Chevrolet Monte Carlo – Chevy Wiki

22 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Chevrolet Monte Carlo – Chevy Wiki
Chevrolet Monte Carlo

First generation

Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Pontiac Grand Prix


The Monte Carlo was originally created by Scott Butler as Chevrolet’s counterpart to the new GM G platform (RWD) Pontiac Grand Prix . which had been introduced to great success for 1969. For the 1968 model year, GM had instituted a split- Wheelbase policy for its A-body intermediate cars: 112 in (2845 mm) for two-door models, 116 in (2946 mm) for Sedan (car) and Station wagon . The Grand Prix was a two-door coupe riding a special 118 in (2997 mm) version of the A-platform (known as the G-body ). Rather than add the extra length within the body to increase passenger space (as was customary on sedans) the G-body (also known as the A-body Special) spliced the extra length between the firewall and the front wheels, creating an unusually long hood. The look was very successful, and the new Grand Prix greatly outsold its larger, GM B platform predecessor despite higher prices.

The Monte Carlo was the brainchild of Pete Estes . general manager of Chevrolet, and Chevrolet’s chief Stylist . David Holls . They modeled the styling on the contemporary Cadillac Eldorado . although much of the body and structure were shared with the Chevrolet Chevelle (firewall, windshield, decklid, and rear window were the same), adding new front end sheetmetal, wider C-pillar . and new rear fenders. Bulges were added to the fenders to create a more muscular appearance. The Monte Carlo also had the then-fashionable concealed windshield wipers.

A mid-1990s article in Chevrolet High Performance stated that the first generation Monte Carlo was known to Chevrolet brass under the working name Concours (a usual practice where all Chevrolet models started with a C). At one point, the proposal called for a formal coupe, sedan, and convertible. It has been noted that the sedan resembled a full-size Oldsmobile 98 prior to the use of the GM G platform with at least one photo showing the pull-up door handles that would be introduced on the 1970 1/2 Camaro and 1971 full-sized Chevys, but not appear on Monte Carlos until the second-generation model debuted in 1973.

Though the Monte Carlo was developed at Chevrolet under the leadership of Pete Estes, it was formally introduced in September, 1969 by John Z. DeLorean . who succeeded Estes as Chevrolet’s general manager earlier in the year after previously heading the Pontiac division, where he led the development of the similar-bodied 1969 Grand Prix introduced the previous model year.

The standard powertrain was the 350 Cubic inch (5.7 L) Chevrolet Turbo-Fire small-block V8 with a two-barrel Carburetor . rated at 250 hp (186 kW) (gross) @ 4500 rpm and 345 ft·lbf (468 N·m) of torque @ 2800 rpm, mated to a Turbo Hydramatic 350 Transmission. Front Disc brake were standard equipment. The dashboard was basically identical to the Chevelle except for fake wood trim, according to Holls a photographic reproduction of the Elm trim used by Rolls-Royce car . and higher grade nylon (or vinyl) upholstery and deep-twist carpeting were used. Base priced at US$3,123, the Monte Carlo cost $218 more than a comparable Chevelle Malibu .

Various options were available. A two-speed Powerglide Automatic transmission (on 350 CID engines only), three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic . or a four-speed manual; most Monte Carlos carried the Turbo-Hydramatic. Variable-Ratio Power Steering, power windows, Four Season Air Conditioning, power seats, Rallye wheels, Strato bucket seats, center console, full instrumentation, and various other accessories were also available, bringing the price of a fully equipped Monte Carlo to more than $5,000.

Optional engines included the four-barrel carbureted Turbo-Fire 350 CID small block V8. rated at 300 hp (224 kW) @ 4800 rpm and 380 ft·lbf (515 N·m) @ 3200 rpm, the Turbo-Fire 400 (400 CID/6.5 L) with a two-barrel carburetor, rated at 265 hp (198 kW) @ 4800 rpm and 400 ft·lbf (542 N·m) @ 7800 rpm, and the Turbo-Jet 400 (402 CID/6.6 L) with a four-barrel carburetor, rated at 330 hp (246 kW) @ 4800 rpm and 410 ft·lbf (515 N·m) @ 9200 rpm). Note that the two Chevrolet 400 CID V8s offered this year were actually two different designs. The two-barrel carbureted Turbo-Fire 400 was a Small Block Chevrolet V8 engine, similar, but very different internally, to the 350, while the Turbo-Jet 400 was a slightly enlarged version of the 396 CID big block V8 and had an actual displacement of 402 CID.

The most sporting option was the Monte Carlo SS 454 package. Priced at $420, it included a standard Turbo-Jet 454 of 454 CID (7.4 L) with a four-barrel carburetor, rated at 360 hp (269 kW) @ 4800 rpm and 500 ft·lbf (678 N·m) of torque @ 3500 rpm. It also included heavy-duty Suspension (vehicle) . wider tires, SS 454 badging, and an automatic load-leveling rear suspension.

The Turbo-Hydramatic transmission (with a 3.31 rear axle) was a mandatory option with the SS package, although it still cost $222 extra. Weighing only a bit more than a comparably equipped Chevelle SS 454, the Monte Carlo SS was quite a fast car, although it accounted for less than 3% of Monte Carlos sold in 1970.

A Labor strike at Chevrolet’s Flint, Michigan assembly plant (where most Monte Carlo production was scheduled) during the early months of the 1970 model year immediately following the car’s introduction on September 18 . 1969 limited overall model-year sales to 145,976, short of the 185,000 projected. During those early months, Monte Carlos were in short supply with full-production not getting underway until February, 1970, leaving many would-be prospects disappointed after going to their Chevrolet dealers and finding no Monte Carlos in stock.

However, once full production got underway, Monte Carlos sold briskly and mostly at full list price (usually loaded with options), making it a very profitable model for Chevy and its dealerships. Only 3,823 of the 1970 Monte Carlos were SS 454s. 7


The 1971 model year saw only modest styling changes. Inside, the SS model got new European symbol knobs, and a four-spoke Steering wheel became optional. Mechanically, it was largely unchanged, although the small-block Turbo-Fire 400 two-barrel engine was dropped.

Other engines had Compression ratio lowered to allow the use of regular Tetraethyl lead . low-lead, or Unleaded gasoline . per a GM corporate edict. Engine ratings fell to 245 hp (183 Watt ) for the base Turbo-Fire 350 CID (5.7 L) two-barrel, 270 hp (201 kW) for the Turbo-Fire 350-4V, and 300 hp (224 kW) for the Turbo-Jet 400. The SS 454 engine was actually raised to a nominal 365 gross hp (272 kW) despite the reduction in compression ratio.

There has been no documented case of a 1971 Monte Carlo SS car with the 425 hp (317 kW) LS-6 version of the 454, with solid Valve lifter and a longer-duration Camshaft . previously found in the 1970 Chevelle SS 454 (where it was rated at 450 hp (336 kW) however, they did come with an LS5 454. The Turbo Hydramatic officially remained the only transmission for the SS, but a heavy-duty clutch option on the order form suggests that it may have been possible to special-order a 454 LS-6 with a four-speed manual transmission (the four-speed wasn’t listed officially as an SS option but was available as an RPO in regular Monte Carlos with the 350 and 400 engines).

The exact number of such combinations, if any . is unknown since they were not officially listed as factory options but possibly assembled through Chevrolet’s Central Office Production Order (COPO) process that had previously made possible model/engine combinations not officially available. There has however, never ever been a documented case of such a combination therefore the above sentence is actually a gross suggestion and extremely unlikely. Also, Chevrolet records indicate that no 1971 Chevelle SS-454s were built with the LS-6 engine and that all factory LS-6 installations were in Corvettes that year.

The SS 454 package would be discontinued after this year following production of only 1,919 units, but the 454 CID V8 engine would remain optional in Monte Carlos through 1975. The initial response to which the SS was discontinued was that the Monte Carlo was marketed as a luxury vehicle instead of a muscle car; the SS nameplate would be resurrected 12 years later.

Yet, at the same time that the Monte Carlo SS was judged a failure in the marketplace and discontinued, the Monte’s reputation as a performance car on the race track was gaining strength due to the fact that Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation were ending their factory-backed racing support due to declining muscle car sales and the need to divert dollars to meet costly Federal safety and emission regulations (General Motors’ official policy had prohibited factory racing efforts since 1963). As factory support ended at Ford and Chrysler, the stock-car racing mantle switched to independent teams and sponsors, who overwhelmingly chose Chevrolets over Ford and Chrysler products due to Chevy’s much greater availability and affordability of over-the-counter racing parts through the Chevy dealer network.

And the Monte Carlo was considered the best suited Chevrolet model for stock car racing by most NASCAR teams due to its 116-inch (2,946 mm) wheelbase (only one inch above NASCAR’s minimum requirements at that time, the Chevelle 2-doors had a shorter 112 inch wheelbase) and long-hood design which placed the engine further back in the chassis than most other vehicles for better weight traction. Thus the Monte Carlo became Chevy’s standard-bearer for NASCAR from 1971 to 1989.

Like its 1970 predecessor, production of the 1971 Monte Carlo also got off to a slow start due to a labor strike, this time a 67-day corporate-wide walkout that coincided with the introduction of the 1971 models in September, 1970, leaving dealerships with only a small shipment of 1971 models (built before the strike) in stock until the strike was settled in mid-November, 1970 and then slow-going in reaching normal production levels until around January 1 . 1971 . Model-year production ended at 128,600 including the 1,919 SS models.


Chevrolet Monte Carlo

A Cadillac -like egg-crate grille similar to the 1971 Chevrolet Caprice and a metal rear trim molding highlighted the changes to the 1972 Monte Carlo, the final year for the first generation design. The SS was dropped, but a new Monte Carlo Custom option appeared as a one-year only, offering that included a special suspension and other items previously included with the SS option. Unlike the departed SS package, it was available with any engine on the roster.

The engines were unchanged, but an industry-wide switch to SAE net hp numbers led to a reduction in the rated power of all Chevrolet engines. The new ratings for the Monte Carlo were:

350 CID (5.7L), two-barrel: 165 hp (245 gross)

350 CID (5.7L), four-barrel: 200 hp (270 gross)

402 CID (6.6L), four-barrel: 240 hp (300 gross)

454 CID (7.4L), four-barrel: 270 hp (365 gross)

In California . which had emissions standards more stringent than federal law, the 4-barrel carbureted 350 was the standard and only available engine. Also, the only transmission offered in California was the Turbo Hydramatic.

For 1972, the four-speed manual transmission was discontinued from the option list as a line in the Monte Carlo brochure describing its market position as a personal luxury car stated Sorry, no four-on-the-floor. The standard three-speed manual and optional two-speed Powerglide automatic transmissions were offered only with the base 350 CID two-barrel engine, with the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic also available with this engine and a mandatory option with each of the optional engines.

Mechanically, the most significant change was that variable-ratio power steering became standard equipment for the first time.

Interior trim was relatively unchanged from 1971 other than the availability of all-vinyl upholstery with the standard bench seat in addition to the optional Strato bucket seats. Cloth interiors were also offered with both bench and bucket seats.

Monte Carlo was a very popular seller during the 1972 model year as production increased significantly to 180,819 to set a new record in the final year for the first-generation G-body. Monte Carlo and other Chevrolet models were promoted as part of a new ad campaign in which Chevys in print and broadcast ads were featured at various tourist attractions and sites around the United States under the tagline Chevrolet: Building a Better Way To See The USA.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo

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