Throwdown Thursday: 1968 Ford Falcon VS Chevy II Nova
Published November 26, 2015
Throwdown Thursday has come again, this time on Thanksgiving! We hope your day is happy, and that you don’t put yourself too far into a turkey coma. This week, we’re comparing a 1968 Chevy II to a Ford Falcon of the same year. Which car reigns supreme as the best car? Read on:
The Chevy had a bigger variety of engines available with a four cylinder at the bottom of the list, all the way up to a stout 375 horsepower big block 396.
However, it should be noted that only 900 of these cars came equipped with the 396, while over 40,000 cars came with the 307 V8. This lowly V8 produced a pitiful 200 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque.
The Ford had a pair of six cylinders and a pair of V8s, topping out with the 302 that made a measly 230 horsepower and 318 lb-ft of torque. However, the engine is only part of the equation, and more must be considered, as we’ll soon find out.
Novas equipped with the 396 big block were capable of running 13.8s in the quarter mile. This is due to the monstrous 375 hp powerplant between the front fenders, coupled with a lighter-than-usual car. More commonly, the 307 was capable of limping in a straight line ¼ mile at dangerously slow speeds, like 16.9s.
The Ford’s 302 was able to power the Falcon down the track at 15.9 seconds; still slow, but much faster than the Chevy with the 307 cubic inch paperweight.
Of course, when talking about performance, a lot more should be considered than what we talk about here. For example, which transmission was used? Which gear ratio was in the rear end? (etc.)
Weight has a direct correlation to how well a vehicle performs and handles, and is the reason why the Ford performed so much better at the track than the Chevrolet did. The Falcon comes in at only 2,700 lbs, which is very light weight. The Nova, on the other hand, tips the scale at an obese 3,100 lbs.
Placing a value on a car that is so old can be hard to do. There are a lot of variables to take into consideration. For example, what were the original options, has the car been restored, is there any rust, does the car run well, and a host of other things need to be taken into account when pricing any kind of car. However, the current values we list here, are based on a car that would be in condition 3 (otherwise known as “good”), that runs and drives and is free of any major damage.
That being said, the Falcon can be found in 2 door coupe trim for right around $10,000, with a steady uptick in value over the last five years. And, it seems as if this is a great buy without much risk of depreciating.
A comparable 2 door Nova with the 307 can be found for about $15,000. The difference is, the value of the Nova has seemed to hit a plateau over the last five years, without much increase in value at all. The 396 option would be worth $35,000 in similar condition, also with a plateau.
Winner Winner—Chicken Dinner
It pains me to say that the Ford wins, because I’m a Chevy guy. But the Ford Falcon takes the cake when compared with the lowly 307 powered Nova. Over all, the Ford performs better, is priced lower and seems to be steadily increasing in value. All of that, is the direct opposite of the competition.
We do have to remember, however, that there were other options that could change the outcome of this debate, if they were compared. The Chevy II also had a stout 325 hp 327, the 350 and the big blocks to contend with. The issue, is that the bigger V8s were only put in 9,300 cars, whereas the 307s were put into 40,000.