Drives: 2013 Sonic RS MT
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Saint Augustine FL
Sixteen days ago I posed a simple question, “What is America’s favorite muscle car?” Four rounds, five blogs and hundreds of votes later, this question has finally been answered. Your winner of the 2009 Muscle Car Madness is, drum roll please…
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
As the score below indicates, it was massive win for the Camaro. The SS dispatched its rival, the Ford Mustang GT, not in scrappy, buzzer beating fashion -- but by blowing it completely out of the water. Take a look at the numbers:
Chevrolet Camaro SS: 135
Ford Mustang GT: 51
Though the battle was between America’s two mightiest car companies, pitting two of their most fabled vehicles against each another, this one wasn’t even close. No Coke vs Pepsi, blondes vs brunettes, or even MSU vs UNC battles here. This was more like The Injuns vs. General Custer. To put the bloodshed in sharper relief, switch the score to percentages -- fully 73% of voters preferred the Camaro SS to the Mustang GT. Let’s break it down.
By the time I closed down voting (roughly 12:30 p.m. yesterday), I received 166 comments (the most ever for a MT blog!), of which 160 were votes. I received far fewer votes via email, but that is my fault as I put the wrong email address down (hey, I write these things in a hurry). Still, I received 26 email votes, for a grand total of 186 votes.
As soon as I began tallying comments section votes, it became clear how bloody the outcome would end up. There were 12 pages of comments, with 15 votes per page (if each comment included a vote). Often the user name immediately gave the game away. Any guesses as to who KILLER74Z28 voted for? How about 66_stang_fastback or GT500SprSnke? Of the 12 pages though, most were landslide victories in favor of the Camaro. The Mustang was beaten on every page of comments, sometimes as bad as 13 to 2.
Am I shocked? Indeed. I had a feeling the SS would win, but I didn’t think the margin would be this massive. After all, for all its detractors, the Mustang does hold considerable bragging rights in the auto industry. Not only is the Mustang one of the most iconic nameplates around, it has been in production for 45 consecutive years and sold over 9 million units. No other muscle car even comes close.
So how do I explain the loss? Well, a couple of things. As it is shiny, pretty and new, the Camaro dominates the spotlight right now. It’s also been well-marketed via such avenues as the "Transformers" series of movies. I also can’t help but think the long run-up and months of delays have, in a perverse way, managed to drive the hype even higher.
I think the biggest factor that hurt the Mustang is also its greatest strength. It’s simply too commonplace. It’s so pervasive in American automotive culture that I think a lot of people forget its aforementioned significance. The Mustang, even the latest and greatest version, simply can’t beat a car like the Camaro – one that has been gone for a while and triumphantly returned like a prodigal son. Ironically, this Mustang “problem” is one I know GM execs would love to have.
Which one would I rather have? As much as I love the naughty curves and the downright nasty power of the LS3 V-8, I’d take a track pack equipped Mustang GT. It’s the sharper drive, and has more day-to-day utility. Apparently at least a few of you agree with me…
“The Mustang defined the pony car segment and is still the truest to form after 45 yrs of continued sales. Fast, Fun, & Affordable still today. I can't wait to see what is next in the Mustang corral.”
“I have owned both, although years apart, and currently love my GT. I vote Mustang GT because it was and continues to be there when I wanted it!”
Bear Gap, PA
“45 years in UNINTERRUPTED production is not an accident, no matter how much horsepower you need to make up for whatever inadequacies the Camaro has, it will still never be as popular to America as the Mustang…”
“The Mustang does just as much with less. Mustang's styling is new, the Camaro has been teased for half a decade it seems old by now. The Mustang has always been here for us.”
“Mustang GT. It's lighter, has better quality, and won't get dropped like Chevrolet did the Camaro.”
MSU Spartan fan Lindsay Bingham, whom I first mistakenly identified as a student, then a male teacher, offered these heartfelt thoughts about her beloved Mustang:
“I believe throughout history and currently the Mustang is the TRUE embodiment of American innovation and design. I have always wanted one and I lived my dream when I graduated college and leased a new 2005 GT. I cannot wait to own another one again. There is nothing, and I mean nothing that even comes close to that deep, low rumble that emits from the exhaust of a Mustang, it is truly unique."
Other Mustang fans skipped the heart and went straight for the Camaro's jugular:
“How can the camero be a winner with GM going into bankrupt?”
“So the Camaro has over 100 horses more, but the quarter time is less than a half second faster than the Mustang? Plus the ‘Stang looks better, weighs less, and can continue to improve seeing as how Ford isn't handcuffed by congress' bail out money.”
“I choose the Mustang because it is the king on the track with impressive handling numbers - even besting the Camaro's IRS - and a body that obviously has been to the gym more than the Chevy - the Mustang is lighter, sounds more macho, and in my opinion, has a nicer interior.”
“Modern retro is a nod to history, and while the new GT elicits memories of "Bullitt" and other bad-ass chase scenes I often dream about, the Camaro just reminds me of mullets, sleeveless shirts, and the cop cars I used to slow down for.”
My favorite pro-Mustang rationale, however, came from commenter japanbonustrack, who wrote: “Mustang - because the good guys always drive them in movies”
But as the saying goes, to the victor go the spoils. Which, in this case are bragging rights for the near future. Here are some of the more interesting reasons why the Camaro SS is America’s favorite musclecar…
“Dick Vitale would say, ‘Come on baby, oh yeah baby!’ No real competition in styling and pure power. The new Chevy is the hands down winner.”
“The muscle car look is unmistakable, ...with the power to back it up. Camaro wins!”
Some Camaro supporters, chose it because they have a special connection with the car.
“I already voted with my checkbook and have a Victory Red 1SS on order, because it is the best musclecar value on the market and will make Mustangs disappear. I can't wait!”
“When I was a kid, my dad drove a 1987 Camaro Z-28, and getting into a bright blue V8 muscle car, while everyone else hopped into minivans and Camrys, made me a Camaro fan for life.”
Steve Masters, of Houston, TX, even included photos of his beautiful ’67 and these thoughts:
“Since I have owned my first car, a 1967 Camaro, for the past 33 years I may have a bit of Camaro blood running through my veins!!!!”
Some reacted to the Camaro’s aggressive styling and Coke-bottle curves:
“A muscle car should be sexy. The SS is Super Sexy...”
“These cars are all about horsepower and good looks, both of which the Camaro beats the Mustang.”
…while others resorted to pure logic:
"I like the current rendition of both cars, but I have to give the nod to GM and Chevrolet for committing to a pure 21st century creation of a classic design following in the footsteps of the original 1967-1969 models. Clearly GM could have done a better job with the interior, specifically the dash layout and gauge placement, but by remaining loyal to the first design the car has a classic and timeless look that should remain that way for a long time to come. Add in the current edition of the LSx engine family matched to a 6-speed transmission for both Automatic and Manual and you have the makings for a well balanced and drive able car for anyone to enjoy. In the end there can be only one…CAMARO SS.”
For some, the Camaro induced an emotional reaction. Check out this Ford lover:
"The Camaro does MORE with MORE, the Mustang does MORE with LESS. My heart is with Ford but they let me down with the engine. Whenever it gets its power bump and the mustang wins easily. However this contest is now, let the Camaro have its way, GM deserves credit for bringing the heat."
“I vote for the Camaro SS. Why? Because those halo rings stared into my soul and told me to. Oooohoooohhh (Oh, and as the engineers so eloquently put it -- this thing is pure kickass. That's right, one word: "kickass".)”
And at least one guy could only express himself in invented words. Badassery, anyone?
“Although both are nice cars, the Camaro's built-n badassery content far exceeds that of the Mustang. Usually an overlooked statistic, the content of badassery has recently become a major indicator of sports car success. It is important to note that badassery is not available in every car, including the Mustang. Besides the amount of badassery available in the Camaro, it is important to note the far superior engineering, performance, and testing that went into the Camaro over the lazily styled 2010 Mustang, which basically looks the same as the current Mustang from a distance…”
But the best responses were the ones that involved chest pounding trash talking. One guy even referenced our recent experience with the Mustang…
“Just look at it! The SS exudes "I will beat the everliving daylight out of you"
"I like to eat Mustangs, they taste like chicken"
“Why you ask? Because if the Mustang was scared of a Hyundai, it should be terrified of the Camaro.”
“…besides the facts, everyone knows that "ponies" are for little girls! Camaro wins going away!”
“The Camaro SS is the girl next door, while the GT is her skanky older sister who just got back from a little lap-band/rhinoplasty... but still has the nervous tic in her shoulder.”
So there you have it. Bowtie fans, be proud of your Camaro SS champion and bask in this win -- but don’t get too comfortable. Once we get our hands on the GT500 -- and if the on again/off again Z28 is ever released, we may have to do this all over again…
Thanks for playing and see you next week.
[Special thanks to Destroyer for all the cool numbies and piccies]
The Lohdown is published on motortrend.com every Wednesday, though lately it feels like EVERY DARN DAY. Please send all suggestions and comments to thelohdownMT@gmail.com.
Quite a few of C5 members are quoted.