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What Are Some Of The Classic Wars Between Ford and Chevy?
Here are some classic wars that have been waged over the years between Ford and Chevy.
While Ford impressed everyone with his version of automation in the Model T, Chevrolet was working hard to offer any competition it could. When it developed the cast iron Stovebolt Six cylinder engine, it marketed it as a “Six for the price of a Four.” In 1929, Chevy overtook Ford in sales, and as Americans reeled from the Great Depression, Chevy continued to work to provide an alternative to the mighty juggernaut of the Ford machine. But things didn’t heat up until after the war, as returning GIs went to work, raised families, and began to buy automobiles.
The Battle Of The Corvette vs Thunderbird
In 1953, Chevrolet introduced a two-seat sports car with a fiberglass body that they believed might be the future of speedsters. While the original production Corvettes only had a wimpy inline-six engine capable of 150 hp, it wasn’t long before the engineers found a way to provide more power. The 1955 Corvette had a V8 engine, and subsequent years continued to see improvements in power and looks.
However, Ford was not to be outdone, and they fired back against the Corvette with the introduction of the Thunderbird. In 1955, the sportscar world was heating (Studebaker and Chrysler C-300 were also being debuted), and Ford needed something to keep up.
As the late fifties rolled around, Chevy stuck to its sports car roots, while Ford added a rear seat to the ‘Bird, knowing that they could broaden their sales. They were right because, by the time 1960 rolled around, the Thunderbird was outselling the Corvette by miles.
The Battle Of The Mustang vs. Camaro
While there are many examples of muscle car battles (Chevy II vs. Falcon), there isn’t a more iconic war than the one between the Mustang and the Camaro. While Ford kept putting bigger and bigger V8s into their pony car, Chevy brought out the Camaro in late 1966, and immediately, the Ford folks took notice. Even though a 289 six-cylinder was standard, owners could choose a V8 option like the 6.5 L (396 cid) V8 that produced 350 hp and hit the track with a 5.9 second 0-60 mph speed. Needless to say, there were lots of races won and lost that involved a Mustang vs Camaro.
The Mustang may have sold more cars in the late sixties and early 70s, but when Chevy brought back the Camaro Z28 in 1977, it was an instant hit, outselling Ford by almost two to one over the next couple of years. The Carmaro has lagged behind the Mustang by a wide margin in recent years, but neither car has fared well against the revamped Dodge Challenger with its 6.2L Hemi.
The Battle of the Bronco vs. The Blazer
While the Bronco might have come on the scene in the mid-sixties as Ford’s answer to the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout, and it quickly climbed the off-road mountain (it sold well initially). Chevrolet could not be left in the dust, so a couple of years later, they brought the Blazer K-5 out. Because it was built on the K10 pickup platform, it was trendy (for interior room and the ability to haul its butt up a mountain pass. You could also take the top off, which gave owners options).
When the market for Off-Road Vehicles dwindled in the early 90s, Ford and Chevy stopped making their iconic titans. (By this time, Ford and Chevy had gone through many different variants of the Bronco and Blazer). The good news is that both Chevy and Ford have recently brought back the pair, and they are doing battle again, to the delight of off-road thrill seekers everywhere.
The Battle of Trucks - Chevy C10 vs. Ford 100.
In the early fifties, Ford trucks dominated the market. The early Ford pickup truck, the F-1, was ruling the road, but that changed in 1953. Both Ford and Chevy issued new designs (Ford had the F100 and Chevy the C3100). While both pickup trucks shared some of the same technical specs, the pickups were evenly matched for years.
Ford continued to produce the F100 for years (1984), when the F150, which had been produced since 1975, took over. Chevy made the C-Sereies until 1987 when the Silverado became their bread-and-butter truck.
Today, you can still find F150s going at it against Silverados, and as long as Americans continue to purchase trucks, I suspect the war will continue to rage.
Which of the Brands Is Better Today?
While the battle lines are drawn, and there are many loyal fans, let’s take a quick look at whether current buyers would be better off buying a Ford or a Chevy.
Initially, you will likely pay less upfront for a Chevy car or truck than a Ford. However, when you factor in items like maintenance and insurance costs, the clear winner is Ford. The average price paid between a Chevy and a Ford at the dealership is a savings of about $2k, which in the hands of a struggling middle-class buyer, is nothing to sneeze at.
The 2023 Ford F150 has the distinction of being the best truck when it comes to performance based on the results of KBB. It has best-in-class towing capabilities and payload, better fuel economy, and a better interior design. Ford trucks seem to be winning the battle compared to the Chevy Silverado.
Regarding sedans, Chevrolet tends to be the more reliable of the two models. With Chevy, safety assist gives the drivers added security and protection when driving. While both Ford and Chevy (and other automakers) have various safety features as standard equipment, Chevy seems to be the leader of the pack.
According to Repairpal.com, current owners of a Chevrolet Silverado tend to pay less money for repairs, and they end up paying that money less frequently than owners of the F150. While Chevy does not beat Ford in every category, a recent study found that Ford owners have a lower cost of ownership over five years.
According to the latest statistics (2022), GM trailed Ford and Toyota as the industry leaders in car sales. While Ford dethroned Toyota as the king of the hill, it wasn’t by much (a difference of less than 9k units). There have been times when GM has beaten Ford (depending on how you count truck sales mostly), but the consensus is that Ford does a better job of moving cars off their showroom floors.
As a general rule, Ford vehicles are cheaper to insure than Chevrolet. Though car insurance rates will vary from driver to driver (depending on age, marital status, and driving record), there is clear evidence that Ford offers a better value as Ford drivers pay less than their GM counterparts.
While vehicles lose about 60% of their value after five years, Chevy and Ford have a couple of entries that do better than others. For example, the Chevy Volt is the best residual-valued electric car, while the Ford Bronco is the best off-road vehicle on the list produced by KBB.com. (Chevrolet wins in the heavy-duty truck market with the Silverado, while the Mustang Mach-E takes the prize for the best electric SUV). There is no clear winner in this category since it depends on the car's model and the condition it is in.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding