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It is amazing that our modern Challengers that comply with safety, emissions, and fuel economy requirements are just as fast or faster than the top muscle cars from the golden age of muscle cars. Check out these times from the October 1969 issue of Motor Trend magazine:

GTX- 440 (375 hp/480 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 5.8 sec.
1/4 mile= 13.71 sec. @107.8 mph

Charger R/T- 440 (375 hp/480 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 6.1 sec.
1/4 mile= 13.71 sec. @107.8 mph

Mustang Cobra- 428 (335 hp/445 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 6.3 sec.
1/4 mile= 14.5 sec. @100.0 mph

GTO- 400 (350 hp/445 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 7.2 sec.
1/4 mile= 14.9 sec. @98.3 mph

Chevelle SS- 396 (350 hp/415 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 7.6 sec.
1/4 mile= 15.4 sec. @92.0 mph

GS 400 (340 hp/440 lb./ft.)

0-60 mph= 7.3 sec.
1/4 mile= 15.9 sec. @89.0 mph
 

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Yes indeed... not to mention taking a fast turn. Those cars would flip over while we sip on a milk shake.
Lets just hope the Mopar retro look still continues. Ford is not heading in that direction in 2015. Chevy will follow them for global sales.
 

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Amazing what 45 years of tech improvements can do.............
 

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Yes I was thinking about that yesterday. I had a '70 Challenger with a 383 and it was really slow compared to my new R/T and definitely not nearly as safe, however I sure do miss that car.
 

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Yea, all of those numbers are gross hp as compared to net. When you put those cars on a dyno in "factory" form, you'd be pretty disappointed. Only the biggest and baddest could pull 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. I think 0-60 on my '69 442 was something like 7.8 seconds. Back then though, these cars were fast!
 

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I would suspect some of the published numbers were underrated and on skinny redline tires. If I had to bet on a race between a 392 and a 440...I'd always bet on the big block..even in stock form u can bump the timing, fuel and add good tires and be in the low 12's. As long as there are no turns of course. ;)
With that said, I'm currently putting a 392 A5 in my '70 Road Runner...should be interesting.
 

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Yeah today's V6 cars are running those same times and get made fun of. No body makes fun of a 426 Hemi from 1970 that barely dipped into the high 5s 0-60...but a V6 car running the same times now is "a disgrace to muscle cars". Lol.

I think the reason the old cars felt faster is because they were so loud, raw, rough, and crude. Your senses never forget it. Today's cars are smooth, quiet, and comfortable and don't tickle the senses in the same way.

Also, electronic throttle and torque management is the worst stuff ever invented. Totally kills the experience.


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They don't build-em like they used to............I'm good with that.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would suspect some of the published numbers were underrated and on skinny redline tires. If I had to bet on a race between a 392 and a 440...I'd always bet on the big block..even in stock form u can bump the timing, fuel and add good tires and be in the low 12's. As long as there are no turns of course.
I agree with you. In 1969, Ronnie Sox got a stock 440 Six-Pak Super Bee to run an amazing [email protected] mph! The Six-Pack came stock with a Super Track Pack package with 4.10:1 gears in a Dana 60 rear, either with the A-727 automatic or 833 manual transmission. It was one of the most feared drag race cars of the era. This just goes to show the potential of these old muscle cars.
 

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The older cars felt more powerful,they had so much low end torque and no nannies.The 0/60 is a lot better on modern tires,even regular radials.
A strange thing about the 426 Hemis,a 440 would kill it off the line,0/60 but by half track the hemis there,and after that it's all over.
 

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My Dad who is a serious car guy always said the 383 would eat the 440's lunch. The problem with the 440 cars, he said, is that most people couldn't tune those carbs properly and get the engine to it's potential. They were way more trouble than they were worth. He loved his 383.
 

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I had a 69 Cougar in 86, with a 428 CJ, 4spd, 3.23 gears, in the 1/8 th mile on the stock type 14" tires best time was high 11's, with 15" radials a little better, mid 10's, never ran the car with slicks. Best my Challenger has done is low 10's it is just a base SXT. I think a lot of the problem with the orginal muscle cars, lies in the suspension, and the tire size that was available back then. Lots of those cars had at best 15" tires some even 14's, compared to todays with the smallest being 17's, same hight but lot stiffer sidewalls. It would be interesting to see those old cars with todays better suspensions and tires, to find out what they would do now.

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If the new Challenger is such a good drag racer why all the wheel hop & off line torq management? The stock leaf springs on my '69 Road Runner lets it leave the line at 3800rpm w/no wheel hop. The times on the old cars would be much lower with modern sticky rubber like the R/T or SRT get.

I see the constant bagging on old cars but the lower ET times of the newer cars is a direct reflection on the stuff the drag racers were doing. Aluminium heads, aluminium engine blocks, raised compression, hotter spark, radical cam profiles, roller cams, bumped timing, ducted combustion air from front of car, low ratio rear end gearing. Yeah, a 40 year old car should be better at handling, it's got 40 years of refinement.

For me, I would take one of my old cars over my 'o9 R/T if I had to choose. It is nice as an alternative & is nice because it already has a Tremec & has a different feel than the others.
 

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I agree,people that have used them as daily drivers don't find them hard to maintain,and if you do your own work,easier.
With todays aftermarket,the old classics can be upgraded to modern standards.
Also,Aluminum heads are in the near future for my 70 RT Challenger,which are half the price of modern car aftermarket heads.
New cars come and go,but my old Muscle cars are here for life!
 

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I don't appreciate the ragging on classic muscle cars either. Without them the current crop wouldn't be there and their numbers are still respectable today, 40 years later, which is pretty much unheard of in many other industries*. I love how when a magazine takes a few oldies to the track for some easy copy they leave on the type of tires they came with because those are usually show cars in factory form.

Now should one prefer classic over new muscle? Not what I'm saying. I wanted a new car myself and also to be able to finance the purchase of an off-the-lot reliable commuter so I went with a modern one. I also wanted some creature comforts (not that many), but that was being lazy and cheap on my part and I really don't think it's so much 'better' than a very good resto with some judicious upgrades. Not for my use anyway. The 'no electronics' part is huge for me, you see, but I can see how younger generations can't do without connectivity and other toys and tethers.

All this to say that to each their own, but the oldies still kick ass and deserve more than respect: love. Progress, by definition, is good. Wanting new for the sake of new (and I read a lot of that on CT) is called neomania, and it's a childish and conformist need to look hip to certain crowds. To neomaniacs, if it's not today's product it must be bad and ridiculed and no amount of facts can make them see otherwise.

*I know I'm probably boring most with my analogies, but old muscle is what the 1911 is to the rest of the gun industry. Either adulated for its history, cool factor and legendary (and often exaggerated) power... or put down for not being up to standards designed for newer guns and for not looking modern enough. 'Daddy's gun'. Well, the young 'uns and their love of plastic can suck it. :up_to_something:
 

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I agree with you. In 1969, Ronnie Sox got a stock 440 Six-Pak Super Bee to run an amazing [email protected] mph! The Six-Pack came stock with a Super Track Pack package with 4.10:1 gears in a Dana 60 rear, either with the A-727 automatic or 833 manual transmission. It was one of the most feared drag race cars of the era. This just goes to show the potential of these old muscle cars.
And it was done on those skinny bias ply tires,that near 112 trap speed tells the tale!

(USRWDV8)
You used the gun analogy,an old military WW2 30 o6 will make someone just as dead as an modern semi hunting rifle,it just has more kick!
Thats kind of how I see the old Muscle!
 

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the classic and contemporary muscle cars both have their plusses and minuses.
Todays cars are superior in virtually every way.
However they can't actually replace the memories of high school, tinkering in the garage, and working a crappy job at Micky D's for gas/date money.
 

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Todays cars are superior in virtually every way.
I know it's subjective, but many agree with me when I say that it's definitely not the case in looks and character. If I don't get on it my Challenger feels like I'm behind the wheel of a large Camry. A lot of the modding we do is to recover some semblance of 'feel', and another big part is to spice up the aesthetics.
 
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