These cars were so equally matched that it divides opinions to this day. One of the greatest automotive rivalries in the industry. The original pony car, and the car designed to destroy it.
In 1964 Ford released the first Mustang. To this day the Mustang holds the record for the most production models sold during the launch. People loved the Mustang, it was sporty, it was comfortable, and it looked incredible. It took Chevy almost 3 years to build a rival car. In 1967 Chevrolet released the Camaro, it was made to beat the Mustang and it did. The Camaro had bigger engines, more trim options, and it looked way meaner. It seemed almost definite that it would take the crown as the best pony car, but in 1967 the world saw the first GT500. The Mustang GT500 had a 7 liter V8 making around 355hp, and it was called the Cobra Jet. In 1969 Chevrolet brought out two 7 liter engines for the Camaro, a iron block called the L72 making around 425hp, and the ZL1 making 430hp. Both the Mustang and Camaro were incredibly fast muscle cars, but the 70s were different. In the early 1970s both companies were making some fast muscle cars, like the Mustang Mach 1 and the Camaro Z28. In 1971 the Camaro SS 350 was called one of the top ten best cars in the world by Road & Track. In 1974 two months before the oil crisis hit, Ford released the perfectly timed Mustang II. The Mustang II was not cool it was very slow and it was not at all a muscle car like the original pony, but because of the oil crisis it sold. The Mustang II outsold the Camaro by a long shot. The 1970s were a very bad time for most American car manufacturers, and Chevrolet was one of them. The base model Mustang II made around 89hp, and the 1975 base model Camaro made 105hp. Every trim model for the Camaro was faster than the Mustang. By the late 1970s the Camaro started to pick up with sales, and it ended up selling almost a 100,000 cars more than the Mustang. The 1970s ended with the release of the Foxbody Mustang. The 1979 Foxbody Mustang GT made a pitiful 157hp. In 1982 we saw the release of the 3rd generation Camaro, just like the Foxbody, the design was boxy. The base model Camaro made 90hp, the 2nd generation had more horsepower! The base model Camaro was so slow that it did 0-60 in 20 seconds! Although the Foxbody Mustang was seriously lacking some styling, it was way better than the 3rd generation Camaro in my opinion. For both cars it was clearly the oil crisis still on the minds of the engineers. As the 80s continued the cars only got better. In 1985 Chevy released the Camaro IROC Z, it was above 200hp finally. Meanwhile the 5.0 Mustang was chosen by the California highway patrol for a pursuit vehicle, the Camaros they tested had cam shaft issues at pursuit speed. The pursuit Mustang was called SSP it stood for Special Service Package It was faster and lighter than regular 5.0s, the U.S. Air Force even used one to land spy planes. Both the IROC Z and the SSP were really cool, but none of them had a manual transmission option. Then came the 90s, in 1993 we saw the 4th generation Camaro otherwise know as the Catfish Camaro. The Catfish Camaro really did look like a cat fish, it wasn’t boxy like the previous Camaro instead it was rounder and wider. The Catfish Camaro came with either a V6 or a V8, the LT1 V8 made around 275hp and the LT4 V8 made 330hp. In 1994 we saw the new Mustang, the styling was very different from any other mustang model, but it wasn’t very powerful. The 4.6 liter V8 only made 215hp. The Mustang GT was slower than the Camaro SS, but the Mustang did way less. Until 1998 when Chevy switched the V8 option to the C5 Corvette‘s LS 1. The Mustang needed something big and fast to beat the Camaro so Ford made a special team called SVT, it stood for Special Vehicle Team. SVT made the Mustang into the SVT Cobra, it had a 4.6 liter V8 making 305hp. I personally love the SVT Cobra, I love the look, the power, and the name. When the 90s ended Chevy realized that the Camaro wasn’t doing so good, sales were really slowing down and they decided to retire the Camaro that has been made since 1967. The Camaro was officially retired in 2002. Both of the 4th generation pony cars put out a lot of power and they were evenly matched. In 2005 Ford made the new 5th generation Mustang, it looked like the original mustang, many companies tried retro styling like the PT cruisers, but for Ford it actually worked. The 5th gen Mustang looked incredible, they called it Retro Futurism. The Mustang GT had a 4.6 liter V8 and it was only making 315hp. The Mustang sold very well, it had no other pony car competition, until 2007 when Chevy had one of the greatest ideas ever. They made a 2 hour long commercial for the new Camaro called Transformer. The world saw the return of the Camaro, now when people see a yellow 5th generation Camaro with black stripes they think of the movie star car, Bumblebee. The Camaro came 3 years after the movie in 2010, the best part was the SS model that had a LS3 making 426hp! In 2011 Ford fought back with the 5.0 liter Coyote engine making 412hp, but what matters most is that it got its 5.0 badge back. The 5.0 was 500 pounds lighter than the SS, the Mustang was faster on the drag stripe, but the Camaro was faster on the track. These cars were so evenly matched that the sales were basically the same. Then came 2015 when Ford created the 6th generation Mustang, the 5.0 model made 435hp and it finally had independent rear suspension. The Mustang could finally keep up with the SS around a track. In 2016 Chevy released the 6th generation Camaro, it offered the LT model on the SS model. Both Companies made supercharged versions of their cars, Ford had the Mustang GT500 and Chevy had the Camaro ZL1 1LE. The ZL1 was faster to 0-60mph, and it is 100 pounds lighter than the Mustang. The GT500 was quicker to 0-100mph and it had bigger brakes and wheels. Both the Prices and the 1/4 mile times where almost identical. It was all down to how they preformed against each other on the track. The ZL1 went around the Nordschelelfe in 07:16, that is faster than GTRs, Ferraris, and Corvettes. Sadly in 2019 Ford said that they have no interest in taking the GT500 to Germany, so we just won’t know how they preform against each other. These two pony cars are so evenly matched throughout all the years both cars struggled, and both cars succeeded. When deciding which one is better it just comes down to opinion, this is one of the greatest rivalries in the history of cars, and they are so similar that we can’t prove that one is better. I honestly prefer the Mustang, the Mustang was the original pony car, and it didn’t leave for 8 years. Which one do you like best? Feel free to comment
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I love the Boss Mustangs!