A car that's fun and fast doesn't have to be unattainable. Classic muscle and sports cars from the 1980s and 1990s offer plenty of performance without breaking the bank. A new video tested some old Detroit metal, pitting a 1988 Chevrolet Corvette against a 1995 Pontiac Trans Am Comp T/A.

The 1988 Corvette packs the L98 5.7-liter V8 engine under the hood. It makes 245 horsepower. The 1995 Pontiac Trans Am also hides a 5.7-liter V8, GM's LT1. It produces 310 horsepower, but it is heavier than the older Chevy.

Gallery: 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo: First Drive

The two first faced off in a drag race. The Corvette got the better launch, and while the Trans Am could keep up, it didn't have the performance to pull ahead. The Corvette completed the quarter-mile race, one mile above sea level, in 16.07 seconds at 91.6 miles per hour. The Pontiac wasn't far behind, completing the race in 16.7 seconds at 90 mph.

The rolling race was the Trans Am's attempt to compensate for its poor launch in the standing start. It got a slight lead at the start, but the Corvette quickly overtook it, beating the old Pontiac. The two then competed in a brake test, with the Corvette stopping at a shorter distance.

The Corvette then faced off against some modern metal – a 2023 Mazda CX-30. The Mazda features a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine making 250 hp. It might be down on power, but it has all-wheel drive as an advantage, even though it weighs much more than the Chevrolet.

The two battled it out in two drag races. The Corvette won the first, with the Mazda completing the quarter-mile in an impressive 16.06 seconds at 92 mph, which beats the Corvette's first run. The second race was actually worse for the Mazda, taking 17.03 seconds to complete the race to the Corvette's 15.98-second time.

Are the Corvette and Trans Am as fast as their modern contemporaries? No, but they still offer a lot of fun for the price, and there are likely plenty of cheap spare parts and a robust aftermarket to assuage any concerns about the lack of power. GM's small-block V8s are popular for a reason.

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