This month High Performance Pontiac continues its Pavement Pounders Shootout from the American Southern Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis. After starting with two Birds, we switch gears and offer another generational dichotomy in which an early Bird meets a late-model Goat. This time we pair an NHRA Sportsman ET Wally Award winner on the traditional Pontiac side with an enthusiast whose first and last GTOs were a mere 38 years apart. Will cubic inches tell the tale, or will it be cylinder-head design and port flow in this naturally aspirated exhibition of traditional Pontiac power and the latest Gen IV LS-series technology?
Let’s meet the racers.
Jim Menke of Falfurrias, Texas, is an oil and gas construction supervisor who purchased his ’67 Firebird in 1985. Its engine displaces 469 ci and features a ’71 455 H.O. block, Edelbrock Round-Port heads, a Turbo 400, and 4.33 gears.
Randall Crouchet of Spring, Texas, spends his workdays as a superintendent for a mechanical contractor, and his last GTO was a plain-Jane ’68. His ’06 GTO is wielding 454 ci from a sleeved LS2 block, with Mast Motorsports LSXR LS7 rectangular heads, a 4L65E transmission, and a 3.91 IRS gearset.
The temperature at Texas Motorplex ranged from 78.1 to 91.4 degrees. Barometric pressure was 29.75 hg and the dew point was 68 degrees. The track is 530 feet above sea level and density altitude ranged from 2,349 to 3,212 feet, so we give each racer his own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his best pass. Jim’s best pass occurred at 9:46 a.m. (DA 2,349); Randall’s best pass occurred at 1:15 p.m. (DA 2,901). The correction factors are designed to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level and are done on the best pass only, based on e.t.