If you recall from last month's issue, High Performance Pontiac traveled to Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP) in Petersburg, Virginia, for our annual Pavement Pounders Shootout. Our event, held the day before the first annual Performance Years Pontiac Nationals (see "A New Nationals is Born" in this issue), brought together a select group of Pontiac drag racers from across the U.S. to use the VMP quarter-mile track for the day, test their engine combos, and experiment with alternate tunings and techniques to find the lowest e.t.'s.
This month we compare two '60s-era Pontiacs that represented two opposite sides of the new-car spectrum over 40 years ago. The first is a mid-level midsize coupe, which shares the same body-design with its big-brother GTO, while the second enjoyed the reputation of being Pontiac's top-of-the-line flagship-model convertible, but was often overlooked as a serious drag-racing vehicle due to its weight and luxury accoutrements. Let's meet the racers.
Andy Nutt of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, came ready to tear up the tarmac in his '67 LeMans coupe. Like all base-engine LeMans that year, it left the factory with a 250hp 326, but he races it with a 400/467 stroker engine, 6X heads, a Turbo 400 trans, and 4.11 rear gears. Andy has achieved a best of 12.49 seconds prior to our event, but will the warm Virginia day hold him back?
Anne Beard of Ijamsville, Maryland, was a late-minute addition to our Shootout with her '69 Bonneville convertible. Though the battleship-sized B-body looks like it belongs only on the car-show field, its 0.040-over 428, No. 46 heads, Turbo 400, and 3.08 gears are built to get it down the track. Will the big-cube, stock-stroke engine reward the 4,400-pound ragtop with respectable quarter-mile times, or should the classic Poncho consider a future career as a peppy parade car?
The temperature at Virginia Motorsports Park during our Shootout ranged from 68.9 degrees to 91.9 degrees and the barometric pressure was 29.88 hg. The track is 170 feet above sea level and density altitude varied from 1,699 to 2,015 feet, so we will give each racer his or her own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his or her best pass.
Andy's best pass occurred at 11:50 a.m. with a density altitude of 1,699 feet, so he will receive an altitude-correction factor of 0.9809 for e.t. and 1.0199 for mph.
Anne's best pass occurred at 3:29 p.m. with a density altitude of 2,015 feet, so she'll receive an altitude-correction factor of 0.9770 for e.t. and 1.0241 for mph.
The correction factors are designed to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level. This will be done on the best pass only, based on e.t.