Would You Rather: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 or 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1?

Last week the Ford GT took victory over the Ferrari 488 GTB in battle that started on the vast straights and sweeping curves of Le Mans back in 1966. Most of you seemed to favor the Ford on our Facebook page, but we can’t wait to watch these two face off on the track again in a few days at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. This week features another one of The Blue Oval’s greatest facing off against a longtime rival.

With one of the biggest engines ever fitted to a Mustang and low production numbers, the 1969 Boss 429 has become one of the most valuable and sought-after muscle cars around. The 1969 Camaro ZL1 COPO, meanwhile, uses a similar formula with an even smaller production run, and in the world of muscle cars, rarity and originality translate to big sale numbers.

It’s a good ol’ Ford vs. Chevy shootout on WYR. Which should you put in your garage?


LOOKS: The Mustang’s chiseled looks are as timeless as Tennessee whiskey. The Boss 429’s fastback roofline and tastefully applied minimalist decals are muscle car perfection.

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LOOKS: If there’s such a thing as a sleeper Camaro, this is it. There’s virtually nothing about the ZL1’s exterior that suggests it’s one of the fastest muscle cars of the 1960s. That makes it achingly cool.

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LOOKS: Both cars are surprisingly understated considering their potential, but the Boss 429 just looks incredible.

Ford Mustang Boss 429: 1

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO: 0


ENGINE: Like most cars of its ilk, the Boss 429 was born from motorsports, specifically homologating Ford’s 429 cubic-inch engine for NASCAR. Ford originally claimed the engine produced 375 horsepower to avoid legal problems and high insurance costs, but independent tests have yielded figures well north of 500 horsepower.

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ENGINE: The Camaro ZL1 was also bred with motorsports in mind, but it this case it was drag racing. The official 430 horsepower figure for the 427 cubic-inch engine was actually well over 500 horsepower, according to independent test, and an aluminum block meant it wasn’t much heavier than Chevy’s much smaller 327 cubic-inch engine.

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ENGINE: Both have similar outputs, but the ZL1’s aluminum block gives it the edge.

Ford Mustang Boss 429: 1

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO: 1


PERFORMANCE: The Ford’s high-revving NASCAR engine wasn’t well suited for off-the-line acceleration, but the wider front track (which was added in part to accommodate the larger engine) and wider tires improved handling. The sprint to 60 mph came in 6.8 seconds, and quarter mile time was 14 seconds flat at 103 mph.

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PERFORMANCE: With a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds a quarter-mile time of 13.6 seconds at 110 mph, straightline speed was definitely the ZL1 specialty. Suspension was identical to the that of the Camaro SS, which made it a capable handler.

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PERFORMANCE: This one mostly comes down to personal preference. Straight-line speed or handling?

Ford Mustang Boss 429: 2

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO: 2


COLLECTABILITY: Ford built 858 Boss 429s between two production runs in 1969 and 1970, making them fairly rare. Low-mileage, matching-numbers examples have recent changed hands for as much $550,000.

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COLLECTABILITY: With only 69 build, the ZL1 is a unicorn compared to the Boss 429, and with values for pristine examples hovering at over $500,000, it’s also a solid investment.

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COLLECTABILITY: Current values are more or less the same, but the ZL1’s rarity makes it the better long-term investment.

Ford Mustang Boss 429: 2

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 COPO: 3


The Camaro takes it by a point! Let us know on our Facebook page which you would take to the drag strip.

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Mustang Boss 429 image credit: RM Auctions, Darin Schnabel

Camaro ZL1 COPO: Mecum Auctions

 

For more Would You Rathers:

Would You Rather: Jaguar F-Type Coupe R OR Mercedes-AMG GT S

Would You Rather: Ferrari FXX K or McLaren P1 GTR 

Would You Rather: Aston Martin DB11 or Bentley Continental GT 

Would You Rather: Porsche 718 Cayman or Audi TT RS 

 

 

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