The Chevy Monte Carlo: Gone But Not Forgotten

Author: Jason / Date: December 19, 2022 / Tags: classic cars

The Chevy Monte Carlo: Gone But Not Forgotten

( – In 1970, Chevrolet decided to expand its horizons into the personal-luxury segment. The manufacturer came up with the one and only Monte Carlo, though it based it on the Pontiac Grand Prix. Like its inspiration, the Monte Carlo was affordable in the up-and-coming personal luxury market. Little did they know, this model would become one of Chevy’s most legendary and sought-after cars. 

When Chevrolet first began making the Monte Carlo, it used several components from the Chevelle, such as the windshield, rear window, firewall, and trunk lid. During this time, the Chevelle came in two wheelbases, the 112-inch two-door coupe and the 116 four-door model. However, the manufacturer opted to make the Monte Carlo with just the longer wheelbase and design it with only two doors. When making its debut, the vehicle, a competitor to Ford’s Thunderbird, came standard with a 350-cubic-inch engine and a three-speed manual transmission, though other options were available. 

From 1970-72, the new Chevy remained mostly the same. However, that quickly changed in 1973 when General Motors completely redesigned its intermediate lineup. With a fresh look, the Monte Carlo won Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” and sold 233,689 units. The platform would continue to undergo subtle changes until 1977 when 411,038 were sold. 

In 1978, Chevrolet dropped several hundred pounds off the model and shortened the car’s overall length by 15 inches, yet it somehow still offered more interior and trunk space. 1981-1988 marked the last of the original Monte Carlos, and Chevrolet ceased production until 1995. From there, the model was essentially a two-door Lumina. In 2000, the manufacturer restyled the car, giving it some retro styling, such as the taillights. Sales continued to drop after 2003 and eventually fizzled out for good in 2007. 

Despite the model no longer being in production, the Monte Carlo is still a popular car among collectors, namely the pre-1988 models, due to their variety of sizes and powertrain options. Adding to their attractiveness among collectors is the fact that parts for them are readily available, making it easier for enthusiasts to repair and restore them. As long as parts remain available and people desire these cars, the legendary car will live on. 

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