Still relying on old manufacturer's published data to figure out how heavy your ride is? That was then, but this is now. As we add stuff like bigger engines, rollbars, big brakes, steam-roller wheels and tires, sound deadening, and aftermarket a/c—not to mention pounds around the middle—things change. Sometimes it’s for the better, and sometimes it’s just mass in the wrong place. If you’re not sure what or where your poundage is, you can weigh your car for free at any event RideTech attends. They’ve got four-corner digital scales that can not only give you an overall weight, but tell you front/rear weight balance, and individual corner weights. Moreover, in the four years since RideTech started their weigh-in program, they’ve amassed data on over 2,500 cars ranging from street rods and trucks to muscle cars and late-models. (All of this data is available to view on RideTech’s website, www.RideTech.com, under the “Tech” section, and is cataloged by year and make.)
We recently took Project Nova—our 1968 Chevy II—to RideTech’s weigh-in at the Del Mar Goodguys event, and got the exact numbers. With a full tank of fuel and no driver, it was 3,419 lbs., with 1,857 on the front (54.31%) and 1,562 (45.69%) for the rear. That’s a far cry from the 2,995 lbs. of advertised curb weight for an “average” 1968 Chevy II V8 coupe as published in Consumer Guide’s Encyclopedia Of American Cars, a tome that’s often quoted, but in this case was way wrong. Where does our Nova fall in the spectrum? Compared to the six other ’68-72 Novas in RideTech’s database, ours was heavier than all but one, most likely due to a full tank of fuel and a mild steel rollbar. That’s still a lot lighter than the 3,835-lb. 2010 Camaro SS and 3,817-lb. 2009 Mustang GT also in RideTech’s database!