1968 Firebird 400 vs. 1970 GS455
400/340hp vs. 455/360hp

Qualified: 12.57 vs. 12.59

After some high-profile press awhile back, Stage 1 Buicks had quite a reputation. Surely no Firebird 400 would have a chance against the elite Stage 1, would it? Dave Hemker, skilled driver and all-around nice guy, has the fastest Buick at the Pure Stock Drags. Rick Watson will go up against him in a very hot ’68 Firebird 400 Ram Air II. Both are automatics. The Firebird has 4.10 digger gears; the Buick has 3.73s.

Round 1: Rick rockets off the line on a 0.070 light—but what’s this? Dave’s out of the hole even quicker. Yep, it’s a red light for Dave and team Buick. Rick stays in it, posting a 12.85 and taking the win.

Round 2: Another Buick red light. You can’t win two out of three with two red lights. Not one to back off, Rick hammers the Bird, running a 1.94 60-footer and breaking the beams with a winning 12.61. It may be an easy win for Rick and his flying F-body, but it’s a win nonetheless. Oh, yeah—let’s not forget it’s a stock R/A-II 400 running mid-12s on Redlines.

Car Round 1 Round 2
1968 Firebird 400 12.85 @ 108.80 12.61 @ 108.95
1970 GS455 13.11 @ 103.01• 12.62 @ 109.18•

Pontiac Pure Stock Drags 2012 Results by Best E.T./MPH
Car Best E.T./MPH Engine/HP Trans Axle Owner
1969 Firebird 400 12.39 @ 115.23 400/370 4-speed 3.90 Adrian Beltrame
1967 Firebird 400 12.49 @ 111.38 400/325 Auto 3.90 Jim Mattison
1968 Firebird 400 12.56 @ 110.68 400/340 Auto 4.10 Rick Watson
1970 Magnum 400 12.58 @ 110.72 400/330 Auto 4.10 Paul Glasgo
1974 Trans Am 12.72 @ 108.69 455/290 Auto 3.90 Paul Aragona
1970 GT-37 12.77 @ 111.27 400/345 4-speed 3.90 Chris Smetana
1971 GTO 12.78 @ 108.68 455/335 Auto 3.31 Ron Hammer
1968 Firebird 400 12.87 @ 112.02 400/335 4-speed 4.33 Jim Mino
1971 Trans Am 13.02 @ 107.74 455/335 4-speed 3.73 Mark Weymouth
1969 GTO 13.04 @ 111.34 400/370 4-speed 4.10 John Glasgo
1972 GTO 13.14 @ 105.78 455/300 4-speed 3.73 David Dupuis
1970 GTO Judge 13.24 @ 104.45 400/366 Auto 3.73 Larry Dupuis
1969 GTO 13.37 @ 102.26 400/366 Auto 3.55 Ken Adams
1969 GTO Judge 13.48 @ 103.55 400/370 4-speed 3.90 Steve Rehberg
1967 GTO 13.51 @ 104.67 400/360 4-speed 3.90 Doug Mesman
1972 Trans Am 13.57 @ 104.88 455/300 4-speed 3.42 Tyler Mesman
1965 GTO 13.72 @ 102.62 389/360 4-speed 4.10 Bruce Hayes
1966 GTO 13.73 @ 100.10 389/360 4-speed 3.73 Bill Nicholson
1961 Catalina 13.74 @ 100.64 389/348 4-speed 3.64 Ken Riebel
1969 GTO 13.74 @ 104.60 400/366 4-speed 3.90 Ron Waligora
1970 GTO Judge 13.76 @ 99.85 400/366 Auto 3.90 Rich Straub
1965 GTO 13.82 @ 101.37 389/335 4-speed 3.90 David Byers
1969 Firebird 400 13.88 @ 102.64 400/335 4-speed 3.36 Brad Rising
1969 Firebird 13.97 @ 100.25 350/325 4-speed 3.55 Don Harber
1968 GTO 14.12 @ 98.92 400/350 Auto 3.31 David Box
1965 GTO 14.12 @ 99.32 389/360 4-speed 3.55 Bill Lane
1965 Catalina 2+2 14.17 @ 94.70 421/376 Auto 3.42 Michael Lane
1969 Firebird 400 14.19 @ 99.49 400/335 4-speed 3.36 Rob Della Libera
1968 Firebird 400 14.24 @ 101.82 400/330 4-speed 3.90 Doug Rustin
1971 GT-37 14.24 @ 98.60 400/300 4-speed 4.10 Steve Courter
1969 Grand Prix Model J 14.57 @ 97.09 428/390 4-speed 3.55 Joe Zielinski
1971 GTO 14.75 @ 95.87 400/300 4-speed 3.90 Dwayne Mills
Did Not Finish
1969 GTO Judge 12.65 @ 111.95 400/370 4-speed 4.30 Mike Waligora
1966 GTO 14.07 @ 100.16 389/360 4-speed 3.90 Bryon Mayer
1970 GTO 15.56 @ 90.51 400/350 Auto 3.23 Don Werner