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1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Drag Races 1969 Pontiac GTO, Someone Gets Repeatedly Walked

Introduced in 1964, the Pontiac GTO is often regarded as the first American muscle car, mostly because it was the first vehicle advertised accordingly. But while it looked mean and packed a solid punch, the GTO was eventually overshadowed by other muscle cars by the early 1970s. The Plymouth Hemi Cuda is one of them.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda vs. 1969 Pontiac GTO drag race 7 photos
1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda1969 Pontiac GTO1969 Pontiac GTO1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda vs. 1969 Pontiac GTO drag race1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda vs. 1969 Pontiac GTO drag race
The Barracuda also debuted in 1964, a few weeks before the Ford Mustang came into dealerships. But Plymouth took things to a whole new level in 1968 when it added the mighty 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi V8 engine to the lineup. The mill was discontinued in 1971, so the 1970 Hemi Cuda is seen as the ultimate Plymouth.

With the race-spec Hemi unit rated at 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet (664 Nm) of torque, the Hemi Cuda was among the fastest muscle cars of the era. By contrast, the Pontiac GTO came with no more than 370 horsepower in 1970.

The drag racing video below is a good example of how much quicker the Hemi Cuda was compared to the Pontiac GTO. The latter is a 1969-model-year version with the 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8, officially rated at 370 horsepower and 445 pound-feet (603 Nm) of twist.

With similar curb weights, a similar three-speed automatic, and an extra 55 horsepower and 45 pound-feet twist, the Hemi Cuda has no issues outgunning the GTO Ram Air IV at the drag strip three times in a row.

The Mopar goes on to win the first quarter-mile duel with an 11.81-second run. The GTO crosses the line in 12.1 clicks, almost three-tenths slower. The Cuda remains in the high 11s for the second run, taking the trap after 11.9 clicks, followed by the GTO at 12.16 seconds.

Even though the Cuda has already moved into the next round with two wins, the drivers agree to run the third race. The outcome remains the same though, with the Plymouth taking the victory with an 11.9-second run, followed by the GTO with a 12.28-click benchmark.

But despite losing all three races, the GTO gave the Cuda a good run for its money. Check it all out in the video below. The fun starts at the 4.30-minute mark.

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