Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Created to compete with Pontiac Grand Prix and Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet Monte Carlo made a strong mark in American tradition of the midsize coupe models. The car was designed by Chevrolet top people, mainly chief stylist Dave Holls while the whole concept development was under direct control of Chevrolet general manager Elliot "Pete" Estes.

They drew inspiration from the existing models such as Cadillac Eldorado, implementing typical Chevrolet Chevelle features along the way. In September 1969 John Z. DeLorean, successor of Pete Estes, officially presented Monte Carlo to the general public. It soon became premier personal car advertised as true midsize Chevrolet coupe.

According to some sources the project was originally named Concours, to fall in line with tradition of naming models in development with the first letter C.

Monte Carlo was a beauty, running on 350 CID Chevrolet Turbo-Fire V8 engine. This power combination with a two barrel carburetor could generate 250 horsepower at 4500 rpm. Standard equipment included three speed Synchro-Mesh manual transmission and front disc brakes. Interior designed mimicked Chevelle minus the fake wood trim and was made from vinyl upholstery and deep twist carpeting.

Basic Chevrolet Monte Carlo was priced at solid $3,123 which enabled a good value for money ratio. However, Monte Carlo was intended for larger audience and the company offered various options to eager buyers.

Among transmission options were two speed Powerglide automatic transmission, three speed Turbo Hydramatic and a four-speed manual. There were three most common optional engines available: Turbo Fire 350 CID V8 300 hp, Turbo Fire 400 V8 265 hp and Turbo Jet 400 V8 330 hp with a four barrel carburetor. Other options included power windows, air conditioning, power seats, Rallye wheels, Strato bucket seats, center console, etc.

From basic price just over $3000, a fully equipped Monte Carlo could cost more than $5,000. As an interesting fact, one of the more popular collector items is Monte Carlo SS option, which was designed for speed and sold in 3,823 units in 1970.

Because of the labor strike Chevrolet's Flint, Michigan assembly plant in 1969 vehicle was in short supply for the first two years. Chevy dealers were demanding personal luxury car such as Monte Carlo for years. Sales proved potential and it became highly profitable model. Well proportioned car that wasn't revolutionary in any sense eventually surpassed the initial expectations.

Being affordable, many Americans wanted to own a luxury car such as Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Expert circles called it a composite of Buick, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac. People simply loved the fact you could customize your with ease, at low cost. Chevrolet made a brilliant production decision to include basic components of Chevelle model, in essence lowering the production costs greatly thus allowing them to offer the lowest price in the entire personal luxury market.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo became one of the most popular and best selling brands in General Motors history. With the cars sales success, NASCAR racing history and overwhelmingly popular SS series, the Monte Carlo solidified its place in the personal car market. Profits were high because of the low production costs, so the model production continued until 2007. Monte Carlo even earned a serious spot among greatest NASCAR's racecars. There is no doubt that this fantastic model deserves a place in the American automotive history.

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