Home » V6 Stickshifts In Oklahoma City: 1998 Ford F-150 vs 2002 Chevy Camaro

V6 Stickshifts In Oklahoma City: 1998 Ford F-150 vs 2002 Chevy Camaro

Sbsd 4 3 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Good morning, Autopians! Welcome back to Shitbox Showdown. Today we’re continuing our Route 66 voyage with a stop in Oklahoma. But before we cross another state line, let’s see how you’re getting out of Joplin:

Screen Shot 2023 04 02 At 3.31.15 Pm

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Looks like the Chevy van takes it. VWs of this era are always divisive; I wasn’t sure if the stickshift would be enough to carry it. Guess not. And it only just now occurred to me that if I was looking for cars in a town called Joplin, at least one of them should have been a Mercedes-Benz. Oh well.

Now, let’s leave Missouri behind and head out into Oooooook-lahoma, where I’ve found a pair of American-made rides with V6 engines and manual transmissions for us to check out. Sadly, neither one of them is a surrey with the fringe on top, but we’ll make do. (All right, no more Rodgers & Hammerstein, I promise.)

1998 Ford F-150 – $2,900

00u0u 8vooybnhlv7 0ci0t2 1200x900

ADVERTISEMENT

Engine/drivetrain: 4.2 liter overhead valve V6, five-speed manual, RWD

Location: Del City, OK

Odometer reading: 221,000 miles

Runs/drives? Yep!

Pickup trucks these days all seem to come in only one flavor: gigantic crew-cab beasts loaded down with luxury goodies and technological whiz-bangery that all promise great capabilities. But they all take themselves way too seriously; modern trucks are Serious Tools To Get The Job Done, not playful companions to enjoy bombing around in, like this short-bed single-cab Ford.

ADVERTISEMENT

00o0o Cllsxjqa2fr 0ci0t2 1200x900

The tenth-generation F-150 changed damn near everything from its predecessor: new bodystyles, new drivetrains, and new customers. Trucks were becoming everyday vehicles, and Ford’s new F-series was a kinder, gentler machine than the earlier one, more suitable for those who wanted the truck attitude but were coming from a Taurus. Gone was the twin I-beam front suspension, replaced by better-mannered upper and lower control arms. And the 300 cubic inch inline six, Ford’s base truck engine since the fall of Mesopotamia, was gone as well, replaced by a stroked version of the “Essex” V6. The old (and well-regarded) Mazda-sourced five-speed manual carried over, at least.

01313 Kpo2nsxmf2y 0t20ci 1200x900

This truck has been around the block a time or two (or 221,000), but doesn’t have much wear and tear to show for it. The outside looks pretty good except for some missing clearcoat, and the inside is intact but a bit grubby, and has what looks like a cigarette burn on the driver’s seat.

01111 Bh6y7loeabu 0ci0t2 1200x900

ADVERTISEMENT

The seller says it runs well, the air conditioning works, and it has new tires. Since it’s a six and a shortbed, this truck won’t have quite the capabilities of some, but who cares? Not everything has to be able to tow a small office building. Sometimes a nice basic stickshift truck is enough.

2002 Chevrolet Camaro – $2,950

00j0j 3qslcfmoxba 0ci0t2 1200x900

Engine/drivetrain: 3.8 liter overhead valve V6, five-speed manual, RWD

Location: Edmond, OK

Odometer reading: 147,000 miles

ADVERTISEMENT

Runs/drives? Sure does

It’s official: The Camaro is dead. Again. Chevy’s fabled pony car will end its run in January, after a fourteen-year return. Not bad for a revival, but still, I’m sorry to see it go. I’ve always liked the Camaro. The example we have here is from 2002, the final year before the Camaro was put out to pasture the first time.

00808 1xuxvwdjnmm 0ci0t2 1200x900

For the end of the Camaro’s run, Chevy installed the legendary Buick-derived 3800 Series II V6 as its base engine. Not only is this engine well-known for reliability and longevity, it puts out 200 horsepower. That may not sound like much for what most people consider a muscle car, but it’s thirty-five more horsepower than the top of the line Z28 engine from twenty years prior. And you couldn’t get that engine with a stick.

00j0j 4pk2vumsgiq 0ci0t2 1200x900

ADVERTISEMENT

This Camaro has been mostly stripped out inside, and has a bunch of performance modifications. The seller built it to autocross, and had plans to convert it to a V8, but never got around to it. It allegedly runs well, but the dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree with warning lights, likely because some things have been disconnected or removed that ought not to have been. Like the airbag, for instance.

00o0o 6nbxlishipn 0xs0po 1200x900

This does look like a fun, if scruffy, toy, and I’m sure you could easily put carpet and a back seat back in if you wanted to. (And a stereo; this owner was hardcore, taking that out. How are you supposed to drive around blasting Iron Maiden?) Me, I wouldn’t even bother with a V8 swap. I’d just keep the reliable V6 and call it good.

Fun, simple, rear-wheel-drive vehicles with manual gearboxes are something we used to take for granted, but their ranks thin a little more every year. Almost nobody makes a manual truck any more at all, let alone a shortbed single-cab, and even pony cars are losing their sticks left and right (or going away entirely). Luckily, we still have used examples like these to choose from. So which one will it be?

ADVERTISEMENT

(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
51 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scott Ross
Scott Ross
10 months ago

Camaros, because they’re bitchin’

Brian Michael
Brian Michael
10 months ago

I’m kind of disgusted that so few picked the Camaro. It’s a hardtop, stick shift, 6 cylinder.…in other words an ideal candidate for an LS swap, and for not much more than a clean roller.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
10 months ago

I hear that those V6 Camaros’ engine and transmission are really great if they are installed in a MGB.

Matt Huber
Matt Huber
10 months ago

Jelly Bean nosed F150s are like cockroaches, they’ll probably survive the apocalypse.

The best thing about the 4.2L version of that truck is that a 302 bolts to the transmission when you get tired of the buzzin half dozen. The second best thing is that the 4.2/5spd combo is surprisingly decent on gas for a half-ton pickup (my dad owned one for years).

There’s no reason to pick a Camaro that’s been wrung-out and is significantly more difficult to hot rod later over a perfectly good truck with great potential.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
10 months ago

If the Camaro’s interior hadn’t been gutted, I would’ve chosen it, but it’s not going to pass inspection here without an airbag (even if it wouldn’t actually go off in a crash) and I’m not in love with the seller’s other modifications, either.

The Ford’s a fair price for a fair truck, once the interior’s shampooed and ozoned, assuming the frame looks as solid as the body. Certainly not my favorite generation of F-150, and I wouldn’t want to crash it either, but it’d be a great dump-run, mulch-hauling weekend project vehicle.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
10 months ago

No good choices here. Voted truck because that Chevy looks terrible.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
10 months ago

I’ll take the truck, no pretense and decent reliability. While the 3800 Series II is a great engine it feels,wrong in a Camaro and the Camaro is,too hacked up for comfort unless it will be a Gambler or Lemons car. In comparison the,Ford is ready to haul dirt, junk or whatever else fits inside or hooks on behind

Brian Michael
Brian Michael
10 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

That’s why you yank that 3800 and drop in a real motor. The rest of it is perfect for it.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Michael

Yeah, knock some money off to cover a junkyard LS, or supercharge the V6. I don’t like this generation much, if I’m going to build a 3800 powered F body I’d go with an 80s car. There were actually some Firebirds with a turbo 3800 like a Grand National

Last edited 10 months ago by Slow Joe Crow
Andy Individual
Andy Individual
10 months ago

I didn’t even need to see the interior of the Camaro to pick the Ford, and I couldn’t care less for pickup trucks. Though, if I lived in a place with an HOA, the Camaro might be a great way to send the curtain clutchers into a tizzy.

FloridaNative
FloridaNative
10 months ago

Sitting this one out. I just can’t decide between the stench of cigarettes or Axe body spray.

Last edited 10 months ago by FloridaNative
Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
10 months ago

Cigarette burn? I have a seed of doubt but I’ll take the Fiberweed Ford.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
10 months ago

Camaro looks like the kid’s race car plan went tits up when he got busted for Meth. But hang tough kid, tomorrows another day…

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
10 months ago

Hmm. A smoked-in, used-up F-150 vs. a Camaro that’s had its very soul sucked out from underneath its dashboard?

I voted for a lukewarm bucket of fish chum.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
10 months ago

I was all-in on the Camaro until I saw that interior. If I’m going to have a stripped-out track car, it’ll be something a lot more awesome than this.

Brian Michael
Brian Michael
10 months ago
Reply to  Jason Roth

It’s a hard tip stick shift car, it’s an LS swap away from being an ideal track rat…

Flatisflat
Flatisflat
10 months ago

My first and third cars were 4th gen Camaros. Nostalgia may be winning out over logic on this one for me…

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
10 months ago

I’ll never buy another smoker’s car.

Good thing the Ford is a truck, because that Camaro is roached out.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
10 months ago

I had a feeling voting would go heavily the Ford way and I wasn’t wrong. Good, honest work truck is going to defeat catfish-mouthed, janky Camaro with the wrong engine all day, every day.
Advertisers sell the concept that modern trucks are “Serious Tools To Get The Job Done” but the truth is that it’s trucks like this that do more actual work.

Gene1969
Gene1969
10 months ago

Welp this comparison just sealed my fate. I am definitely a truck guy. The Camero has the better design, but it’s almost totally useless for me.

I vote blobby Ford

51
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x