2019 Collector Car Madness Bracket: Round 3 brings the Semifinals

Our 2019 Collector Car Madness bracket is down to the last four cars, and now that we’re into the semifinals, generations will finally clash. And by clash, we mean go against each other in a poll on the Hagerty Facebook page. The winners will go on to the championship round.

If you want to learn more about how we got here, check out our first- and second-round articles. The short version: we used Hagerty insurance data to determine popular cars within each age group, plus a wild card to keep things interesting. With the winners of each “region” now determined, it’s time for the generations to face off.

Round 2 featured some close matches, with the 1965–70 Shelby GT350 narrow taking down a #1 seed in the 1963­–67 Chevrolet Corvette. Among Pre-Boomers, the 1955–57 Chevy Bel Air took down the Ford Model A. It’s important to note that while the cars in our fake tournament are arranged by generational preference, the voting is open to everyone. Maybe that’s one reason why the 1967–69 Chevy Camaro cruised to easy victory over the 1978–87 Buick G-Body in the Gen X division. Last but not least, the 1967–72 Chevy C10 edged out the 1989–94 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R.

Click on the image above for a full image of the bracket, print it out, and fill in your predictions. Post them in the comments, and we’ll see whose powers of prediction are most attuned. And now we’ll get into the two matchups that will determine the finalists.

(3) 1965–70 Shelby GT350 vs (2) 1955–57 Chevy Bel Air

1966 Shelby GT350
1966 Shelby GT350 Mecum

The GT350 punched above its weight back in the day, and that’s what it did in round 2 as well, narrowly beating America’s sports car by a margin of 53 percent to the Corvette’s 47 percent. We’ve mentioned how the popularity of the GT350 varies depending on the year, but any version a desirable (and expensive) muscle car. With the modern GT350 screaming out to 8250 rpm and a 700-plus horsepower GT500 on the way, the Shelby name is as strong as ever.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Mecum

It’s the fourth-most popular car among Hagerty members, and a rolling symbol of the optimism and technological advancement of America’s postwar boom times. The Bel Air is an icon, and cruised to another easy victory by besting the Model A by a factor of three to one in our Facebook poll. This semifinal matchup is a variation on the classic Ford-versus-Chevy rivalry, and while it’s definitely apples-to-oranges, the Bel Air formed the foundation for the Chevy small-block that fueled this domestic rivalry for decades to come.

(1) 1967–69 Chevy Camaro vs (1) 1967–72 Chevy C10 Pickup

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Mecum

We mentioned the popularity of the Bel Air, but the Camaro is one rung higher in terms of popularity among Hagerty members. And like the Tri-Five, Chevy’s pony car cruised to victory in its round two match by a three to one margin. With the Corvette out of the running, the Camaro carries the torch for Chevy performance. Fortunately the first-generation car has plenty of that in its background, from the SS model and the track-ready Z/28 to rare examples like the COPO big-blocks. While the Camaro came out of the Gen X bracket, representing its popularity among that age group, it’s one of the few cars that crosses boundaries and places high in every demographic. That will make it a tough opponent in this matchup.

1968 Chevrolet C10
1968 Chevrolet C10 Mecum

It’s a case of sibling rivalry with the C10 up against its pony-car brethren. Considering a pickup truck as an alternative to the Camaro was a crazy idea a few years ago, but as consumer tastes shift to trucks and SUVs those same vehicles are getting popular in the collector world as well. And, like a modern do-it-all pickup, the C10 offers retro appeal with a heavy dose of utility, frequently at prices that are more attractive to people just getting into classics. That’s one reason the C10 came out as our Millennial champ, edging the Skyline GT-R by an 8-point margin.

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