Pontiac GTO Takes on Plymouth Cuda in Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race

It's fascinating to watch modern supercars like the McLaren 765LT and Ferrari F8 Tributo pull quick runs on the drag strip, but nothing compares to a good old-fashioned muscle car race. Let's face it, you just can't beat classic American muscle.
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Photo: Cars And Zebras/YouTube
If you're into that thing, you probably already know that there's a Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race series that brings together some of the finest V8-powered vehicles from the golden muscle car era. If you haven't heard about it yet, this drag race between a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda and a 1970 Pontiac GTO will surely make you add it to your list of racing events to follow.

PSMCDR is a no-nonsense racing series restricted to factory stock muscle cars built from 1955 to 1979. No aftermarket mods are allowed, and cars that run the quarter-mile faster than 11.5 seconds are disqualified. So these two muscle cars are as authentic and period-correct as they get.

The 1969 Barracuda is a 440 trim, meaning it packs the 440-cubic-inch V8, the largest engine offered that year. It's not the most powerful though. That title goes to the iconic 7.0-liter Hemi, but the 7.2-liter V8, also known as the Super Commando, cranks out a solid 375 horsepower.

The 1970 GTO comes with an even larger engine in the form of a 7.5-liter V8. It's one of only two V8 offered with the second-generation GTO and it was rated at 360 horsepower back in 1970. Not only a bit less powerful, but the GTO is also some 400 pounds heavier, mostly for being a larger car.

So who wins?

Well, the first race is a really close call. The 1970 GTO crossed the finish line in 13.54 seconds at 102.57 mph (165.07 kph), while the 1960 'Cuda ran the quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds at 103.42 mph (166.43 kph). Based on these numbers alone, the GTO is the winner, but it's actually the Barracuda that crossed the finish line first because the driver had a much better reaction time off the line.

The Plymouth wins the second round as well, now also scoring the quickest run at 13.3 seconds vs. the GTO's 13.61-second stretch. The Cuda wins the third round too, but just by a tiny hair with 0.01 seconds between them.

This is how stock car drag racing happened back in the day, folks. The cars were several seconds slower than today's supercars, but they didn't lack the loud exhaust note and the excitement. Hit play to see and hear for yourselves.

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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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