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1971 Dodge Charger Hemi Drag Races 1967 Chevy Impala, It's Closer Than You Think

Detroit automakers introduced their first muscle cars in the early 1960s and kept making them increasingly faster and more powerful toward 1971. We've seen the difference between them in a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 vs. 1965 Pontiac GTO quarter-mile face-off about a week ago. But some mid-1960s muscle cars are actually almost as quick as their early 1970s counterparts. And we have just the right drag race as proof.
1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee vs 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 1 photo
This is a somewhat unlikely duel that brings together a 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee and a 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS. While the third-gen Charger was a midsize turned muscle car, the fourth-gen Impala competed in the full-size segment back in the day. But both cars shown here are fitted with some of the most powerful engines available at the time.

The bright yellow 1971 Charger Super Bee packs the legendary 7.0-liter Hemi V8 under the hood. 1971 was the final model year for this engine, retired with the same 425-horsepower and 490-pound-foot (664-Nm) ratings from the year before. This specific Super Bee uses a three-speed automatic to transfer all that oomph to the rear wheels.

In the other lane, we have a 1967 Impala SS fitted with a matching 7.0-liter V8. Chevrolet offered this mill in a couple of different flavors back then, including a 425-horsepower version, but this Impala cranks out 385 horses and 460 pound-feet (624 Nm) of twist. Unlike the Super Bee, it features a rare four-speed manual gearbox.

The Impala SS is at a disadvantage on paper when it comes to oomph, especially since it's also about 100 pounds (45 kg) heavier than the Super Bee. And based on official ratings from back in the day, it should be some two seconds slower from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) and on the quarter-mile. But this drag race tells a completely different story.

The first round is so close that it almost requires a photo finish. The Super Bee runs the quarter-mile in 13.18 seconds, while the Impala needs 13.14 clicks to complete the distance. Their trap speeds are also identical at 106 mph (171 kph). But while it posted the quicker ET, the Impala loses the race to the Super Bee, which crossed the line first. Still an impressive display for the full-size.

The second race also goes to the Charger, but it's still a close one. The Super Bee takes the win with a 13.13-second run, while the Impala takes the line in 13.25 hits. There's a third race too, but with the winner already decided, both drivers run a bit slower. The Charger wins with a 13.36-second run, while the Chevy completes the sprint in 13.84 clicks.

Although I'm mostly a Mopar fanboy when it comes to classic muscle cars, I'd take the Impala SS over the Super Bee any day of the week. Because manual transmission and huge sleeper factor.

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