1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Versus 1969 Buick GS 400 Drag Race: Video12
Let’s go racing! In this Pure Stock Drag Race, both cars are largely original or built to original spec, with strict regulations limiting changes. The two competitors for this race are a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS and a 1969 Buick Gran Sport 400. This is a single-pass time trial race. Let’s take a closer look at the cars.
1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS is equipped with a 396 cubic-inch L78 Big Block engine producing 375 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. It has an 11.0:1 compression ratio. The Big Block is backed by a Muncie four-speed manual transmission and a Posi-Traction rear end with 4.10 rear gears. The Chevelle weighs in at 3,895 pounds with driver. Testing by Hot Cars magazine in February of 1969 resulted in a quarter-mile time of 14.07 seconds at 101 miles per hour.
Buick Gran Sport 400
The 1969 Buick Gran Sport 400 is equipped with a 400 cubic-inch V8 producing 400 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. The 400 has a 10.25:1 compression ratio. Backing the 400 is a three-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission, combined with a 3.31 rear gear ratio. The Gran Sport tips the scales at 3,812 pounds with its driver, giving it an 83-pound advantage over the Chevelle SS. Only 2,024 Buick GS 400s were built for the 1969 model year. Original testing by Motor Trend in January of 1969 produced a quarter-mile time of 15.9 seconds at 89 miles per hour, but this was done with a convertible GS 400 with a 2.93 rear gear.
Let’s see what this single-pass time trial revealed. Both cars launched hard off the line, and it seemed at first to be a close match-up. Very shortly, the Chevelle SS pulled ahead, leading the GS 400 by more than a car length by mid-track. The Chevelle SS continued to lead the GS 400, although the GS looked to have been reeling in the Chevelle SS by the time both cars reached the finish line. The Chevelle SS finished with an elapsed time of 14.41 seconds at 99.6 miles per hour, versus the GS 400’s respectable 14.63-second elapsed time at 95.64 miles per hour.
You can check out all the action in this video from Cars and Zebras.
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4.10 vs. 3.31 gear ratios? The result was predictable…
Two underpowered lumps
If you wanted a fair comparison, it should have been done with a 1970 GS Stage One and a 1970 SS396/375 with the same gearing.
Absolutely correct. My 68 GS400 4 speed would turn 14.5 in the quarter, my 69 stage 1 4 speed convertible was capable of 14.20’s in the quarter. My 70 stage 1 automatic convertible could turn 14 flat,. All three were showroom stock vehicles and had 14” tires. The 70 stage 1 was refactored by NHRA at 380 or 390 horse as they were tearing up the class. Buicks were great sleepers.
Of course they could have put the Chevy up against an 87 six cylinder Regal and it would have gotten the doors sucked of when the turbo kicked in. Another great driver I had.
thumbs up ‘a !
Notable errors, the 400 was rated at 340 horsepower, or 350 if it was a stage 1. If it were a stage 1 it would have had higher gearing as standard. Considering the Chevy had a 35 horsepower advantage and a gearing advantage produced the desired result. But this is how GM shows Chevy as unbeatable. Let’s gear the car the same as the Chevy and with the same HP/weight ratio and the Chevy will lose everytime.
“Notable errors”….. yet you failed to point out any actual errors in the video. You better go dry those tears.
Didn’t have to look at the race, just looking at the numbers, the true HP numbers, tells the tale. Buick never produced an engine with 400 horsepower, their highest offering was 370 in the 1970 Electra. There is a reason NHRA divides vehicles by HP/weight ratio,
He didn’t say the engine was rated 400 horsepower gramps. Learn to pay attention.
He said the chevelle was a 375 horse moter. The Buick was a 340 horse motor and the gearing was higher n the chevelle. Duh, is it any surprise of the results? Get a life.
Uh maybe you have trouble reading. Go back to the top of the article and READ it again.
Who cares about the article gramps. Actually watch the video and learn something.