2011 Mustang GT versus Camaro SS
In late March, we had the opportunity to testdrive Ford's new 5.0L '11 Mustang GT. You probably already know about the Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) all-aluminum V-8-code named "Coyote"-that makes 412 hp. On paper, that number alone should give the Mustang GT a performance advantage over the Camaro SS' 400hp automatic, and 426hp manual trans versions, that is once you figure in the Camaro's extra 250 pounds of curb weight. Ford is understandably proud of its achievement, and during the press introduction they set up an eighth-mile dragstrip at Camarillo Airport to prove the GT's superiority.
We lined up to drive both the Camaro SS and the Mustang GT (both six-speed automatics), trying different launch techniques. When the dust settled, we had a fistful of timeslips to prove that the new 5.0 Mustang was faster-and by a substantial margin. Our best e.t. in the Camaro was 8.82 at 83 mph-which turned out to be one of the best for the day. Not bad, but in the Mustang, we managed 8.62 at 86 mph. In the theoretical quarter-mile-and given the traction limitations of the airport's untreated surface (and no water or burnouts allowed)-that's roughly 13.80 for the Camaro and 13.50 for the Mustang. Other journalists faired similarly, but the plot thickens ...
Rather than go on the "approved" press tour, one pair of journalists snuck a six-speed manual 5.0 liter off to the Dynojet chassis dyno where it made 395 hp to the rear wheels (as well as 365 lb-ft of torque). Even with a meager 15 percent drivetrain loss, that number equates to nearly 465 hp at the flywheel. We can't verify those dyno numbers, but as these cars hit the street, it will quickly become apparent that the Mustang is in it to win it. With a base price of $30,495, 26 mpg, and 250 pounds less curb weight than the Camaro SS, the Mustang is shaping up to be the spoiler. We can easily see going 12s with nothing more than a good set of Nitto drag radials and a healthy burnout. Now if only Dodge would answer the call and beef up their Challenger R/T for battle! Look for a full report on the '11 Mustang GT in the August issue.
Blown and Badass
Hurst to the Rescue
Fortunately, the aftermarket is not waiting for Chevy to build a faster, more agile Camaro SS. Hurst is now offering their Camaro Series 5, a striped and be-spoilered special edition that takes the Camaro SS to new heights-visually and performance-wise. Yes, the Hurst Series 5 has all the telltale upgrades, like wheels, decals, emblems, and spoilers, but it also has serious power boosters, like an intercooled Hurst/Magnuson supercharger and a MagnaFlow exhaust system. The Magnuson twin-screw blower has an integral bypass valve for low parasitic drag, yet puts down 492 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels-that's Z06 killing power folks. To handle all that, Hurst endows their Series 5 with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter, Eibach suspension components, and massive BFGoodrich KDW performance tires. Only 50 of these will be built by Hurst each year, and each comes with a custom Hurst gold car cover, a signed certificate of authenticity, and signatures in the trunk from the Hurst team to complete the car's provenance. So, how much is all this goodness going to cost you? About $30,000 over the cost of a standard Camaro SS.
Dupli-Color Restoration Challenge
If you are a DIY hot rodder, and you've recently completed a restoration project at home, you may be interested in knowing that Dupli-Color is looking for your car. Specifically, their Restoration Challenge seeks to find the nicest hot rod projects that have been substantially completed at home using Dupli-Color products. The contest runs through July 18, so there's plenty of time to get your's finished. The grand prize is $10,000 cash, plus an all-expense-paid trip to Nashville to appear on PowerBlock TV with Courtney Hansen. There are plenty of other prizes too, like gift cards from Advance Auto. You can also participate if you don't have a homebuilt hot rod. Once Dupli-Color's qualified judges have selected the final 32-car field, anyone may vote online to help determine the winner. To find out more, check it out on DupliColorRestorationChallenge.com
Rich Wynn wanted to wish us good luck with our Nova project in this self-described rant. We appreciate his support of PHR's Project Nova. From the sound of it, Wynn's '70 Nova is turning out be a real beast. We only wish he'd sent some pictures of it. Our Project Nova resumes this month on page 86.
I was just reading your editorial in the Mar. '10 issue regarding the '68-72 Nova project. I have to tell you I truly agree with the KISS program. I started building a '70 Nova a few years ago, and the project is just coming to an end. I initially planned on a simple big-block (502/502) crate motor with automatic trans, which was fun to drive around town.
The project was going great ... until I started with the motor. What was going to be a nice, calm street motor ended up being a 540ci beast cranking out over 730 horses on the dyno. Then I had to install a rollcage to keep everything from twisting on me. Well, as I slipped a bit over the 500hp mark, I also found myself having to change some other rather expensive driveline components, like the transmission and rearend. At this point, I couldn't get enough tire under the car, so next came the necessary chassis work to the back half of the car. At least I managed to keep the car looking really streetable. I think it's just about finished. However, I have been looking at a small nitrous system to get it up around 1,000 horses.
Cape Coral, Florida
Large and in Charge!
We got a surprising amount of positive mail on our big-car issue in May, which was successfully disguised with a '69 Camaro on the cover. The jury is still out on if it was a newsstand success, but we didn't get any negative mail from Camaro and Nova owners, most likely due to the fact that we had a 20-page suspension guide dedicated to these cars.
Thank you for recognizing the big cars in the May '10 issue. I've been a fan of big American cars since childhood. My Mark VII Lincoln Continental, the "Chairman of the Board," has approximately 245,000 miles on the original 302 high-output GT engine. I've owned this car since 1996. Yes, your magazine frequently acknowledges the Camaros and Mustangs of the world, but what I like most is how your magazine also recognizes affordable niche cars too. Thanks again.
Sean M. Williams
San Jose, California
"...Your magazine frequently acknowledges the Camaros and Mustangs of the world, but what I like most is how your magazine also recognizes affordable niche cars too." -Sean Williams
I'm in the middle of reading the May issue, and it's the best to date. (I'm a longtime reader.) I really don't care about the Camaro stuff, but I really dig the big cars. It's about time someone had the cojones to feature them! The '74 Malibu is a blast from the past for me. I used to own one just like it, but it was an SS 454 with the vinyl top and small side window. Now I'm the owner of a '72 Dodge Polara custom two-door with a 400 big-block that I plan to hot-rod someday. (Money is tight.) Keep the big cars coming!
Via the Internet
"...I really dig the big cars. It's about time someone had the cojones to feature them!" -Daniel Benoit
Your opening paragraph described me to a "T" as a '69 Camaro antagonist. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a '69 Camaro-there's almost no way to screw one up. The only problem with the '69 Camaro is they ruin cruise-ins and car shows-they're a dime a dozen! Point is, if I could get someone to stop at a car show and say, "that's awesome-what is it?" to a '73 El Camino ... I think that builder has a ton more talent than most of what you see at car shows. And even at that, I know the masses don't want to get caught saying a '73 El Camino is "cool".
Via the Internet
Thanks for the spread on the '72 Gran Torino Sport. I've owned a '72 since 1991, and I rarely ever see one on the pages of magazines. I (as well as many other '72-plus Torino owners) welcome the publicity, and hope this will create a growth in aftermarket goodies for our often-forgotten rides. Keep up the great work, even if you have to throw a "Slowmaro" on the cover to peddle it.
"Keep up the great work, even if you have to throw a 'Slowmaro' on the cover to peddle it." -Todd Green
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
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