’99 Grand Prix GTP vs. ’89 Camaro RS

Coming to work early, the Formula is down right now with an electric fan problem, so since Cindy is out of school for the summer, she says take the GTP to work and leave the Formula.  I’m not going to argue on that at all, the GTP is a smurfy car. The drive into Hattiesburg is pretty uneventful, I might have to start getting up this early and getting to work by 7:00am because the amount of LAMAR county people on the road is almost nill.

I’m just passing through Lamar county, near Canebreak, and I glance back in the rear view. There is a black RS Camaro coming up on me at a good clip, not hauling, but fast enough that he won’t creep past me and he won’t blow my doors off. I glance down at the HUD. Speed limit is 65mph. I’m running about 67mph, got Lil Ray "Wannabe Be A Baller" playing on the CD player (burned MP3 CD) along with some others, fixing to go back to track 5 and listen to Filter "Take A Picture".


What the hell?

I glance over at the motor rev and see the black RS Camaro. Guy looks like he’s in his early 20’s, some kind of dirty professional shirt (like a mechanic), can’t make out a company logo. He looks over, revs his motor again. Sounds like a 305, but a weak one. My L03 sounds better. He has one hand on the wheel, and with the other hand he kind of points forward. The message is clear; ‘want to race?’

Well, for all the previous talk that my wife’s car is faster than my 305 TBI, I’m curious now. I look ahead, nothing but straight away, look behind. A few cars, none of them moving up. I look over at the guy and nod, hitting the shift lock and getting ready to drop the trans from 4 to 2.  I switch on the PERFORMANCE SHIFT actuator which holds the shift to a higher level for more performance.  He looks forward and without hesitation stands on it. His motor revs and he starts to pull away, good exhaust sound, nothing to write home to mom about, but not wimpy either.  Solid.   I throw the gear selector down two notches and step into it. The boost gauge pegs to the far end of the curve as the tach needle jumps. The GTP leaps forward as the 3.8 liter supercharged V6 is slung against its motor mounts by the torque.  The RS is still pulling ahead and then it is slowing, and then it is slowly coming back toward me.

Is he slowing down? Did he let off of it?  I keep the accelerator matted and up shift to 3rd.   I put my nose on his bumper, then to his passenger side door, and I’m standing on the GTP’s accelerator. The boost gauge is pegged and the last indicator is blinking on and off.  Boost stacking.  I'm making boost I can't use but I'm pulling on the RS.  Then I’m dead even.  I up shift to fourth.  I look over, he looks over, and then I start to pull on him. At a good pace!   His car coughs twice, bucks, and falls back some.  I pull even further.  We break triple digits. I’m a fender ahead of him, then half a car.   His car stutters once, bucks again, he falls back about four or five feet, and then he comes on again but not as strong and I'm still ahead.  I hit 115 and then some, all I have on the speedometer and back off.  He pulls up a little, his nose to my rear passenger door, and then backs off as well and starts to brake. We’re heading into a 55mph zone and I don’t need to be pulled over doing 115mph in a 55mph zone. I haul down from speed, watching the numbers in the HUD fall, and I hit the cruise button once I get to 55mph. The speed falls to 52mph, the engine catches, gives a little throttle, two units of boost on the gauge, and I’m back to 55mph and locked in. There is some traffic ahead and at the top of the next intersection is a traffic light. I watch it turn red and start to slow. I wind up side by side with the guy in the RS. I look over and he is motioning for me to lower my window. I hit the window and lean out to hear what he is saying.

"… those were that fast! That’s supercharged, isn’t it?" he shouts.

I nod.

"Is that a 305?" I shout back.

"Yeah!" he says.

I watch the light out of the corner of my eye, still red.

"So you have throttle body injection?" I shouted.

He shakes his head.

"Hell no! I ripped that crap off last year and put a 600 Holley on it!"

I smile, this is just too damn good to be true.

"Oh!" I shout back. "So that’s the reason why you lost! If you had kept that fuel injection, you might could have taken me."

His expression was priceless.

The light turns green, I hit the power window button, roll up the window and drive on listening to Filter "Take A Picture".