We're here. The Elite Eight. Out of sixty-four amazing muscle car starters (well, sixty-three and a Prowler), we're down to eight survivors in our March Muscle Car Madness tournament, and after today, we'll have the Final Four. The end is within sight, and for those of you looking to replace ineffable, rule-spouting "gods" as your target for prayer, soon there will be One Muscle Car to Rule Them All.
UPDATE: A minor polling issue kept the polls closed for the first 40 minutes of voting. Reload and they should be working. Sorry for the delay. Vote away!
Here's the victors from last round: 1968 Olds Cutlass 442 (62.5%), 1970 Buick GSX (72.5%), 1966 Shelby Cobra GT350 (60%), and the '69 Boss 429, (66%). All fairly close fights, as you'd expect, and, interestingly, all the survivors hail from within a decade of one another, between '66 and '72. This of course, makes sense, as that's widely considered to be the Golden Age of the musclecar, when almost every manufacturer had one, right up to when smog and economy controls ushered in the Malaise Era.
The Elite Eight battles are just what you'd expect: brutal. Every car in this list is a worthy opponent. Let's see how it breaks down:
Zombies: Who's going to be King Zombie? 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 or 1972 Plymouth Road Runner? Though the Olds certainly could have been your father's Oldsmobile, it's a 350 HP monster that possibly got your dad your mom. The Road Runner's no slouch, though coming in at the start of the unleaded gas and emissions requirements may take the edge off it a bit, compared to the Olds. Still, this could go either way.
Rod Rage: 1970 Buick GSX v. 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. This is tough. The Boss is an icon, making a bit under 300 ponies, and has a great distinctive look. The GSX puts out insanely high torque (510 lb-ft!) and is pretty rare, to boot. Less known as well, but I think possibly more than an equal in muscle car-ness for the Boss.
Classics: 1966 Shelby Cobra GT350 vs. 1968 Chevy Camaro. I'm not even going to try and predict anything here. You may as well pick out the more oceanic ocean, Atlantic or Pacific. Good luck with this one, pals.
Drag Queens: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 vs. 1970 Plymouth Superbird. I've always been partial to the over-the-top looks of the Superbird, but this Boss is likely the Boss of Bosses. This one will either come down to taste, or a desire not to have so many Mustang derivatives in the Final Four.
There you go. Vote away, gearheads!
March Muscle Car Madness is brought to you by Gumout.