28 Little-known muscle car facts

Yeah, because the GS was a mid-size car and not the full-size car like the LeSabre or Wildcat.

Stripes that went completely over a car from front to back, or even just on the hood, were ALWAYS called “racing stripes” in Northern California in the 60’s and 70’s. Never heard them called anything else.

The 1965-69 Mustang had racing stripes, but they were right above the rockers.

There clearly is no standard to describe what the stripes are called.

Plenty of people have told me they never used the term “muscle car” in the 1960s but I’ve found usage dating back to 1965. Your results may vary.

According to the link you supplied, “At the end of production, slightly over 40% of the 10,026 optional ZL2 installations were Z10’s and Z11’s,” which is what I had suggested from what an expert told me. The COPO package included the hood, so it’s not counted in production. Hence, you can assume ZL2 installations were about 1,000 more than what’s listed in production records to account for the COPOs.

You can argue semantics all you want . -Most 1969 SS and Z/28 cars did not come with the ZL2 hood. There are still gaps of information on COPO cars, and documentation. It is only likely the COPO cars are not included, and it is less than 1000 cars anyways, hence COPO cars are rare as well. So if you can find a real 1969 SS or Z/28 and it had a ZL2 hood from the factory it is rare. Date coded hoods and paperwork can back up if it came with the car originally. You would benefit from reading the research pages on the CRG, BEFORE asking questions. Have a nice day.

I would like to add that us Mopar guys called the stripes anything but “racing stripes” on our cars! My personal UN-favorite was calling the “bumblebee” stripe that looped around the rear quarters and trunklid (ala Darts and Super Bee’s) a “butt stripe”. But anyway… the 'Cudas had “hockey sticks” and “billboards”, my 71 Road Runner had a “strobe stripe”, the 71 GTX and Road Runners could have been had with “waterfall stripes” (coming off of the engine callout decals on the “C-Hood” that flowed down to the front wheelwells when you didn’t get the Air Grabber hood). The 70 Road Runner could have been ordered with “dust trails” from the Road Runner decal on the leading edge of the front fender that went all the way into the side scoop on the rear quarter panel. A little off topic, but the 68 Road Runners had “walking birds” on the doors by the emblem, and the 69’s were the first year for the “running birds”. Not to be confused with the “standing bird” on the trunklid or on the Superbird wings, but I digress…
I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waiters and waitresses. Try the veal…

Who are what is Mecum other than an auction house based in Illinois?

Regarding the 302/”290hp” Z28 and Boss302, here are a few comments:

Hot Rod January 2010 compared some classic Ford and Chevy small blocks on the dyno, built as close to stone factory stock as possible. They made a few mistakes on some of the builds but it’s the best comparison I know of.

Boss 302/290
Torq 325 at 4200
Powr 372 at 6800

Z28 302/290
Torq 333 at 4400
Powr 356 at 6700

These aren’t exactly good old “SAE Gross” dyno tests of the 1960s because the Hot Rod engines had electric water pumps and headers instead of iron manifolds, and both those changes raise dyno power.

My own Gonkulator agrees with a couple thousand dyno tests and says, with iron manifolds and the engine driving the water pump:

Boss 302/290
Torq 315 at 4400
Powr 338 at 6300

Z28 302/290
Torq 314 at 4400
Powr 333 at 6800

Either way, those engines make a lot more than 290 GROSS horsepower. My opinion is that much like Ford admits on the “335hp” (LOL) 428cj, the 302 Boss was rated in more like today’s NET horsepower condition, and 290hp is pretty close for the NET horsepower of either engine.

Magazine road tests of the Boss 302 range from 90-99 mph.
Magazine road tests of the Z28 range from 94-100 mph.
I don’t put much stock in ET’s from back then for reasons already stated- launching those old tires was like launching today’s tires in the RAIN, BTDT on both counts. But, both cars ran high 14s to low 15s in the period road tests.
That sounds slow by today’s standards, but remember that was 50 year old technology, and the cars were dirt cheap, maybe $28,000 in today’s dollars. Cheaper than a Honda CR-V.

In NHRA, things are more of a mystery and maybe others can answer this.
Back in the day, 1967-1971, the Z28’s ran low 12s to high 11s at 110-116mph in NHRA “stock” class, meaning careful blueprinting, open headers, good power shifting, gutting the car down to shipping weight, and not much else. Crappy cheater slicks that are barely as good as today’s street tires.

I can’t find any Boss 302’s in the old NHRA records which seems strange since the engine made good power.
A buddy of mine had one and I remember he did pk with it on the street but it blew up a couple times when he bypassed the rev limiter and ran it pretty hard. .Is that why the Boss 302 didn’t catch on in NHRA? I don’t know and would appreciate any memories there.

I’m curious, when you say your 429CJ automatic Cyclone was a “stone”, what does that mean?
Road tests of those cars ran in the low to mid 14s at 96-102mph.
Not exactly stellar, but good to take on a Boss 302 or Z28 stick car.
And, every road test I have of the 429CJ was an automatic car, often loaded with useless options like power steering and air conditioning, coming in usually at over 4000 lb. That was heavy, at least back then.

My first car began as a 429/360hp (base engine) 1970 Torino Cobra automatic, I’m sure it was 4000-4100 lb.
Only 10hp less than your 429/370hp 429CJ, right? LOL. That’s why I began to write the Gonkulator – I realized after the fact that 360 vs 370 is only 10hp, but the real difference was more like 80hp so what kind of nonsense was the factory publishing? (Not the only such example but one of the more obvious extremes).

I built my base 429 into an almost-CJ level at about 385hp, and ran 14.27 at 101mph at Milan with the big heavy tank. The tires felt more like “glass” than “polyglas” when launching the car. But it was good enough to be the fastest car at my high school! Just curious if you ran your big 429CJ, what it turned, and why you felt it was such a “stone”?

That said, the 429 Ford is also totally absent from the old NHRA records and I can’t explain that either!

Hi there!
In the main article you note that the 1971 Ford 429 Police engine was almost, but not quite, a 429CJ engine. What was different? I’ve always heard they were identical (engines).

I did have a 1972 (not 71) 429 Police engine, and that one IS different. The intake ports are a little smaller than the 429CJ/SCJ sewer pipes, the chambers are bigger and give about 9.0 compression, and the exhaust ports are not as good as the 429CJ but better than the base 429. The 1972 429-PI intake did not take the Q-jet like the 71-429CJ, but rather the new Ford 4300-D spreadbore as used on the Boss 351. The heads & intake on the 1972 429-PI had D2 casting numbers so they were new for 1972.

Curious what you heard was different in 1971 on the 429PI vs 429CJ ?

Bryan, beautiful cars!!! Thanks for enlightening me on the Bosses and Z’s.

Werby, thank you for a very detailed description of the two. I have a '68 Z28, I remember back in the day they were called big block eaters. I have owned lots of big blocks and while my Z is quick, it in no way compares to my 383 cars, 440 cars, or especially my Hemi. And they are all rebuilt to stock specs. And so the reason I wanted to hear all that you and Bryan said was to determine if mine was a slug. It is a stock 302 Z with air pump and exhaust manifolds. It runs great but no way compares to my others. Never raced it and won’t because it is too valuable.

It just goes to show that not all cars are created equal. LOL. My '70 Cyclone Spoiler was the standard 370hp cobra jet with the C-6 automatic, 3.25 rear end and loaded. Power everything. Honestly, I think the C-6 in combo with the 3.25 gears in that 4000 + pound car was just too much of a handicap. I’m embarrassed to say that the car wouldn’t even lay rubber without brake torqueing it. Any Z/28 or Boss 302 would murder it. I never raced it because I was sure it wouldn’t even run mid 15’s. That said, I still have a soft spot for Cyclones and would love to have a 69 428 cj 4 speed. The truth is that the 429/460 family never really was competitive with Mopar or GM for many reasons. The 390/428…different story.

Bryan I have a 428 7 Litre that is pretty darned quick for such a big car. Again though I have never raced that one either but I have spent many nights at Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove Wi. and I know what a high 14 second car feels like and this 7 Litre is good for that time…real high 14 area. Truth be told, I have a 40 year old aluminum mainifold on it and a somewhere almost as old Holley carburetor. It had a 3.00 rear gear and I put a 3.50 in it and that did perk it up a bit. I have always like the 390’s and the 428’s.

One more thing Bryan…with what you have in your garage, you have no need for a Hemi of yester-year!

Thanks but I’d trade everything I have for a 68-70 Charger 4 speed Hemi. Bad bad bad.

Well, I have to admit, those were the best years for the Charger. It was one tough looking machine. Mine is A4 silver with a black interior, automatic trans. Now as far as the newer Corvettes, they are the best deal out there for a supercar and they are hot looking, stunning! Love the Mustangs too.

My first new car was a Go-Man-Go 340 Challenger, posi, Hurst pistol grip. No Air or power. Only option was radio and rear defroster. Those were the days when the dealer got out his pencil and wrote down the items you wanted on a your car.


A few years ago, I read a nice comparison (I think it was when that '71 fireman’s wagon first starting hitting the Internet) on the two engines. When doing this story, I could not find that info, but I did have two AMA Specifications docs to compare. I don’t recall specifically the differences but they were marginal. Are you on FB? Hit me up and I’ll show you the docs and maybe you can answer your question better than I can!

Interesting, considering that you are the one that claimed ZL2 production included COPO and pace cars, yet now you’re changing your tune based on the questions that I asked a real Camaro expert AND are supported by a link you posted.

The word that comes to mind is “chutzpah.”

My interest is writing interesting topics and promoting dialogue. Anything less is a disservice to Hagerty.

Your interest is trying to argue minuscule details. It is only likely it doesn’t include COPO production. It is just based off of what was seen among other models, but there is no documentation that says it is for sure. Again read the CRG research and try learning something. You even questioned the guy on CRG who answered your question, saying the link contradicted the info. Your just a troll plain and simple