The best thing to me here is that the article EXISTS. Part of the fun of this hobby is nit-picking and learning. A typo of 340 vs 348 is pretty easy. To me, “HO” means “HO cam” ie the “068” cam. But almost as important are the HO Exhaust manifolds (which the 389 gto did not have!). Each of these are worth nearly 10hp so it’s fair to say a true “HO” should have both, just like the big car HO engines had. IN GENERAL, that is.
In that sense the article does a decent job of covering the most often neglected aspect of these engines- at least the part I knew the least about until lately – the variety of exhaust manifolds and how much difference they made. Most dyno tests and NHRA racers go right to steel tube headers, so the performance of exhaust iron is not discussed enough. I’m getting the impression that the A-body (GTO) style HO & ram air exhaust iron are about the equal of the B/F-Body (Catalina/Firebird) HO&RA exhaust iron, but that is very subtle to sort out. The base (and 389gto) exhaust iron doesn’t seem to be nearly as good.
Then again, to me, “RA” means the “744” cam (and cold air of course). Near as I can figure, Pontiac only used the 744 cam with Ram Air. But they also used the 068 cam with Ram Air. For that matter, “HO” usually meant the 068 cam, but at times the smaller “067” cam went into an engine called “HO”. The monikers are still so confusing I tend to move past what they were “called” and just want to know, what heads and exhaust iron were on it, what cam was in there, and did it have cold air or not.
I’m actually NOT a Pontiac guy, never had one, but admire what they did in the 1960s for street combinations. But I do have more than a passing interest. I thought Ford had a lot of combinations – their stuff seems simple compared to Pontiac! Well maybe not if you consider that FoMoCo had FOUR different big blocks (Lincoln Y, MEL, FE, Lima) in the years that Pontiac had their big block, or block. Let the confusion continue!