Let’s go racing! It’s an all-General Motors muscle car brawl when a 1966 Pontiac GTO goes head-to-head with a 1968 Hurst/Olds in this single-pass, winner-takes-all dragstrip duel. Here are the challengers and their stats:
1966 Pontiac GTO
For 1966, the Pontiac GTO became its own model instead of a Tempest/LeMans option. The GTO had its own unique, curving ‘coke bottle’ bodywork and minimal trim. With the GM corporate engine displacement limitation on mid-sized vehicles removed, the 1966 GTO realized meteoric sales, with 96,946 units going out the door. Our subject GTO is optioned with the 389 cubic-inch, Tri Power (three two-barrel carbs), 10.75:1 compression, 360 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. It gets that power to the ground through a four-speed manual transmission and Safe-T-Track rear end. Car and Driver tested a new 1966 Pontiac GTO with this drivetrain, running a 14.0-second quarter-mile time at 105 miles per hour.
1968 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds
The first year of the Hurst/Olds option was known simply as the Hurst/Olds, not 442 Hurst/Olds. The bodywork was shared with both the 442 and the Cutlass. All Hurst/Olds for 1968 were painted in Peruvian Silver with black stripes down the sides, hood, and around the rear window, with a black painted trunk lid. It is powered by the 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 with a single four-barrel carb, producing 390 horsepower and an eye-watering 500 pound-feet of torque. Power gets to the ground through a Turbo Hydramatic three-speed automatic transmission with a Hurst Dual-Gate ratchet shifter mounted in the console and 3.91 rear gears. Courtesy of GM Corporate policy, the Hurst/Olds was the only 1968 GM mid-size optioned with an engine larger than 400 cubic inches. Oldsmobile skirted the policy by stating the engines were installed by Hurst, not Olds. Only 515 1968 Hurst/Olds left the factory, 51 Sport Coupes and 464 Holiday Coupes. Original testing of the 1968 Hurst/Olds yielded at 13.9-second quarter-mile time at 103 miles per hour.
The single pass, winner-take-all showdown had the 1966 Pontiac GTO speeding through the quarter-mile trap in 14.14 seconds at 99.35 miles per hour, while the 1968 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds turned in a 14.12-second time at 91.52 miles per hour to win the narrowest of victories. You can see all the both cars and the race in this video clip from Cars and Zebras.