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Old 02-22-2008, 08:31 AM
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Pontiac - Why did they advertise less power than their engines really had ?

Pontiac - Back in the 60's - 70's why did they advertise less power than their engines really had ?
Did pontiac meant = power ?

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Old 02-22-2008, 08:38 AM
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They were trying to avoid big brother and their nanny following. Insurance companies used the hp rating to calculate charges for a policy. The car manufactures were just faking out the do-gooders .
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:17 AM
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Wait... did someone just call the insurance companies do-gooders?
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:18 AM
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Pepi has covered most of it, but there was another reason too.

Back in the day, NHRA and other sanctioning bodies used the published hp figures from the factory divided into the car weight to establish classes in Stock and Super Stock.

Now, if you were a factory, it would be obvious to you that if you published a figure that was lower than the actual hp, you could create an advantage for the folks who raced your product. In other words, if the motor actually made 385 hp on the dyno, but you published the hp at 350, your customers had a better chance at waxing the Ford, Chevy or Dodge in the other lane because the car was running in a slower class than it should have been. WIN ON SUNDAY, SELL ON MONDAY.

Today, the hp figures are factored by the sanctioning bodies. If a car goes too quick for the advertised hp, then the hp is factored up to whatever it would take to move that car weight to that E.T.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:24 PM
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It wasnt just Pontiac either, they all did it. The factory 426 hemi was list at 425 HP. The actual hp output of this engine in sock for was a little over 500hp.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:18 PM
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Everything above, and one more small item. Lots of times GM (or any other manufacturer) had certain lines that they kept with higher ratings.
For instance, maybe they didnt want the GTO to have a higher horsepower rating than the Corvettte.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:19 PM
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Also keep in mind that in the 60s and early 70s, GM imposed a 10 lb per hp limit on the A-body cars. That's why (for example) the 70 Olds 442 W-30, with different heads, radical cam, different carb, different distributor, select-fit engine parts, and outside air induction, was rated at 370 hp, only 5 hp more than the normal run of the mill 455. The 3700 lb curb weight was only allowed to have 370 hp under the GM rules.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:32 PM
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in addition to all that's been said, there were further options that were Dealer installed to boost output well beyond anything advertised. Ford's tunnel port 427 as an instance, you couldn't by this off the show room floor. You bought a standard 425 horse 427 and a tunnel port package at the parts counter. The two were mated when the car was delivered to the dealer.

At the drag strip and to your insurance company, the car had a 425 horse 427, while a lot of power, nothing compared to what was there with the tunnel port kit.

Ahhh, the good ole days!

Bogie
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