From Old to New: The Mustang and The Camaro
How many things can you name that have the ability to go from young to old? That would seem to be a dream come true as we fight age, wrinkles, weight-gain and hair loss. This dream has become a reality for two major car companies for the 2012 production year: Ford and Chevrolet.
Lets first go back to 1967, when there was a bitter feud going on in the muscle car world. Ford had been waging a war and winning over its adversaries in the “pony car” niche. Then came along an opponent that no one expected, the Chevrolet Camaro. This became one of the biggest rivalries in muscle car history and was revived once again. With the release of both the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, two of the companies fastest muscle cars were re-released with some upgrades that had all of the muscle car enthusiasts raving.
The original 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 offered a 302 c.i., 5.0L engine that revved out 290hp. It had a 4-speed manual transmission and was built to race in the Trans Am races. Designer, Larry Shinoda eliminated the original Mustangs fake rear fender scoops and added “c-stripe” strips on the car.
He also included optional black horizontal rear window shades, a blacked out hood, a front spoiler and a rear deck wing in his design. Only 8,641 were sold in this model, making it one of the most collectible versions of the Mustang. Its 2012 version was not outdone, however, boasting a 5.0L V8 engine that cranks out 444hp and produces 380lbs of torque. It had an upgraded six-speed MT-82 manual transmission and a re-engineered intake system and quad exhaust that provide a growl with hard acceleration. With the tweaking of the engine, addition of some new technological features, and the stiffening of the springs, the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 was be tougher and faster than its originator, but was it enough to beat the Camaro?
The first Camaro ZL1, also built in 1969, was not built to compete with anyone on a large scale. In fact, an Illinois car dealer ordered the Camaro for small-time drag racing. Through this order, he created the most powerful engine offered to the public at the time. The 1969 Camaro ZL1 had a 427c.i. aluminum block engine, which was code named ZL1. It was rated at 430hp but tested at over 500hp. It was fully street-legal and came with a 5 year/50,000 mile warranty like most of the other Chevy’s. Due to the engine costing $4200, nearly doubling the cars price tag to $7200, the car was more popular with drag-racers than everyday customers, which meant only 69 were produced. Chevrolet hoped its 2012 model will sell better, though it was still pricey, when it hit showrooms. This model packed more power than its original by using a supercharger on its 427c.i. 6.2L V8 engine that cranks out at least 550hp (though some believe it could be as high as 700hp after testing) and included a six-speed manual transmission. It was touted as “a race car put on the streets,” but did it compete with the Mustang?
Who truly won depends on what car enthusiast you talk to. No matter what, they are both beloved muscle cars.