Videos featuring American sports and muscle cars squaring off at the drag strip, usually in best-of-three showdowns, are easy to find on YouTube. The cars are either completely or very close to bone stock 1960s and 1970s performance offerings from the Big Three American manufacturers. Today’s clip features a 1969 Pontiac GTO going head-to-head with a 1968 Plymouth GTX, presented by Cars and Zebras.
Many videos found on this channel are inter-cut with factual information, along with movie clips wherein the heads of the actors have been replaced with the cars. Yes, it’s weird, but stick with me. The racing is worth it.
The GTO is pushed down the track by the 400 cubic-inch V8 with Ram Air III package that throws down 366 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. It pushes this power through a TH400 three-speed automatic and a set of 3.90 rear gears.
On the other side of the track, the GTX’s base 440 cube mill lays down 375 angry horses and 480 pound-feet of torque at just 3,200 RPM. The 440 propels the GTX through a TorqueFlite automatic and a 3.23 rear gear ratio. So we have our drivetrain numbers.
That may seem like a distinct advantage for the Pontiac GTO until you consider the heft those horses have to move. The GTO comes in at a positively portly 4,046 pounds (with driver), versus the GTX at just 3,855 with pilot aboard. Time to get down to brass tacks.
On the first pass, the Pontiac GTO scoots through the traps at 13.45 seconds at 101.79 mph, while the GTX manages a 13.65 second pass at 97.61 mph. Winner: Pontiac GTO.
The second time around, the Pontiac GTO is in the right lane. The GTX nails down a 13.60 elapsed time at 97.23 mph, and the GTO drops to a [email protected] mph. Winner: GTX.
Third and final trip down the strip, the GTO manages a [email protected] against the GTX’s [email protected] The GTX was just more consistent, and the Pontiac GTO never repeated the glory of that first pass.