Saturday, June 6, 2015

GM Unleashes LT1 F-body HELL on Ford Mustang

5.0 liter GT40 vs 5.7 liter LT1
"1993 SVT Cobra vs 1993 LT1 Camaro specs"
In 1992, GM created a new-generation small-block (Gen II) engine for the Corvette, and again called it LT1 to recall the legendary 1970 LT-1. The LT1 wasn't offered in the Camaro/Firebird (F-body) until the following year of 1993. It displaced 5.7 liters and was a 2-valve OHV pushrod design and offered a T56 six speed manual transmission to handle the 300+ lbs of torque. General Motors raised the bar to 275 horsepower, more than 30 horsepower over Ford's SVT Cobra Mustang. The LT1 was a unique design with reverse-flow cooling system which allowed the engine to run at a higher compression. This was accomplished by cooling the heads first (reverse flow), thus reducing the risk for engine knock at the higher compression. GM had a huge jump with its high compression, aluminum headed LT1 powered, six-speed monsters, and the new champs in the horsepower battle, on the streets and at the tracks. Ford's only chance of hanging with the new F-body was by way of Ford's strongest Fox-body model to date, the new 1993 SVT Cobra, which recorded similar 1/4 mile times in the high 13 to low 14 range (a popular publication of the time threw drag slicks on a stock '93 Cobra and ran a 13.4) as was Ford's quick little lightweight stripped down notchback LX coupe trunk model sleeper, due to their power/weight ratio. These under 3,000lb. versions of the Fox-body 5.0 Mustang could hang on the street and drag-strip, with the brawnier 5.7 liter LT1 powered Camaro/Firebird F-bodies...

"LT1 Camaro Z28/1LE in action"
1993 began the fourth generation of Camaro and Firebird lasting through the 2002 model year, until the Camaro's revised fifth generation production in 2010, but the Firebird Formula and Firebird Trans Am would not join its F-body Camaro cousin's return. Production of the fourth generation new design in 1993 would incorporate lightweight plastic body panels over a steel space frame, better suspension geometry, further improved upon the Camaro line as well as an optional six-speed manual transmission when ordered with the 275hp LT1 V8. In celebration of this, the 1993 Camaro Z28 was selected as the official pace car for the 1993 Indianapolis 500. A pace car edition was produced in limited quantities, with unique black and white color scheme. There were a few different versions of the LT1 motor. All feature a cast iron block, but only the Corvette and F-bodies received aluminum headed versions, the Corvette LT1 also had 4-bolt mains. (B-body Impala SS, Caprice, Buick Roadmaster had cast iron heads and 2-bolt mains)

"25th anniversary Firebird Trans Am"

1994 brought new sequential port injection and a mass airflow sensor (MAF) air metering system which replaced the previous manifold absolute pressure (MAP) setup. Pontiac celebrated the 25th anniversary  of the Trans Am with a commemorative edition. 25th anniversary production equals - 2,000 total models, 1,750 coupes and 250 convertibles, only 128 manual 6-speed models and only 3 optioned R6V code "SLP Firehawks" - 1 convertible and 2 coupes.

1995 a new vented version of the opti-spark distributor appeared on the LT1 Corvette, Camaro and Firebird, and traction control was available. V8 models remained largely unchanged through the 1995 model year.

"The LT1 powered F-bodies are a popular model in the Camaro-Mustang Challenge and American Iron racing series"
1996 saw a minor mechanical revisions and major revisions for OBD-II - a second catalytic converter on the F-body cars (which was standard since 1995 in California), a crank position sensor, rear oxygen sensors, and a new computer, as well as some power gains from the new OBD II-compliant engine controls and improved exhaust which raised horsepower to 285hp. Two option packages also returned: the "RS" package, which was an appearance option for V6 cars, and the "SS" package, a performance and appearance package for V8 Camaro, and WS6 Ram-Air Firebird from SLP (street legal performance) ...the new Camaro SS and Firebird WS6 Ram-Air SLP equipped models produced 305hp and made for an interesting match-up against Ford's revised 4.6 liter 305hp 1996 SVT Cobra Mustang models.

"1997 SVT Cobra vs 1997 Camaro SS"
1997 model year, the Camaro was offered with a "30th Anniversary Package", which included unique orange stripes on white base paint. Also, one hundred (100) 30th Anniversary Camaro SS cars were sent to SLP to have the 330hp LT4 engine installed. While this made it the fastest Camaro available at the time, it was also by far the most expensive with a price of over $38,000. The 1997 model year Camaro and Firebird were the last year for the 2nd Gen LT1/LT4 engine in a GM production car, but in 1998 it only gets better with the release of the ultra-strong LS1 Corvette engine produced in the Camaro Z28, Firebird Formula V8 and Trans Am... Mustang's only chance against the LS1 powered Camaro/Firebird F-bodies would come from Ford's SVT program, but not until 2003 would a stock Mustang once again claim street brawler bragging rights...

"If you look across the spectrum of affordable V8-Ponycars, in search of that "best bang for your buck" - performance per dollar... one needs look no further than the LT1 powered Camaro-Firebird F-body models. The LT1 is hands down the best choice available When you factor in just under 300hp and 6-speed transmission from the factory with today's market prices as low as $1,500 for a decent project, or $3,500 for a clean over 100,000 mile driver... to $5,000 or more for a low mile beauty".

Modified 5.0 Mustangs and LT1 F-bodies battled it out on the streets in every town and every Saturday night back in the '90s. This video is a time machine back to the late '90s and features a 5.0 Mustang LX with a Motorsports B303 cam, full exhaust and 4.10 gears picking a fight with a muscular WS6 Trans-am packing a couple mild bolt-on mods like gears as well. This is a perfect example of those #V8ponycars small town '90s summer nights. We'd keep it safe by driving a few miles out of town.... hit 'em off one or two times then cruise back to town to brag and tell the war stories lol. The cops never messed with us and everything was cool until a few years later the import sport compact tuner movement exploded due to a movie titled "Fast & Furious" hit theaters. Next thing you know there's gangs of Honda Civics attacking Camaros and Mustangs like swarms of insects while cruising down the highway. Kids in their Mom's Nissan Maximas drag racing in the middle of town with massive crowds and races one after the other.... and people started getting hurt, and killed. Cops were on alert and the street drags we once knew became memories. 

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