It happens every year (except for this one, so far). A field of of 64+ teams in the NCAA basketball tournament is immediately chopped in half.

Everyone’s sad that we lost half of the field, but the show goes on.

And so it is with us. But there’s more.

Other than the various conferences the basketball teams represent, there’s no formal group that any of the teams belong to. No team colors, so to speak, apart from their own.

But that wasn’t the case with the 2020 edition (the 8th annual) of Muscle Car Match-Ups.

The wrinkle thrown in for this year’s tournament was to pair eight old-school classics against eight new-school performance machines destined for greatness in their own right, and the finest performance cars to ever emerge from American auto factories.

We feared a certain outcome given the nature of this competition. (Voting.)

And, dear friends, those fears were realized.

The choice while organizing this competition came down to whether we’d have all of the new-school rides face off on one side of the bracket while the old-school cars battled on the other, thereby ensuring an old-school vs. new-school final; OR to have one of these new machines face off in the first round with a classic muscle car and let the chips fall where they may.

The chips fell.

And now every new-school competitor has been wiped from the tournament. We hardly knew ye, New School.


But savage is what happens when you pit the very best muscle cars ever built against each other in a totally imaginary fantasy tournament.

It’s up to you to decide which car will win the tournament—Check out Round 1 and see how the voting is done here. Don’t miss your chance to crown your favorite Old School ride.

On to Round 2.

Round 2 OnAllCylinders Muscle Car Match-Ups: Old School vs. New School (More Old School)

1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 vs. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

We pored over the MCMU archives to see whether this match-up had happened previously. We’re delighted to report that it has not.

The ultimate muscly showdown between two pony car legends that we include in this tournament because we do what we want. (Plus, they’re strong enough, and you know it.)

In a fun, ironic twist, the Boss 9 took out a 2014 Camaro to get here, and the ’69 Camaro beat the 2013 GT500 Shelby Mustang.

This is the kind of Ford vs. Chevy match-up we’re here to see.

Round 1 Facebook Voting Results:

1969 Dodge Charger R/T vs. 1969 Chevy Yenko Nova 427

Hmmm. The first four entrants into Round 2 of the MCMU are all vehicles from 1969. It’s almost as if 1969 was the best year in automotive history.

The Charger worked over the 2019 Camaro ZL1 to earn a trip to Round 2, and the Yenko Nova beat up on the 2018 Challenger Hellcat Widebody to do the same. (Chevy vs. Mopar times two to get to another Chevy vs. Mopar. It’s like we planned it. Note: We didn’t. Seriously.)

Round 1 Facebook Voting Results:

1967 Shelby GT500 vs. 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge”

For those counting at home, that’s five out of the first six Round 2 cars coming from 1969. It would be stupid if it didn’t make all of the sense.

Both of these cars hold the distinct honor of beating the two mid-engined cars in this competition.

Eleanor beat the brand-new 2020 Corvette in the first round, and The Judge (which readers last year voted the best car of 1969) raced past the 2017 Ford GT.

Important Note: In addition to Facebook, people also vote for their favorites on Summit Racing’s Instagram channel. We mention this because the 2017 Ford GT is the only new-school ride to win a Round 1 match-up on one of the channels. It received 300+ more votes on Instagram than did The Judge, but the Facebook voting in favor of GTO more than made up the difference. But, hey. Congratulations, 2017 Ford GT. Thanks for doing the New School proud.

Round 1 Facebook Voting Results:

1964 Ford Thunderbolt vs. 1968 Dodge HEMI Dart

Again we have a situation where a Ford beat a Dodge, and a Dodge beat a Ford, all so that in Round 2 we could have an absolutely legendary Ford vs. Dodge duel. Poetic.

If you’re a fan of drag racing, and we assume that you are, then we need not explain either the Thunderbolt’s or the ’68 HEMI Dart’s status as all-time track slayers to you.

The Thunderbolt took out the 2017 Charger SRT 392 on its way to Round 2, and the HEMI Dart made short work of the 2017 Shelby GT350R.

Who goes to the Final Four? As always, you decide.

Round 1 Facebook Voting Results:

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