This week's episode of Fifth Gear featured an epic battle of 'merican muscle. Specifically, we get to watch Vicki Butler-Henderson take a couple laps in two automotive icons of TV — the General Lee and the Starsky & Hutch Ford Torino. All we've got to say is watching that Charger chug down the straightaway, barely nicking 100 MPH makes us uber-glad for today's HEMI-fied SRT8. Be that as it may, we'd probably still trade our left arm for one.
Hate to tell you but in most cases, the Charger had the 400 or 440 and not the 426 Hemi for most stunts. For the 'driving on two wheels' stunts, Chargers with the 318 was used due to lower weight. And 440CID = 7.2L. Now taken from the perspective of the Dukes of Hazzard story line, it would have had the 426 Hemi. But the all out speed difference between a 426 and a 440, while clearly measurable, is not huge in absolute terms. And the main problems with the Charger on the track wasn't the power, it was the handling and the brakes.
As for the Torino... the 351CID V8 = 5.8L V8.
I thought it was interesting that the Torino could corner better in spite of what looked like much greater body lean (maybe engine weight has something to do with that as I imagine the 351W engine would be significantly lighter than a Mopar 440). But it is obvious that both cars have lousy handling. I also found it interesting her comments on how bad the brakes were on the Charger.