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.