Yes that is an old saying and the creedance of many a hot rodder.
Using the comparison to my Trans Am with its 350 Turbohydramatic transmission 1st gear ratio of 2.52 and the rear end ratio of 3.08 : 1 the net result is a gear multiplication of 7.76.
A stock Bonneville with its 4T65 1st gear ratio of 2.92 and final drive ratio of 2.93 the net result is a gear multiplication of 8.56. This roughly equivalent to the T/A having a final rear ratio of 3.42 gears.
Now if you replace the Bonne gearing with a 3.29 rear gears, that is equivalent to 3.81 gears in the T/A.............and if you go with the 3.69 gears, that is equivalent to running 4.11'* in the T/A.
.....it'* no wonder Todd has trouble with traction in 1st gear.
Gears make it go
I know in the T/A that switching from 2.73 gears to 3.42 gears.......or from 2.41 gears (stock in my Formula) to 3.08 gears.....a 30% bump in output torque.....it shaved a full second off the 1/4 mile.
I know that this will not happen for my Bonne for some time, only to be justified by a complete trani overhaul, but Kudos to those who have done it.
I'm sure they can feel the difference in the butt meter.