Camaro and Mustang have been vying for American muscle car supremacy for decades. In recent years Mustang and its Shelby GT500 have been pulling away, but as always Camaro is fighting back and the ZL1 is a monster.
Let’s start with number our readers care about most: horsepower. The ZL1 revved up 580 horsepower on its dyno run. 580. 0-60 in 3.9. Top speed 184mph. Yikes. This raw power is generated from a 6.2L supercharged LSA small block V-8. Transmission options include a 6-speed automatic with manumatic control and a Tremec 6-speed manual.
The exterior is beautiful. The interior is beautiful. It is a technological wonder. It is the most powerful Camaro EVER. Yeah, yeah, but how does it stack up against Mustang? Well, let’s see:
One of the originals and arguably the best of all-time the ’66 Shelby Cobra is a dream muscle car restoration project for millions of enthusiasts. A dream because of its beauty and a dream because of its scarcity. Kit cars abound but an original ’66 is worth a fortune. Literally. Sold for $9,500 in its year of production a ’66 famously fetched $5.5 million at auction!
Like many of the early muscle car classics the ’66 Shelby Cobra was built for the racetrack. Working with Ford and AC cars, Shelby American adapted the AC chassis to fit Ford’s 427 big block V8, noted for the side oil passage that sent oil to the crank before the valvetrain, giving a big boost in horsepower, up to 400 bhp during chassis dyno testing. Shelby ordered only 100 chassis from AC.
Shelby American had finished just under 50 when the FIA informed them that they didn’t meet the minimum number of cars to compete in the upcoming World Sports Car Championship. Stuck with finished primer grey cars and 53 nearly completed, Shelby was at an impasse. They sold a number of the primer models to American racing teams. The 53 nearly finished models they added a windscreen, painted with the now iconic racing stripe and released them as the fastest street car in the world!
And fast they were! The ’66 reached 0-100mph in 13.2 seconds. By comparision the Aston Martin of the day could barely dip below 20 seconds! In fact there was only one car in the world that was faster and that was Carroll Shelby’s own Super Snake which used twin turbochargers to crank out 800bhp!
Charger vs. Charger. Old School vs. New School. Muscle vs. Muscle. Let’s do this!
For fun let’s pit the classic 1968 Dodge Charger against the 2013 edition. Forty-five years seperate these two beasts. Out of respect for our elders we’ll start with the ’68.
The 1968 version of the Charger unveiled significant design changes. The double-diamond coke bottle profile and kick-up spoiler appearance were meant to envoke the raceways of Daytona. The changes had their desired effect. Sales jumped an astonishing 509 percent over the ’67 models. The best available motor was the 426 Street HEMI rated at 425 bhp. An interesting bit of history, the Street HEMI (or a slightly detuned version) was only made available to the public because NASCAR banned its use in super-speedway in 1965. The 1968 was an absolute screamer, but better in the straightaways than the curves. It could be a little stiff and it cornered flat. Still, when that HEMI roared. Look out.
With the 2013 edition Dodge is hoping to inspire nostalgia for the late sixties era by adding some Daytona-esque design tweeks. Deep side-scallops and a blacked out hair grille harken back. Aside from these throwback nods the 2013 is pure modern. The interior offers 12-way power adjustable seats, heated and ventilated, an 8.4 inch display, and a ridiculous 19-speaker sound system. A HEMI still lurks under the hood. The 6.4 liter V8 produces 470 horsepower during chassis dyno testing and hits a top speed of 175mph!
The newest edition is a sweet ride. It’s faster. It handles better. The seats warm your rear. We don’t care. Not many muscle cars make for a better classic restoration project than a late sixties Charger. We’ll take old school every day of the week. Photo Credits: cargurus.com, motortrend.com