Classic Ford Mustang vs Chevrolet Camaro

Classic Ford Mustang vs Chevrolet Camaro

Who doesn’t love a good rivalry? One that has raged on for years is the Mustang vs Camaro. It’s Classics Week at Carsforsale.com, so let’s rewind back to the first generation of these cars where the battle began.

It was the 1960s. Ford knew upcoming baby boomers didn’t want the same old cars their parents drove, so they conceived a sporty looking car that the masses could afford; the Ford Mustang. After its wild success, automotive giant GM wanted a piece of the market, and followed suit with the introduction of the Camaro.

1st Generation Ford Mustang Overview

First Engine: 2.8L I6

Production: 1965 – 1973

Original MSRP: $2,368

1st Generation Ford Mustang Review

Design:

The Ford Mustang has been a pillar of the automotive scene for roughly 50 years. Pun intended. During a time when GM was seemingly the dominant car company, Ford offered the Mustang as a sporty vehicle that the masses could afford. The first generation can be found as a hard top, fastback, or convertible. While the design theme of a long hood, blunt nose, and short rear stayed consistent, the first gen Mustang still transitioned over the years.

1966 ford mustang

’66 Mustang Convertible

1967 ford mustang

’67 Mustang Fastback

1969 ford mustang

’69 Mustang Convertible

1973 Ford Mustang

’73 Mustang Mach 1

A variety of nameplates were born that possessed different styling and engines, such as the Boss 302, Boss 351 Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500, Mach 1, Cobra Jet, and KR.

Performance:

While the first 2.8L straight 6 engine only produced 101 hp, it only got better from there. Throughout the first generation, a huge selection of straight 6 and V8 engines were used in the classic Mustang. Most of these cars had a 3-speed manual transmission. One of the fastest classic Mustangs was the 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351. This beast had a 351 cu. in V8 that produced 330 hp and 370 lb ft of torque.

Sales:

It was well-accepted, to say the least. Between 1965 and 1967, Ford sold well over 1.5 million Mustangs. While those sales were never matched again, yearly sales always hit 6 digits until the early ‘90s.

What We Like:

  • Set the standard for its class
  • Abundant parts – relatively easy to restore
  • Fastback looks incredible
  • Recognizable by the masses

 

1st Generation Chevrolet Camaro Overview

First Engine: 3.8L I6

Production: 1966 – 1969

Original MSRP: $2,446

1st Generation Chevrolet Camaro Review

Design:

Loosely based off the Chevy Nova, the Camaro was clearly GM’s response to the Mustang. The early Camaros were smoothly designed compared to the competition. You could get this beautiful muscle car as a coupe or convertible. Three main classic Camaro packages were offered:

Camaro RS: This appearance package included revised taillights, hidden headlights, and a bright exterior trim.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS

Camaro SS: This performance package added exterior striping, air inlets on the hood, a strong engine, and performance chassis.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Camaro Z/28: This performance package added wide racing stripes, a stronger V8, and power disc brakes

1969 Chevrolet Camaro z28

 

Performance:

Controlled by a 3 speed manual transmission, the base 3.8L straight 6 engine produced 140 hp. Throughout the years and packages, multiple engines were offered. Often considered the rarest and most powerful first generation Camaro, the COPO 9560 featuring an all-aluminum ZL-1 427, was rated at 425 hp. Only 69 were ever built!

Sales:

The Camaro was forced to play catchup, coming into the market after other muscle cars were well-established. Despite this, the Camaro sold over 200,000 cars per year between 1967 and 1969.

What We Like:

  • Fun driving character
  • Great engines, lots of options
  • Abundant parts – relatively easy to restore

 

Classic Ford Mustang vs Chevrolet Camaro Winner:

First Generation Ford Mustang

The automotive world wouldn’t be the same without either car, but the classic Ford Mustang comes out on top. When comparing the classic Ford Mustang vs Chevrolet Camaro, we first look at public acceptance and sales. The Mustang sold exceedingly more than the Camaro in its first generation. There’s a reason they are called “pony cars.” If you’re brand loyal to Chevy, you’ll still love a classic Camaro, but the classic Mustang has certainly made a large impact.

Which classic pony car would you rather own? Let us know in the comments below!