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Old 07-01-2007, 05:02 PM
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Actual Horsepower Of '60s/'70s Muscle Cars

Most muscle car enthusiasts know that the horsepower ratings of the engines were deliberately set lower than what they actually made. Usually for insurance reasons and so the cars could run in a more favorable class in drag races.

Noted auto journalist Roger Huntington wrote an article about what these engines actually put out; here is the list: (All are gross hp & torque figures.)

Engine------------------Advertised----Rated----------True
------------------------HP @ RPM---- Torque@ RPM-- HP @ RPM

Buick 455 Stage 1-------360@5000----510@2800------420@5400
Camaro Z/28 302--------290@5800----290@4200------310@6200
Chevelle 396 L-78-------375@5600----415@3600------400@5600
Corvette 427 L-88-------430@5200----450@4400------480@6400
Mopar 340-4 bbl---------275@5000----340@3200------320@5600
Mopar 440-Magnum------375@4600----480@3200------410@5400
Mopar 440 Six-Pack------390@4700----490@3200------430@5600
Mopar 426 Street Hemi---425@5000----490@4000------470@6000
Mustang Boss 302--------290@5800----290@4300------310@6200
Ford 351-4 bbl Cleveland--300@5400----380@3400------340@5600
Mustang Boss 351--------330@5400----370@4000------360@6000
Mustang 428 Cobra-Jet---335@5200----440@3400------410@5600
Mustang Boss 429--------375@5200----450@3400------420@5600
Oldsmobile 455 W-30-----370@5300----500@3600------440@5600
Oldsmobile 350 W-31-----325@5400----360@3600------350@5800
Pontiac Ram Air 400------366@5100----445@3600------410@5600

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Notes:
-The most underrated was probably the 428 Cobra Jet engine... its official rating of 335 hp was a joke, especially considering that the 390-4 bbl engine was also rated at 335 hp.

-The second-most underrated was probaby either the Mopar 426-Hemi or the 340-4 bbl. The 340-Six Pack was not listed, but with an advertised hp of 290@5000 rpm and torque of 340@3200 rpm, I would guess about 335 hp @ 6000 rpm.

-The actual power output of that 455 Olds W-30 is very impressive... 440 hp!
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:12 PM
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Very interesting Fleet, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
Very interesting Fleet, thanks for sharing.
Glad you like it.
It makes for a better comparison when you know the actual horsepower. There were comments on some of the cars in the text of the article, which I'll post in a little while.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:26 PM
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I'd also be interesting to know the actual net power of those engines.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:31 PM
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Did the specs under-rate the torque too ?
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine View Post
Did the specs under-rate the torque too ?
Good question!
No, according to Huntington, the torque ratings were not underrated, probably because insurance companies didn't go by torque ratings.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
I'd also be interesting to know the actual net power of those engines.
I can look that up, too.
Huntington wrote a book called "American Supercar," and he did list estimated net hp for most of the muscle car engines. I'll post them soon.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:08 PM
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Nice list, looks like the current crop of muscle cars isn't that far behind their ancestors. Even if they are officialy watered down stats. Another notable "underated" engine was the 454 LS6 un the Chevelle SS. Rated at 450 hp. When I was in high school it was said that it's real output was 500+ hp.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz_rocks_miami View Post
Nice list, looks like the current crop of muscle cars isn't that far behind their ancestors. Even if they are officialy watered down stats. Another notable "underated" engine was the 454 LS6 un the Chevelle SS. Rated at 450 hp. When I was in high school it was said that it's real output was 500+ hp.
Yeah, I would not be surprised if the 454 LS6 put out more than its claimed hp.
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Old 07-01-2007, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
I'd also be interesting to know the actual net power of those engines.
Here are some figures from the book I mentioned:

Engine-----------------------Rated Hp--Est. Net Hp

'64 Olds 330------------------ 310------ 240
'66 Olds 400------------------ 360------ 320
'68 Buick 400----------------- 345------ 290
'68 Chevy 396 L-78----------- 375------ 360
'69 Pontiac GTO 400---------- 370------ 340
'67 Pontiac GTO 400 ram air--- 360------ 310
'68 Olds 400------------------ 370------ 320
'68 Chevy 427 L-72----------- 425------ 390
'69 Dodge 440-6 Pack--------- 390------ 370

'65 Mustang HP 289----------- 271------ 190
'65 Barracuda 273------------- 235------ 190
'67 Mustang 390--------------- 335------ 250
'68 AMC AMX 390-------------- 315------ 290
'67 Chevy Camaro 350--------- 295------ 230
'68 Plymouth 'Cuda 340-------- 275------ 290
'68 Ford Mustang 428---------- 335------ 320
(Note that the net rating for the 340 is actually higher than the rated gross hp!)

The Mopar Hemis gained hp as refinements were made. For instance the '68-'69 had a camshaft with more lift and duration compared to the '66-'67. The '70-'71 Hemis had hydraulic lifters while the '66-'69 still had solid lifters.

'66 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 330
'67 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 360
'68 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 390
'69 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 420

--------------------------------------------
Corvette engines:
Base 350-cu-in--------------- 300------- 200
350 L-46--------------------- 350------- 290
427 L-36--------------------- 390------- 280
427 L-71--------------------- 435------- 400
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:17 PM
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Ive read a boss 429 stang would out perform a Hemi car in stock form. Is this true fleet?
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Old 07-01-2007, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rev440 View Post
Ive read a boss 429 stang would out perform a Hemi car in stock form. Is this true fleet?
Not typically, unless the Mustang had really low gears like 4.30.
This was mentioned in the same book by Roger Huntington...
"It would be nice if I could say the new Boss 429 went and out beat Chrysler's nasty old Street Hemi hands down. It didn't quite work out that way. As I said, those Shotgun ports were just too big for the street. Even with all the detuning and choking down by Ford engineers, they could not quite get their act together. Big ports made the low end and mid-range weak. And just about the time the big ports started to work on the top end, the restrictive carburetion and camming took over. The street Boss 429 didn't perform really well anywhere in the speed range.

It was an intersting lesson in standing-start acceleration curves. With the street Bosses' huge ports and the soft low-end and mid-range torque, the car spent too much time getting up to 70 or 80 mph where the flow in the ports was decent. At that point, there wasn't enough left of the 1/4 mile to turn good numbers. All else being equal, the Street Hemi could could up to 60 mph 1- to 1.5-seconds quicker. And to top it off, the street Boss 429 didn't have the carburetion and manifolding to haul on the top end. The single 735-cfm Holley and two-plane manifold were poorly matched to the size of the ports and valves underneath. Flow velocity was fine through the carb and manifold, but slowed at the big ports, hurting air/fuel mixture. Interesting engine"

Roger did test a '69 Boss 429 Mustang with a four-speed manual and 3.91:1 rear axle ratio and got these times:
0-30 mph-------------- 3.2 secs
0-60 mph-------------- 7.1
1/4 mile---------------- 14.09@102.85 mph
Estimated net hp------- 370

Compare with a Car Life test of a '69 Dodge Charger R/T with 426-Hemi, 4-speed manual and 3.54:1 gears:
0-30 mph--------------- N.A.
0-60 mph--------------- 5.7 secs
1/4 mile----------------- 13.9@104 mph
Estimated net hp-------- 420
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet 500 View Post
Here are some figures from the book I mentioned:

Engine-----------------------Rated Hp--Est. Net Hp

'64 Olds 330------------------ 310------ 240
'66 Olds 400------------------ 360------ 320
'68 Buick 400----------------- 345------ 290
'68 Chevy 396 L-78----------- 375------ 360
'69 Pontiac GTO 400---------- 370------ 340
'67 Pontiac GTO 400 ram air--- 360------ 310
'68 Olds 400------------------ 370------ 320
'68 Chevy 427 L-72----------- 425------ 390
'69 Dodge 440-6 Pack--------- 390------ 370

'65 Mustang HP 289----------- 271------ 190
'65 Barracuda 273------------- 235------ 190
'67 Mustang 390--------------- 335------ 250
'68 AMC AMX 390-------------- 315------ 290
'67 Chevy Camaro 350--------- 295------ 230
'68 Plymouth 'Cuda 340-------- 275------ 290
'68 Ford Mustang 428---------- 335------ 320
(Note that the net rating for the 340 is actually higher than the rated gross hp!)

The Mopar Hemis gained hp as refinements were made. For instance the '68-'69 had a camshaft with more lift and duration compared to the '66-'67. The '70-'71 Hemis had hydraulic lifters while the '66-'69 still had solid lifters.

'66 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 330
'67 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 360
'68 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 390
'69 Mopar 426-Hemi----------- 425------- 420

--------------------------------------------
Corvette engines:
Base 350-cu-in--------------- 300------- 200
350 L-46--------------------- 350------- 290
427 L-36--------------------- 390------- 280
427 L-71--------------------- 435------- 400
Fleet, that's really interesting. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
Fleet, that's really interesting. Thanks for posting it.
Albert, is that the first time you and Fleet quote each other without arguing?
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisetdavid26 View Post
Albert, is that the first time you and Fleet quote each other without arguing?
No there have been other rare occasions where this has happened too...

I have to say some engines are quite disappointing, like the 289 Ford and the 350 Chevrolet.
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Last edited by Ferrer; 07-02-2007 at 12:02 AM.
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