The horsepower wars between the Detroit “big three” have had more ups and downs than a day in the life of an elevator operator (that’s a lift attendant, for our UK readers). In this landscape, the late ‘60s-early ‘70s have always represented an Empire State Building of sorts, towering over all previous and ensuing eras.
That is, until, about 15-years ago, when General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and the corporation formerly known as Chrysler started construction on a modern-day Burj Khalifa that we’ve been living in ever since. In the mid-2000s, the Dodge Viper, Ford GT, and Corvette Z06 laid the foundation when they all eclipsed the previously mythical 500 HP-mark. In almost no time, those numbers ballooned to 600, 638, 662, then well into the 700s, and, even 800+!
A new video posted to the YouTube channel, Cars and Zebras, shows the flashing red lights from the very top of each Golden age of American horsepower going head to head at the strip!
Representing the original reign of Motown muscle is none other than the legendary L88 Corvette. The example in the video is one of 116 L88s produced in 1969, the final of its three years in the order guide. It wears Monaco Orange (a CorvetteBlogger favorite!) and has a few tricks up its metaphorical sleeve. This quarter million-plus-dollar Corvette has had its heroic 427 bored to 439 cubic-inches and compression is up to 13.5:1 from the already stratospheric 12.0:1 that it left the factory with. It is also rocking 4.56 gears and a three-speed automatic transmission.
In the opposite lane, representing the year 2018, is one of the 3,300 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons ever made. Fill it up at your local King Soopers/Kroger and it’ll send an astonishing 808 ponies to its rear slicks. Dip into the nifty “Demon Crate” (a $1 optional extra) for the high-octane ECU, sniff out some fuel with a “100” label on it, and that number soars to 840!
Today’s clip begins with backgrounds and statistics for both cars. On top of the figure that we already discussed, we see the penalty modern cars have paid to comply with ever-tightening safety regulations; the Demon weighs-in nearly 1,000 lbs. heavier than the curvy classic Corvette.
Unlike the majority of drag racing videos that find their way to our page these days, this one actually takes place at a professionally prepped drag strip, which is good news for the much newer Challenger! Even after all of Dodge’s boasts and the massive hype train surrounding it, a Demon winning a street race has been a rare sight in the last three years.
The cars finally hit the starting line after 6 minutes and 14 seconds have elapsed. Then the Christmas tree goes green at 6:41 with an ambient temperature of 88 degrees at a scant 754 feet above sea-level. The big Dodge is 100% in its element here; riding a wave of 770 lb-ft of torque and a wicked whine from its pre-boosted, AC-cooled 2.7L supercharger to a 10.32 quarter-mile at 135.38 MPH! How did yesteryear’s hottest Corvette fair? You’ll have to watch for yourself to find out, but we will say that the Empire State Building is still looking pretty impressive, even after all of these years
Cars and Zebras / YouTube