Would You Rather - 1969 versus 2019 Camaro edition

The 1969 Camaro is 50 years old. Somehow though, just like wine, this car seems to get better with time. It made us wonder...given your choice between a 1969 and 2019 Camaro, which one would you prefer? 

nnSome of you will answer the question above without pause..."I want the 1969". Maybe it's part nostalgia, part raw horsepower, or pure aesthetics, but many of you would take a vintage Camaro over a fresh one any day. There are plenty of reasons to appreciate the vintage variety. For one thing, purchasing a vintage Camaro is an investment and one that could give its owner a good return on that investment with the proper care. First generation Camaros began significantly building in value in the 1980's and haven't stopped yet. For some of you who value performance over nostalgia, you'll choose the new Camaro. The2019 Camaro ZL1 is touted by Chevrolet as the fastest Camaro ever, and let's face it, even the top of the line 1969 Camaro ZL1 couldn't compete with it on the drag strip. 

If you're one of the rare few who can't decide, let's go over some statistics and comparisons. For our comparison, we will use the 1969 ZL1 Camaro; it had the most horsepower and performance features available in 1969, albeit through special order through Central Order Production Office (COPO). For the 2019 Camaro, we will use the ZL1.


1969: Aluminum 427ci Big Block V-8 engine rated at 500 hp

2019: LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine rated at 650 hp 

The clear winner for horsepower alone is the 2019. The 2019 Camaro has a total vehicle weight of 3883 on a coupe with a manual transmission. The 1969 had a total vehicle weight of 3300 lbs on a coupe with manual transmission. That means on a 2019 Camaro, for every 6 lbs of vehicle weight, you get 1 horsepower. For the 1969, you'll get 1 horsepower for every 6.6 lbs of vehicle weight. Gear heads know that weight to horsepower ratios are critical. 

Engine Sound

1969:  Listen to this video to hear the stock sound of the 1969 ZL1

2019: Here's a video of the exhaust sound on a 2019 ZL1

Is there a clear winner here? This challenge might be left up to personal preference (although, this blog writer's suspicion is that most people will agree that the engine and exhaust sound of the 1969 wins). 


1969: $7,269 

2019: $62,000 

To determine a winner in the MSRP category, let's take a look at how the MSRP compares to the average median household income for each time period. Because the household income at the time of the 1969 Camaro's release was $7700, 105% of an annual household income would be required to purchase one. In 2019, it would take 99.7% of the annual household income to purchase. It would appear from an affordability standpoint, the 2019 Camaro wins. 


We can't compare old versus new without comparing the styling. You'd think something 50 years old would look tired, dated, and, well...insignificant. That's most certainly not the case with the 1969 Camaro. So iconic are its looks that you can see how design cues from it were used on the newest model. For example, in the 1969's interior, you'll find that the dash gauges are deeply hooded. 

This feature is imitated in the 2019. The interior of the 1969 had sufficiently sized side glass and windshield glass. Visibility while driving the 1969 was excellent with virtually no blindspot at all, while the 2019 is more difficult to see out of for some. You can see tributes to the 69's body style in the quarter panel area of the 2019 where it appears GM has tried to replicate the flowing curve of the 69. The front end of the 2019 takes styling cues from the 1969 that are obvious, but just doesn't quite invoke the same feeling of "I'm about to be decimated" when spying it from a rear view mirror.  

So who wins in this category? Of course it's personal preference, but when you consider that a true, 1969 ZL1 Camaro was auctioned in Scottsdale with a winning bid of $451,000, it's pretty obvious people are willing to fess up with huge amounts of cash to own the classic. The win for the Styling category goes to the classic. 


There's one more factor to consider when comparing the 69 and 19...availability. The 1969 Camaro ZL1 is considered one of the most rare Camaros ever with only 69 being built. And, unless you're willing to fork out $451,000 to get one, your best bet is to admire them from afar while tearing up the asphalt in your 2019 Camaro ZL1, which you can buy from SVG Chevrolet in Greenville, Ohio or from SVG Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Urbana, Ohio. The winner in this category would be you, as you're driving off into the sunset with a monstrous 650 horsepower at your disposal. 

Categories: New Inventory