1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12 vs 1969 Chevrolet COPO Chevelle | STOCK DRAG RACE

1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12 vs 1969 Chevy Chevelle COPO. Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race. Factory Stock Drag Race.
First car is a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle COPO. The other a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12. The COPO Chevelle has a L72 427 V8, while the Road Runner A12 has a 440-6 barrel V8 (the term six-pack is reserved for Dodge products). The L72 427 in the COPO Chevelle was rated 425 horsepower, and the 440 in the Road Runner was rated 390 horsepower. The 1969 Chevelle has a TH400 3-speed automatic transmission, while the 1969 Road Runner has a TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission. Rear gearing in the Road Runner A12 is 4.10, which is the only option from the factory. The Chevelle COPO also only came with 4.10 gears, but our featured car has an upgrade to a 4.33 set. The weight of the A12 Road Runner with driver is 3784 pounds, and the Chevelle COPO is slightly heavier at 3814 pounds. There were only 1412 total A12 Road Runner produced, specifically 375 in a hardtop with an automatic transmission. The COPO chevelle is even more rare with only 323 produced, 96 of those having an automatic transmission. Speed and Supercar Magazine tested an A12 Road Runner in June 1969 and with Ronnie Sox behind the wheel (and the air cleaner removed) it ran 12.91 seconds @ 111 mph. This was a prototype vehicle with some headwork completed and likely had a compression ratio of 11:1. Super Stock and Drag Illustrated tested a Yenko COPO Chevelle in 1969 and it ran 13.36 seconds @ 108 mph.
Remember, both cars participate in Factory Stock class through F.A.S.T drag racing. Make sure you visit their website.

Here are the Factory Stock rules:

For 1955 to 1979 muscle cars built in United States and Canadian assembly plants with a minimum warranty of 12 months and 12,000 miles.

Automatic Transmissions: The transmission and torque converter must be correct for the year, make, and horsepower claimed. Shift improver kits are allowed. After-market shifters are not allowed. No manual valve bodies. No lightweight internal components allowed. 
Manual Transmissions: The transmission must be correct for the year, make, and horsepower claimed. 3-speeds may be upgraded to the correct 4-speed if originally available.

Rear Axles: 
The rear axle must be of the same manufacturer as the car. Any gear ratio is allowed. Driveshaft safety loops are mandatory on all cars 13.99 and faster! 

Must be factory correct for the year, model, and horsepower claimed. Dealer installed engines and dealer performed engine modifications are not allowed. Casting numbers must be correct for the year and horsepower claimed including intake manifold, heads, and exhaust manifolds. Modifications are prohibited. Blocks do not have to be “numbers-matching,” but they must be the correct displacement. Overbores up to .070″ are allowed. Stock cranks only. NO strokers! Random P&G checks are possible. Compression may be increased to the greater of NHRA allowable stock blue print or 1.5 over advertised compression. NHRA

Electrical System:
The battery must be retained in the original location and securely fastened down with the original style hold down. The charging system must be fully operational at all times.

Fuel System and Carburetor: 
The carburetor must be correct for the year, make, and horsepower claimed. Jetting and metering changes are permitted. THE CHOKE ASSEMBLY MUST BE IN PLACE AND FUNCTIONAL!

Valve Train:
The complete valve train must be factory stock for the year, make, and horsepower claimed. Rocker arm ratio must be correct for the year and horsepower claimed. Roller tip rockers allowed as long as correct ratio is used.

The camshaft must be correct for the model, year, and horsepower claimed for duration, lift, and type of lifter (hydraulic or solid). No roller cams allowed.

Cast iron exhaust manifolds are mandatory and must be correct for the year, model, and horsepower claimed. NO internal modifications to the exhaust manifolds are allowed. Under no circumstances will headers be allowed, including those cars that came with headers delivered in the trunk. The exhaust system may be upgraded to a maximum of 2.5-inch head and tail pipes.

Ignition System:
 The ignition system must be stock, including the distributor, cap, coil, and wires. Points may be replaced with any electronic conversion that fits under the stock distributor cap.

Tires & Wheels: 
Reproduction tires or radial tires only. No soft compound tires of any kind allowed. Retread tires are not allowed. Use of traction compounds or rubber-softening chemicals on tires are strictly prohibited.

Disclaimer: The Cars And Zebras YouTube channel is a news channel bringing results/news of drag racing with added history of automobiles. All footage/pictures used were either captured by the Cars And Zebras channel, or used for critique purposes under Fair Use.


  1. i know for a fact that it really takes a long time for the old 440s to get warmed up and those short runs will do it but it takes quite a good amount of running to get it done even to get the oil pressure stable. Not taking anything away from that awesome 427, it too took a good while to get warmed up but it didn't take as long as the old Mopar. These two cars were really the best deals for young guys back in those years. They were relatively cheap and came ready to run when you got them. Tires back then were really the weakness for regular faily drivers and street cars. There were very few really good tires back then. I liked the wide ovals when they came out but man they didn't last very long. There were other good, fast cars like the Pontiacs and some Fords too, it just depended on how much cash you had.

  2. Very nice matchup! Im a Mopar man all the way, that COPO Chevelle with the 427 was super fast! But the 440 six barrel in the roadrunner is no slouch either! Both cars are amazing and love this style of drag racing, thanks for another crazy race CAZ!!! 👍

  3. That's a great match up and it looks like it ultimately came down to reaction time and beating the red light. My guess is both of these cars are fairly "pure stock" as they both would be easy 11 or even high 10 second cars with just a few F.A.S.T. mods. This Mopar guy gives props to any COPO 427 car; they are not to be taken lightly.

  4. Goodday C & Z,

    Finally 2 x 1969 beauties, battle of the heavy weights.

    I had to go Mopar, you would of gone the Chevelle path.

    Regardless absolute Romper Stompers Muscle Car.

    Love a 69er.

    Awesome time didn't expect anything less great tight racing.

    Your number 1 Fan in Australia
    Louis Kats from Melbourne Australia ☺ 👍 ❤

  5. I have been lucky enough to own both. They were both great cars, and so much fun. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the A12 Road Runner. I regret selling that car to this day.

  6. That Chevelle would have been really sweet if it had bucket seats, a center console and a horse shoe shifter, both cars were pretty much evenly matched, last race the Mopar driver got a real good hole shot and held the lead

  7. As soon as I heard what gears the Chevelle had, I knew there was no way the Mopar could beat it.
    I dont understand how the Road Runner lost the last race, as it crossed the traps first correct??

  8. I have a 66 all original gold Charger 383 4 727. I drive her hard sometimes but I think she likes it. Hey, I'm not going to live forever. Thanks for the videos.

  9. Anyone else pissed off that you could buy these cars for what an entry level cheap car costs today? America was an awesome place when we still taxed our rich people. 😉

  10. I have to ask a dumb question. He highlights the “aluminum” intake manifold. Other than a couple of pounds, what is the point of even mentioning that?

  11. While it would be nice to see these cars have more seasoned drivers, the series does represent the Wednesday night "grudge racing" I remember at my local track fifty-some years ago. Some of the same cars, now worth fifty times the value then (or more). So no, don't change a thing.

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