Tuesday, January 8, 2013
History of the Monte Carlo, Chevrolet's personal luxury coupe
GM redesigned all of their intermediate cars in 1973, and the Monte Carlo was no exception. These were really ‘70s chic, with Landau half padded vinyl top options and long, sweeping body contours. Yeah, they were big and marshmallowey, and their V8 engines received all kinds of power-choking emissions equipment as the decade wore on, but they were still good driving cars, and tough as nails. It’s no secret that the cars of the ‘70s were prone to iron worms, but if you could keep the body on a Monte Carlo, it would run indefinitely.
1977 was the last year for this style of Monte Carlo. The full-sized Caprice had already been downsized for 1977, so the handwriting was on the wall. The crazy thing here is that the “intermediate” ’77 Monte Carlo was bigger than the “full-sized” ’77 Caprice.
Chevrolet brought out a new, and extremely downsized version to help meet governmental CAFE requirements in 1978. People complained about the smaller cars across the board at GM, but it didn’t seem to stop them from buying them. The V6 and 305-c.i. V8 Monte Carlos from this era remained very popular either in spite of, or because of their relatively compact size.
The slideshow below has Monte Carlo pictures that I took at various car shows and events around town, as well as a few old personal photos. It should at least take you through the evolution of Chevrolet’s personal luxury coupe. Click on this link for a better version of the slideshow.