Peak Era vs. Modern Muscle
So, in this heads-up battle between a 1969 SS and 2011 SS, which is easier, and cheaper, to get to 600 horsepower? Keep in mind we like to drive our cars, so nitrous will not be an acceptable means to reliable, streetable horsepower.
|’69 Camaro SS||’11 Camaro SS|
|Horsepower||375 hp @ 5600 rpm (SAE Gross)||426 hp @ 5900 (SAE Net)|
|Torque||415 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm||420 lb-ft @ 4600|
|Performance||14.8 sec @ 98.7 mph Car Life||12.9 sec @ 110.8 mph Motor Trend|
|Price||$24,850 (Inflation adjusted)||$37,740|
Upon speaking to local classic car technicians, and our very own Camaro expert, Jerry MacNeish, we have come to the conclusion that an engine swap would be required of the older Camaro. One could purchase a 383 “stroker” and build, build, build, but with the compression needed to make that power race fuel would be required. Therefore, the best bet for streetable, reliable 600 horsepower in a ’69 would be to drop a crate 572ci V8 in the engine bay. These crate engines go for around $18,000 and offer up to 650 horsepower.
That conveniently leads us to the other car, the 2011 SS. Throwing on a Procharger Supercharger, or the like, and bolting up headers and bigger, better-flowing exhaust will easily obtain the 600 horsepower mark. These kits run around $6,500 and you could get a full exhaust for less that $2,000.
As you can see, much less is required to get the new car to 600 horsepower. It takes swapping to a much larger motor, or excessively building a smaller one, to make the horsepower goal in the older car.
Read what Jerry MacNeish recommended to achieve that kind of power in our Experts Panel →
Sound off on our facebook page and tell us what you would do to achieve 600 reliable horsepower in these Camaros.