Why Choose a Mustang vs. a Corvette?
If price were everything, Ford would be the clear underdog in the Mustang vs. Corvette debate. But of course, discerning drivers know a high price tag doesn't always buy you a better car.
Here are some of the more compelling reasons why, for our money, the Ford Mustang offers a greater combination of performance, value and looks than the Vette.
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Mustang vs. Corvette
HistoryIn a way, the development histories of the Mustang and Corvette are illustrative of the larger differences between the two cars. The Corvette began life in 1953, and its first few years in production were awkward to say the least. Initially developed as a prototype for display at the New York Auto Show, the design attracted so much positive attention that the car was immediately shepherded into production. Unfortunately, the rush to make the Corvette available to the public led to some decisions that, in retrospect, seem out of step with the nameplate’s later legacy. To save costs, the car used a fiberglass body and was constructed entirely of off-the-shelf components. Testing the 150 hp. ’53 Corvette, Motor Trend clocked its performance at 11.3 seconds to 60 mph — hardly adrenaline pumping numbers.
It wasn’t until 1955 that the Corvette began to resemble its current status as an iconic American muscle car, when GM brass made the wise decision to offer a small block V8, increasing its output and performance. A cosmetic redesign the following year introduced many of the nameplate’s familiar styling cues and, suddenly, the driving public was beginning to take notice.
Compare that scattered history to that of the Mustang — designed for speed from the get-go, the 1964 Mustang was an immediate hit, with both consumers and journalists recognizing its power and potential. In fact, the Mustang was so popular that it broke several sales records, moving over 100,000 units in less than three months and presenting an immediate and economical rival to the Corvette’s dominance of the newly defined muscle car class.
More Bang For Your BuckWith a base model Corvette coupe starting around $50k, the Mustang is a clear value leader. Even a premium GT model equipped with Ford's 5.0L V8 comes in $15K less than the Chevy. And while the Corvette may have a slight edge on the track, few cars at its price level can beat the Mustang's ride quality and overall ability to inspire joy in its drivers.
Styling and Build QualityWe know this is a subjective argument, but to our eyes, the look and feel of the current crop of Mustangs has the Corvette beat. With a classic styling that blends its muscle car heritage with contemporary design and technology, the Mustang could not be mistaken for anything but a Ford. The Corvette, on the other hand, comes off as a weak imitation of the European supercar it so clearly aspires to be.
Owner CultureWe hate to be the ones to say it, but, with its hefty price tag, the Corvette is becoming the iconic car of the midlife crisis. The more accessible Mustang, on the other hand, has devotees both young and old, and a large tuner culture to go along with it. In fact, in the CJ Pony Parts online store, we've got over 30,000 aftermarket and reproduction parts in stock, making it easy to customize the Mustang of your dreams.
The Ford Mustang is and remains an American original, staying true to its promise of performance on a budget. The Mustang vs. Corvette debate won't be settled any time soon, in our mind, Ford's original pony car is the clear winner overall.