This installment of the HPP "Pontiac Pavement Pounders Shootout" should please all those who love pure-Pontiac power as we have enlisted examples of a 400, a 428, a 455, and a 400 that became a 455 to throw down on the dragstrip for your enjoyment. Unlike the last installment however, three out of four of these machines are racecars that are dialed-in to a single purpose-to get through the quarter faster than the guy in the next lane. But don't fret readers, we have a street/strip Pontiac that serves double duty as well.
As you know if you read the last issue, we were so pleased with the '05 results after working with Virginia Motor Sports Park and Jim Zeek at Pontiacs In the Park, we decided to do it all over again in 2006-with different cars of course. And you will reap the benefits of the effort in this and future issues of HPP. So sit back, enjoy the slugfest, and gain some valuable knowledge regarding the combos that make these Pontiacs run.
Don Roberts' '64 GTO was actually built to resemble the famed Car & Driver ringer test car. Though it captures the look right down to Tri-Power induction, it parts company with the legendary machine in regard to the rest of its drivetrain. The 428 engine is mated to a Turbo 400 trans, and a steep 4.10-geared 12-bolt puts the power down. With a few fiberglass body parts swapped in to cut weight, how quick do you think it will go? Perhaps mid-11s for the Virginia Beach-based Goat? We'll see.
Rick Underwood made the trip from Fort Dix, New Jersey, with his '71 LeMans Sport convertible. The mild street/strip combo features a 400 engine, a competition-built TCI Turbo 350 trans, and a 3.55 rear. It also has KRE heads that he won while racing at Pontiacs in the Park in 2004. How will this street car react to the VMP 1,320? Read on.
Darin Stine rolled from Hatboro, Pennsylvania, with his '69 LeMans in tow. Featuring a 400 that has grown into a 455, plus a Turbo 400 and 3.55 rear gears, Darin is hunting for 10s. Will the enlightened A-body get there?
John Blaha arrived from Colonial Heights, Virginia, with his '77 tube-framed Astre replete with 455 power, a Turbo 400, a 4.10 Dana 60, and a svelte 2,320-pound curb weight. We were guessing that he might run the lowest e.t. of the group. Ya' think?
For race day, the temperature was 72 degrees, and the barometer read 29.3 hg. Humidity checked in at 43.1 percent, and a 9-12-mph headwind (somewhat side, too) was blowing. The density-altitude reading was approximately 2,300 feet, which will be used to project these Pontiac's potential at sea level under perfect conditions.
A factor of 0.9731 for e.t. and 1.0283 for trap speed is employed for the best pass only (based on e.t.) in the Strip Tuning Log. (Multiply the e.t. or mph by its factor to convert the other runs.)