and even held it's own against things like new 435 horse big block Corvettes.

One type of cars I had consistant problems with though... 440 torqflite MoPars. I just could not stay with that torque and traction combo.

Everything else was pretty even or I had them covered.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:10 PM
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Well, the stock tires were total crap back then. By 1970 or so you could get Mickey Thompson wide street tires which would knock a couple seconds off on a car like my 66 Olds 442 that came on 7.75x14s.
With good tires and a super good tune, the Buick was pretty hard to beat. I remember a magazine artice where a 70 GS with an auto trans, spanked a 70 Hemi Roadrunner with two fours and a 4 speed. Three for three.
I do remember the Olds Cutlass dominating some stock classes around 69-70. I would consider cars like the T-bolt not even in the chase unless if you didn't ever see them on the street.
I remember one of the quickest cars they tested, at the time, was a 1968 1/2 428 Mustang. Not a Shelby or anything, just a notchback with a vinyl top. It ran low 13s IIRC, on the street tires.
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