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24 Facts About The Camaro + Mustang Muscle Car Rivalry

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Like in a good hero novel or in sports, there has to be competition or rivalry, an antithesis to the hero to push each other along and drive innovation. This is exactly the case for the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. They have both been battling it out in the pony car market for 50 years, with only the Camaro taking a break in production in 2002.


These days, pony cars and muscle cars are kind of lumped in together as terms, mainly because there isn’t the variety of the breed these days as there was back in the day. Nevertheless, the Camaro and the Mustang are still compare to each other like there is nothing else on the market. Fox News have put together an article giving you 24 facts about both of these pony cars and how they came into existence.

Here’s a quick rundown –

  • The 1967 Camaro was developed to compete with the Mustang. The Chevrolet Corvair couldn’t cut it, so the Camaro was developed with some standout engine choices taking a good portion of the Mustang sales.
  • When the Chevrolet Camaro was launched, GM use the first mass teleconference system across their dealer network to launch the Camaro.
  • Like the Mustang below, the mid-70’s fuel crisis totally rocked the boat of the pony muscle car world. Designs totally changed and so did power ratings. New emission standards and even higher insurance prices put the reins on these ponies for quite a few years.
  • 1982 saw the birth of the Camaro IROC-Z, which stood out as an iconic 80’s design.
  • The fourth generation Camaro housed Corvette engines. First, using an aluminum LT1 and then the LS1 engine found in the C4 and the C5 Corvettes.
  • 2002 saw the end for the Camaro until 2010. The late 90’s was the quietest period for the Camaro, with the fashion going towards trucks and SUVs.
  • The 2010 Camaro was first featured in the Transformers movie. Just like the Mustang, designs influenced from the past proved a success and stood out, especially being bright bumblebee yellow.


  • It was the first pony car.
  • The Mustang, sold 22,000 models on its first day. A lightweight design and powerful V8 engine were the main draws.
  • The first Mustang was sold by accident, planned to be kept for historical purposes.
  • The 1974 Mustang was a sales flop. No surprise here, as muscle and pony cars were hit by the mid 70’s fuel crisis and the impact was the same as Grunge killing hair metal and heavy rock in the early 90s. The Mustang II came from the aftermath, which was like every other mid-70’s pony and muscle car, a limp attempt at former glory in design and power.
  • 1979, saw the introduction of the SVO supercharged I-4 Fox body Mustang. Maybe not a heavyweight V8, but the Fox body became a cult classic and is an ideal platform today for modification.
  • The Pontiac Firebird was a direct competitor to the Mustang, which carved its own niche in the muscle car world.
  • 1994 saw a more modern design for the Mustang. Superseding the Fox body, the new Mustang had a luxurious interior and more performance like exterior and new V8 powerplant.
  • In 2005 Ford made the bold step of retro theming the Mustang. The timing was just right as the Mustang took elements from the past incorporated into the V8 designs of the day. This helped reignite some of the muscle car market.
  • The Mustang never featured a T-Top like the Camaro or Firebird, but stuck to a traditional convertible top throughout the years.
  • The Mustang was kept fresh with constant special editions. The Bullitt, Mach 1, Saleen and Cobra kept the Mustang front of mind throughout its years. The Camaro in comparison relied on the long-standing Z/Z8 or the SS models which may have influenced the stop of production in 2002.
  • The Mustang is a popular movie car. Having been around 50 years, it’s expected that the Mustang would have shown its face on the big screen at some time. Gone In Sixty Seconds and the remake being one of the most famous.
  • The most expensive Mustang went for $1 million at auction known as The Vicious.

There is alot of history behind both of these fine pony cars and it’s expected that we can see both these models for another 50 years to come.

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