Video: ’71 LS6 Corvette vs ’68 Hemi Super Bee


I love these Road Test TV videos because they are usually from the Pure Stock Musclecar Drags. That means the cars are running well, in a great state of tune, and the drivers can competently get them down the track.

Here we have an odd showdown of two cars whose original purposes could not be more divergent. One, the Plastic Fantastic, Chevrolet’s Corvette – built to put Porsches and Ferraris on the trailer at a fraction of the cost. America’s best all-around driving car, this one is equipped with what many ‘Vette aficionados consider the last true Chevrolet big-block, the 454 LS6. The other, a bare-bones sedan made for the stoplight Grand Prix with brakes and suspension geometry out of the 1950’s. Its menacing black-painted hood hiding a legend: the 426 Hemi. Economy dog-dish hubcaps further define the no-frills nature of this Mopar earth-shaker.

Both drivers acquit themselves well off the lights, getting good traction and cutting fine lights. By mid-track it looks dead even. But then the engine we all know and love does its thing and finds its lungs, top-ending the ‘Vette and opening up an almost 1-second lead at the big end. Such is the power of the Hemi. True, the Corvette’s LS6 is the ’71 variety which means only 9.0:1 compression, but any car that can run mid-12s in close-to-stock trim is formidable.

Both drivers should be given a raucous round of applause for whipping their extremely rare rides down the black top of the Mid-Michigan Motorplex this past summer. We are looking at two six-figure collector cars here, being treated like its 1971 again. Its a look back in time to when muscle car owners just wanted to see what their cars could do in the quarter. Collectibility wasn’t even an afterthought. Kudos to you guys and don’t worry Mr. Corvette Driver – that Bee sting will heal.

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Des Ryan

Des Ryan has been involved in all levels of Mopar musclecar ownership, from barn finds to drivers to a high-level restored Hemicar. He's also spent over 20 years in the advertising industry as a copywriter and creative director. With pen in one hand and pistol-grip shifter in the other, Des is bringing his two passions together to keep you Direct-Connected.

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