Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chevy vs. Ford: The Classic Car Guy’s Debate

Chevy vs. Ford: 

 The Classic Car Guy’s Debate

  -Alan Arnell

My friend Marvin was driving his pristine all red 1955 Chevy into a car show.  Blocking the way to his parking spot was a Ford Mustang.  Marvin called out, “Does that car need a push?”   All of us Chevy guys snickered and the Ford guys failed to see the humor.  

I have been hearing this type of humor and debate about Chevy vs. Ford my whole life.  For as long as there has been Chevys and Fords you have had proponents and detractors of each brand. But why?  I never have given it much thought until now.  I asked myself, why am I such a strong Chevy

For many a car enthusiast it was because the family car was always one brand. Looking further, I think you will find that the patriarch of the family had a strong brand preference that was passed down.   It could also go back as far as to what Grandpa chose to drive.  It very well could be that your family has for generations had just one brand brand of automobile.  

My love for Chevys came from another place.  My dad was a Dodge man.  My grandfather's were Chrysler and Ford men. And, typically my grand mothers could care less.  As you might know, that trend has switch as most cars are marketed to women.  Generally, in the traditional family today the mom picks out the car or at least, the color.

As I have said in past blogs and I will say again, the automobile has lost most of its admiration of the
male side of the human race, because men do not have to work on cars all the time to keep a it running.  Maybe not a bad thing, but a thing none the less.

I became a Chevy man by default and for reverence to my older neighborhood car nuts.  My first car was a 1969 Chevelle Malibu.  Don’t get excited, it was a 307 cubic inch engine, two speed-slip n slide powerglide all on 14 inch-steel wheels. Only after many bolted on aftermarket parts could I get the old beast over 100 MPH.  I didn’t race unless I wanted to lose.  But hey, It was practically the teenage dream in the 70’s.  I put air shocks on along with slotted aluminum wheels.  Wide track tires in the back and a custom Maaco jade-green paint job.

My first car restoration 1974.
For power enhancements, I added a stock four barrel intake manifold and a four barrel Quadrajet carburetor.  The parts were off a SS Chevy Nova, that I would brag to anyone who would look under my car’s hood.  Yellow spark plug wires, custom weights in the distributor and dual exhaust with
My first car in 1976.
Cherry Bomb mufflers.  I made the typical “Hot Rod” of the time, that was the envy of many in my high school. Still there is nothing you can do to make a Chevy 307 engine fast other than replacing it with at least a 350.  Without the social media and video games of today working on and driving that car around my neighborhood was my major time killer.

So, I fell into having my first car be a Chevy, because the motor went south in my family’s car.  Rather than trade it in my dad gave the car to me to keep me out of the house competing with him over the three channel TV.  Why did my dad have a Chevy Malibu piece of junk to give me?  He only

bought the car because he stumbled on a good deal when his Dodge became too much of a piece of junk to drive to work.  He had only had the Dodge for 16 years.  To my father, cars were just transportation and a money pit.  His only pride in cars was in how much money he did not spend on them!  We did not have a radio in a family car until you could not buy cars without a radio in the late 70’s. I love you Dad!

I became a Chevy man therefore by default, but the coup de gras was the fact that my John Milner and all the kids older than me with hot rod cars were devout Chevy guys.  Not a Ford guy among
them. The final cherry on the cake was that my dad’s best friend was a Chevy guy.

An excerpt from my blog that will help explain my obsession with the Tri Five Chevrolet the Texas Classic Chevy Experience, The Beginning,

“When I became interested in cars in 1963, there were several kids in the neighborhood that were 10 or more years older than myself that were hot rodding '57 Chevys. I used to watch them tearing around the neighborhood in their '57’s with reverse chrome wheels and no front bumper up until my early teens.  I was so enamored, I even made a plastic model of what my '57 would look like if I had one.  Of course it had no front bumper, was painted yellow, with an off centered racing stripe and multiple “STP” and Moon stickers. How else would you want you Tri-Five to look? To this day many, many years later, I still have that model car, that I constructed during my single digit years as a boy.”
A Model I made in the mid 60's of what I believed a Tri-Five should look like.

The Car that started it all, Bud's Tri-Five Corvette.
Bud was also in the mindset of not spending money on transportation.  Except unlike my father who kept his cost down with thrift, Bud being a mechanic by trade would buy wrecked and or mechanically totaled cars to fix up to drive and later sell.  He as quite the guy and parlayed his vast knowledge of mechanical things to become a professor at the local community college. Both he and my father were my true hero's and the main reason why I chose a career in education.  

He was also into Corvettes. My fondest 
very-young memories were of Bud and my father driving Bud’s light blue 1957 Corvette with me sitting on my dad’s lap.  Years after the ‘57 was sold, Bud also bought a 1967 427 cubic inch red Corvette that had been a totaled.  That car was one of my biggest fantasies as a youth.  Even though Bud and my father are no longer with us the Vette is still in Bud’s family and in my dreams. And, still I might add, after 40 years the Vette is not completely restored but as a family the car is almost finished.  How about that for a family legacy!
Bud's Corvette on the way to completion by his children in 2016.

Bud's Vette Circa 1975

With all that being said, I have mainly bought Chevys throughout my life as daily grocery getters.  For hobby cars I have also bought Chevys.  My hobby car now is a 1957 Chevrolet Model 150 2-door post. My daily driver is a 2009 Silverado pickup truck.   I am Bowtie to the max!

I can not understand why, but this auto brand loyalty thing is widespread and not only limited to Chevys?  A Ford man feels just as strongly about his Ford, a Dodge man, a mopar man, etc.  If you ask them you will find they have as strong or maybe even stronger opinions about about their brand
as I do for Chevys.  Many times once an auto manufacturer puts their grubby hooks into a customer they may not only have him, but his entire family line for generations to come?

My wife’s dad was a Ford man.  After we married my wife finally dropped that bombshell on me.  I was aghast.  All I could say was, “I thought you were raised better than that!”

My auto brand loyalty was shaped during a different time.  During that time cars that were bought, sold and hot rodded were American made.  There was the Beetle but does that really count? There was not that much of a difference in price between a Chevrolet and a Ford back then.

As for the “Greatest Generation” certainly pricing played a role in their decision.  That is true to my grandpa.  He could buy a Model T for 10 dollars in the 30’s and 40’s.  That was all he needed on the farm.  He never drove more than 10 miles from home.  If he wanted to take the 100 mile trip to Kansas City, he took a train.

For those hot rodders that came of age in 30’s the best performing engine you could get was the V-8 Ford Flathead.  That is what my uncle drove as well as Bonny and Clide.  During the age of the late 50’s and 60’s it was Tri Five Chevys because of the fabulous small block Chevy engine.  See “Ode
to the Fins” blog post for a better understanding of the love for Tri Five Chevys. Here is a link to that blog post:

All in all brand loyalty comes down to faith in your car choices.  Faith is a complete trust or confidence in your decision, in this case, for choosing a car to own.  The human condition enhances this sense of trust to defend one’s decision.  In the beginning, as is true today, all everyone wants is to get their money's worth when buying a car.  For me in my developing years for that reason and all the rest is why I chose Chevy!

More history  of Chevy vs. Ford from Auto

Ford vs. Chevy
At the turn of the last century, Henry Ford put America on the road. His Model T was cheap, reliable, and it came in black. By 1920, over half of the cars in America were made by Ford. But Henry’s cross-town rival Billy Durant had other ideas.

Chevrolet was started in 1912, as a way for Durant to raise the capital he needed to reacquire General Motors. Several years earlier, his bankers had voted him out of his own company. So he teamed with famous racing driver Louis Chevrolet, and started one of the best known car brands in the world.

Durant’s plan worked, and he bought his way back into the chairman’s seat of GM in 1916. Henry Ford had already sold a ton of Tin Lizzy’s by that time, and he’d go on to sell 16.5 million copies of his Ford Model T. Chevrolet on the other hand, was nowhere near that kind of volume. In fact, their first best-seller wouldn’t come until 1958, when they introduced the Chevrolet Impala. That 2-ton hunk of Americana would go on to sell 14+ million copies. Ford had control of the “mass market”, but Chevrolet had control of the “cool factor”.

During the muscle car war of the 1960’s, the whole Ford vs. Chevy thing really heated up. The wildly popular Ford Mustang finally had a bow-tied competitor by 1967. “Shaped for Speed”, the 1967 Chevy Camaro had “a big-car engine” and “a big-car stance”. By the time the Camaro went of production in 2002, nearly 5 million copies had been sold. The Ford Mustang on the other hand, had sold 8.3 million copies by ‘02.

On a more practical front, Ford trucks vs. Chevy trucks is where you’ll find the most die-hard fans. Ford truck owners couldn’t live without their smooth ride, or bullet-proof motors. Chevy truck loyalists are just as adamant about their high-horsepower engines, and luxurious interiors. Since the reliability and capability are pretty much even between the 2013 Ford F-150 & 2013 Chevy Silverado, your choice between Chevy trucks vs. Ford trucks pretty much boils down to a matter of taste.

#Classicchevy #TriFive #ClassicCar #Chevy #Chevrolet #Belair #Carshow #Custom
#Musclecar   #HotRod #StreetRod #DragRacing #55Chevy #56Chevy #57Chevy

!!!Support Texas Classic Experience!!!
Did you like the blog?  If you did, the best way to support Texas Classic Experience is to share this post!  Please tell others that you liked this post by sharing it with your car friends by sending them a link to this page.

Don’t forget to visit and like Texas Classic Experience on FaceBook:  LINK to FaceBook
Texas Classic Chevy Experience will post blogs about: Hot Rods, Chevy, Chevrolet, Drag Racing, Car Shows, Classic Cars, Custom Cars, Muscle Cars, How to Tech. posts, Dallas Area Classic Chevy Club, Texas Muscle Car Challenge, Tri-Five Nationals, Lone Star Chevy Convention, Classic Car lists, Classic car links, Spotters guides, Car Shows, Swap meets, Book reviews and More.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.