Place Your Bets: 1969 Ford Cobra Drag Races 1969 Hurst Olds

1969 Hurst Olds vs 1969 Ford Cobra drag race 6 photos
Photo: Cars And Zebras/YouTube
1969 Ford Cobra1969 Ford Cobra1969 Hurst Olds1969 Hurst Olds1969 Hurst Olds vs 1969 Ford Cobra drag race
Classic muscle car drag races are as entertaining as quarter-mile duels get. Because let's face it, nothing is better than seeing a pair of cars powered by big, naturally aspirated V8s fighting their way toward the finish line. But things get even better when the muscle cars in question are models you don't get to see every day.
Today's drag race sees a couple of muscle cars from 1969 lining up at the Christmas tree. You'll immediately recognize the gold-striped white car as a Hurst Olds. First introduced in 1968 with a silver/black livery, the Hurst returned in 1969 with an even cooler paint scheme.

But it's not just the gold-striped livery that makes the Hurst Olds special. Under the hood lurks a 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8 engine that cranks out an impressive 380 horsepower and 500 pound-feet (678 Nm) of torque. All that oomph travels to the rear wheels through a three-speed automatic gearbox.

This Hurst is one of the rarest Oldsmobiles ever built, with only 906 put together in 1969.

The second car to run the race is a 1969 Ford Cobra. What kind of Cobra, you ask? Well, it's not a Mustang and it's not a Torino either. And that's not a mistake. The Cobra was actually a model of its own in 1969, created as a stripped-down muscle car to go against the Plymouth Road Runner.

It was obviously based on the Fairlane 500 but featured a competition suspension, a blacked-out front grille, and a standard four-speed manual. More importantly, it came with the big 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 under the hood. Also offered in the Mustang Cobra Jet, the 428 was good for 335 horsepower and 440 pound-feet (597 Nm) of twist.

The 1969 Cobra isn't as rare as the 1969 Hurst Olds, but at 3,786 units made, it's a car that you won't stumble into very often.

So which of these cars is the faster one? The output numbers suggest the Hurst Olds should win this easily. However, the GM is about 300 pounds (136 kg) heavier than the Cobra, which is an issue in a straight-line race.

The first duel sees the Oldsmobile cross the finish line first, with an impressive 13.80-second ET. The Cobra needs 14.02 clicks to cover the same distance. Things take a different turn in the second race when the Cobra is just as quick at 14 seconds flat, but the Olds runs slower at 14.15 clicks.

The third decider produces similar results, with the Cobra taking the win with a 14.01-second run. The Oldsmobile posts a 14.13-click ET, but the race was clearly decided in the first few moments when the Ford driver got a near-perfect reaction time.

Needless to say, the result is a bit surprising knowing how powerful and fast the iconic Hurst Olds is, but the race proves that power-to-weight ratios and reaction times are more important than a pair of output figures on a piece of paper. It also shows that the 1969 Ford Cobra is an authentic sleeper.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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