What were we thinking?

For the first time in the storied history of Muscle Car Match-Ups (four years, if you’re counting), we included old-school hot rods in our field of 32. These were the hot rods that influenced the traditional muscle cars of the ’60s, ’70s, and later. Although not muscle cars in a literal sense, they helped blaze the trail for future big block brutes.

We felt they belonged.

You responded by crowning arguably the most quintessential, muscled-up muscle car of all time as your 2016 champion: The 1970 Chevelle 454 SS.

So much for that.

We certainly can’t argue with the choice, though. Just take a look at some of these stats on the vaunted LS6 version of the ’70 Chevelle 454 SS:

  • 454-cubic-inch engine — the largest Chevy motor offered in an intermediate-sized car to date
  • 450 horsepower at 5,200 rpm — highest factory horsepower rating (many estimated actual power at 500 horsepower) ever during the 60s and 70s muscle car era
  • 500 ft.-lbs. of torque at 3,600 rpm
  • 13.12-second quarter-mile at 107 miles-per-hour in stock form



Muscle Car Match-Ups championship…check!

Here’s the new king’s road to the championship:

1970 Chevelle-vs-1962 PolaraRound 1: To the Max

The Dodge Polara 413 Max Wedge has cool name.

Know who else has a cool name? Marco Rubio — and he lost early on, too. In the end, the highly respectable ’62 Polara lost handily to the much louder, brasher, in-your-face Chevelle 454 SS.

Sound familiar?

1970-Chevelle-vs-1969-Boss-429Round 2: Bye-Bye Boss

In this match-up, Chevy got the best of the Blue Oval boys.

The ’69 Ford Mustang Boss 429 is sort of like the Gonzaga of our tournament. Every year, it makes some noise but then fizzles out during the middle rounds. Such was the case this year as the Boss 429 fell hard to the eventual champion.


Round 3: There Went the Judge

In a battle straight out of the movie Dazed and Confused, Wooderson’s Melba Toast (’70 Chevelle) took on the GTO (The Judge), which was driven by one of the other stoners in the film. In the end, the Judge’s 400 H.O. Ram Air was no match for the Chevelle’s 454 big block.

Wooderson wins again. Alright, alright, alright.


70-Chevlle-vs-69-ChargerRound 4: General Malaise

If Rosco P. Coltrane drove a Chevelle 454 SS police cruiser instead of a Monaco, he would’ve had a shot at those Duke boys — at least according to our voters. In the fourth round, you voted the Chevelle past the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T.

It was Mopar’s last stand in this year’s tournament as the Chevelle advanced to the championship.



Round 5: No Mo’ Nova

Nova vs. Chevelle. That was the dream match-up for Chevrolet enthusiasts as the 1969 Yenko Nova looked to become our first-ever repeat champion. Just eight votes separated the two finalists.

We recounted.

We recounted again.

The Victor:


The Spoils:

If you’re a Mopar or Ford guy, better luck next year.

If you’re a Chevelle enthusiast, you can celebrate your big win with:

Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.