And then they were gone.
We introduced pre-1960 hot rods to the competition for the 2016 edition of Muscle Car Match-Ups, but after two rounds of eliminations, the tournament bracket looks a lot like it has the previous three years as we cut down to the Elite 8.
Vintage. American. Muscle.
All eight cars remaining are from model years 1969 or 1970, and in all four match-ups, a car from ’69 is squaring off against an opponent from 1970, which makes perfect sense when you consider that those are the top two years in hot rod history.
Stay tuned as Muscle Car Match-Ups (Hot Rod Edition) rolls on. And don’t forget to review our original post for details on how to vote!
Third Round Match-Ups
1970 Chevy 454 Chevelle SS vs. 1969 Pontiac GTO (the Judge)
The stacked Chevelle made quick, easy work of the ’62 Dodge Polara 413 Max Wedge in the first round, then dispatched another killer ’69 — the Ford Mustang Boss 429 — in the second round.
In Round 3, Melba Toast is facing off against The Judge, after the Goat raced past legendary hot rod models 1955 Chrysler C-300 in the opening round, and the 1941 Willys in the second round.
Which goes on to the Final Four? You decide.
1970 Buick GSX vs. 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
The defending champion GSX rolled through the 1963 Ford Thunderbird M-Code, then another 455-cubic-inch opponent — the 1973 Trans Am SD-455 — last round, to get to its third-round match-up with one of history’s most iconic Mopars.
The 1969 Dodge Charger R/T dispatched the 1962 Pontiac Catalina 421 Super Duty in the first round, then bid farewell to the 1957 Chevy Corvette in Round 2. Now, it has a date with last year’s winner and intentions of victory.
We’re not just whistlin’ Dixie.
1969 Chevy Yenko 427 Nova vs. 1970 Plymouth Superbird
Here we find another previous winner looking to become the first-ever repeat winner of Muscle Car Match-Ups. The ’69 Yenko 427 Nova took out the 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 last round, a notable win since the Cobra was the inaugural Muscle Car Match-Ups champion three years ago.
Facing the former champion Yenko is the rarest of birds: the ’70 Plymouth Superbird, among the most-storied and unique American muscle cars in history. To get to the Elite Eight, the Superbird took out the 1968 ½ Mustang Cobra Jet in the first round, and the 1967 Mercury Cyclone 427 in the second. So, like, awesome cars.
Can it beat the stalwart Nova? Only if you say so.
1970 Plymouth HEMI ‘Cuda vs. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Mopar is moving aggressively toward its first-ever Muscle Car Match-Ups victory, with a representative in three of our four third-round match-ups. Here we find this 1970 HEMI ‘Cuda coming off a well-earned victory over the 1955 Chevy Bel Air, a contest which required a recount to determine its winner. The HEMI ‘Cuda beat the 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500 in the opening round.
Standing between the ‘Cuda and the Final Four is the 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1, which didn’t have much trouble dismissing another 1970 Mopar — the ’70 Dodge Challenger — last round after wrecking the 1969 AMC Hurst SC/Rambler’s hopes and dreams in Round 1.
Another match-up featuring a GM performance powerhouse against a trophy-hunting Mopar. Whatever happens next is up to you. Vote now in the comments!