Watch An Extremely Rare ’69 Camaro ZL1 Get Back At A ’72 Dodge Demon - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Watch An Extremely Rare ’69 Camaro ZL1 Get Back At A ’72 Dodge Demon

The ol’ 427 Big Block comes alive in this old-school Chevy vs Mopar pure-stock battle

LISTEN 04:16

The Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race or PSMCDR class will almost never run out of steam and the video by CarsandZebras, that I’m featuring today is proof of that very fact. This duel between a 1969 Camaro ZL1 and a 1972 Dodge Demon is one, that you just can’t miss. Not only is it a full-on entertainer, but the video is packed full of facts on what exactly makes these cars so special.

1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1

Watch An Extremely Rare '69 Camaro ZL1 Get Back At A '72 Dodge Demon
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What you’re looking at, folks, is the ’69 Camaro ZL1, which really needs no introduction. Considered as the daddy of all Camaros that have ever existed, under the hood is a monster of an engine was the 427ci or 7.0-liter V-8 that puts out 430 ponies and 450 pound-feet of torque. But, these are apparently conservative estimates as the aluminum big-block dishes out in excess of 500 horses and 550 pound-feet of torque.

The compression is equally impressive at 12:1. The 427 was a very special engine as it took close to 16 hours to meticulously put each one of these masterpieces together. While a manual transmission was offered, this silver example seen here features a TH400 three-speed auto with power going to the rear wheels via 4.10 rear axle gears. The ’69 Camaro ZL1 tips the scales in the region of anywhere between 3,000 and 3,300 pounds. Given how rare these Camaro ZL1s are, prices for these things are crazy with pristine examples costing north of $800,000.

1972 Dodge Demon 340

Watch An Extremely Rare '69 Camaro ZL1 Get Back At A '72 Dodge Demon
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Next up, is this Dodge Demon 340 from 1972. The Demon name had its weight in gold back then as it does today. As the name implies 340ci or 5.6-liter V-8 was rated for 240 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. As you may recall, the early 70s saw the oil crisis and the Demon was, unfortunately, the victim of the period where regulators mandated unleaded gas, which led to a drop in compression ratios of engines on muscle cars. Just between 71 and 72, the compression ratio dropped from 10.3:1 to 8.5:1.

The engine is mated to a 727 three-speed auto. While stock rear gears on offer were a 3.23 with a 3.55 optional, this particular Demon is rocking 4.10 rear axle gears. Weight? The Demon tips the scales at 3,200 pounds. The ’72 Demon remains one of the top-rated old-school muscle cars out there.

The Race

The stage for this battle? Well, it’s the Mid-Michigan Motorplex up in Stanton, which in my opinion is a sort of a mecca for the pure-stock drag racing class. Here’s how the numbers that we just looked at translated out on track. Off the bat, I was expecting the Chevy to dominate this one, but to my surprise, it was the Demon that got off the line well. In fact, up until the 60-footer.

Although the Dodge was ahead by a car length, but the Chevy began to claw back that lead and by the time the two cars got to the finish line, the Camaro was ahead. Despite the poor launch, the ZL1 did the standing 1/4 mile in 11.9 seconds at 117.75 mph against the Demon’s 12.79 seconds at 107.78 mph.

That’s A Wrap

Watch An Extremely Rare '69 Camaro ZL1 Get Back At A '72 Dodge Demon
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But the ZL1 came back hard to take the win with a 1/4 mile time of 11.9s @ 117.75 mph against the Demon’s 12.79s @ 107.78 mph. Swipe up to watch this closely fought battle.

Okay, so the Demon lost, but not by much. I am still surprised how well the Demon fared against the might of the 427, especially since the Chevy truly is in a league of its own. I’m sure the results would have been very different had this been a ’71 Demon. I mean the 340 is an underrated engine that has a lot of potential.

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
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