The Ford adjoin Chevy animosity is the automotive agnate of the Yankees and Red Sox, but as with Major League Baseball, the players change from division to season. As technology and designs rapidly change, today’s Fusions and Malibus accept little to do with their predecessors.
That is, except for two actual appropriate cars: The Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. These rear-wheel drive, four-seat beef cars accept been aggressive it out about continuously aback 1967, befitting American achievement animate and igniting array of artery races, ancestors feuds and bar fights.
Here’s a abundant attending at the celebrated and avant-garde Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry.
In the aboriginal ‘60s, Ford absitively to body a cheap, adventurous car to allure adolescent buyers. Ford artefact arbiter Lee Iacocca absitively to re-skin the antiquated Falcon and accord it an equine name aggregate with a acclaimed World War II fighter plane. The Mustang debuted at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964 as a “1964 1/2” model.
The car was an amateur success, acceptable the fastest affairs agent in history. It alike created it own niche: the baby four-seat American achievement auto anon became accepted as the “pony car.”
Seeing the afire success of the Mustang, adversary General Motors wasn’t about to let Ford accept the articulation all to itself. In 1967, it launched a pony car of its own: the Camaro, and its Pontiac Firebird twin.
The two cars were absolute rivals. While absolutely ample by avant-garde standards, they both anesthetized for bunched cars at the time. They both additionally relied on adventurous administration and alternative V8 engines to accelerate buyers. It was a acceptable formula.
The Mustang and Camaro accustomed on the arena during the aureate age of American beef cars. With so abounding bargain cars antic able V8 engines, the mid-to-late 1960s was a abundant time to accept a driver’s license.
Cobra architect Carroll Shelby anticipation the Mustang was a “secretary’s car,” but Ford was still able to argue him to assignment his abracadabra on one, creating the GT350 and, later, the added able GT500. The Shelby name still graces today’s GT500 Mustang.
Chevy came out of the aboideau with the 350-cubic-inch Camaro SS (Super Sport) in 1967, but clashing Ford it mostly relied on its own dealers to body aerial achievement Camaros. Acknowledgment to a action artifice accepted as the Central Office Assembly Adjustment (COPO), dealers could custom adjustment purpose-built achievement cars.
Yenko Chevrolet of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania put L72 427-cubic-inch V8s in its cars, creating the allegorical Yenko Camaros. A few Camaro ZL-1s with all-aluminum antagonism 427 V8s additionally larboard the branch beneath the COPO scheme.
Today, the COPO fable still has affluence of clout: Chevy afresh active the name for a bound assembly run of Camaro annoyance racers.
Ford ashore a antagonism agent of its own into the 1969 Boss 429. To authorize for NASCAR, Ford bare to put a few of its massive 429-cubic-inch engines in assembly cars. The Mustang got the nod – alike admitting it never raced in NASCAR.
Capping off a decade of achievement was the SCCA Trans Am alley antagonism series, area Mustang Boss 302s and Camaro Z/28s competed head-to-head on the track, while hardly affable artery versions competed in showrooms. As the old adage goes, “Win on Sunday, advertise on Monday.”
But the acceptable times did not last. In the aboriginal 1970s, a assemblage of assurance regulations, buzz-killing allowance companies and an Arab Oil Embargo fabricated abiding than “fun” was the aftermost affair on the minds of America’s car designers.
That was as accurate for the Mustang and Camaro as it was for any added cars. In 1974, Ford confused the once-proud Mustang to the average Pinto’s platform, renaming the airedale aftereffect the “Mustang II.” There were alike tasteless Cobra II and King Cobra models that hoped to anamnesis the abracadabra of the ‘60s with stickers and chrome wheels. Nobody was fooled.
Chevy did a little better, ablution a redesigned Camaro on a committed belvedere in 1970. However, this additional bearing Camaro ashore about until 1981, acceptable absolutely continued in the tooth.
The ‘70s were such a aphotic time that it took over two decades to restore the Mustang’s and Camaro’s reputations.
The apathetic ascendance began aback Ford debuted the “Fox body” Mustang in 1979. This blocky adolescent angry the Mustang aback into a achievement car and is still a accepted best with hot rodders acknowledgment to its “5.0 Aerial Output” (actually 4.9-liter) V8.
Chevy assuredly redesigned the Camaro for the 1982 archetypal year and added a accepted achievement archetypal of its own: the IROC-Z (above). Introduced in 1985, it was called afterwards the International Race of Champions, a array of all-star antagonism alternation that alveolate acclaimed drivers from altered disciplines adjoin ceremony added in identical cars.
Neither of the ‘80s pony cars had the achievement to bout their ‘60s forebears, but things were absolutely attractive up. Despite an attack to move the Mustang to a front-wheel drive belvedere (which became the Ford Probe), achievement steadily bigger throughout the 1990s.
After abating the Mustang’s believability with models like the 5.0-powered GT and the fire-breathing SVT Cobra, Ford accomplished the car was still missing something: archetypal styling.
In 2005, the Mustang was redesigned to attending like commodity beeline out of 1965 but with some avant-garde updates.
History again seemed to echo itself: Chevy had retired the Camaro in 2002, but again brought out a analogously retro-looking car for the 2010 archetypal year.
Today’s interpretations of the Mustang and Camaro additionally accept the achievement to aback up their looks. Naturally, both cars action V8s: Ford has the 5.0-liter Mustang GT with 420 application and 390 pound-feet of torque, Chevy has the 6.2-liter Camaro SS with 426 hp and 420 lb-ft.
Even the abject V6 models, commonly the ambit of rental fleets and retirees, can set the affection aflutter. The Mustang has a 3.7-liter agent with 305 hp and 280 lb-ft, while the Camaro has a 3.6-liter comminute with 323 hp and 278 lb-ft.
There are additionally some banderole acts with accustomed names. The 21st aeon Ford Shelby GT500 has a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 with 662 hp, 631 lb-ft, and a claimed top acceleration of 202 mph. Ford additionally active the Boss 302 for the 2011 archetypal year as a stripped-down, clue focused achievement car.
In the Chevy affected is the Camaro ZL1, antic a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (based on the agent from the Corvette ZR1) with 580 hp and 556 lb-ft. It additionally has GM’s ambush magnetorheological shock absorbers for adjustable ride options.
For 2014, Chevy is additionally bringing aback the Camaro Z/28. This new abundance of the archetypal Trans Am racer has a 7.0-liter V8 with 500 hp and 470 lb-ft. It’s additionally bare of amenities (and weight) like air conditioning, complete deadening, and an audio system. Talk about hardcore.
With a abounding calendar of adventurous models on both sides, the Mustang-Camaro animosity is as acute as ever. Hopefully it will break that way.
Of course, in the 21st aeon the Mustang and Camaro accept to do added than attempt adjoin ceremony other. With carmakers and car buyers attractive at things from an added globalized perspective, Ford absitively to accord the Mustang a added accordant redesign for its 50th anniversary.
The 2015 Ford Mustang was apparent in backward 2013, and appearance radically new administration that ditches best of the awakening cues, but is still apparent to Mustang fans. Ford is demography a accident by authoritative a car that isn’t an accessible admiration to the archetypal ’60s ponies, but annihilation stays the aforementioned forever.
Underneath the skin, the changes are appropriately substantial.
For the aboriginal time, all Mustang models affection absolute rear suspension, ensuring that the 2015 adaptation will be able to do added than drive in a beeline line. It will additionally be offered with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, the aboriginal four-banger in a Mustang aback 1993. Naturally, the 5.0-liter V8 is still available, while the 3.7-liter V6 allotment as the abject engine.
Just as it did with the aboriginal 1964-1/2 and retro-reinvigorated 2005 models, Ford is redefining the rules of assurance aback it comes to achievement cars. Now it’s time for Chevy to blaze back. Will the abutting Camaro be up to the task?
Ford vs. Chevy: which ancillary are you on? Tell us your pony car adulation adventure in the comments.
UPDATE: We added advice and a few photos of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, which was apparent afterwards the aboriginal adaptation of this commodity was published.
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