Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Introduced in 1970, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo was a two-door coupe produced in the U.S. In total, the car exists in six different generations, with production of the final model ending in 2007. Although production of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo began in the late 1960s, and the first model launched for the 1970 model year, it did not see continuous production through 2007. The first four generations covered the years up to 1988, followed by a several year break in production.

More on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Chevrolet Monte Carlo Origins

When Chevrolet first launched the Monte Carlo, it sold in the personal luxury coupe class of the market. This marketing continued throughout the history of the car, even though the sixth and final generation classified as a full-size coupe. The Chevrolet Monte Carlo has a long history and outlived many of its competitors, which conceptually changed to either four-door sedans or smaller two-door sport coupes.

About the Chevrolet Monte Carlo

The first four generations of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo had rear-wheel drive and contained either a V-8 or a V-6 engine. Even during the 1980s, when most car manufacturers produced lighter cars with smaller engines to meet gas mileage regulations, Chevrolet continued to manufacture the Monte Carlo in the same way. Bucking this trend did not hurt sales of the Monte Carlo, which remained a popular choice. The final generations of the car had front-wheel drive.

With the launch of the final generation of the Monte Carlo, Chevrolet looked back over older versions to inspire the design. Chevrolet produced several special-edition models of the Monte Carlo in addition to the normal line. These special editions gained inspiration from NASCAR drivers of their time. This front-wheel-drive car, with a four-speed automatic transmissions, offered multiple engine options, including several different V-6 engines and one V-8, which became available with the 2006 refresh of the car.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo Evolution

Chevrolet introduced the first generation of the Monte Carlo in 1970 as the sister vehicle to the Pontiac Grand Prix that had been launched for the 1969 model year. The design of the Monte Carlo was very much based on the Cadillac Eldorado, although the car shared both its body and structure with the Chevrolet Chevelle. All model years of the first generation of the Monte Carlo came equipped with a V-8 engine. The base model had a 5.7-liter V-8 engine, which rated at 250 horsepower. Optional engines offered increased in size and power. The Monte Carlo also came with either a three- or four-speed manual transmission or a two- or three-speed automatic. The most powerful and sporty package was the Monte Carlo SS.

The 1973 model year saw the introduction of the second generation of the Monte Carlo alongside other vehicles from Chevrolet. It showed several style changes from the previous generation. This generation of the Monte Carlo contained a 5.7-liter V-8 engine in its base model and three other options, as with the first generation. The only transmission options were a three-speed manual and a three-speed automatic. Chevrolet also released the Monte Carlo Landau at this time, which has a Landau vinyl roof for its rear quarter, as well as sportier wheels and side mirrors.

Chevrolet launched the third generation of the Monte Carlo in 1978. This version was downsized due to the fuel embargo of 1973 and new regulations. It weighed significantly less than the previous generation and also measured 15 inches shorter. The new generation increased both passenger and trunk space. It came standard with a V-6 engine, but a V-8 engine was available as an option. For several years previous, a three-speed automatic transmission came standard for the Monte Carlo, but with the introduction of the third generation, the standard shifted to a three-speed automatic.

The fourth generation was introduced to the market in 1981 as a rear-drive model. The body of the Monte Carlo has a smoother profile than its predecessors. Engine options remained the same, but a turbocharged V-6 was available in the Monte Carlo Turbo model. Chevrolet only produced this model for one year and discontinued it in 1982. An automatic transmission came standard, while a manual transmission remained an option. The Monte Carlo ceased production in 1988 until it revived with the fifth generation.

Significant changes occurred between the fourth and fifth generations of the Monte Carlo. The fifth generation, which debuted for 1996, had front-wheel drive, and was manufactured in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The new car was the coupe version of the Lumina sedan, so it shared the same body with that vehicle. It housed a V-6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The final generation of the Monte Carlo was based on an updated version of the W platform that it shared with the Chevrolet Impala, including, among other things, a 303-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 option in the Monte Carlo SS.

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