Saturday, November 04, 2023

Automotif CDXXXI...

Few automotive rivalries are as iconic as that between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. They originally started out pretty even in the late Sixties, what with them both being sporty coupes based off their respective makers' small sedan platforms. 

For most of the Seventies, the Camaro had the edge, since it remained a full-on Pony Car for its second generation, while the Mustang II spent a few years wandering in the Pinto-derived wilderness.

In the Eighties, the tables were turned, as Fox-body 3rd generation Mustangs with 5.0L H.O. motors and Borg-Warner 5-speeds romped all over their 3rd Generation F-body rivals from GM. An attempt to give the IROC-Z Camaro an advantage by fitting it with a Corvette-derived TPI 5.7L V-8 was foiled by three things: 

First, for Camaro use the Corvette's aluminum heads were replaced by cast iron ones, making the motor heavier. Secondly, the hood line of the Camaro necessitated a convoluted, more restrictive intake path versus that of the 'Vette. Finally, the 5-speed gearbox used in the Camaros was apparently not up to the torque of the 350 (which is why the Corvettes of the day still used a 4-speed box with a weird overdrive unit bolted to its ass end) so 'Vette-motored Camaros were all equipped with slushboxes.

Camaro fans got their vengeance in the Nineties with the 4th Gen Camaros, like the Bright Teal Metallic Z28 in the picture. Equipped with a 275bhp LT1 5.7L V-8, it had no trouble getting enough air into the motor, and the standard Borg-Warner T56 6-speed had no problems getting that power to the ground, either.

If this Camaro Z28 is a '94 model, it would have been the archenemy of my Mustang GT at the traffic lights of America, and frankly the 5.0 under my Ford's hood is a little weedy by comparison.

It's all cool though. My days of being silly at the traffic light are mostly over.