Who will win?
The 1960s was a decade that is known for its rock and roll, psychedelic drugs, and most importantly the sleek muscle cars that would go on to become instant classics. Names such as Pontiac and Studebaker had become American icons, finally being introduced into the league of other automotive household names the brands have now become staples in the vehicle enthusiast community. What we have here today is a match-up between a 1963 Studebaker Avanti R2 and a beautiful 1969 Pontiac GTO. Now, these icons battle for the rank of fastest classic who will win? Will it be the infamous GTO that plagues the nightmares of Mustangs and Camaros alike, or does the lesser-known Studebaker pack a secret punch under that sleek, goofy headlight wearing petite body?
In one corner we have the Studebaker weighing in at just over 3,000lbs, this is compared to the 3900lbs boasted by the GTO. Under the hood is the factory 289ci V8 equipped with a factory Paxton SN90 supercharger. This engine was rated at 289 horsepower at 4860 pm. Things look much brighter on the GTO’s side with it sporting the infamous 400 cubic-inch V8 and a higher compression ratio, 10.75-1 vs 9.0-1. That massive powerhouse was capable of pushing out 366 horsepower at 5100 RPM. Another bit that may end up securing the win in the GTO's favor is the presence of a stuffed tiger in the back seat, unfortunately, this is not a stock component so we won't include it on the list.
Now that we have covered the specs of both cars let's move on to the race track. On their first run, the Studebaker took the win mostly due to its significant weight advantage. It is also worth noting that factory horsepower ratings in that time were notoriously incorrect as they did not cover the full rev-range of the vehicle, this means that the Studebaker may have more power than factory spec tells us. As round two comes around we see the GTO pick up some speed and take the lead, however, this was short-lived as the Studebaker quickly caught up and won round two. In the final round, both drivers begin to pick up speed but the Studebaker takes the win and even breaks into the 13-second range. So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth, the Studebaker is the faster classic.