Vintage R&T Feature: Flat-Out Performance Test of 8 Showroom Stock Sedans

(first posted 3/11/2017)   Amateur SCCA racing, which had started out with very much stock cars in the early 50s, had become increasingly competitive and expensive by the early 70s, making it less accessible for the average Joe. But in a drastic return to its “race what you brung” roots, in 1973 or so, the SCCA created the Showroom Stock sedan. And given R&T’s roots in sports car and amateur racing, they were all over it.

In this comparison of popular SSS competitors, they’re taken to the track and wrung out. Ever wonder how the economy sedans from the times really performed against each other on the track? Here’s the answers, which include a few surprises, as well as not.


Once again, the Opel 1900 showed its mettle thanks more to its well-rounded capabilities than to a particularly powerful engine. It proved that a car that’s easy to drive, that inspires confidence, and has no vices is a winner. In fact, the Opel Manta was so dominant in the class in the first year, it was banned, in the hopes that the boxier body of the 1900 would slow it down some. Not enough to keep it from still being at the top of the heap.