Hemi-Powered 1976 Plymouth Duster Drag Races 1965 Buick Skylark, Is In for a Surprise

Like most of you out there, I like drag racing because it's usually about powerful cars going fast in a straight line. But I also love this type of racing because quarter-mile races often bring surprising results. This Buick Skylark vs Plymouth Duster duel is one of them.
1965 Buick Skylark vs 1976 Plymouth Duster drag race 6 photos
1965 Buick Skylark1965 Buick Skylark vs 1976 Plymouth Duster drag race1965 Buick Skylark vs 1976 Plymouth Duster drag race1965 Buick Skylark vs 1976 Plymouth Duster drag race1965 Buick Skylark
Both cars look ultra-clean and are street legal, but they hide beefed-up engines under the hood. The 1976 Duster, for instance, is no longer powered by its original, Malaise-era slouch of a V8. Instead, it rocks a late-model Hemi mill. There's no word as to how much oomph it sends to the rear wheels, but Hemi V8s are no joke and usually pack way more than 400 horsepower, even if they're not supercharged.

The 1965 Skylark, on the other hand, gets its juice from a small-block unit of the 406-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) variety. While Buick did offer a similar-displacement engine in the Skylark in 1965, it's safe to assume that this one is far from stock. But in the absence of forced induction or any other aids (like nitrous), you'd expect the Skylark to be slower than a Hemi-powered Mopar.

Well, even though it needed 12.33 seconds to run the quarter-mile, which isn't a lot quicker than some bone-stock muscle cars from the era, the Skylark beat the Duster to the finish line. Of course, the lightning-fast take-off helped the Buick driver get a significant advantage right off the line, but the Plymouth didn't manage to tighten the gap toward the end.

A surprising defeat for the Mopar, but an exciting race nonetheless. And one heck of a Skylark to cheer for. Gotta love it when they twist and get one wheel up in the air as they charge off the line.

This race happened in the Madison Wisconsin 608 Car Club qualifying match-up at Byron Dragway. Hit the play button below to watch it unfold.

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