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HK1837 Offline
#1 Posted : Thursday, 13 December 2018 9:26:17 AM(UTC)
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Lately I have been acquiring a few original road tests from the late 60’s and early 70’s that give 1/4 mile trap speeds. I even picked up a copy of the original journalists notes for the XY GT-HO.
So as I get a chance over Xmas break maybe I’ll compile into a spreadsheet using the tried and true trap speed vs rwhp formula and see what comes up.

The hardest things will be finding the test weights, as almost all of those tests will have two people in the car of unknown weight, and whilst I can find the Kerb/Curb weight for most of the cars there is no way to know if say a HK GTS327 when tested has 26 gallons of fuel in it or 3 gallons. The Kerb weight includes a full tank of fuel.

The other problem is finding tests of the higher performing Holden and Torana that aren’t GMH supplied hence showing the true engine hp. I do have enough to cover early HK GTS327 and late HG GTS350M though which is probably good enough initially. I also have rwhp figures as dyno tested for some cars as well from 1968. Still looking for the Wheels initial test of an LX SS 5.0L manual, not sure if they gave mph for that test.
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castellan Offline
#2 Posted : Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:49:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
Lately I have been acquiring a few original road tests from the late 60’s and early 70’s that give 1/4 mile trap speeds. I even picked up a copy of the original journalists notes for the XY GT-HO.
So as I get a chance over Xmas break maybe I’ll compile into a spreadsheet using the tried and true trap speed vs rwhp formula and see what comes up.

The hardest things will be finding the test weights, as almost all of those tests will have two people in the car of unknown weight, and whilst I can find the Kerb/Curb weight for most of the cars there is no way to know if say a HK GTS327 when tested has 26 gallons of fuel in it or 3 gallons. The Kerb weight includes a full tank of fuel.

The other problem is finding tests of the higher performing Holden and Torana that aren’t GMH supplied hence showing the true engine hp. I do have enough to cover early HK GTS327 and late HG GTS350M though which is probably good enough initially. I also have rwhp figures as dyno tested for some cars as well from 1968. Still looking for the Wheels initial test of an LX SS 5.0L manual, not sure if they gave mph for that test.


I find that looking into such things one can only go so far to say something of such but it does not show the true or real picture in fact.

It's just so many veritables.

I can get one dude drive my stock GTS308 Monaro 4sp over the 1/4 and get x time and speed and I can drive it and get way better times, not only that but 1/4 mike time and speed is only a part of the picture 1/4 to half a Mile or 1KM would give a much better detail as to the true performance of the car in question.

One has to understand the diff ratio as well and the ratios of the box.

Rear wheel Dynos are not truly factual they can read a few HP out in every run, I have seen it many a time.

Not to mention that one stock 308 engine in one GTS will perform better than another and not to mention how it was run in.

Then out side of all this car from the factory we can tune the GTS 308 better for performance just with jetting for a start and start going down that road for what a owners options are to improve on such.

When a test was done on a car, if one was a master of such, one could point out what the options of diff ratios will relate to in driving such. maybe a HQ 253 auto could be taken for example between the 3.36 ratio and the 2.78 or 3.08, maybe even the 3.55 in respect to the car as a whole for what the owner could expect.
Not to mention what can be done to make the 253 engine perform better for little money like opening the exhaust up to a single 2 1/4 free flow muffler and jet it if you want.

All such things can improve on a car that can make just so much better from of the show room floor, not to mention things you can do that the testers may bag as bad can easy fixed with good shocks and maybe one can set it up with more neg camber and tyres etc and turn what was a test that favoured badly on the test car, into something that the tester would rave about what a good jigger it truly can be, what ever the car maybe you can improve on it.

All test in Australia mags were 3rd rate crap and so much half baked gibberish especially to do with Falcon GT or V8 GTS Holden's.

I have that LX 5.0L 4sp Torana some where.
HK1837 Offline
#3 Posted : Thursday, 13 December 2018 12:21:51 PM(UTC)
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It will work within reason. I don't care about the consistency of the driver reaction or the 1/4 mile times, they are irrelevant to power. It is the 1/4 mile trap speed that matters. Not interested in understanding diff ratios or gearbox ratios, they have no bearing on power. All that matters is the consistency of testing with regards to two people, throttle lifts between shifts and no missed shifts, and the tests I'm looking at are mostly done by the same people. Primarily Mel Nichols, Rob Luck and a few other key players. Yes the tune of the engine matters, and I have road tests and trap speeds for properly tuned examples of some cars, others I'm looking for, one being that initial LX SS 5.0L test. So far the examples I've played with appear spot on, even down to the driveline losses in these manual dual exhaust cars appearing to be awful close across the board, ie calculated rwhp from the tap speed versus known SAE gross engine power. With this consistent loss factor it is easy to spot fudged claimed hp figures, like the XY GT-HO's claimed 300hp cannot be correct given the 1/4 mile trap speeds obtained. It also becomes easy to spot cars that are down on power compared to the known factory hp figures, like the initial road tests of the GTS327 and GTS350M. Yes I know rear wheel dynos vary, but they also show figures from the day and what people achieved out of stock properly tuned examples.
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Sandaro Offline
#4 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 11:24:52 AM(UTC)
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Hi HK, what effect will wheel spin have on your analysis? Its been a while since I've read the old magazines but I recall a repeated comment that getting off the mark was an issue due to wheelspin. This would be understandable to anyone who has driven an old Monaro on the original tyres compared to modern rubber. I know you are looking a trap speed, but ultimately that must be effected by a slow start??
HK1837 Offline
#5 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 11:47:34 AM(UTC)
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Not really. Wheelspin only really affects the time, the mph figure won’t change much. Will explain better later.
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Dr Terry Offline
#6 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 12:09:57 PM(UTC)
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What HK1837 is saying is basically correct. The all-important figure is the 1/4 mile trap speed.

I found this when I first began drag racing in the late 70s. We started out with a 350 & Powerglide with small slicks & ran a speed of 109 mph in 12.9 seconds.

The car was quite heavy (3300 lbs) so everybody said we needed a TH400 to get it off the line quicker. We did that & still ran 109/12.9 & went over the line in 2nd gear.

We then worked out what rear end ratio to run & fitted those gears along with bigger slicks. We ran the same 109 mph, now @ 12.7 secs (3 times, but we now used all 3 gears).

It wasn't until we started tuning the engine (fuel, ignition & cam timing) that we made any serious inroads to the trap speed.

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HK1837 Offline
#7 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 12:37:10 PM(UTC)
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I've borrowed this example from another site, just paraphrased it a bit. What it shows is that the 1st half of the 1/4 mile is important to your time, and the second half is important to your speed.

Example is a manual vehicle that gets a time of 19.5s and a trap speed of 70mph on the first run with no major fluffs.

On the 2nd run, the vehicle moves 2feet and the engine dies for 3 seconds. Driver gets it going and then does an otherwise perfect pass. His time slip would show 22.5s and 69.97mph. The reason for the slight drop in mph is the "1/4 mile" (1320feet) was now 1318feet. The car would be up to 70mph 2 feet after the 1/4 mile line.

On the 3rd run drivers gets a great launch but misses the 3-4 shift at 1250feet, and then runs the last 70feet in neutral to the line. This time his time slip would show 19.51s and close to 67.83mph. On the 1st run travelling that last 70feet at 69mph average would have taken 0.692 seconds. At 68mph average it takes 0.702 seconds, that is why the 1/4mile time only varies by 0.01 seconds.

Hopefully that makes sense. Over time people have gotten focused on 1/4 mile times, and obviously so as that is what you want as you want to win the race as it is a time based thing. But trap speed actually tells you how much power the car is putting to the ground.

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castellan Offline
#8 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 1:28:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
It will work within reason. I don't care about the consistency of the driver reaction or the 1/4 mile times, they are irrelevant to power. It is the 1/4 mile trap speed that matters. Not interested in understanding diff ratios or gearbox ratios, they have no bearing on power. All that matters is the consistency of testing with regards to two people, throttle lifts between shifts and no missed shifts, and the tests I'm looking at are mostly done by the same people. Primarily Mel Nichols, Rob Luck and a few other key players. Yes the tune of the engine matters, and I have road tests and trap speeds for properly tuned examples of some cars, others I'm looking for, one being that initial LX SS 5.0L test. So far the examples I've played with appear spot on, even down to the driveline losses in these manual dual exhaust cars appearing to be awful close across the board, ie calculated rwhp from the tap speed versus known SAE gross engine power. With this consistent loss factor it is easy to spot fudged claimed hp figures, like the XY GT-HO's claimed 300hp cannot be correct given the 1/4 mile trap speeds obtained. It also becomes easy to spot cars that are down on power compared to the known factory hp figures, like the initial road tests of the GTS327 and GTS350M. Yes I know rear wheel dynos vary, but they also show figures from the day and what people achieved out of stock properly tuned examples.


The best XY GT-HO Dynoed was 350HP.

The Max HP has got bugger all to do with total performance.
I could build a 350hp engine and a 300hp engine could out perform it with the same ratios diff or box especially on 1/4 mile rubbish, 1000m will tell another story as to the ability of the 2 engines, there are horses for courses.
One engine set up for the drags and one setup for the race track, we are not interested in max HP but in how it performs.

If we are into testing stock production cars and to take a stock red 202 powered Holden for example every one knows that such should make 160KM/H top speed, now no one would argue with that really, but what if I said that they can do 185KM/H well then comes the line of total disbelief, but but but they can with a 3.08 diff I have seen it for a fact, take a VB SL auto 3.3L with a 3.08 diff and one with a 3.36 ratio and you will see where the 3.08 eats the 3.36 ratio, sure the 3.36 is quicker just off the line, but by does the 3.08 go ! it's just unbelievable how the ratios work to it's advantage in many ways. I am amazed at the difference. it's like wow the car has been transformed into a rocket ship. it's like come on bring out the 4.1L Falcon bro and we will see how ya go with a big smile.

Like having a dual exhaust stock HQ 308 with a 3.36 diff vs a 3.08 ratio the 3.36 ratio is stupid over all for a road going car, it will not be faster over the 1/4 and you will be limited to about 185KM/H and a 3.55 would be even slower on the 1/4 and limited to 160KM/H and why is that so, well it's mainly about understanding what part torque plays in all this.

Look at the HT 350 and the XY GT-HO on the race track, the HT 350 torque that counted very well on the track, it did not have the HP of the XW GT-HO, so HP is not always everything it's cracked up to be all the time.

Take this example a stock HQ dual exhaust 308 3.08 diff has about 204hp net and a XU-1 202 say 190hp, now at 180km/h both flatten it ? you will see the XU-I take off from the HQ like a shot. weight aside, it's the way that the HP is made at high rev that make this difference, they take off but the 308 has dropped out of it's power curve and is dying when the XU-1 is just getting it all together.
You are not going to tow a van behind a XU-1 would you,because it would be a bucket of, to drive but the 308 HQ would be magic with towing a van and a XY GT-HO would be a bucket of to drive with towing a van behind it as well.

Look at a stock dual exh LH 308 VS a HQ 308 stock dual exh with the same gearing, it power to weight that comes into it directly and then the test can point out the rest of such things.
HK1837 Offline
#9 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 2:14:38 PM(UTC)
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The best Ford had dynoed by October 1971 was 232hp at the rear wheels, as quoted in Wheels October 1971. That was a PhaseIII with a 850cfm carby and a different cam. That wouldn't be quite 350hp at the flywheel (closer to 330-340hp) but that doesn't mean that with careful mods and more rpm they couldn't get 350hp.

The rest you quote is not relevant. All that matter is the 1/4 mile trap speed equates very well to rwhp.

Note that there was very few road tests that saw any red 202 hit 100mph outside of XU1. I have only ever found a few. Sport Car World in Sept '73 topped out an LJ SL sedan, 3300 4spd manual at 101mph. That will be 2.78 or 3.08 rear axle and 13" rims. SCW also got 96mph top speed out of an LH SL/R 4spd which will have had a 3.08 rear axle. I haven't seen VB figures though.

Edited by user Friday, 14 December 2018 2:17:10 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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castellan Offline
#10 Posted : Friday, 14 December 2018 2:15:58 PM(UTC)
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One can go to Automobilecatalog.com to do compare, it's much a calculation way of testing that may help well in what HK1837 is looking for.

Now look as this for example a XY GT 4SPEED VS a close ratio 4sp box, same 3.0 diff mind.
0 to 80KM/H = 4.5 sec and close ratio = 5.1 sec
to 100KM/H = 6.5 VS 6.9
120KM/H = 8.8 VS 9.4
140 12.1 VS 12.8
160 16.6 VS 17.2
180 24.5 VS 25.4
And 1/4 mile is 14.7 at 94MPH VS 15.2 AT 94MPH

How about the HT GTS 350 hey with 3.36 diff 4speed.
80km/h in 4.6
100 6.3
120 8.8
140 12.1
160 16.3
180 23.0
1/4 mile in 14.7 95MPH
Sandaro Offline
#11 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 8:28:24 AM(UTC)
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I understand what HK and Dr Terry are saying, ultimately there would be a pure physics formula that could be applied saying you need this much power to propel a 1.5 tonne object from rest to a certain speed over a measured distance, factor in wind resistance.

Castellan concerns are shared by me though. In my view Ratios etc will make a difference to optimise the time the object is being propelled at peak power.

I'm no expert in drag racing, but from what I understand an ideal set up would be one that the vehicle use gearing to keep the car in peak power (or close to it) for the whole of the run. I would agree that a rwhp formula v speed trap could be applied across cars set up optimally (assuming a constant wind resistance factor?)

Then contrast an A9/X with a 2.6 rear and a 4 speed. Off the mark slower to get to peak power, then each change doesn't drop you back on peak power. So for certain percent of the run may only be a 50% or 75% max power, so final speed would only indicate average power during run, not overall max power??

HK1837 Offline
#12 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 9:52:47 AM(UTC)
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None of that really affects mph, it is really only affected by power hitting the ground. What does affect it is vehicle weight and shifts on a manual car, hence why it is important for what I'm doing to understand the testers of the day, that is that they test consistently. The good ones were, and always had two people in the car plus throttle lifted between shifts. The unknown here of course is the weight of the two people and how much fuel was in the car.
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castellan Offline
#13 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:03:48 AM(UTC)
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How about this, a VZ V6 Manual VS Auto
0-60 3.3 sec manual 3.4 auto
80 5.0 5.1
100 6.9 7.2
120 10.0 9.9
140 13.2 13.1
160 17.2 17.0
180 22.7 23.4
400M 15.1 @150km/h. 15.2 @152km/h
So hear now ? the trap speed is faster ay and both have 190KW engines and all.
Not to mention all that the times say in regard to speeds we could look at.

Here look at the time as speed gets up over 160km/h of the little 3.6L VZ compared to the HT GTS350, don't the little V6 half go then ay and the weight of the VZ would be more than the HT GTS350 I would think.


I may go did up a VY SS manual VS a VZ SS manual and that's 235KW VS 250KW but the VY has a higher diff ratio of 3.45 VS the 3.73 of the VZ, now why did they drop the diff ratio ? could it be that the 235KW out performs the 250KW ?
Well my VY hosed the same geared VZ ute off no worries, as the VZ utes keep the same 3.45 ratio, so there is more to be said than max HP.
Dr Terry Offline
#14 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:23:13 AM(UTC)
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Interesting the comparison between the VZ V6 & an HT 350.

The V6 has 190 kw which equals 255 bhp, but this is net hp, so not that much less than a 350 which has 300 bhp (Gross).

Also the VZ has better aerodynamics, so less hp required to push it to speed.

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castellan Offline
#15 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:30:04 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
None of that really affects mph, it is really only affected by power hitting the ground. What does affect it is vehicle weight and shifts on a manual car, hence why it is important for what I'm doing to understand the testers of the day, that is that they test consistently. The good ones were, and always had two people in the car plus throttle lifted between shifts. The unknown here of course is the weight of the two people and how much fuel was in the car.


Yes it's a formula for conciliating max power of sorts.

Lets say I had a team of race drivers and I was in charge, I would do my homework work out the track and gear ratios on the performance potential of such a track and work out are we in with a chance or do we give up on one car for another with more of a chance, like they did with the GTS and went with the GTR XU-1.

I raced bikes and I had this Kawasaki KLX 650R, now I was line ball with a mate all the time Now I figured what should I do, go up a tooth or go down a tooth in the gearing and I thought well 2 teeth less should do the trick and it did, to the amazement of old mate that now had no hope, it was due to using the torque to my advantage not HP. and on other bikes I dropped the ratio and went up teeth on the rear sprocket and bingo I got the result that I wanted.
Being taller and weighing more than all the other riders I had to put my thinking cap on, because when another is up to 40KG lighter than me, that makes it hard work to hose them off.
castellan Offline
#16 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:45:41 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Interesting the comparison between the VZ V6 & an HT 350.

The V6 has 190 kw which equals 255 bhp, but this is net hp, so not that much less than a 350 which has 300 bhp (Gross).

Also the VZ has better aerodynamics, so less hp required to push it to speed.

Dr Terry


Yep and one point is the max power at what revs to understand what is truly going on.

Look at a normal stock 350HP Diesel Truck engine ? at what rev is the 350HP maybe 2200RPM ? and if we were to presume that this engines weight was the same as the V8 Chevy SB, what engine is going to win over the 1/4 mile in a GTS ?
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#17 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 10:56:31 AM(UTC)
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If you took the truck down the quarter and plugged in its weight and mph trap speed you'd probably get back a realistic hp figure.

The 300hp SAE gross L48 in a HT GTS350M puts out about 206hp at the wheels, which estimates to about 256hp flywheel net (as installed flywheel power). So they would be pretty close. HT GTS350 manual weighs 3316lb Kerb (full tank of fuel) which is 1504kg. VZ would be closer to 1600kg which is why it is slower over the quarter but has a similar trap speed as they are similar power output.
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castellan Offline
#18 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 12:20:45 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
If you took the truck down the quarter and plugged in its weight and mph trap speed you'd probably get back a realistic hp figure.

The 300hp SAE gross L48 in a HT GTS350M puts out about 206hp at the wheels, which estimates to about 256hp flywheel net (as installed flywheel power). So they would be pretty close. HT GTS350 manual weighs 3316lb Kerb (full tank of fuel) which is 1504kg. VZ would be closer to 1600kg which is why it is slower over the quarter but has a similar trap speed as they are similar power output.


Sure it would with a truck as well but that's not the point, torque and HP are not the same thing, because it does x amount of work at x rpm, that's the point and to know what that relates to in the understanding of the whole subject.

Look at a coil spring it's max LB may be the same but one could be linear and the other progressive, so they work differently.
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#19 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 12:49:21 PM(UTC)
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I didn’t make this up, it is a well known and tested formula. It is a function involving only 3 variables: weight, hp and mph. Nothing to do with torque except that torque and hp are inter-related.
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#20 Posted : Saturday, 15 December 2018 2:18:43 PM(UTC)
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I am not sure on this theory. You can determine some things like water flow through a hose in this way, because the variables of things like friction loss are known and pump efficiency etc are constant.
Trying to work out power figures from trap speed and weight is way to inaccurate. You have no idea of power train loss or atmospheric conditions etc. You will come up with a figure, but it won’t be correct. They could have had a headwind or tailwind or no wind etc. The torquier engine would have performed better in some conditions.
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