Real Street returns with a new competition and now has the owners (or designated hit men)
The new era in street car competition is to pit these machines against each other in a real-world environment of braking, acceleration, and handling rather than merely judge them on how good they look. For you longtime Car Craft readers, this is really nothing new. You may recall a then-unique competition CC initiated back in the May '86 issue called Real Street Eliminator (RSE). The premise today remains the same, but we've made some changes and even added a unique twist just to mix up things a little.
Last year, we called this competition Street Machine of the Year, but for this year, we've returned to our RSE roots with a three-way competition held in conjunction with the GM Performance Division-sponsored Car Craft Summer Nationals in St. Paul. We modified the competition slightly by adding an additional challenge to last year's 60-to-0 stopping contest. Instead of only measuring braking efficiency, we came up with what we call the Launch Box sponsored by Rust-oleum-a 150-foot-length lane with a coned-in box at the end. Each competitor must launch from the starting line and then bring the car to a complete stop inside the box while avoiding the cones. This makes accelerating the car as critical as stopping-and all within an abbreviated distance. As the RSE competitors discovered, it's much more difficult than it looks. Of course, we retained the other two competitions from last year, the QA1 autocross and the ever-popular Mobil 1 chassis dyno challenge.
In past years, RSE was an invitational event, but this year we opened it up to a limited number of Car Craft Summer Nationals participants. Like last year, we also split the competition into two categories, giving the muscle cars a chance to prove what they could do without having to wrestle against later-model machines. As a quick rules overview, each car had to complete all three events with the low elapsed time in the autocross and Launch Box offering 30 points and only the top three finishers received points. With the Mobil 1 dyno challenge, peak horsepower was the arbiter that not only established the top positions but also served as a tiebreaker should two competitors finish with duplicate times in either of the other two events-which happened this year. First, we'll introduce the competitors and then we'll dig into the meat of RSE.