Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro: Wasn’t Much of a Battle

1967 Ford Mustang

Mustang versus Camaro: it’s a story as old as, well, 1967, when the Chevrolet Camaro was introduced as an answer to Ford’s muscle car.

Countless comparos have pitted the Ford and Chevy pony cars against each other, in countless iterations and machinations. But if you swear by the measure of the bottom line — sales over more than four decades — the ‘Stang’s the top dog.

Still, a cheer of sorts must have emerged from the Chevy camp recently. For the month of June, Chevrolet’s just-out-of-the-box 2010 muscle car was delivered to 9,300 customers, many of whom have been waiting for months — and, in some cases, years — to collect their reinvented Camaros. Ford reported that it sold 7,600 of the mildly redone Mustangs in that month. As Don Sherman wrote in his assessment of the new Camaro in Automobile magazine: “The Camaro’s six-year absence really did make hearts yearn for a Ford Mustang foil.”

In was not always so. In fact, it was rarely so. According to figures from various sources, including from Ford, the Mustang outsold the Camaro in the United States in 28 out of the 36 years since the Chevy appeared as a first-generation coupe and convertible in 1967. (We’re not counting the six years that the Camaro was not built.)

In ’67, the Mustang already had a three-year head start; it was the progenitor of the pony car upon its debut in 1964, and more than 1.3 million examples had been sold before Chevy showed up. For the 1967 model year, the Mustang came out on top with more than 337,000 sold, compared with about 221,000 Camaros.

The Chevy’s best showings against the Mustang were in the early ’80s when the Camaro was handsomely redesigned but lost much of its power, although in 1971, by the narrowest of margins, the Camaro outsold the Ford for the first time, 128,106 to 127,062. But by the first years of this century, the Camaro was very much the also ran, with Mustangs beating the Chevy by as much as five to one. The previous generation Camaro was put to rest in 2003.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

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