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Mustangs, Camaros face off at Packard Museum

WARREN — Two beloved automobiles battle it out in a new exhibition at the National Packard Museum.

“Mustang vs. Camaro — Battle for Supremacy” focuses on the two makes introduced on the marketplace within a couple years of each other. It follows a show devoted to Corvettes last year at the museum.

“After we had the Corvettes, which was a huge success, we started thinking which cars were popular that we could do next,” said Executive Director Mary Ann Porinchak. “We put some feelers out. Other museums have done shows like this, and there are two large groups locally representing these two cars, so we ran with it.”

On display are three Ford Mustangs — a 1965, a 1969 Shelby GT 350 and a 1971 Mach 1 — and three General Motors Camaros — a 1967 RS, a 1970 RS and a 1989 IROC-Z.

“We wanted to do the first three generations, show the earlier ones which really started the rivalry,” Porinchak said.

Both cars were introduced in the mid ’60s and were targeted at the young baby boomers. The Mustang arrived first in 1964; General Motors announced the Camaro in ’66, and when someone asked a GM executive what a “Camaro” is, he replied, “A small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”

“They knew they were in a rivalry, even in their advertising,” Porinchak said. “One Camaro ad said, ‘This is no pony. This is a stallion.’ They took potshots at each other.”

Information about the cars and the feud accompanies the displays, and each of the car clubs devoted to the vehicles have filled display cases as well.

agray@tribtoday.com

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