Classic muscle cars dominate modern sports cars in drag racing | Taza Khabre


  • Classic muscle cars from the 60s and 70s prove that they still have plenty of power and can take on today’s sports cars in drag racing by a narrow margin.
  • Modified classic muscle cars with huge turbochargers can beat modern sports cars in drag racing, showing the owners’ dedication to preserving the performance and appearance of these legendary cars.
  • The Dodge Hellcat engine continues to dominate the track, effortlessly beating classic cars and even some modern sports cars.

Muscle car Fans will agree that there aren’t many things more exciting than V8 power plants drag racing each other, especially when the old school meets the new sports cars. Perfectly preserved legendary muscle cars from the 60s and 70s go up against modern technology and horsepower, and to be able to dominate some, if not all, is a thrill unlike any other.

YouTube channel Wheels covers one such exciting set of races, featuring some stunning classic muscle cars pitted against their modern counterparts. While many modern cars eventually win races, they do so by a slim margin, as these 50-year-old and even older cars prove they have plenty of life and wit left in them.

Of course, these are not standard classics, many of them have huge blowers sticking out of their hoods. However, owners keep them in such pristine condition that these classic cars look even more attractive than the newer sports cars they compete with. So here’s a little look at what happened in this race between ancient and modern technology.

RELATED: Old school vs. new school: America’s best muscle cars take to the track

How do classic Chevy Novas stack up against today’s sports cars?

In the first race, a stunning white 1972 Chevrolet Nova competes against a matte gray 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT. Both cars look great, with the Dodge looking quite menacing against the sleeker Nova. Although this classic looks modified, the Chevy Nova had quite powerful engines for its time, despite initially debuting as a compact economy car. All Chevy Nova SS models with the 5.3L, 5.7L, 6.5L, and 6.6L engines are muscle cars, rated up to 375 horsepower.

1970 Chevy Nova SS Specs

Engine type

Chevy big-block V8

Engine capacity

6.5-liter (396 cu in)


375 hp

Method of transmission

Four-speed manual transmission or Turbo Hydramatic

Base price (in 1970)

2978 USD

(Technical specifications, unchanged (does not show the car in the video) were taken from official GM site.)

So how did the Nova stack up against the Challenger? Even though the Modern Sport won this round, it was a bit of a close match with the Nova taking off like a rocket before the Challenger caught up with it’s racing performance.


2015 Dodge Challenger SRT

1972 Chevrolet Nova

A quarter of a mile

9:88 seconds

11.17 seconds

The highest speed

142.36 miles per hour

113.58 mph

When the purple 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye went head-to-head with the stunning black 1973 Chevy Nova SS, the results were stunning considering the Nova beat the Hellcat Redeye in every way. The old school Chevy Nova handles the Challenger Redeye with ease.


2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye

1973 Chevrolet Nova SS

A quarter of a mile

11.90 seconds

10.45 seconds

The highest speed

123.73 miles per hour

127.95 mph

Another Nova, this time a slightly battered version of the Chevy Nova II, took on another stunning old-school classic, the 1969 Camaro Z28. Even though it was an old-school battle, given that the Chevy Nova II also debuted in 1962 and lasted through five generations, it was interesting to see the Camaro emerge as the muscle car winner.


Chevy Nova II

1969 Chevy Camaro Z28

A quarter of a mile

11:98 seconds

10:58 seconds

The highest speed

113.21 mph

135.36 mph

RELATED: Classic Muscle Cars Take on Their Newest Rivals in Old Vs. New Drag Racing

The Pontiac GTO continues to compete with its contemporaries

Fox body Mustang vs Pontiac GTO classic cars drag racing

Unlike Chevy Novas, whose owners were happy to take on modern sports cars in the form of the Dodge Challenger, it looks like the racers on these Pontiac GTO rims decided to stick with their competition. In the history of the classic Pontiac GTO, the most powerful models were the 1969-70 Ram Air IV 400 CID V8 engine that produced 370 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. according to the Muscle Car Club.

The first Pontiac GTO we see in this race is hoodless and has a huge supercharger, so it’s clear that there’s nothing standard about this classic. Then again, even the 1989 Fox-Body Mustang has a big nose on the hood, almost like a Ram III Air Intake shaker, so both of these awesome classics have extra power. Even though the Pontiac GTO was known for its amazing power, this time it was the Mustang that won.


1989 Ford Mustang

1969-1970 Pontiac GTO

A quarter of a mile

12:15 seconds

12:44 seconds

The highest speed

112.98 mph

104.65 mph

However, that changed when another GTO, this time with a supercharger the size of Texas, took on the Chevy Camaro SS and won by a wide margin. The Camaro’s time can be credited to driver error or some type of malfunction.


Pontiac GTO

Chevrolet Camaro SS

A quarter of a mile

14:68 seconds

17:16 seconds

The highest speed

100.02 miles per hour

63.97 miles per hour

RELATED: See How These Muscle Cars and Classic Cars Defeat Modern Tech in Race Series

Modern Chevy Corvette racing has had mixed results

New Generation Chevy C8 Corvette vs Old School Classic 1969 Chevy Camaro Drag Racing

There were also two Chevy Corvettes on the track, with the first race pitting America’s favorite sports car against the old school classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. Not only did the C8 Corvette look much more powerful than the classic muscle car, even though the 1969 Camaro was a product of the war at the peak of power, but it also beat the old school muscle cars squarely.


1969 Chevrolet Camaro

C8 Chevrolet Corvette

A quarter of a mile

12.61 seconds

11.59 seconds

The highest speed

117.46 miles per hour

113.92 miles per hour

Still, a supercharged Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda took the race from a white C7 Corvette, proving that muscle cars are just as good as modern sports cars, even if the C7 is a few years old. Muscle car enthusiasts will agree that there is something special about the Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, and various iterations of this engine are used to power current Dodge Chargers and Challengers.


Plymouth HEMI Cuda

Chevrolet C7 Corvette

A quarter of a mile

9.41 seconds

10.41 seconds

The highest speed

145.30 mph

139.84 mph

RELATED: Respect Your Elders: Older S197 Ford Mustang Shows Black Ghost Dodge Challenger Who’s the Boss

1971 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda Specifications

Engine type


Engine capacity

6.98 liters (426 cu in)


425 hp

A turning point

490 lb-ft

Method of transmission

Four-speed mechanics

Technical specifications, unchanged (do not show the car in the video) were taken from official website of Stellantis Media.

The Hellcat engine is alive and well on the drag strip

The next generation 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat vs. vintage classic Ford Model A Drag Racing

So, we know that the Hellcat takes on the latest challenge when it comes to Dodge’s long-standing and iconic sports cars like the Charger and Challenger. Along with those legendary nameplates, the Ram TRX is also retiring the Hellcat by the end of 2023, though the engine will last longer in the Dodge Durango SRT.

However, on the track, it seems that the Dodge Hellcat engine is not only alive and well. It also successfully competes and beats classic cars without even trying too hard. In one race, a Dodge Hellcat Charger SRT competes against a 1971 Plymouth Duster whose flame decals make it look fast, but it’s more an illusion than a reality.


Dodge Charger Hellcat

1971 Plymouth Duster

A quarter of a mile

11.62 seconds

13.03 seconds

The highest speed

113.18 mph

109.52 mph

Another race that caught the attention of fans was between one old, old classic, the Ford Model A, which went up against the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with predictable results, given that the Challenger won by a huge margin, although we doubt the driver this Challenger car tried very hard.


Ford Model A

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

A quarter of a mile

14.33 seconds

12.27 seconds

The highest speed

91.965 mph

109.17 mph

This particular drag race video ended with a fantastic 1957 Chevy Bel Air racing a beautiful olive green 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT, and once again the Challenger rose to the challenge. With that in mind, all these drag races prove that it’s important not to be new or old: it all depends on what’s under the hood and who’s behind the wheel.


1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

2019 Challenger Hellcat SRT

A quarter of a mile

13.87 seconds

12.03 seconds

The highest speed

95.88 mph

113.90 mph

Source: YouTube channel Wheels, GM, Stellantis, Muscle Car Club

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