Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: ’69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The ’68 Super Bee
- story fullscreen Fullscreen

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: ’69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The ’68 Super Bee

While the numbers seem to be stacked in the Vette’s favor, the real-world results are not what you’d expect

LISTEN 04:48

Pure Stock drag races are fun. As the name suggests you have some pretty tight rules in order to qualify for this class. But I’m sure that it’s the most honest way to find out about the out-of-the-box performance of these old-school muscle cars. This duel between a 69 Vette and the 68 Coronet Super Bee sure does seem to fit the bill rather well. Let’s look at the baseline figures of both these cars.

The Super Stock Class

The primary idea behind this particular class of racing is to bring more people together, where folks don’t just compete but also end up having fun as well while they’re at it. Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race or PSMCDR has laid down a set of guidelines and rules that clearly define what can and can’t be changed in order for you to compete. You can take a look at these rules at length here.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: '69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The '68 Super Bee
- image 1061955
Held annually in September, a C3 1969 Vette with a Big Block 427 Chevy-Big Block and 430 ponies showed up at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex

In the silver corner, we’ve got a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427 L88. The C3, as many of you may remember, was really a tough act to follow, after the immensely successful C2 Stingray in the early 60s. Its classic shark body and side gills certainly helped it stand out. By the late 60s, the C3 became the poster car for many space enthusiasts as GM handed out three examples of the ’69 Vette dubbed the AstroVette to the crew members of the Apollo12 Space program.

Coming to the car that you see here, this particular example features an L88 427 cubic-inch under the hood. The 7.0-liter Big-Block Chevy V-8 mill put out a factory-rated 430 ponies but in reality, the engine made 530 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. The Big Block is coupled to a four-speed manual gearbox. The C3 Vette tips the scales at 3,461 lbs.

Well, numbers seem to be stacked in the Vette's favor. My money is on the C3. Let's if that translates into the real world. The showdown took place at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex, up in Wyman.

1968 Dodge Super Bee

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: '69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The '68 Super Bee
- image 1061951
Under the hood lies an equally potent HEMI-powered 426 V-8 mill that represents one of the best of what Mopar had on offer back in the day. It puts out 425 hp

Meanwhile, in the blue corner, we have an equally stunning 1968 Dodge Super Bee. The Super Bee of course was Dodge’s answer to cars like the Plymouth Road Runner. Those examples sold as stripped-down racers managed to transform the humble Coronet 440 coupe into something far more lethal.

Mopar took care of the mechanicals. Under the hood of this example, you’ve got a HEMI-powered 426 cubic-inch that produces 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque. The V-8 is mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. The Super Bee tips the scales at 4,109 lbs.

The Races


We'll see both cars go head to head across two rounds. Let's see which one comes out on top in this 1/4 mile face-off.

Round 1

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: '69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The '68 Super Bee
- image 1061953
However, it was not the C3, but the Super Bee that managed to get to the 1/4 mile first with an ET of 11.62 seconds at 108.78 mph

The lights go out and surprisingly, it was not the Vette, but the Super Bee that got the better launch. You can clearly see its front-end lift-off quite a bit. Despite the added weight, the Super Bee managed to narrowly hold off the Vette. The Dodge did the standing quarter in 11.62 seconds (ET) at 108.78 mph as opposed to the Corvette’s 11.63 seconds at 122.21 mph. So that’s round one to the Super Bee.

Round 2

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: '69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The '68 Super Bee
- image 1061954
Round 2
The second saw the cars switch lanes to see if that makes a difference

Round two saw the two cars switch lanes to see if that made a difference. Well, the short answer is yes. The HEMI power helped the Super-Bee to build an even bigger lead over the C3 Vette this time round. It was easily a couple of cars lengths ahead of the Chevy by the mid-way point. The Super Bee demolished the 1/4 mile in 11.57 seconds (ET) at 105.78 mph while the Chevy managed 11.87 seconds at 120.43 mph.

Let’s Sum This Up

Old-School Pure Stock Drag Race: '69 Vette L88 Unleashes Its Fury Against The '68 Super Bee
- image 1061952
It took on this beautiful Dodge Super Bee from around about the same period. This example dates back to 1968

It’s a lot of fun revisiting and watching these old-school brutes being let loose on the drag strip. This particular showdown was a duel between two über cool and rare cars. If you are indeed a fan of this class, you can catch the action live at the annual PSMCDR event in September. Watch this space.

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

The HEMI Wars: Modern Challenger 392 Shaker Takes On Its Grandpa, A 1970 Road Runner 426

Best Of Detroit Muscle: This Race Between A ’69 COPO Camaro And A ’71 HEMI CUDA Is A Closely Fought Battle

Understated Sleeper Buick GS 455 Stage 1 Takes On The Mighty Trans Am 455 H.O.

Stock Chevy Specials: ’69 Camaro ZL1 Drags ’69 L88 C3 Vette

A ’70 Torino 429 Hangs On For Dear Life Trying To Fend Off A ’69 Yenko Camaro

Is The ’69 Mercury Cobra Jet Good Enough To Fend Off The Mighty Buick GSX?

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: