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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Chevrolet vs. Ford: Who rules the collector car world?

In an era when knee-jerk political polarization poisons discussion of everything from the economy to epidemiology, it's therapeutic to engage in a completely harmless form of partisanship. I'm talkin' about Chevrolet vs. Ford. The iconic American brands have been slugging it out for more than a century and despite producing vehicles that are very similar on paper, have amassed loyal and often doggedly opposed fanbases.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/hagerty-insider/chevrolet-vs-ford-who-rules-the-collecto...
62 REPLIES 62
hyperv6
Racer

Ford has dominated with the T, A and  30's coupes. 

 

But Chevy has dominated in the 50's-1980 with the tri 5 cars of the Fifties, The full size and mid size cars of the 60's, the Camaro and the Corvette. 

 

For in the later years had the Mustang. 

 

The number of reproduction parts are a good indicator on what has been and is the biggest models for collectors and GM has been very dominate there. 

 

As for trucks both are strong and equal from the 70's back. 

 

While Ford has cars collectors go after they are often more difficult to find and restore due to the lack of parts for some. It was worse but it has gotten better but to be a Ford restorer it is not always easy. 

 

I my self had a 63 Galxie that finding parts for meant going to the junk yard and hoping you find something usable while I could build a 55 Chevy from new reproduction  parts. 

 

Ford Sold more cars in 57 but Chevy owns the year in collectable models. 

 

Ford did suffer many rust issues too so used models can be a challenge to find and expensive to restore. My buddies dad restored a 62 Sport Roadster T bird. Today there are more parts but still to get metal he had to search Arizona for sheet metal worth using. 

 

Chevy also was first in the hobby as many of the parts interchanged over the years as well the engine parts. This made for a strong aftermarket so rebuilding was cheaper. 

 

Ford followed in second place and now both are seeing good values. The is why Mopar is hot today as it is their turn. Many years you could buy Mopar's cheap as they were not the hot ticket as their time had not come. Now it has. 

 

In the future it is hard to read as new cars will be very difficult to restore as parts are discontinued in many. Junk yard no longer hold cars for years and scrap many with in weeks., Some like the Camaro, Corvette and Mustang will have suppliers  but many other cars you will have to get lucky with NOS parts, make the parts or find a good parts car. 

 

The gaskets for a Fiero T top have sold for $1500 for NOS set. Used sets are rare and good used sets even more rare. So little demand for the gaskets have made it tough for anyone to tool up for a production run. This is a common thing for many cars of the 80's and 90's. 

 

Availability, Value and affordability can play a big roll in what gets restored and what gets passed over. 

Snailish
Instructor

Camaro vs. Mustang unless you are doing it solely by the model year I am not sure the data tells you anything.

You've got years without Camaros. You've got years Trans Ams outsold Camaros. You've got years Mustang was a great seller but hasn't been held onto as a collectible (Mustang II generation attrition rates seems massive).

-----
Vehicles get collected because they are rare, unusual and/or special and perhaps tie to memories. "Full classic" mentality, "chassis # ___, 1 of 37 made, Hemi Cuda, etc.

Vehicles get collected because they were plentiful, cheap and tie to memories. pre-war Fords, Shoebox Chevies, old trucks.

Camaros and Mustangs (and Corvettes in their own way) live in both camps.
acooper529
Detailer

I agree with Snailish overall. What do the numbers actually tell you?
Are you talking brand loyalty? total numbers sold? registered? insured?
... and what does Mustang vs Corvette even mean in general? Different animals completely.
Javman
Intermediate Driver

Sorry but I would rather be driving my Javelin than either a Mustang or Camaro, both of which I have owned.
TonyT
Technician

Kelvinators unite!
69AMX390
New Driver

What's a Kelvinator? Never heard of that.
KenRhodes
Pit Crew

Kelvinator made refrigerators. Pre-war, they merged with Nash Motors, which subsequently became American Motors, manufacturer of the Javelin.

The connection is somewhat obscure, but it's a cute reference.
raduoos
Pit Crew

Nash corporation merged with Kelvinator corporation in 1937. The most significant thing that happened in the automobile world out of this merger is that Nash put "Conditioned Air" into its cars in 1938. Pretty cool. Pun intended.
GlidingPast
Pit Crew

I used to use a compressor that my dad pulled out of a Kelvinator to draw down my A/C systems prior to recharging. Much lighter weight to use a modern vac pump now, though.
Isaiah1000
Intermediate Driver

Some interesting graphs! Pretty much seems kinda even, to me.

As someone that owns three Ford powered things (Locost with a 2.0 Zetec, Expedition with a 5.4 and F-350 with a V-10) I'm a little jealous when I look at all the parts for the LS based stuff. I guess the grass is always greener. Then again, all my motors are utilitarian. I did have a 390 in a Ford Highboy; man that truck sounded great; it just hopped around and didn't deliver the power to the ground, but it sounded great. Oh, and I had a 88 F-150 with a 5.0. That motor ran great! Truck was rotting apart (Hawaii) but the motor was awesome. It's odd, I have no preference for Ford but I seem to have had a lot of them. I think Ford trucks must run cheaper, which is odd because you hear that Chevy is cheaper.
Smilodon
Detailer

It's "Mustang v Camaro", neither of which are trucks.
Jeryst
Pit Crew

Mopar wins.
FloridaMarty
Advanced Driver

I second that!
JBBearcat
Detailer

My unscientific take based on shows and auctions.
The Camaros you see tend to be high end models or expensive restomods...and might be worth more than the average Mustang.
I sure do not see BASIC (non SS/RS/Z-28) Camaros out there in the numbers I see non-Shelby, Mach One or Boss Mustangs.

Also, you are more low end Camaros still being flogged as daily drivers...what I call "trailer park" cars. Some might eventually be restored, but many are still wearing primer from long abandoned rrstorations.
Also, these car's owners are not likely Hagerty clients (who based on their rates are older and wealthier than the norm).

One more thing to consider, there are a lot of 65-66Mustangs out thete, since they are still affordable (except for the fastbacks), that might skew Hagerty's data...by lowering Mustang values.
Tinkerah
Gearhead

There ya go, throwing a bucket of reality into a carefully arranged stack of statistics.
Smilodon
Detailer

But... but the mullet goes so much better with a t-top Camaro!
Raven
Pit Crew

Well. I see that they left out the really valuable American muscle cars. I mean Chrysler Products. But then again those Ford and Chevy guys have always been competing against each other for Second Place behind Mopars on the track. Lol.
TikiBarJim
Pit Crew

I wish there would be more Mopar restoration parts for the restorers, not a lot of stuff for the A body Mopars out there. I was lucky to get my Plymouth Valiant wagon restored to a Restomod. The Roadrunner, Cuda, Challenger guys have all the luck.
Scary
Intermediate Driver

One other metric you could have used to determine collectability would have been the number of a model produced vs. the number that are registered as collector cars as a percentage. If you include the Ford GT (surprisingly omitted in the article) and look at the number produced vs. the number saved as collector and compared it to ANY Camaro or Corvette, then there would be a big difference between the two manufacturers with respect to collector vs manufactured.
Smilodon
Detailer

Neither the Ford GT nor Corvette are Mustangs or Camaros. Did you read the article?
77GL
Detailer

Both are definitely the easiest to collect as they are everywhere.
Tommy78
Pit Crew

Chevys rule period. The small brock chevy has always been the most poplar to use in other vehicles.
RickB
Intermediate Driver

A couple of questions and comments. It is clear that both the Mustang and Camaro of the 60's and early 70's are popular cars,and continue to increase in value, however those paying big numbers are for fully restored and original number matching cars. You will not get buyers paying 6 figures for a daily driver with normal wear. Choose what you like and can afford. The prices listed on this site survey for both cars that a few thousand either way should no matter to similar years and conditions.
Someday Mopars will be recognized as the stepchild and those who don't buy now when the market is right will have future remorse. (I.E. ever try to keep from grinning when you stomp on the go-pedal of a 426 cross ram GTX, Coronet, or Belvedere?
DT
Advanced Driver

The time to buy a Mopar Muscle car has passed. You can't touch them unless you have big bucks. The buyers remorse will come later when they drop in value. BTW, I'm a Mopar guy and always have been. They were cheap in the 80's and 90's but that time has passed. Luckily in my 70 years I have owned about every every one of the popular ones at a time when they were affordable.
avideo
Detailer

I'm an equal opportunity collector. I own a 1969 Shelby GT350 fastback in cherry red with white stripes and white interior. And I just sold a 1966 Rally Red Corvette convertible with an all red interior at auction. The Corvette is being replaced with a C8 Corvette convertible in Torch red and a red and black interior.
I personally think both car makers have had some great cars over the years.
dooscoop32
Detailer

You know when people say they have a '32, most people know they mean a Ford.
When people say they have a '55 or a '57, most people know they mean a Chevrolet.
That truly indicates a car being monumental.
dooscoop32
Detailer

@JBBearcat
You wrote: "My unscientific take based on shows and auctions.
The Camaros you see tend to be high end models or expensive restomods...and might be worth more than the average Mustang.
I sure do not see BASIC (non SS/RS/Z-28) Camaros out there in the numbers I see non-Shelby, Mach One or Boss Mustangs."

Oh the plain Jane Camaros are out there but they have been faked up as RS/SS/Z28s.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I would say the around my area Corvette's and Mustangs easily out show Camaros. The Camaros I tend to see are either older collectors with the 60's, etc. era cars and the latest generations skewing younger.
OldWilk
New Driver

All of the manufacturers and engineers built great cars… Car Guys made them BETTER!!!!
Fairlane500
Pit Crew

As a Ford fan, I have to hand it over to Chevrolet in value. Parts are more accessible and interchangeable. Greater aftermarket reproduction and support. It will cost you less to build a Chevy, you will have access to more parts and the resale value will be higher. If anyone can't see that, then they're fooling themselves. Outside of the Mustang Camaro comparison, shift it over to a full size car. Compare a Galaxie's value to an Impala's. Shift into the late 70's and 80's. Far more Caprices than LTDs or Crown Victorias. The few early 80's Fords that get saved, usually get LS swapped. I still like my Fords, don't have anything against Chevy, but clearly see a better return on investment on a Chevy.
MustangJim
Instructor

I agree with @Fairlane500 . In fact I was surprised that the value comparisons we're as close as they we're. I always thought that the Camaro's valued a little higher. Big reason I think for the Chevy advantage is the simplicity. SBC is interchangeable in any Chevy, inexpensive, millions of them out there and great performers. Ford had more variations which made swapping harder...F.E. , Windsor, Cleveland..etc.. Chevy had the sb or the bb...that was it. And, they we're great. And like Fairlane500, I'm a Ford guy.
espo70
Advanced Driver

I live in the Northeast where pony car sighting are seasonal at best. Since I can remember, Mustangs have made the most prominent showing. Maybe for a while during the 80's, I saw just as many thirdgen f-bodies, but not since.
Camarojoe
Intermediate Driver

I have always been a GM guy, although came close to several fastback Mustangs and really wanted the guy on my paper route's 70 428 Mach I! That was way back in the day. Between Camaro's, Corvette's, Chevelle's, El Camino's, and Monte Carlo's just to mention the midsize and medium/small cars no question Chevy has way more to offer. Didn't even talk about Nova's Corvair's, and Impala SS, even the Caprice had a 427 4 speed option. On trucks, no question, expect the gen I bronco, Chevy/GMC totally dominates. Mostly because the trucks through 72 had a four link rear suspension, and no I beam front. Really hurt sales/load capacity then but now they are so much easier to make modern. Ford dominates the peak values, Bullet Mustang, Boss Mustang, and GT40, after that no contest. The Cobra is kind of a Ford so will give that that as well.
Fatcat321
Intermediate Driver

You guys have lost all my respect! Compare the Mustang with the Camaro, not the Corvette. That's not apples-apples. The Camaro was intended to compete in the pony-car wars, the Corvette wasn't. Compare the Corvette with the European sports cars, the niche it was intended for.
SJ
Technician

Nice, about time this was done. Mustang guy but like them both. Chevy parts are definitely easier to get, but that makes it more of a challenge to me. Seeing so many LS Engines in Ford Cars is a cop out, I really appreciate seeing a 32 Ford with a Ford engine not another boring LS conversion. A 32 Ford for example really catches the eye with a Coyote if a modern drive train is wanted. No Ford engines in Chevy's too.
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

The Chevy men think all of your statistics that even hint at superiority of Mustangs are full of dung! They also say Corvettes are far more popular than Mustangs in all but five states--those five states happening to be the states with the smallest populations, most notably Wyoming and Alaska! And that Corvettes are far more popular, especially in California, Texas, Florida, and New York!.

But the Ford men say your stats on average value of mustang vs camaro must have come out of the same swamp as the mosquitos that carry malaria! Or maybe one of those effluent swamps from the Pork Producers! Average values of Mustangs are at least $147,989 while average values of Camaros are the square root of negative one!

But the Chevy men say that just shows how stupid the Ford men are, and how stupid the Fords are.

But the Ford men say the chevy men don't even know what an imaginary number IS! How stupid is that?

The only thing the Ford men and the Chevy men agree on: they all like bourbon!
jeb405
New Driver

I don't have a real dog in this race. Chevy guy for most of my life then a relative passed with a very nice 66 Mustang Convertible, now in my garage, as I turned 55. I generally like most Hagerty articles but I thought some of these charts may have really important factors left out. On value of Vettes, didn't they also start out costing much more than Mustangs? And on how many insured, I think Vettes made from 50''s until today but not so for the Mustang. I'll apologize in advance if those factors were taken into account and I missed it.

JB
Inline8OD
Instructor

120 years of unmined automobilia, and we get another Ford vs. Chevy piece. If you're first an insurance company looking to write evermore policies by cynically calling everything out of the Kelley Blue Book "classic" you can't go wrong going for EZ numbers, masquerading as a serious automotive magazine whether print or digital.

Now and then, a good article on some facet of automotive history by Don Sherman and Aaron Robinson, but otherwise, expect evermore of the above.   Your reactions, feedback to round robins like the above help Hagerty fine-hone their advertising.

Easier and cheaper to mildly entertain the masses than fascinate the classes.

DT
Advanced Driver

If you think it's all such a rip off why do you read the articles or insure with Hagerty ????? Maybe you just like to Complain or Stir The Pot ????
Inline8OD
Instructor

Reread what i suggested, and note the absence of exclamation marks. Your reaction underscores that while most of us with a grasp of 120 years of automobilia know about "muscle" cars, most "muscle" car fans have a narrow view of the panoply of motordom; that Hagerty has and can do much better.

Meanwhile, do capital letters and multiple punctuation marks strengthen dissent?
5869Corvette
Intermediate Driver

Ok so you made the Mustang aficionados happy. The problem with the approach is Ford vs Chevy. But the GM strategy was different. They said let’s also build a Firebird (upscale Camaro) and give buyers more choice. When you start adding in the Pontiac numbers to the Chev numbers it starts to equate. Mercury came out with the Cougar to kind of do the same thing but it was too different to be able to equate them. What GM did with the Corvette, Ford could have done with the F40/GT but they let that opportunity slip. This is too complicated. But what you like. Drive it with a smile and to hell with us vs them. Save the stick!
Moparman52
Pit Crew

Mopar or no car!
DT
Advanced Driver

I'm a Mopar Guy but I find that meme sooooooo silly. Sounds like a bunch of 16 year old kids made it up LOL
Moparman52
Pit Crew

My hobby vehicle is a 65 Dodge A100, it makes me feel as 16 again and I believe that is the express reason why most of us on this site are in this hobby. Be a grownup if you like but I like escaping that crap world every now and then.
Maestro1
Technician

And now, from the peanut gallery:
I've had two Corvettes, both now sold, and a Pink (don't laugh) '65 Mustang hardtop with a White interior that was an experimental option from Ford called Secretarial that went nowhere. The car was brand new, on loan to me from a San Francisco Ford Dealer. It certainly got a lot of attention from the right market target. I returned it gratefully to the Ford Dealer and bought a Jaguar that afternoon. And not in Pink.
MustangJim
Instructor

Funny that N.Y. and Florida are Corvette blue... so all the retireing car guys bring their Vettes' to Florida!
Patrician
Detailer

When I first got into car collecting 50 years ago Hemmings Motor News was divided between Ford and non Ford for listings. In that time period most Chevies have buried Fords in value. 1957 Chevy convertible is worth alot more than 1957 Fairlane 500 convertible or even a 1957 Skyliner. 1955-1957 Corvettes easily bring double of 1955-1957 Thunderbirds. 1960's Impala Super Sports are worth much more than any Galaxy XL. I once traded a clean 1957 Belair V8 convertible for a clean 1959 Thunderbird convertible in the late 1970's. Looking back that was a bad move.
Tim2
Pit Crew

Interesting Mopar wasn't added to this equation. Maybe because cudas are worth more than the mustangs or Camaros?
DT
Advanced Driver

Not as many Cuda's made as Camaro's and Mustangs. They would have had a very bad showing.