$10K Drag Shootout 2: Revealing The Clunkers…Err, Cars!

The inaugural Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout was virtually dominated by a pair of Fox-body Ford Mustangs — which didn’t come as a major surprise given the racing pedigree of the famed pony-car platform. Understanding how superb of a canvas the Fox is, the four teams entered the build-off well aware of how important it was to procure one of the two cars — a 1986 and a 1990 model — as they competed in the $10K Olympics that would decide the order of car selection.

Well, in the second edition of the $10K Drag Shootout, teams will have no such luxury, and in fact, the Horsepower Wars staff has gone out of its way to ensure that each of the four build vehicles up for grabs present similar characteristics, both during the build and on the racetrack. 

Each of the cars — and a truck — have a performance heritage, so it isn’t as if they’re coming out of left field like, say, a Cadillac Fleetwood or a GMC Vandura (some of us really pushed for a van, I should add) … but they are distinctly unique. They also each present their own unique set of challenges, because remember, we bought these in varying conditions off of used car lots and out of scrap yards. 

First up, an F-body – 1998 Chevrolet Camaro — three-link torque arm rear suspension, which is tough to get a big-block into (at least in 10 days time, anyway), but light, aerodynamic, and relatively easy to find aftermarket parts for.

Next up, a 2004 Ford Mustang V6 — again, easy to find parts for, nimble, and equipped with a four-link-style rear suspension. Shouldn’t be too hard to swap anything into, and the space is there for your turbo or what have you. SN95 Mustangs have a slighter longer wheelbase and a little more weight than its Fox predecessor. Not a slam dunk winner, but the teams are gonna’ want this one.

Back for 2019 is GM’s fabled G-body, but instead of a Buick Regal, this time it’s a timeless 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass. These cars are still sought-after for racing purposes because they’ll fit a big-block or nearly any engine swap with ease and parts are relatively common since they interchanged with so many other models. And, you’re certain to look pretty baller in a ’79 Cutty, so there’s that.

And last, but certainly not least, is a 1984 Chevrolet S-10. Short bed, for those keeping score at home. If you’re gonna’ get stuck with a pickup, an S-10 is the one you want to be stuck with. Like the Camaro, we aren’t likely to see any big-block swaps in 10 days time, and engine bay space is at a premium, but it’s the one pickup small enough to hang lock-in-step with a car, and aftermarket parts are out there. There’s a reason the first-gen S-10 and its cousin, the GMC Sonoma, are the most common pickup found on a dragstrip, and one of the four teams is going to prove why.

As mentioned, each of the cars presents its own case of baggage and pre-existing conditions. The Camaro has a cracked windshield and is set up for a six-banger; the Cutlass is a rust-bucket with a 7.5-inch rear in it; the S-10 also has a 7.5-inch rear with a cracked windshield and broken driver’s side window; and the Mustang has a seized hood, quarter panel damage and is set up with a buzzin’ half dozen. Below are the finer details on each of these beauties.

1998 Camaro F-Body

  • Engine: Stock 3.8L V6.
  • Rearend: 7.5-inch 10-bolt
  • Transmission: 4L60E 4-speed automatic
  • Brakes: Factory disc front, drum rear
  • Modifications: 100% stock

Damage: Vehicle appears to have no significant damage. The front windshield is cracked. All other glass is ok.

1984 Chevrolet S10 Pickup, Short Bed

  • “Roller” with no motor or transmission.
  • Rearend: 7.5-inch 10-bolt
  • Brakes: Factory disc front, drum rear
  • Modifications: 100% stock, other than shaved tailgate handle

Damage: Vehicle appears to have no significant damage. Brakes are disconnected. Front windshield is cracked. Driver side window is not in the track, or the track is broken.

1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass “G-Body”

  • Engine: 260ci V8
  • Transmission: TH200, 3-speed automatic
  • Rearend: 7.5-inch 10-bolt
  • Brakes: disc front, drum rear
  • Modifications: 100% stock

Damage: Heavy rust on the cars roof and rear window channel, light rust on the rest of the car. Glass good.

2004 Ford Mustang V6

  • Engine: 3.6L V6
  • Transmission: T-5, 5-speed manual
  • Rear End: 7.5-inch
  • Brakes: disc front/rear
  • Modifications: 100% stock, modified exhaust.

Damage: Core support has been cut and welded. There is light damage to the passenger rear quarter panel. Hood will not open.

Which team will get which vehicle, and how will their selection — or, for finishers two, three, and four in the $10K Olympics, begrudgingly saddled with — determine the engine and power adder combination they ultimately go with? That’s the exciting and intriguing part, and that’s why you should tune in this fall as the team’s go head-to-head in the $10K Drag Shootout 2, only at HorsepowerWars.com!

The Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout is made possible by some of the leading companies in our industry, including Summit RacingCOMP CamsTCIK&N FiltersMAHLE MotorsportsDyna-BattWeld RacingCorsa PerformanceFragolaHolleyE3 Spark PlugsTotal SealMickey ThompsonMoser EngineeringBMR SuspensionMiller Electric, Aerospace Components, Victor Reinz, Moroso, US Gear, Hawk Performance, Lucas Oil, PRW Industries, Weld Racing, VP Racing, NOS, ProCharger, and ARP.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
Read My Articles

Hot Rods and Muscle Cars in your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Street Muscle, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Street Muscle NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

We'll send you the most interesting Street Muscle articles, news, car features, and videos every week.

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

Street Muscle NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Classic Ford Performance

Street Rods

Classic Chevy Magazine

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Classic Ford Performance
  • Street Rods
  • Classic Chevy Magazine

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Street Muscle - The Ultimate Muscle Car Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading