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Kings of the Street: 11 Demons of their day


#1

In the summer of 1987, I was a regular at the street races in Tom’s River, N.J. My 350-powered 1969 Chevy Camaro RS convertible was slow compared to the gaggle of Buick Grand Nationals, IROC Camaros, and 5.0-liter Mustangs, but it was fun to hang out and watch the action. We would gather on Saturday nights in the Roy Roger’s parking lot on Route 37, just over the causeway from the cruising action in the beach town of Seaside Heights.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/09/20/11-demons-of-their-day

#2

Got to add a few to the list;
I believe the 56 Stude Golden hawk started the muscle car era. The 352 engine put out 275 HP, and had an option for dual quads.
Now how about the 57 Packard Clipper wagon. 289 McCulloch super charged motor. (First blown wagon)
275 HP . Only 869 made. I have one.
ULTIMATE SLEEPER:
2008-09 Saab 9-7x AERO. better looking cousin of the Trailblazer SS. LS-2, 6.0, 415HP 0-60; 5.3 seconds
in a full frame SUV with AWD. It’s a rocket ship that gets 17mpg. I have one of these too.


#3

My older brother was into Studebakers in the 60s with a 57 Silver Hawk with Paxton supercharged 289 and a 56 Golden Hawk which I purchased from him. The 352 V8 was a Packard engine and parts were hard to come by.


#4

I just wanted to add a small correction; in 1970 when the Chevelle had that monster 450hp 454 engine option, the Corvette’s 454 was rated at 390hp (not 365)
An interesting side note: the Corvette has always been the flagship of the Chevy fleet and always had the highest horsepower ratings with this year being the exception. However the Corvette was planned to have the top of the line horsepower rating in 1970 with a tri-power 3x2 carburetor version of the 454. It was essentially the same setup as the previous year’s 427 tri-power. This can be seen in the assembly manuals still available today. The page depicting this has the word “Canceled” across the drawing. It would very likely have carried a 460hp rating. One of those corporate decisions we wish would not have happened.


#5

@rebsbp Thanks for the correction, and yes you’re right! The story has been updated.


#6

Just a few observations. Regarding the 1932 Ford. Dodge did not have a 4 cylinder in 1932, they had a 6 and a straight 8. While it wasn’t mentioned, it seemed to be implied that the 57 Chevy 283 fuelie was the first car with one hp per cubic inch that honor belongs to the 56 Chrysler 300B with 355 hp from 354 cubic inches. Also, the Street Hemi was vastly underrated for insurance purposes (and possibly just to be sneaky). It was probably closer to 525. Never understood the popularity of the 1934 Ford as a hot rod. I had a 1934 Plymouth for almost 30 years. Wish I still did. The standard 6 cylinder engine had 77 hp with 82 as an option. More than the Ford V8. It also had independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes. Much better for handling and stopping. Anyway, love the articles in the Hagerty newsletter. Keep it up!
Jerry O.


#7

The supercharged Studebaker’s need to be on this list, the R3 Avanti, even if they only made or sold 9 of the was a rocket.


#8

Not to sound like a total Mustang guy here, but how can one forget the '69 & '70 Boss 429 Mustangs? Yea, if you look at their “rated” horsepower they don’t seem too impressive (they were WAY under-rated to appease the insurance companies). But, in reality, in “showroom” condition (no mods), they would smoke a “showroom” condition Chevelle LS6, in a straight line and especially in the wiggles…
Then there’s the venerable '68-1/2 428CJ Mustang fastback, which if I am not mistaken was a low 13-second 1/4 miler with the simple addition of some sticky rear tires…
Good article…


#9

I know the 65 Z-16 Chevelle was not a production car but to not include it on a list of significant muscle cars is a shame. The L37 big block was a monster. Ask anyone who has raced one. The 65 Z-16 was a promotional run of 200 that introduced the SS 396 line.


#10

@gober1 Thanks, we’ve updated the story accordingly.