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Classics Week – The Street Vs Race Track – 1969 Dodge Charger VS 1967 Pontiac GTO

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

It’s Classics Week at Carsforsale.com and therefore for our Monday Vehicle Matchup, instead of comparing two new 2015 models, today we took a look at two popular classics. The 1969 Dodge Charger and 1967 Pontiac GTO represent the Golden Age of muscle cars; the 1960’s. The Charger was built for the race track and the GTO was built for the street. Which classic will triumph when we compare the two in a Carsforsale.com Vehicle Matchup?

1969 Dodge Charger

Engine: 6.3L
Horsepower: 290
MSRP: Starting at $3,100

Inside the 1969 Dodge Charger:

By 1969, the Charger had been in production for a 4th year and had already seen a 2nd generation model. The 1969 edition gave buyers a wide range of options with several different trim options including the SE (special Edition), R/T, 500 and Daytona. The base model SE included a 383 cubic inch 6.3L engine with 290 horsepower. The 1969 edition had several additional engine options depending on which trim option you wanted, although it was only available in the two-door body style.

The 1969 Dodge Charger was made famous by the television show Dukes of Hazzard, although that wouldn’t begin until ten years later in 1979. In 1968, Dodge made its introduction into NASCAR with the Charger R/T. This however failed to beat other competitor vehicles on the track due to aerodynamics. During what was then called the “aero wars” between Ford, Dodge and Chrysler, the Daytona was born. It debuted on April 13th, 1969 which would be the day that changed the history of the Charger forever. With a new fiberglass nose and wing, the Daytona edition prompted over 1,000 orders in the first few hours of being announced. This would be the car that was able to compete with Ford and Chrysler at NASCAR races. The Charger Daytona was the first car to reach 200 MPH on the race track and won it’s very first at the 1969 Talladega 500. In an ironic twist of fate, the Ford Torino Talladega went on to win at the Daytona 500; meaning the Talladega won at Daytona and the Daytona won at Talladega.


1967 Pontiac GTO

Engine: 6.4L
Horsepower: 335
MSRP: Starting at $2,871

Inside the 1967 Pontiac GTO:

Similar to the ’69 Charger, the Pontiac GTO was in the 4th year of production and although still in what is considered the 1st generation, received a major facelift coming into 1967 including the front grill and rear tail lights. The GTO was available to consumers in three body styles between the convertible, sports coupe and the most-popular hardtop. The engine was a 400 cubic inch 6.5L V8 which was available in three models: economy (265hp) standard (335 hp) and high output (360hp).

The Pontiac GTO was made famous at the time in the 1960’s television show “The Monkees” which was a pop-rock back who drove a Monkeemobile, or modified 66’ Pontiac GTO. Unlike the other manufacturers that were flocking to produce cars that competed in NASCAR or other auto racing, General Motors banned any involvement in auto racing from any of their divisions. Therefore, the Pontiac GTO focused on street performance and was billed as “The Great One” or “Ultimate Driving Machine.” It is because this vehicle was built for driving as opposed to racing that consumers had more options to choose from besides just the engine type, like the Dodge Charger.

Our Pick for Winner:

Base Model: 1967 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac was at the forefront of the muscle car boom in America and the 1967 Pontiac GTO is easily one of the best looking, iconic classic cars from the 1960’s. The GTO was built for the street by one of the most prolific car designers of the 20th century in John Delorean.

Upgrades: 1969 Dodge Charger

Though two years newer than its matchup, this hands down goes to the Dodge Charger for the introduction of the 1969 Daytona edition. It was a beast on wheels and the first car in NASCAR history to break the 200 MPH mark. It’s a shame that so few were sold back in 1969, but the collector value of this classic car is subsequently very high.

Overall Winner:

You. Tell. Us. They are both winners in our book.

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes
Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars.

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1 Comment

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    XS29L March 18, 2015

    You should have shown a Charger RT if you compare it to a GTO because the GTO is the top performance and a separate model for the Lemans body line ….
    Also the Charger came with a slant 6 ,318,the 290 hp 383 2bbl (that ran 15 second 1/4 mile as it just hooked up and went no spinning like the 383 4bbl or 440 or HEMI it ran 14.6 in a new 383 2bbl Challenger recorded it magazine and a Newport I had ran 15.1 with 2bbl 383 single exhaust and 2.76 gears ) Also the Charger came with the 383 4bbl,383 Magnum high performance 4bbl,440 Magnum 4bbl and the 426 HEMI..383 4bbl and 383 Magnum are different as different heads,cam,carb and more hp and torque than the advertised 5 hp..also the 383 2bbl is different than the 383 4bbl as the 2bbl has lower compression,different cam..you cant add a 4bbl to a 383 2bbl engine and think its a 383 Magnum as 98% of the people think…
    My pick Charger RT I also had a 71 GTO 455 so not just biased…Furthermore the Charger RT with a 440 runs 12 second 1/4 mile bone stock when new,new car mag back then added slicks that are now equal to a modern radial tire today and the Cuda ran low 12’s,so the Charger is 3800 lbs and a few tenths of a second for each 100lbs so its mid 12’s..Street tires I got 13 flat with my 69 Charger Rt 440/727/3.23 and wide bias ply tires back in 1976,car was bone stock and 79,000 miles..And the Bullitt Movie they tested the new STOCK 440 Charger against the modified 390 high performance Mustang with a aftermarket cam/crank/heads/carb and the Charger lapped it in a oval track the stunt drivers used,and the power of the 440 blew the Ford away ,they shaved the tires so the Charger wouldn’t have any traction,so the sooped up ford could catch up,the Charger still had too much power and they couldn’t floor the Charger ,they could have used a 383 2bbl Charger equal competition for the sooped up Ford !
    I also had a 440 350 hp single exhaust 1968 Chrysler NewYorker that ran 13.8’s in the 1/4 bone stock ,had 3.23 gears..Had zero traction the first 60 feet real tire smoker !
    I also had a 440 tNT 375 (underated hp) 3.23 gears duel exhaust in a 1968 Chrysler 300 more options than the New Yorker they were the same car but different grille,tail lights and less chrome on the 300 but it had a console,power windows/seats ect.. It ran 13.3 and could do better like the NewYorker but it spun like crazy cant floor it until 50 mph or else its tire smoke city…
    Both cars were bone stock,points ignition low miles and years ago..I later still had the 300 when I owned a new 1993 Camaro Z28 and the 300 left the Camaro standing still,unfortunately the 300 was sold to a collector (I regretted that sale after 2 days he wouldn’t sell it back and still has it today)


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