McLaren MP4-12C vs 1970 Chevelle SS 396 1/4 Mile Drag Race

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

The 1970 Chevelle SS is one of the most iconic muscle cars of all times. With a 375 horsepower 396 inch big block under the hood and a M-21 four speed sending power rearward to the 4.10-geared twelve bolt rear end, the Chevelle was on par with many modern sports cars through the quarter mile all the way back in the 70’s.

Of course, the McLaren MP4-14C isn’t your typical modern sports car. While the engine in the McLaren is about half the displacement of the big block in the SS, it’s also being force-fed intercooled air by a pair of turbochargers that push the 3.8 liter to crank out over 600 horsepower. You line up the modern supercar against the dinosaur from Detroit and it’s not a great day for the domestics.

That’s not to say the heavy Chevy isn’t still impressive, but we are talking about two drastically different rides separated by a quarter million dollars and a quarter century, give or take on both of those numbers. The Chevelle has some minor traction issues off the line, but still races to a respectable 13.76 quarter mile time at just over 100 MPH. In the other lane, the modern rocketship from McLaren lays down a great looking 10.93 at 131 MPH, proving that technology has come a long way and that money helps you get there faster.

While this is more of a contrast than a comparison, it is cool to see both of these cars on the track doing what they were built to do and not sitting in a garage under a cover. We understand why some collectors keep their cars under lock and key and never take them out even for a spin, but we love to see the guys that take the risk of losing a little money from their investment and actually trading that for some enjoyment.

Thanks, as always, to Drag Times for the awesome footage. We love to see what Brooks is into down in Florida where all these cars are hanging out on the weekends!