What we have here are Camaros, Challengers and Mustangs, gathered in pairs – one vintage example from the height of the muscle car’s reign of terror in 1969 and ’70 along with one 2011 model. This begs the question: Which era of American performance resulted in the better car?

Well now, that depends on just what you’re looking for…

There’s simply no arguing the fact that the 2011 Camaro SS, Challenger SRT8 392 and Shelby Mustang GT500 can accelerate (though the quarter-mile results would be closer if the old bias-ply tires were replaced with something more… modern), turn and stop better than their old-timer predecessors.

But, as the editors of Motor Trend found out, that’s not the whole story. Check out the video to find out why.