Ford, Chevy, and Pontiac square off to determine '90s sport coupe supremacy.


The last time we did Own/Drive/Crush, we took a look at a trio of classic Ford woody wagons. Now, we're going to take a look at some much newer machinery.

After the malaise of the 1970s, the 1980s ushered in a new era of automotive technology and performance. By the 1990s, the performance of America's beloved pony cars finally began to surpass the 1960s originals.

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We've tracked down a trio of these machines, and today, we're going to decide which one stays in our Motorious Dream Garage and which one gets sent to the scrapyard.

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We'll get the party started with this 1998 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra. Stock, these were powered by a handbuilt, all-aluminum DOHC V8 good for 305 naturally aspirated horsepower.

That was enough for a quarter mile run in the high 13 second range, but we think this onw will do considerably better. That's because it's been fitted with a Vortech supercharger.

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There's some other tasteful upgrades on this Cobra as well, but with just 14,000 miles on the odometer, it's practically new. You won't be the first to enjoy it, but you'll probably never know the difference.

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Next up, we'll take a look at this 30th Anniversary 1997 Chevrolet Camaro. These are handsome cars, with an orange and black paint scheme that evokes the classic 1969 Camaro Indy 500 pace car replicas.

One unique feature of this car – it's a slick top. Most of these we see have the optional T-tops. We're not used to seeing the stripes continue up over the roof.

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The solid roof will make this Camaro more rigid, though, and far less likely to rattle and shimmy over bumps. Sure, we love T-tops, but a solid-roof coupe will always handle better, all other things being equal.

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If you simply must have T-tops, we picked out this Camaro's twin, a 1994 Pontiac Trans Am 25th Anniversary Edition. Instead of white and orange, this one is white and blue.

Like the Camaro, it's powered by an LT1 V8, making roughly the same power as the aforementioned Mustang Cobra. These cars were pretty evenly matched until the LS1 arrived in 1998.

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Unfortunately, this Trans Am has been subjected to some questionable modifications that harm its value. Tacky pedal covers, weird pinstriping, and mismatched chrome underhood goodies kind of ruin this one for us.

For that reason, and that reason alone, we'll have to put this otherwise cool Trans Am in the "crush" category. So, which of the two others would we want to keep forever?

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The Camaro is a neat car, and they say that there's no replacement for displacement. Those people are wrong, though – there is a replacement, and it's called forced induction.

We'd love to hear the supercharged whine of the SVT Cobra's V8 at every possible opportunity, and we'd happily run up the miles on that odometer. The Camaro is cool and all, but we have to go with the Mustang this week. Which one would you have picked?