Monthly Archives: March 2010

1964 Pontiac GTO: 348 hp

I didn’t know C/D’s Rich Ceppos as a fuzzy-cheeked teen-ager, but I’m sure he was a stroke. Anyway, he conned his mother into getting a GTO so he’d have the right car to take trolling for tootsies. Some of the best times of his life were in that car, squealing its tires and frothing its 10W-30 in a full-throttle search for the meaning of manhood.

He’s turned out better than anyone would have imagined back then, I’m sure, but he still goes into soft focus at the thought of a GTO, and he’s mentioned about eleven times how really important it is to him that a GTO be on this list.

Aw, dagummit, Rich, you don’t know how much this grates, because all GTOs were stones. The street cleaners gobbled them up like popcorn.

Still, stoneism is a relative thing. Hemis, Six Packs, and LS6s were rare. The streets were thick with strutting GTOs and 325-hp SS396s and 390 Fairlanes and 383 Mopars. They had a million races among themselves, and somebody won every one of them. GTOs did okay in that crowd.

The important thing about the GTO is that it defined the type. There were fast cars before the GTO, but – with the possible exception of the 409 Chevy – they had no identity. They were simply options. By collecting a few fast-car options into one jaunty package and naming it the GTO, Pontiac created the muscle car. It was brilliant marketing. Just as Honda had detoxed the image of motorcycles, the GTO purified the street racer. Everybody thought GTOs were neat, even Ceppos’s mom.

I promise you, Rich, nobody’s mom thought a 440 Six Pack Mopar was neat, and therein lies the difference between a GTO and a real muscle car. A 1964 Pontiac GTO with Tri-Power, rated at 348 horsepower, would clear the quarter in about 15.2 seconds at 93 mph.

Western Canada Winning Lottery Numbers

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454: 450 hp

GM finally overcame all its inhibitions in 1970 and allowed its largest-displacement engines to be installed in intermediate cars. The most uninhibited of all was the Chevelle SS454, option LS6, rated at a nice, round 450 horsepower.

The LS6 was a heavy-duty 454 with four-bolt mains, big-port heads, solid lifters, an 11.0:1 compression ratio, and a single 780-cfm Holley four-barrel.

Chevrolet supplied one of these lunkers for a test late in 1969. This particular car had “Cowl Induction,” a little trapdoor- located in the high-pressure area of the hood just forward of the windshield – that flipped open at full throttle to let cold air into the air cleaner. That flap should have been fun to watch from inside the car, but whenever it was open the 454 was making things big in the windshield so fast that I always forgot to check the hood.

The test car came with weedy little polyester-cord F70-14 tires. The automatic liked to surprise them with part-throttle downshifts in city traffic; it would bust them loose and make them howl. A guy had to show mercy or that 454 would have yowled them all the way to the red line. At the strip, this LS6, complete with cringing tires, cleared the eyes in 13.8 seconds at 104 mph.

Western Canada Winning Lottery Numbers

1969 Plymouth Road Runner/Dodge Super Bee: 390 hp

Dodge had the most memorable name on this one – 440 Six Pack – inspired by the three  two-barrel carbs. Although a three-card 440 was listed in Chrysler’s lineup through 1972, this first year was by far the strongest. It was a limited run of special cars to gain legality in an NHRA class, but a relatively large number were built, perhaps as many as a thousand. The regular 440 high-performance engine was strengthened with a special crank and rods, a bigger oil pump, a high-rev valvetrain, and, of course, the extra carburetion. Weight distribution was enhanced by an aluminum intake manifold and a lift-off fiberglass hood. The hood had a scoop the size of a small suitcase, to bring cold air directly into the air cleaner.

The result was a torque motor that would rev, too, a fearsome street cleaner. A full-throttle Torque Flite kickdown at traffic speeds felt like being rear-ended by a dump truck. A Hemi would get away at the high end, but on the avenues – particularly for a short burst – I’d bet on the Six Pack. ETs were about 13.6 at 104 mph, depending on the tires, of course.

Western Canada Winning Lottery Numbers

1969 Ford Cobra/Mercury Cyclone CJ: 335 hp

Fords in the sixties were winners in NASCAR and competitive in some drag classes, but on the street they were stones. Unlike Chevys – which always managed to have port sizes, cam timing, carburetion, and exhaust capacity matched and working together to produce more than you’d expect – Fords had impressive specs but accomplished less than you’d expect. On Woodward Avenue, even the costly and rare 427 option was beaten like a rug.  That changed in 1969 with the introduction of the 428 Cobra Jet.

The 428 had an unfashionably long stroke and generally uninspiring hardware. Moreover, it had a lethargic way about it; it wasn’t zingy like a Chevy. But it had earth-mover torque, and it stayed in tune – exactly what street racers needed. It was good with an automatic, too: just punch it and hang on. Which meant that every CJ was a threat no matter what kind of yahoo was in the chair. For the January 1969 issue, I tested the Ford and the Mercury, both automatics. On average, they nipped through the quarter in just under fourteen seconds at 101 mph.

Western Canada Winning Lottery Numbers

American Made 3D Auto Parts Mechanical Component 3D Scanner + Printer

Amazing American technology

3d scanner scans automotive and mechanical parts

Inkjet type thermal jet printer prints plastic components off to hop for testing

Full size intact components actually assembled by printer intact and working.

Thus both time , aggravation and money savings all wrapped into one.

More than even a great idea overall sum game.

One Hour Heating

One Hour Winnipeg

1968-1969 Chevy II Nova SS396: 375 hp

In late spring of 1968, I eased out of the GM Tech Center in a sweetheart of a Chevy II: a four-speed, bright red with a black vinyl top. Except for the chrome 396 badge on the front fenders, it could have passed for a vestal virgin. But all eyes homed in on those badges, and for the next four days the cops were on me like ants on a picnic.

The 375-hp option cost $500.30, more than twenty percent of the Chevy II’s base of $2389.35. And it was a bargain.

This car weighed 3470 pounds, which was more than 400 pounds less than a similarly equipped Chevelle, and it had better weight distribution – 55 percent on the front tires, compared with 57 percent for the Chevelle. At Detroit Dragway it ran 14.5 seconds in the quarter at 101 mph, a weak ET for the speed. The E70-14 Tiger Paws were hopeless. A change of tires would have put this car under fourteen seconds. over 100 mph and under fourteen seconds in the quarter was the muscle -car major leagues.

1966-1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396: 375 hp

Chevrolet was always in the fast-car business, so there were plenty of SS396 Chevelles. Most of them were nice, docile cars with torquey big blocks that could put your license in points trouble in just one night of exuberance. Then there was the L78.

The L78 engine had a heavy-duty block with four-bolt mains, big-port heads, an 11.0:1 compression ratio, a solid-lifter cam, a high-capacity alloy intake manifold, and an 800-cfm Holley. There was no single genius part, no hemi head or tunnel port that you could point to and say, “Yep, that’s what makes this the baddest motor in town.” All the pieces just worked together as if they were on commission.

High performance Chevys, if you kept the gas-station mechanics away from the engine room, were deceptively smooth and disciplined: all eagerness, no swagger. And they loved to rev.

The Hemi was around by 1966, but no other big block had it together that early. If you came up beside an SS396 in those days, you listened carefully. If you heard sixteen little hammers, the racket of solid lifters, you knew the guy was dangerous. An early L78, on the slippery tires of the day, would run about 14.5 and break 100 mph in the quarter.

Canadian Auto Industry : New business model, new union model too

A quote in a news story yesterday appeared to reveal that the Canadian Auto Workers boss gets it and will agree to slash labor costs by 25% so Chrysler LLC can survive.
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