This month High Performance Pontiac returns to Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, for our world-famous Pavement Pounders Shootout, which is held the day prior to the annual Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals. We invited select strip-scorching Pontiacs spanning 40-plus years of the marques sensational history, and youll get to see them in exciting drag-race action, starting with this issue and for months to come.

To kick off the series, we paired a Pontiac that began its high-performance mission in the early days of the musclecar era with one that has rightfully earned the reputation as the Divisions final contender for the modern musclecar crown.

Lets meet the racers.

Calvin Hill of McHenry, Illinois, is a professional engine builder. His 65 GTO features a 400/409 with KRE High-Port heads, a Jerico four-speed manual trans, and 4.56 gears.

Dan Laudenschlager of Fishers, Indiana, is a stay-at-home dad. His 09 G8 GT is powered by a 6.0L L76 V-8, a 6L80E automatic trans, and 2.92 gears.

Weather Report

The temperature at Summit Motorsports Park ranged from 73 to 87 degrees. Barometric pressure was measured at 29.93 hg and the dew point was 57.9 degrees. The track is 853 feet above sea level and density altitude ranged from 2,177 to 3,073 feet. Well give each racer his own correction factor based upon the density altitude at the time of his best pass. Calvins best pass occurred at 2:35 p.m. with a density altitude of 2,849 feet; Dans best pass occurred at 1:17 p.m. with a density altitude of 2,673 feet. The correction factors are designed to chart the theoretical best performance at sea level and will be done on the best pass only based on e.t.

Strip Specs

Year/Model: 65 GTO
Race Weight With Driver: 3,600 lbs
Curb Weight: 3,385 lbs
Fuel Level When Weighed: 4-gal
Fuel: 110-octane
Engine: 73 code-XZ 400
Cubic Inches Before/After: 400/409
Engine Built By: Hill Performance

Induction System
Air Cleaner: None
Carburetor: Two Edelbrock 750-cfm four-barrels
Jets: 104/107
Spacer Plate: None
Intake Manifold: 63 Pontiac Bathtub reproduction

Fuel System
Pump: Mallory Comp 240 electric
Lines: -8 AN
Regulator: Mallory Comp 240, set to 6.5 psi

Heads
Casting: KRE High Ports
Head Porting: No
Flow Numbers: 315 cfm at 0.600-in lift
Valves: Ferrea 6000 Series, stainless steel, 2.20/1.70-in

Bottom End
Pistons: JE forged-aluminum, 4.181-in, flat-top w/ valve reliefs
Rings: Total Seal file-to-fit, .043, .043, 3mm
Rods: Carrillo H-beam, 7.100-in
Compression Ratio: 12.35:1
Crankshaft: . .Factory 400, destroked to 3.72-in stroke
Rotating Assembly Balanced: Yes

Camshaft
Brand: Crane solid-roller
Duration at 0.050: 274/284-deg
Duration Advertised: 308/320-deg
Lift with Specified Rocker Arms: 0.680/0.650-in
Lobe Separation Angle: 110-deg
Installed Position: Straight up
Rocker Arms: Crane Gold 1.65:1

Ignition
Distributor: MSD Pro-Billet
Amplifier: MSD 6AL
Coil: MSD HVC
Wires: MSD 8mm
Spark Plugs: NGK 8
Total Timing: 31-deg
Rpm That Total Timing is Reached: 2,200

Exhaust
Headers: Hedman
Primaries: 2.00-in
Collectors: 3.00-in
Exhaust Pipes: None
Mufflers: None
Crossover: None

Drivetrain
Transmission: Jerico DR4 four-speed manual
Clutch: Hays Soft-Lock 10.5-in
Shifter: Hurst Competition H-pattern
Rear: 57 Pontiac/Olds
Rear Gear Ratio: 4.56:1
Posi: Mark Williams spool, billet main caps and yoke
Axles: Moser 31-spline

Chassis and Suspension
Brakes F/R: Wilwood 11-in disc / 9-in drum
Wheels F/R: Weld Wheels 15x5 / 15x8
Tires F/R: MT 29.5x4x15 / Hoosier 28x10.5x15
Tire Pressure F/R: 35 psi / 13 psi

Suspension Front
Springs: Moroso Drag, 215-lb/in
Shocks: Summit Racing two-way adjustable, set to firm
Control Arms: Stock
Stabilizer Bar: None
Other Features: None

Suspension Rear
Springs: 65 Tempest wagon
Shocks: Competition Engineering 50/50, set at medium
Control Arms: Alston tubular, adjustable uppers
Antiroll Bar: Applied Racing Technology
Other Features: None
Chassis Mods: None

The Rest
Interior Mods: Auto Meter Monster tach
Exterior Mods: VFN fiberglass w/ SD-style scoop
Safety Mods: . .8-point rollbar, G-Force safety harness, driveshaft loop, SFI-approved drivetrain parts
Color: . .Starlight Black w/ original Parchment interior
Launch Technique: 4,400 rpm w/ MSD Launch Controller two-step
Best 1/8-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 6.70/101
Best 1/4-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 10.62/124

Calvin Hill

Calvin Hill, a 47-year-old professional engine builder specializing in Pontiac cylinder-head development, runs his own shop, called Hill Performance in Lakemoor, Illinois. My dad got me started in Pontiacs, as he drag raced his 59 Catalina throughout the 60s and 70s, he says. I purchased my GTO in 1984 when I was 19 years old, and it was my daily driver. It was an original 360hp Tri-Power car with a four-speed, 3.55 gears, and no power options. At the race track, I want people to look inside and appreciate the design Pontiac had back in 1965.

STRIP TUNING LOG
Run/Tuning Launch RPM Shift Pt. 60-ft. 1/8-mile 1/4-mile
1. 33-deg timing, 104/107 jets, 13 psi in rear tires 6,200 7,000 1.86 7.49/98.31 11.53/121.41
2. Same 5,200 7,000 1.61 6.98/98.54 11.01/121.25
3. 12.5 psi in rear tires 5,200 7,000 1.64 7.02/99.34 11.00/122.82
4. 101/104 jets 5,100 7,000 1.53 6.88/99.69 10.84/123.25
Best Pass Corrected 10.47/127.68
Run Notes: 1) Spinning bad, let off throttle and then got back in; 2) Still spinning; 3) Pulling stronger, but still spinning some; 4) Clean, but spinning.

Strip Specs

Year/Model: 09 G8 GT
Race Weight With Driver: 4,145 lbs
Curb Weight: 3,960 lbs
Fuel Level When Weighed: 34-tank
Fuel: 93-octane
Engine: L76 6.0-litre, cast-aluminum
Engine Built By: GM, cam install by Mike Norris
Tuning: Livernois Motorsports, displacement-on-demand delete

Induction System
Air Cleaner: Roto-Fab
Injectors: Stock, 5 g/s static flow
Throttle Body: Stock/ported by Fasterproms
Intake Manifold: Stock LS3/ported by Fasterproms

Fuel system
Pump: Stock in-tank
Lines: Stock
Regulator: Stock

Heads Casting: Stock cast aluminum
Head Porting: No
Flow Numbers: N/A
Valves: Stock solid-stem, 2.165/1.59-in

Bottom End
Pistons: Stock hypereutectic, 4.00-in
Rings: Stock
Rods: Stock
Compression Ratio: . . 10.4:1
Crankshaft: Stock 3.62-in
Rotating Assembly Balanced: Factory

Camshaft
Brand: Livernois Motorsports Stage 1 hydraulic roller
Duration at 0.050: 224/230-deg
Duration Advertised: N/A
Lift With Specified Rocker Arms: 0.581/0.590-in
Lobe Separation Angle: 114-deg
Installed Position: 112-deg
Rocker Arms: . . Stock 1.7:1 with Comp Cams upgraded trunnions

Ignition
Ignition: GM coil near plug
Wires: Stock
Spark Plugs: NGK TR6
Total Timing: N/A
Rpm that total timing is reached: N/A

Exhaust
Headers: ARH stainless-steel
Primaries: 1.875-in
Collectors: 3.00-in
Exhaust Pipes: 3.00-in
Mufflers: Magnaflow
Crossover: ARH

Drivetrain
Transmission: Stock 6L80
Converter: Stock
Shifter: Stock
Rear: Stock
Rear Gear Ratio: 2.92:1
Posi: Stock
Axles: Stock

Chassis and Suspension
Brakes F/R: Stock ventilated rotors, twin-piston calipers/single-piston alloy calipers
Wheels F/R: TSW Strip 19x8 / stock GTO 17x8
Tires F/R: BF Goodrich G-Force 255/40R19 / Nitto 555R 275/40R17
Tire Pressure F/R: 37 psi / 20 psi

Suspension Front
Springs: Stock, progressive rate
Control Arms: Stock
Stabilizer Bar: Stock, 23 mm
Struts: MacPherson

Suspension Rear
Springs: Stock coils, progressive rate
Control Arms: Stock
Stabilizer Bar: 18 mm
Shocks: Stock
Other Features: . BMR bushings, Spohn trailing arms and toe links
Chassis Mods: None

The Rest
Interior Mods: Aeroforce gauges, GXP Red/Black steering wheel
Exterior Mods: TSS emblems, black spoiler and hoodscoops, Maverick Man carbon-fiber grille surrounds, Bohnmam front splitter
Safety Mods: Driveshaft loop
Color: White Hot
Best 1/8-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 8.21/88.06
Best 1/4-mile ET/MPH Prior to Event: 12.63/112.81

Dan Laudenschlager

Dan, 37 years old, spends his days taking care of his kids. He took delivery of his 09 G8 in November 2009. He started racing the next year. Its special to him because its his four-door GTO. Ive been waiting to get a performance Pontiac since I sold my 66 [GTO] in 1992. Dans G8 is sponsored by Third Shift Studios.

Calvin Hill, a 47-year-old professional engine builder specializing in Pontiac cylinder-head development, runs his own shop, called Hill Performance in Lakemoor, Illinois. My dad got me started in Pontiacs, as he drag raced his 59 Catalina throughout the 60s and 70s, he says. I purchased my GTO in 1984 when I was 19 years old, and it was my daily driver. It was an original 360hp Tri-Power car with a four-speed, 3.55 gears, and no power options. At the race track, I want people to look inside and appreciate the design Pontiac had back in 1965.

STRIP TUNING LOG
Run/Tuning Launch RPM Shift Pt. 60-ft. 1/8-mile 1/4-mile
1. 18 psi in rear tires 700 6,200 2.06 8.39/87.57 12.85/109.97
2. Same 1,500 6,200 2.05 8.32/87.44 12.90/107.19
3. Same 1,500 6,200 2.06 8.37/87.40 12.81/111.17
Best Pass Corrected 12.40/114.89
4. Same 1,500 6,200 2.04 8.37/87.00 12.82/111.13
5. Same 1,500 6,200 2.07 8.39/87.44 12.82/111.15
Run Notes: 1) Short burnout, spun on 1-2 shift; 2) Spun on 1-2 shift, shifted into Fourth gear unintentionally; 3) Spun on 1-2 shift; crossed traps in Third gear; 4) Same; 5) Same.