Throughout its history, American motorsports has been largely dominated
by one factor: pure, raw horsepower. Hobbyists, garage mechanics, and
even the biggest car manufacturers have sought ways to pack more horsepower
under the hood in order to get from the start to the finish line faster.
While this long and illustrious history has seen numerous players and
combatants, perhaps no rivalry in terms of car models has a history as
rich and as spectacular as the battel between the Chevrolet Corvette and
the Ford Mustang GT. On this blog, we’ll take just a brief look
at this history and discuss what these two monster machines look like today.
The Chevrolet Corvette got started first, when the first ever model was
introduced to the public late in the 1953 model years as a show car for
the 1953 New York Auto Show. While the display was purely intended to
be a concept car, it generated so much interest that General Motors decided
to make a production version to sell to the public. However, it wasn’t
until the 1955 model year that GM changed the power plant in the vehicle
to a 4.34 liter V8 engine. It wasn’t until the second generation
of the Corvette, the first one to be dubbed the “Sting Ray”
that sales would really take off and the Corvette legacy was born.
The Mustang first got its start around the same time the Corvette was on
its second generation, with the first one being unveiled in 1964. However,
unlike the Corvette which took a little while to catch on with consumers,
the Mustang was a near-instant success. Ford made the somewhat ingenious
decision to minimize their risk with this new vehicle, sharing a number
of its parts with already existing models. This meant dealers wouldn’t
have to invest in a whole new line of replacement parts to support these
vehicles and mechanics picked up how to fix and maintain them with very
little training. This kept the price down to a mere $2,368, and sales
surpassed projections for the first year within just three months.
Since those first editions, the Corvette and Mustang have taken on a slightly
different places in the American automotive landscape, yet they have continued
to collide in a number of instances. The Mustang has long been seen as
a more budget-friendly sports car, offering a V6 engine (and more recently,
a turbocharged four-cylinder Ecoboost™ motor), and doing so at a
reasonable sticker price. The Corvette on the other hand has typically
always offered a naturally-aspirated or supercharged V8 with much higher
horsepower numbers, and typically, a much higher price tag.
That being said, the Mustang Shelby GT model carries a big supercharged
V8 engine designed to rival that of the major players in American high-performance
Car and Driver magazine did a faceoff between the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 and the Corvette
Stingray Z51 to determine which of these flagship sports cars of American
motorsports holds the title of king. The results may surprise some people:
while the editors and drivers in the test were quick to admit that the
Corvette’s superior performance specs dominated the track portion
of the test, it was the Mustang’s comforts and better steering made
it far more enjoyable on the roads, which, sadly, is where most of us
spend the vast majority of our driving lives.
You can read the
full head-to-head comparison here.
If you have a Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang that you want to take
to the next level, the Katy high performance automotive experts at HP
Motorsports can help! Call us today at 281.231.9950 to request a
free estimate and learn more about the great options available.