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Fleet 500 02-04-2012 12:51 AM

Supercars Annual '69
 
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I am quite excited. Won a hard-to-find magazine from eBay. "Supercars Annual '69." Buying a magazine like this is almost like finding gold! I have one from '72 but the '69 cars still had high-compression engines and low-gearing available.

Here is the cover. I am going to post a few pics of test data of the more interesting cars. This may become my favorite car magazine of all the ones in my collection (1969 is my favorite year for cars), although I do like 1966, 1968 and 1970 a lot, too.

Fleet 500 02-04-2012 03:27 AM

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The data for the test 396 Camaro is interesting. One thing that makes it interesting is the super-deep 4.88:1 axle ratio. This was an available option from Chevy (the other available ratios were 3.07, 3.31, 3.55, 3.73, 4.11 and 4.56).
With the 4.88s, it ran a 13.0 sec @ 108.62 mph 1/4 mile. 0-60 mph was 4.9 seconds. Car was also equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission and F70x14" tires. Test weight 3,300 lbs.

The other interesting thing about this car was the fuel mileage. The low gears really affected fuel mileage... 4-9 mpg! With a 3.31:1 axle ratio, it should give about 10-14 mpg. With 4.88 gears, it would be a ball to drive, but I couldn't live with sub-5 mpg economy!

jcp123 02-04-2012 10:11 AM

Scan the whole thing!

Fleet 500 02-04-2012 05:00 PM

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Lol. I don't know about the whole thing but I will scan some more.

Here are three more.
The first is a 428 Mustang Mach 1. 0-60 mph deep into the 5s and a 1/4 mile well into the 13s. The editors mentioned another Mustang they tested a few months before this one. It had the same 428 engine but with a 4-speed manual and 3.89 gears. it ran 13.42 sec @ 107 mph.

Next scan is a Plymouth GTX with the standard 440 engine. Note the acceleration results. The 7.8 0-60 and 14.29 @ 101.60 indicate that there is a major traction problem! A trap speed of 101.60 usually means a 1/4 mile in the high-13s and 0-60 mph around 6.5 seconds.

And a Ford Fairlane Cobra with (again) a 428 engine. It does break into the 13s for the 1/4 mile. And that 7 second 0-60 mph time also shows a lack of traction off the line (and when shifting).

jcp123 02-05-2012 01:27 PM

Nice! They got anything with a 440-6-pack or a 340 in there? Olds Rocket 455? Pontiacs?

Fleet 500 02-06-2012 03:00 AM

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Yes, there are some of those cars in there, too. No 455 Olds because that wasn't around in 1969 ('70 was the first year except for the '68 (and '69?) 455 Hurst/Olds).
The 440-6 Pack was a mid-year introduction and was not yet available when the magazine was printed.

Here are three more...

The 340 Dart Swinger has a slower-than-average 1/4 mile (15.2 @ 92). Don't know why, especially when it had 3.91 gears. Maybe it wasn't fully broken-in yet or had a bad traction problem. A 340 Dart with those gears should run at least mid-14s (Car Life magazine got 14.68 @ 96.2 mph with a '68 340 Dart GTS with 3.23 gears.

Next is a 383 Barracuda with the same 3.91 gears and a 383 big-block engine. This one did quite well... a 14.12 @ 97 mph 1/4 mile. A lack of traction was mentioned. The text says, "Better traction tires would drop the e.t. a full half-second." That would put it in the high-13s... very good for a relatively mildly-tuned 383. And remember, by mid-'69, an even bigger engine was available (the 440, of course). They also said in the text, "Just dropping the clutch gave us spectacular wheel-spinning, tire-smoking starts, but bad elapsed times.

And here is an Oldsmobile 4-4-2, with the 360 hp 400-cu-in engine. It had low 4.33 gears and a 4-speed manual. 13.94 secs @ 100.5 mph. A lot of fun for not much money... these cars sold for around $3,500 to $4,500 as tested (with some options, not just the base price).

jcp123 02-06-2012 08:15 PM

I'm actually surprised too...340's were one of the era's best-kept secrets, little high-winding rockets that could play with the big boys, so 15,2 is definitely slower than I'd be used to seeing. I also never realized the 383 did so well...for some reason I always had the impression it was a little doggy, a better motor for pushing along biggies than pushing you back in the seat.

I thought the 455 Olds was available in more vehicles by '69? Guess I haven't been keeping up with my GM's :D

Fleet 500 02-07-2012 03:02 AM

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[quote=jcp123;980650]I'm actually surprised too...340's were one of the era's best-kept secrets, little high-winding rockets that could play with the big boys, so 15,2 is definitely slower than I'd be used to seeing. I also never realized the 383 did so well...for some reason I always had the impression it was a little doggy, a better motor for pushing along biggies than pushing you back in the seat.[/quote]

Well, there are plenty of road tests in which the 340 ran deep into the 14s. Sometimes a tested car was off a little, maybe driver reaction time?

Remember, the 383 was available in hi-po form and used the same cam and other goodies from the 440. It was possible to buy a 383 Road Runner which could run low-to-mid 14s at 96-100 mph for only about $3,400. A good performance-per-dollar buy. The 383 was at times called the "Baby Big Block." And makes the torque of a big block and revs like a small block (all things being equal, a 383 can rev higher than a 440 which means you can wind out the gears longer).

[quote]I thought the 455 Olds was available in more vehicles by '69? Guess I haven't been keeping up with my GM's :D[/quote]

GM brass would not allow the muscle cars to have engines over 400-cu-in until the 1970 model year. That is why there are no 455-cu-in Olds, Pontiacs and Buicks in the magazine. And the 454 Chevelle began in 1970.

Here are three more.

A 396 Chevelle. It should be pointed out that it had the "mid" powered engine (it could be had in 325-, 350- and 375-hp form. The 4.10 gears certainly helped.

Next a Pontiac GTO with the 370-hp/400-cu-in engine. Again, fitted with low gears (4.33:1). A very good trap speed for the 1/4 mile (107 mph) as is the 5.1 sec 0-60 mph.

And a Mercury Cyclone CJ with 428 engine. Typical performance.

henk4 02-07-2012 03:10 AM

Do the tests contain comparisons of laptime figures on specific tracks?

Fleet 500 02-07-2012 04:04 AM

[quote=henk4;980658]Do the tests contain comparisons of laptime figures on specific tracks?[/quote]
No, these guys (the editors) were hardcore drag racers. To them, an "economy" axle ratio was 3.55:1!

I do have an ad in Car & Driver which does have acceleration, braking and lap times of the 1970 Mopars ('Cuda, Duster, GTX and Road Runner). I was thinking of posting them in this thread so I may as well...

celestineB 02-08-2012 03:45 AM

That was great for you. Scan the whole thing and enjoy!

Fleet 500 02-18-2012 02:55 PM

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Here are three more scans.

First a 383 Dodge Super Bee. The acceleration times are below average for some reason. Maybe it wasn't fully broken-in yet or the usual lack of traction.
A 383 'Bee with 3.55 gears should run mid-6s for 0-60 mph and the 1/4 mile in the mid-14s at 95-100 mph.

Next is a Pontiac Firebird 400. A very good 5.4 0-60 and the 103 mph trap speed for the 1/4 mile shows it making very good power. Would be in the 13s with better tires.

And a Mercury Cougar with the 428 engine and deep 4.30 gears (a factory option). Yet another one dipping into the 13s. The 5-10 mpg would be hard to live with, almost as bad as the 396 Camaro's 4-9 mpg.

dog ear 03-15-2012 02:37 AM

Another great buy. You made my day, Fleet! Just glanced through this thread and see that weights are more in line with what I was preachin in the 71 Supercars Annual thread. One observation about some of the slower times could be that those cars were not supertuned; just driven in off the lot. Engines may not be freshen up due to other magazine testers beating them to death. Actually, many 383 Super Bee and Road- Runners would ET in the low 15s stock with an automatic. I would not say its slow just an accurate none perfomance tuned run-of-the-mill car.

dog ear 03-15-2012 06:55 PM

[quote=jcp123;980650]I'm actually surprised too...340's were one of the era's best-kept secrets, little high-winding rockets that could play with the big boys, so 15,2 is definitely slower than I'd be used to seeing. I also never realized the 383 did so well...for some reason I always had the impression it was a little doggy, a better motor for pushing along biggies than pushing you back in the seat.

I thought the 455 Olds was available in more vehicles by '69? Guess I haven't been keeping up with my GM's :D[/quote]

Only in the Hurst/Olds and the full size cars until 1970. You could actually order a Delta 88 with 455-390 hp W-33 cold air induction engine in 1969. Another was the Toronado with the same engine as the Delta, but rated at 400 hp and designated W-34.

Fleet 500 03-15-2012 09:00 PM

[quote=dog ear;982051]Only in the Hurst/Olds and the full size cars until 1970. You could actually order a Delta 88 with 455-390 hp W-33 cold air induction engine in 1969. Another was the Toronado with the same engine as the Delta, but rated at 400 hp and designated W-34.[/quote]
There was a Ram-Air Toronado in the '69 Supercars Annual issue. 455-cu-in engine, 400 (gross) horsepower, 500 lbs-ft torque 3.21:1 axle ratio. No exact weight given... just "almost 5,000 lbs."
1/4 mile was 15.4 secs @ 91 mph.


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