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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found this article online while I was doing some surfing and it kind of makes you appreciate the power todays muscle cars produce. The 454SS Chevelle and Yenko Camaro’s rwhp numbers are below what our RT Challengers put out. It sure is nice to have all this new technology! I still would love to own anyone of these old muscle cars though.


Chevrolet Muscle Car Dyno Wars - 1970 LS6 Chevelle - Super Chevy Magazine
 

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All true, however, it does weigh a thousand pounds less. The power to weight ratio might fall in the oldies' favor.
 

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If you look at the quarter mile times for the vintage cars, they are in the 13's
Often that's on bias-ply tires, too. Its amazing what the old cars did with the limitations they had.
 

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I heard that very few were in the 13's, most were running 14's and 15's.
Very true actually. I've never seen a stock LS6 in the 13's, but they'll run deep into the 14's. Cobra Jet stangs are in the same boat and typically put down 260-270 rwhp. That's about the same ballpark for stock restored 71-72 455 HO Trans Ams. I believe the Super Dutys were stronger based on consistent 13.8 times, but I can't confirm that they were completely stock.
 

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In stock form, the original muscle cars were 14 and 13 second cars, with a few limited models running 12's or better. Today's muscle cars are 13 and 12 second cars, with a few cars running 11's. To qualify for the original Dodge Scat Pack (and Plymouth Rapid Transit System) a car had to be capable of running a 14 second 1/4 mile in stock form.

Today's cars make far more RWHP in stock form. Many of the old cars had highly restrictive exhaust systems, and the manufacturer expected people to replace the factory exhaust with long tube headers, hi-flow mufflers and bigger exhaust pipes. The LS6 was notorious for choking with the factory exhaust.

How restrictive was the factory exhaust? I ran a very mild 440 with headers. The stock exhaust had to be pulling at least 50 hp from it. With factory mufflers and exhaust pipes behind the headers and mild cam, it was building up so much back pressure that a quick run thru the gears, let off the gas, and it was blowing tennis ball size holes out the back of the mufflers. After blowing out several mufflers, I switched to bigger exhaust and higher flowing mufflers, and the car was much quicker. Mopar Muscle did a test with a 500 hp street 440, and the stock manifolds were costing 70 hp. So while today's engines make lots more RWHP in stock form, the old engines had a lot of cheap, easy power gains with inexpensive bolt-ons. And no computers to make tuning difficult.

But even allowing for the easy power gains, the old school engines no longer have the clear edge in horsepower that held for decades. A mild 440 can easily produce 375 RWHP, but that is still less than a stock 6.4.

As for drag racing, as others have already pointed out, the original muscle cars were a lot lighter. In the Pure Stock drags, you have to run the stock carb, intake, exhaust manifolds, heads, cam specs and a full interior on factory sized street tires. They do allow low restriction air cleaners and hi-flow mufflers and 2.5" exhaust pipes. With careful blueprinting, the fastest cars are breaking out of the 11.50 limit and getting disqualified for not having a roll bar. So a carefully prepared L88 Corvette or 426 Hemi can make sub 11.50 passes in close to stock form on street tires, which puts them close to a Hellcat. The big difference is the old school cars are much lighter and require highly skilled prep to hit those times, while the Hellcat can do it turn-key from the factory.

http://www.moparmusclemagazine.com/techarticles/mopp_0106_manifolds_vs_headers/dyno_numbers.html

http://www.hotrod.com/muscle_car_review/1402_pure_stock_drags_2013/
 

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One other factor is the switch from Gross to Net hp in the specs, so pre-1972 hp specs aren't directly comparable. If you convert the hp ratings of the different engines available in 1971 Challengers, for example, there are only 2 that rate higher than the 3.6L V6 of today.
 

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I've only owned my '12 Challenger R/T Classic for 3 weeks. Besides the power, I've been really impressed with the way it puts it to the ground. I've been known to do some real classic burn outs in my past, and while a good one is possible with this car, it's one hell of a lot harder to do than it was in the old days.
Take a big block Chevelle, or a 440 Charger/Road Runner for that matter, especially with stock tires and suspension, mat the loud pedal, and drop the clutch. You'll lay rubber till you run out of 1st gear, powershift 2nd and you'll still be burning rubber when you come back around the block. A buddy in highschool had a dual quad 427 and a muncie in a '69 Nova, if you matted the pedal at 50mph the thing would go sideways.
This car, while still stock, has nearly 400 real HP, yet will idle down the street at 35 mph in 4th gear with the A/C on and gets 21mpg on my 19mi mixed drive to work.
Try that with the 427 above........it was a ball to drive too, got 4-6mpg, had no A/C at all, and handled like a broken tricycle.

Technology is damn fun some days!!
 

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The manufacturer's push for fuel economy is also benefiting the new cars RWHP. The drivetrain losses seen with some of the new cars, the 6.4 Challenger in particular, are less than the old rules of thumb would suggest. Some people have interpreted this as underrating at the crank on the new engines, but another explanation is a lower than expected drivetrain loss. Given CAFE standards, seems likely the drivetrains are getting more efficient, resulting in better RWHP numbers for the new cars.
 

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The manufacturer's push for fuel economy is also benefiting the new cars RWHP. The drivetrain losses seen with some of the new cars, the 6.4 Challenger in particular, are less than the old rules of thumb would suggest. Some people have interpreted this as underrating at the crank on the new engines, but another explanation is a lower than expected drivetrain loss. Given CAFE standards, seems likely the drivetrains are getting more efficient, resulting in better RWHP numbers for the new cars.

Absolutely, it's been said the old Turbo 400 and C6 trannies used to take 60-80HP just to run the transmission.
I'll bet the new 8-speed doesn't use 10HP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Today's cars make far more RWHP in stock form. Many of the old cars had highly restrictive exhaust systems, and the manufacturer expected people to replace the factory exhaust with long tube headers, hi-flow mufflers and bigger exhaust pipes. The LS6 was notorious for choking with the factory exhaust.

How restrictive was the factory exhaust? I ran a very mild 440 with headers. The stock exhaust had to be pulling at least 50 hp from it. With factory mufflers and exhaust pipes behind the headers and mild cam, it was building up so much back pressure that a quick run thru the gears, let off the gas, and it was blowing tennis ball size holes out the back of the mufflers. After blowing out several mufflers, I switched to bigger exhaust and higher flowing mufflers, and the car was much quicker. Mopar Muscle did a test with a 500 hp street 440, and the stock manifolds were costing 70 hp. So while today's engines make lots more RWHP in stock form, the old engines had a lot of cheap, easy power gains with inexpensive bolt-ons. And no computers to make tuning difficult.


Manifolds Vs. Headers - Dyno Numbers - Mopar Muscle Magazine Page 3

Pure Stock Drags 2013 - Muscle Car Review Magazine
I saw and episode of "Graveyard Carz" where Mark was saying that a lot of the guys were taking the stock manifolds off the cars and replacing them with aftermarket headers. He then said that some of the stock exhaust manifolds flowed better than the aftermarket headers. I can't remember what Dodge cars he was talking about though.
 

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As already mentioned the older transmissions even the manuals are not nearly as efficient as the 5 speed auto and 6 speed autos much less the new 8 speed. Even the newer overdrive trans such as the 700R4 and 42RE sucked up lots of power.
 

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I saw and episode of "Graveyard Carz" where Mark was saying that a lot of the guys were taking the stock manifolds off the cars and replacing them with aftermarket headers. He then said that some of the stock exhaust manifolds flowed better than the aftermarket headers. I can't remember what Dodge cars he was talking about though.
On Graveyard Carz they insist the restoration must be bone stock. They freak out and refuse to do any mods, so I am not surprised to hear them downplaying the well known benefits of headers. They are not racers and don't care about performance, all they want is the back-to-showroom look. They are just trying talk people out of headers. You can bet your last dollar they don't have any dyno tests showing the stock manifolds producing more power than the same engine with headers. Even the cheapest, most poorly designed headers will flow far, far better than the stock exhaust manifolds.

In Mopar Muscle's dyno test, the stock manifolds topped out at 422 hp @ 5,400 rpm while the long tube headers produced 492 hp @ 5,400 rpm. That is a 70 hp gain for long tube headers. I've had 383s, 400s and 440s both with and without headers. The cars with headers are always at least 5 tenths faster. Same for anyone you are trying to beat. The first thing I did when sizing up another car was check to see if it had headers. If it did, it was probably fast. If it didn't, it probably wasn't.

Horsepower
RPM Manifold Shorty Elite
3000 256.2 260.9 271.7
3200 274.0 275.9 289.0
3400 295.5 297.0 319.1
3600 310.0 325.0 350.0
3800 330.1 351.9 380.7
4000 353.9 378.0 405.8
4200 375.1 401.9 429.2
4400 381.8 423.4 447.7
4600 402.5 439.1 464.1
4800 402.3 450.5 474.9
5000 405.4 463.2 481.3
5200 408.9 471.8 488.0
5400 422.2 478.8 492.3
5600 416.8 474.6 489.5
5800 411.9 468.1 487.1


Read more: Manifolds Vs. Headers - Dyno Numbers - Mopar Muscle Magazine Page 3
 

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You guys need to check out F.A.S.T. racing-----old Muscle cars stock appearing with cast iron exhaust manifolds running thru the mufflers and stock tires and wheels. A guy by the name of Dace Dudek has a 69-Hemi Roadrunner that has run 9.98 seconds at a 139 miles per hour.
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geq5Oz4aDSQ

Watched this some time ago and thought it'd fit this thread well.
Yes, recall watching that video when it came out. Good stuff. Definitely a Motor Trend vibe. If Hot Rod magazine was doing the same video, they would probably also be noting how the computers are locked and all the low hanging fruit has been plucked on the new cars.

Here is a video of a 68 SuperBee in Factory Stock condition (basically allows less restrictive air cleaner, mufflers and 2.5" exhaust pipe) running an 11.03 @ 126 mph on street tires. In an article about the car, he modified the oiling system to run lightweight oil (like our modern cars do) and that was worth 20 hp alone.

His best time with this car is a 10.95. In the FAST class that allows internal changes like stroker kits, bigger cams, and head work, he has run in the high 9's with a hemi Road Runner. Watch how great this Super Bee launches. His sixty foot times have to be great.

Here is link to an article about the build:
Obsessive - 1968 Dodge Super Bee | Hemmings Motor News

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
On Graveyard Carz they insist the restoration must be bone stock. They freak out and refuse to do any mods, so I am not surprised to hear them downplaying the well known benefits of headers. They are not racers and don't care about performance, all they want is the back-to-showroom look. They are just trying talk people out of headers. You can bet your last dollar they don't have any dyno tests showing the stock manifolds producing more power than the same engine with headers. Even the cheapest, most poorly designed headers will flow far, far better than the stock exhaust manifolds.

In Mopar Muscle's dyno test, the stock manifolds topped out at 422 hp @ 5,400 rpm while the long tube headers produced 492 hp @ 5,400 rpm. That is a 70 hp gain for long tube headers. I've had 383s, 400s and 440s both with and without headers. The cars with headers are always at least 5 tenths faster. Same for anyone you are trying to beat. The first thing I did when sizing up another car was check to see if it had headers. If it did, it was probably fast. If it didn't, it probably wasn't.

Horsepower
RPM Manifold Shorty Elite
3000 256.2 260.9 271.7
3200 274.0 275.9 289.0
3400 295.5 297.0 319.1
3600 310.0 325.0 350.0
3800 330.1 351.9 380.7
4000 353.9 378.0 405.8
4200 375.1 401.9 429.2
4400 381.8 423.4 447.7
4600 402.5 439.1 464.1
4800 402.3 450.5 474.9
5000 405.4 463.2 481.3
5200 408.9 471.8 488.0
5400 422.2 478.8 492.3
5600 416.8 474.6 489.5
5800 411.9 468.1 487.1


Read more: Manifolds Vs. Headers - Dyno Numbers - Mopar Muscle Magazine Page 3
Yeah, Mark totally believed in stock, right down to the overspray on the sparkplug wires!
 
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