When a classic old-school 1971 Chevrolet El Camino goes up against a Hemi-swapped 1970 Dodge Challenger, we are hard-pressed to pick a favorite. But as the two classics race down the track, there is a definite winner, and it may surprise you.
YouTube channel No Bolts Left Behind covers the drag race, although Barry has a vested interest, considering he’s the owner of the Challenger.
A Quick Specs Comparison: Challenger Vs El Camino
Barry, the owner of the Challenger, is off to Willow Springs, an asphalt “racetrack” an hour north of LA, which is more of a road course track they sometimes close off for events. He is in his 1970 Hemi-swapped Dodge Challenger that bears a 5.65-liter third-gen Hemi engine, good for 430 horses and 435 lb-ft of torque. The highlight is the limited-slip differential, and it runs on a 6-speed manual.
The 1971 Chevy El Camino, on the other hand, bears a 5.7-liter small-block V8 that makes 385 horses and a cool 405 lb-ft of torque. It runs on an open differential on a 5-speed manual.
While the Dodge has more power, it is also heavier than the El Camino, which Barry admits, is pretty nimble.
The Challenger Rises Up, Three Times
Barry is a little worried about traction since the track is more road, but on his first run itself, it seems the Dodge Challenger has nothing to worry about, and it leads the race.
While the El Camino SS took 12.46 seconds to run the quarter-mile at a top speed of 88 MPH, the Challenger zipped it in 11.83 seconds, at 93 MPH. And Barry says it as well, “all right that felt quick, I don't know if it was my traction bars, but I feel faster than the last time I drag raced.”
In the second run, the Challenger was slower, but even then, it beat out the El Camino’s 12.41 seconds and 88 MPH with a 12.01 second, 92 MPH sprint.
For the third time as well, the El Camino was consistent with 12.41 seconds at 88 MPH, while the Challenger had its best run ever, killing the quarter-mile at 11.71 seconds at a top speed of 93 MPH.
So, when an El Camino SS lays down a gauntlet, it should not do so to a Dodge Challenger, especially one that has a Hemi heart, because nothing else can take this kind of pressure, and own it as a Challenger does.
Sources: YouTube, Instagram