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Show revives the Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry

Old 06-30-2007, 01:14 PM
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Default Show revives the Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry

They will have to retitle this article when the Challenger smokes both of them. LOL!

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Show revives the Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry

Last updated June 28, 2007 7:45 p.m. PT

By EVAN MCMULLEN
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

Which was faster: Mustang or Camaro?

That is a question for the ages -- and certainly one that has precipitated its share of arguments and burned rubber.

The focus on Trans-Am marquees and models at this weekend's PNW Historics Vintage Races at Pacific Raceway rekindles that longstanding rivalry between two of the category's strongest contenders.

The Trans-Am series was first introduced by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) as the Trans-American Sedan Championship in 1966, comprising two classes -- under 2 liters, and over -- and encompassing a broad range of muscle cars such as the Camaro, Mustang, Plymouth Barracuda, AMC Javelin, Dodge Dart and Challenger, along with a host of European contenders. Inaugurated at Sebring in the same year, the series' first winners were the Alfa Romeo (under 2 liters) and, in second place, Dodge Dart (first in the over 2-liter category).

Although the "Trans Am" (no hyphen) brand today is commonly associated with the Pontiac marquee because of its wide production and marketing, the golden age of Trans-Am competition was epitomized by the fierce battle between the Camaro and Mustang, between Chevrolet and Ford -- for racing titles, image and mainstream marketing position for what was to become generations of line-production rollouts. For four years that many still consider the high point of the series' short-lived golden age, the Chaparral Camaro and Boss 302 Mustang monopolized the winner's circle to achieve an effective draw.

Jerry Titus first took Ford to the winner's circle in 1967; in 1968 and 1969 Mark Donohue and the Chaparral Camaro Z28 team captured successive firsts. In 1970, Parnelli Jones brought Ford back the championship in the Boss 302 Mustang.

The subject of four design generations, the Chevrolet Camaro is and was a North American "pony car" and was first introduced in 1966 to compete with the Ford Mustang. Today, the car has survived four successive generations of design revision and production and is expected to re-enter the market in model year 2009.

The Mustang, originally based on Ford's Falcon, sold more than a million units in its debut year of 1964.

Also the subject of several generations, in 2007 Ford unveiled its new Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang, complete with promised 370 horsepower and strengthened suspension.

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