In the realm of classic muscle cars, few rivalries are as iconic as the clash between the 1967 Pontiac GTO and the 1972 Chevy Chevelle SS 454. These legendary vehicles have left a lasting impact on the automotive industry, and their power, style, and performance continue to captivate enthusiasts to this day. In this pure stock drag race, these two titans of the road are pitted against each other, showcasing their raw power and speed. Let’s delve into the specifications of each car and witness the exhilarating showdown between the GTO and the Chevelle.

The Mighty 1967 Pontiac GTO

For those seeking sophistication and class wrapped in a powerful package, the 1967 Pontiac GTO is the epitome of automotive excellence. Sporting a base engine of 400 cubic inches, this formidable machine churns out an impressive 335 horsepower.

However, the GTO we have here today boasts the optional L74 engine, known as the high-output 400 or “HOE” for short. This beastly powerplant shares the same compression ratio of 10.75:1 as the base engine, accompanied by the renowned 670 heads. With enhancements like an aggressive 068 cam, larger exhaust manifolds, and an open air filter, the HOE roars to life, delivering an astounding 360 horsepower and 438 pound-feet of torque. It’s safe to say that this GTO means business, and its ferocious performance is not for the faint-hearted.

Transmissions and Gearing:

The 1967 GTO offered a range of transmission options to suit various driving preferences. Enthusiasts could choose between two three-speed manual transmissions: the wide ratio or the closed ratio 4-speed. However, this particular GTO surprises us with the inclusion of the Turbo 400 three-speed automatic. Equipped with a manual shift knob, it provides a unique driving experience, combining the best of both worlds. Furthermore, this GTO features a tantalizing upgrade with 390 rear gears, offering even more exhilarating acceleration. Weighing in at 3649 pounds, excluding the driver, the 1967 GTO boasted a robust construction that emphasized both power and stability.

Affordability and Rarity:

In terms of pricing, the 1967 GTO offered excellent value for its time. The hardtop variant started at $2,935, with the automatic transmission adding an extra $226 to the price tag. Safety track rear, a highly desirable option, commanded an additional $42, while the high-output V8 engine was available for a mere $76. When adjusted for inflation, the total cost of this powerful machine would amount to approximately $29,000 in today’s currency. However, despite its allure and performance, the 1967 GTO with an automatic transmission remained a rarity, with only 3,411 high-output models produced that year.

The 1972 Chevy Chevelle SS 454

Although the 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle’s performance had somewhat diminished compared to its earlier years, it still exuded an undeniable charm, with its captivating design and strong presence on the road. While it may not be mistaken for the iconic car from the film “Monsters,” it certainly holds its own when it comes to style and performance.

The base engine for the Super Sport (SS) variant in 1972 was a 350 cubic inch V8, generating a respectable 165 horsepower. However, the Chevelle we have today boasts the top-tier 454 cubic inch V8, delivering 270 net horsepower (approximately 350 gross) and an impressive 390 pound-feet of torque. Although the compression ratio for the 454 engine was 8.5:1 that year, it didn’t hinder its power output. With sheer brute force, this Chevelle leaves a lasting impression on anyone who witnesses its commanding presence.

Transmission Options and Gearing:

In contrast to the varied transmission choices of the GTO, the 1972 Chevelle SS 454 offered two options. Drivers could opt for the three-speed automatic transmission or, like our featured model, the four-speed manual transmission. The latter grants enthusiasts a more engaging driving experience, allowing them to fully harness the power of the 454 engine. Additionally, this Chevelle has been upgraded with a well-balanced set of 3.73 rear gears, enhancing its acceleration and overall performance. With a curb weight of 3,677 pounds, slightly heavier than its GTO counterpart, the Chevelle maintains its sturdy build, ensuring stability and power on the road.

Affordability and Rarity:

When it comes to affordability, the 1972 Chevelle SS 454 provided excellent value for its time. The base V8 Malibu started at a modest $2,980, with the Super Sport package commanding an additional $357. To upgrade to the mighty 454 V8 engine, buyers needed to shell out just $279 more. The four-speed manual transmission added $200 to the price, while the coveted posi rear differential came at a cost of $47. In total, this remarkable package would set customers back a mere $3,863. Adjusted for inflation, this translates to just over $27,000 in today’s currency. However, exclusivity was maintained, as only 5,333 Super Sport Chevelles were produced in 1972, with the LS5 454 engine option.

The Battle on the Drag Strip

With the stage set and these two automotive legends poised for battle, let’s delve into the thrilling drag race. The first round showcased a nail-bitingly close competition, with the GTO crossing the finish line in 13.42 seconds at 103.61 miles per hour, narrowly defeating the Chevelle, which finished in 13.47 seconds at 103.32 miles per hour. Round two echoed the same fierce rivalry, with the GTO once again emerging victorious, posting a time of 13.40 seconds at 103.67 miles per hour. Although the Chevelle achieved a slightly better elapsed time of 13.39 seconds at 105.15 miles per hour, the GTO’s superior reaction time secured its win. Undeterred by the outcome, the owners decided to run a third round, which witnessed the GTO clinching a clean sweep, finishing in 13.48 seconds at 103.48 miles per hour, with the Chevelle close behind, recording a time of 13.46 seconds at 104.10 miles per hour.

Conclusion: In this exhilarating showdown between the 1967 Pontiac GTO and the 1972 Chevy Chevelle SS 454, both cars showcased their undeniable power, speed, and performance. The GTO’s high-output engine and refined design proved to be a force to be reckoned with, while the Chevelle’s muscular stance and impressive 454 engine commanded attention. Ultimately, the GTO secured victory in each round, but the Chevelle’s formidable performance kept the competition intense.

These iconic classics serve as a testament to the golden era of American muscle cars, captivating enthusiasts with their timeless appeal. Witnessing these legendary vehicles battle it out on the drag strip was an awe-inspiring experience, reminding us of the enduring allure and power of these automotive legends. Until the next thrilling encounter, we eagerly await the next chapter in the ongoing saga of classic muscle car rivalries. The 1967 Pontiac GTO and the 1972 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 have left an indelible mark on automotive history, and their fierce competition will forever be etched in the annals of drag racing lore.

As enthusiasts and admirers, we can only marvel at the power, style, and excitement these iconic machines bring to the table. May their legacies continue to inspire future generations of automotive enthusiasts, ensuring that the spirit of pure stock drag racing lives on.