In the history of classic American cars, few will ever be as memorable or legendary as the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. These two titans of the pony car segment have been duking it out since the late 1960s. The Camaro came as a response to the Mustang, and each car has been redesigned and retooled again and again to outperform the other while offering drivers the best, most intense driving experience possible. From massive Big Block V8 engines to those sleek lines, luxurious interiors and even the odd scaled-back model to make things more affordable and fuel-efficient, there's a Mustang or a Camaro out there for everyone.
With more than 50 years of history behind each car, there have been a lot of changes, a lot of advances, and a lot of incredible models to choose from. Magazines like Motor Trend and Car and Driver have pitted these two against each other since the '60s, and each one has triumphed against the other and also lost time and again. Whether you're hardcore in the Mustang camp or on Team Camaro — or maybe you love both — take the quiz and see just how much you know about this classic rivalry.
Which car rolled off the line for the first time in 1964?
The Ford Mustang probably should have been a 1965, but they rolled it out early in 1964. Thanks to the weird timing, many of the first-year models are called 1964 1/2 models — as opposed to either 1964 or 1965 — though some were simply relabeled as 1965.
What's the most powerful Mustang produced to date?
1978 Cobra II
1996 SVT Mystic Cobra
2020 Shelby GT500
The 2020 Shelby GT500 is an absolute monster of a car. With a supercharged DOHC 5.2-liter V-8, the 2020 is pulling over 700 horsepower, putting it on par with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and the Challenger Redeye.
The 1974 Mustang II was significantly downsized and was the first Mustang to have a 4-cylinder engine. In fact, it shared an engine with the Ford Pinto. There was an option for a V6 if you wanted to soup it up, but there was no V8 on the table.
Not every year is a big one for sales. Which model has the record for lowest sales in a year?
Though both models have had their ups and downs over the years, the biggest downer came for Chevy and the Camaro in 2001. That year, the company sold only 29,009 Camaros. Compare that to their best year in 1979 when they sold 282,571. Mustang's worst year was 2009 with 66,623 sold.
Which model sold 22,000 on its very first day of sales?
You can't blame Chevy for creating the Camaro to compete with the Mustang since the Mustang sold a staggering 22,000 cars on its very first day on the market. It has gone on to sell millions since that time, but what a first day, huh?
Which model sold a special Neiman Marcus edition in 2011?
The extremely rare Camaro Neiman Marcus edition from 2011 came with a Bordeaux red paint job. Only 100 of them were made, and they cost $75,000 through the Neiman Marcus catalog. They sold out in three minutes.
For every best there's a worst. What was the least powerful Mustang ever made?
2002 Steeda Mustang GT
1967 Ski Country Special
1978 King Cobra
1975 Mustang II
The 1975 Mustang II was the bottom of the Mustang barrel in terms of performance. Not only did it have the same 4-cylinder engine as the '74 model, it was actually downgraded to something even less impressive. It only had 87 horsepower. 87!
Between the Mustang and the Camaro, which one had sold more than 500,000 in a single year?
The Mustang has had two 500,000+ sales years in its history. It sold over 559,000 in 1965 and then, in 1966, it sold 607,000. The most that Camaro ever sold in one sales year was about 282,000 in 1979.
The Dubai police force uses Camaro SS Coupes as police cars. They have a top speed of 165 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds, making them pretty beastly for fighting crime.
Which manufacturer has won the Daytona 500 more times, Ford or Chevrolet?
Ford doesn't compete.
Chevy has won the Daytona 500 more times than any other manufacturer. They have 24 wins under their belt, so far, compared to Ford, which comes in second place with 15. Chevy's last win was in 2018 with the debut of the Camaro ZL1.
Camaro and Mustang have both celebrated 50th anniversaries. Which one did it on the top of the Empire State Building?
For the car's 50th anniversary, Ford took a Mustang GT convertible up the elevators piece by piece and assembled it on top of the Empire State Building. It's likely only a Tesla has ever been higher in the atmosphere outside of an airplane.
What was the original name for the Camaro when it was still in the concept phase?
In the concept stages of the Camaro, back in the '60s, it was known as the Panther. That was never going to be the "real" name though, as Chevy wanted to stick with the "C" theme they'd established with the Corvette and Corvair.
According to Hagerty Insurance, on average, which classic car is more valuable?
It can't be determined.
Based on their own data, Hagerty says the Camaro is, on average, more valuable than the Mustang. Older models, such as those from the 1960s, tend to be insured for more from state to state than classic Mustangs. The average Camaro is valued at $35,720, and the average Mustang's value is $22,449.
Which car was almost called the Cougar back in the day?
Aman named John Najjar was in charge of design at Ford when the Mustang was produced, and legend has it, he was a huge fan of the P-51 Mustang military fighter plane. Najjar suggested the name, and Ford execs liked it enough to go with it. Their first choice was Cougar, but that ended up at Mercury.
Which model was the first to win Motor Trend's Car of the Year?
Neither one has
In a curious twist, the massive performance models of the Mustang never won Car of the Year from Motor Trend. It was their super scaled back, 88 horsepower 1974 Mustang II that did it. Go figure. The Camaro didn't win until 1982.
Which model was the first winner of a straight up comparison by Motor Trend magazine in 1971?
It was a tie.
Though the cars had been compared for several years, Motor Trend never named a definite winner until 1971. It was a battle between not just the Mustang and the Camaro but the Plymouth Barracuda and the AMC Javelin. The Mustang came out victorious.
Starting in 1970, something happened that severely de-powered future Camaros and Mustangs. What was it?
Stock market upheaval
The oil crisis
The oil crisis took a massive toll on the world of muscle cars, which led to both the Mustang and the Camaro scaling back significantly in power and design. This prompted the Pinto-like Mustang II and the underpowered 1970 Camaro that had to meet emissions standards.
If you're shopping for a new Mustang or a Camaro in 2020, which one is going to be cheaper?
The prices aren't fixed yet.
They're about the same.
Your basic model 2020 Mustang is cheaper than its Chevy counterpart by a significant margin. The 2020 Mustang costs $26,670, while a Camaro is going to set you back $34,995. Of course, option packages and variants will significantly alter those base prices.
Which European car inspired designs for both the Mustang and the Camaro?
Both the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro have seen some of their early designs inspired by the Ferrari. In the 1960s, when the pony car segment was being developed, Ferrari was the be-all and end-all of design excellence, so it's no surprise.
Who dropped Big Block engines first, Mustang or Camaro?
They still make them.
They did it at the same time.
Because of changes to emissions regulations in the '70s, the Big Block powerful engine of the past had to go the way of the dodo. Mustang dropped it first in 1971, but Camaro followed suit just a year later.
Even adjusted for inflation, the base price of a 1967 Camaro sport coupe was pretty cheap at only $2,572 brand new. In today's dollars, that's about $19,777 or so. A brand new 2020 Camaro will set you back about $34,000.
What was significant about the 1968 Z/28 Camaro convertible?
It was a V12
Only one was ever made
Legend has it that in order to promote the Z/28, the team behind it needed to convince Chevy GM Pete Estes to make it happen, but Estes only drove convertibles. The Z/28 was not a convertible, so they produced one single model and gave it to Estes, who then approved the request.
A 4-cylinder Ford Mustang starts at $26,670, while a standard V8 is going to set you back $35,630. Of course, if you want the convertible, that's going to be $32,170. Then you can add options and rocket that price right to the moon.
Air bags weren't always standard equipment. Which model was the first to make them standard?
They've never been standard.
The Mustang and Camaro did it at the same time.
Both the Mustang and the Camaro introduced air bags in the 1990 mode year. Both required a significant redesign of the steering wheel, which also included moving the horn to buttons on the side of the steering wheel.
Which car has been the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 more times?
Both the Camaro and the Mustang have served as pace cars at the Indy 500, but the Mustang has done so only three times, while the Camaro has been the pace car an impressive nine times. The Corvette has done it 15 times.
In what year did the Camaro first outsell the Mustang?
The Camaro was 10 years old when it finally outsold the Mustang in 1977. That year, it sold about 219,000 units, while the Mustang langged behind a bit with 153,000. Overall, however, the Mustang has far outsold the Camaro.
How much more horsepower does the 2020 Camaro have compared to the 2020 Mustang?
The 2020 Camaro comes with a 455 horsepower, 6.2L V8 engine, while its Mustang counterpart is tearing up the highways with a turbocharged 2.3L 4-cylinder engine with 330 horsepower. So the Camaro is 125 hp in the lead if you get the Mustang 4-cylinder. If you go for the V8, the Mustang amps up to 480 hp.
The team at Chevy did something for the first time ever to announce the Camaro in 1966. What was it?
It competed in the Indy 500.
The car was air-dropped into Times Square.
Live television reveal
World's first large-scale teleconference
In 1966, it was not easy to roll out something on a massive scale because no one had ever heard of a large-scale teleconference, but Chevy managed to do it across 14 cities. It took 100 Bell technicians to pull it off.
Which model didn't release a convertible at all for its first three years?
Both the Mustang and the Camaro rolled off the line with a convertible version, so there was no time to wait to feel the wind in your hair behind the wheel of either vehicle. The Mustang was also a hardtop and a fastback when it was released, while the Camaro offered up a coupe as well.
The term "pony car" wasn't created by Ford or Chevrolet. In fact, it wasn't a manufacturer at all. Car Life magazine editor Dennis Shattuck coined the term to describe a sporty, compact car that seated four, had a long hood, was affordable and was youth-oriented in its advertising.