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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    Thank you for posting that video about the making of the movie. Interesting and informative.

    Edie Adams was supposedly from Grove City, PA, a small town about 25 miles from my own.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,851
    edited October 24
    I forget who introduced me to IAMMMMW, probably my dad. The cast of cars amazed me, not to mention all of the stars and cameos.

    The drowning of Phil Silvers' 47 Ford convertible always got to me - of course, it was just a low value obsolete used car then, but I always like those:



    The scene where the 56 Sunliner taken from Don Knotts is "parked" by plowing it into a parking barrier also made me cringe.

    A memorable scene with a cameo and a car, Jack Benny and I think a smaller model 31 Cadillac:



    The battle between the 62 Dart convertible (also has a memorable jump scene where it catches good air) and the 61 Impala is famous:



    Some may know I am a filming location geek, here are a couple relevant videos:





    And the 60 Ford background scene, this appears identical to my dad's car:

    image
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    A friend sent me this very recent post from the 'Automobile' magazine blog. I had to laugh. Some of the author's points are debatable, even a fact or two, but I'm going to forward it to my adult kids.

    https://www.automobilemag.com/news/chevrolet-monte-carlo-cool-dads-car/?wc_mid=4035:20109&wc_rid=4035:1076571&_wcsid=5F38EB4024F1A17419B31E6DC7785DA4CF34ED51DFCFAB67
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,895
    Well, I dunno about that article. The styling of the Monte has been discussed here at length before but IMO the downsized '78s were a design failure and the updates that came later, while an improvement, still left them at the bottom of the ladder within the grouping of GM offerings on that platform. I am unfamiliar with the author but I wonder if he was even on this earth during the 1980s.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 25
    For me, the Cutlass Supreme was at the bottom of the '81-88 styling ladder of those cars, but a lot of people disagreed with me. Wasn't a fan of the squared wheel openings, underbite up front, and wraparound trim at the rear.

    I liked the Grand Prix a bit better than the Cutlass, and I liked the Regal about the same as the Monte for styling, mostly for the rounded wheel openings.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,654
    The 70-72 Monte Carlos were my favorites. I like the 73 that is pictured, especially with the sunroof. Chunky bumpers but not as bad as others for 73. Choked down hp for 73 was a bummer. Agreed the 81 was much improved over the 78-80. It seems every 78-80 loses the chrome bumper inserts, nice design.. What was the issue with the Buick 3.8? I’m familiar with the THD 200 woes.

    2018 VW Passat w/tech, 2015 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,502
    image

    Checkerboard rims still look cool. I think the article had 6 pics with those wheels. :smile:
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 25
    The two-tone blue car in the original link, the '87, is one I'd really like to own now, but as I've often-said, I'd have ordered without the extra body side moldings. I hate how they were so close to the bright sill moldings. I'm a big fan of the checkerboard wheels too, which I rarely saw on a real car.

    I did like how the taillights looked like the '74 taillights, but that somewhat went away with the smoothed-over '86 and later LS models.

    I don't believe I ever saw a Monte Carlo magazine ad or TV commercial after '81. If I did, it was for the SS model only. At least that's my memory of it.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    I am not familiar with Buick 3.8 problem areas the author mentions. I do know my brother-in-law's new '75 Buick Century Special was miserable with that engine. It idled like a Pinto or Vega when new. I know that issue was addressed a year or two later by Buick.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,273
    My friend's older sister had the '73+ model. With the swivel bucket seats. We thought that was pretty cool at the time.

    But, 1st generation models got hot-rodded with jacked up rear ends and big tires. Starting in '73, it was just a boulevard cruiser.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168
    That revisionist history article definitely loses me with this line: "But the earlier Montes—1970-1988, and particularly the 1980s cars—now those were hot stuff. Back when your dad was younger than you are now, if he pulled up in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, there was no way your mom was going to say no."

    Nope, the 1980's models weren't particularly "hot stuff". The '81 model saw a brief resurgence in sales with the aero restyle, jumping from around 148K to 188K units. Considering how south the economy was going in that timeframe, and the way the auto market in general was shrinking, that was a pretty big deal. But, for '82 it got knocked down to 92,392 units. This, despite some in-house competition being removed with the dropping of the Malibu coupe. Although the '81 Malibu coupe was down to around 34,000 units.

    In '83, sales dropped a bit more, to 91,605 of the regular coupe, but the SS added another 4,714 to that. In '84, the market in general was improving, and the Monte jumped to 112,730 of the regular Sport Coupe, and 24,050 SSes. Just shy of 137,000 total. And, as the economy continued to improve, that was where the Monte peaked.

    For '85, the Sport coupe dropped a bit, to 83,573, but the SS was taking off, with 35,484 units. For '86, it was 50,418 of the Sport coupe, 27,428 of the LS, 41,164 SS notchbacks, and 200 SS Aerocoupes. In '87 it was 39,794 LS coupes (no more Sport coupe), 33,199 SS notchbacks, 6052 SS Aerocoupes.

    Finally, for the abbreviated 1988 model year, it was 13,970 LS coupes, 16,204 SS notchbacks.

    When someone says "Monte Carlo", I wonder if the '95-99 or the '00-07 models even pop into anyone's mind. They don't, for me. I almost forget about them, unless someone reminds me.

    FWIW, love it or hate it, the '73-77 Colonades were by far the Monte Carlo's glory years. Even in 1974, when sales cratered thanks to the first oil embargo, it still managed about 310,000 units. Oddly, that outpaced 1973, which was a record year for the auto industry in general, but only around 289,000 Montes were sold. However, I wonder if the Monte might have lucked out a bit during the recession, because people who would have otherwise bought a full-sized car moved down to the Monte?

    Now, '75 was where the Colonade Monte bottomed out, with about 259,000 sold. This is when the Cordoba came on to the scene, so it might have caused some competition. The Torino Elite might have taken some sales as well, It actually came out for '74, but I think Ford started promoting it more heavily for '75.

    In '76, when bigger cars were starting to sell well again, the Monte improved to around 353,000 units. And, while you'd think the new '77 T-bird, which was a smash hit, would have hurt the Monte, it still went on to move about 413,000 units!

    The downsized '78, in contrast, only sold about 358,000 units, and the '79 sold 317,000. I wonder if two factors might have been at play here? First off, while downsizing worked great with the full-sized cars, making a car that keeps most of its interior room in a smaller, more fuel efficient package, personal luxury coupes buyers are probably less concerned with that. They want the style, the opulence, the flamboyance. And it's hard to pull that off with a smaller, more practical design. Another factor might have been the Cutlass Supreme and Regal. During the Colonade years, there wasn't much difference between a Regal and a Century, or a Cutlass Supreme coupe versus a Cutlass S, Salon, or whatever. But, they went through a lot of effort to make a Monte, or Grand Prix stand out from a Malibu or LeMans coupe, even giving it an extra 4 inches of wheelbase ahead of the firewall.

    When they downsized though, the Monte, and the Grand Prix, lost a lot of their uniqueness. A Monte Carlo was still about 7 inches longer than a Malibu, but it was all in overhang, rather than wheelbase. A longer wheelbase will make a car look more substantial, but more overhang just makes it look front-heavy. And with the Grand Prix, it ended up only being something like 3-4" longer than a LeMans. Meanwhile, Olds and Buick seemed like they worked hard to make the Cutlass Supreme and Regal stand out more compared to the Cutlass Salon and Century models. So, it was like the Monte and Grand Prix became less special, while the Cutlass Supreme and Regal became more special. IIRC, it was also the Monte and Grand Prix that saw the biggest sales declines for '78. The Cutlass Supreme coupe, I believe, saw its sales about the same. However, the Cutlass lineup as a whole dropped off, because the Aeroback 2- and 4-door models didn't sell as well as the Colonades had. The '78 Regal actually saw an uptick in sales.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 25
    That seven inches in length in the '78-80 Montes over the Malibu was all hood. That's one reason I'd still like a '78 Malibu Classic coupe--the styling is taut to my eyes, zero fat.

    I did like how the Monte Carlo script remain unchanged from the '70 to the '88.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168
    sda said:

    The 70-72 Monte Carlos were my favorites. I like the 73 that is pictured, especially with the sunroof. Chunky bumpers but not as bad as others for 73. Choked down hp for 73 was a bummer. Agreed the 81 was much improved over the 78-80. It seems every 78-80 loses the chrome bumper inserts, nice design.. What was the issue with the Buick 3.8? I’m familiar with the THD 200 woes.

    I hadn't read through the article, but you mentioning the Buick 3.8 made me go back to re-read. Y'know, I think that's actually the first time, in awhile, I've seen mention of the Buick 3.8 being failure prone, unless it's just me repeating what I've been told over the years.

    My understanding of it is the 231 had several weak spots. First off, the block was a bit lightweight and fragile. Secondly, a lot of the oil passages were too narrow, had many right angles that restricted flow, and were easily clogged. And finally, the nylon mesh timing chain/gear, or whatever it was?

    Buick had sold the tooling for its V6 to AMC back in the late 60's, I believe. There was so little demand left for 6-cyl Buicks, that they figured the Chevy 250 could fill that niche. But, once fuel economy became a bigger concern, they bought the tooling back. But, to save money, they increased the bore so that it could use the same pistons as a Buick 350. This bumped up its displacement slightly, from a 225 to a 231.

    I'm not sure when, exactly, the engine picked up its oil passage issues. I've never heard complaints about the old 225. Its V8 counterpart, the 300, went on to become the Buick 350. In later years, the 350 had trouble meeting emissions standards, and got banned from California. And it usually seemed designed more for torque, than hp. But as far as I know, it was always durable. But not so, the 231. At least, not at first.

    Buick gave the 231 a major overhaul in 1985. They used the beefier turbo block, for all applications, and I believe they got rid of most of the undersized/right angle oil passages. And, almost overnight, the 231 went from being one of GM's worst engines, to being one of their best.

    Even from personal experience, I've heard nothing good about that '75-84 generation of 231, unless it's from somebody trying to sell one! I bought an '82 Cutlass Supreme in the summer of '93. I remember a guy at work, an aerospace engineer, telling me he predicted the engine would be shot in the 70-90,000 mile range. His wife had owned an '82 Bonneville G with that engine, and it had happened to her car. Meanwhile, he was driving an early 80's Delta 88 with the 307, still going strong. At the time I bought it, my Cutlass only had about 61,000 miles on it, and I was hoping he was wrong.

    When my 231 did go to crap, around the 73,000 mile mark, I asked my mechanic about it, and he said it was a common issue; they just weren't a good engine. I asked him about rebuilding it, and he said it wasn't worth it, and that he'd never seen a 231 worth rebuilding. I also went to the local junkyard, and asked if they had any good 231s, and they said that every GM car that came in with one was pretty much junk.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168

    I am not familiar with Buick 3.8 problem areas the author mentions. I do know my brother-in-law's new '75 Buick Century Special was miserable with that engine. It idled like a Pinto or Vega when new. I know that issue was addressed a year or two later by Buick.

    I think in the first couple years, the distributor on the Buick 231 was just the V-8 distributor with two spots removed, so you'd get a skip, as the rotor passed over the those spots. In later years, they fixed that, and started calling it the "Even Fire" V6.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168

    That seven inches in length in the '78-80 Montes over the Malibu was all hood. That's one reason I'd still like a '78 Malibu Classic coupe--the styling is taut to my eyes, zero fat.

    There's also something about the '78-80 Monte Carlo that, to me at least, it seems to lose a bit of its identity as a Monte Carlo. From some angles, it almost looks a bit Buick-ish. Like, if Buick wanted to take the downsizing of the '76 Riviera too far, the end result might look something like a '78 Monte Carlo. Thankfully, Buick went in the direction they did though. While the '77-78 Riviera was a bit anonymous, and a sales flop, the '79-85 was gorgeous, and a strong seller.


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168
    I just read through that article again. Would it be douchey to mention to them that no Chevrolet car has been on a ladder frame since 1957? :p

    Well, except for the Corvette, I guess?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 13,867
    kyfdx said:

    My friend's older sister had the '73+ model. With the swivel bucket seats. We thought that was pretty cool at the time.

    But, 1st generation models got hot-rodded with jacked up rear ends and big tires. Starting in '73, it was just a boulevard cruiser.

    My first new car was a 1974 Monte Carlo; As you know, the 1973-1977 Monte Carlo, Cutlass Salon, and Grand Am/Grand Prix were an early attempt by GM to incorporate European driving dynamics into their "personal luxury" sedans and coupes. I couldn't afford a new Bavaria, so when Road and Track tested a Monte and said that it could keep up with a Bavaria on a(wide enough) road I was sold. The high-caster steering and increased steering effort made the car a fairly pleasant drive, although I had to fit stiffer shocks to kill the remaining floating feeling. I remember the owner of our local Chevy dealership mentioning that a lot of customers didn't like the new steering feel because they had to "pay attention to their driving". What a terrifying concept!

    To fix the anemic 350 SB I re-curved the distributor and installed a Mallory Unilite pointless ignition(the dealer had deleted the HEI on the order sheet to save a few bucks). I also added an Edelbrock Performer two-plane manifold and a Q-Jet, a Crane Hi-Torque cam, Blackjack 1 5/8" headers. a 2 1/2" dual exhaust with Cherry Bomb Q mufflers, a B&M Trans-Pak shift kit, a Hayden 15,000 lb. GVW transmission cooler, and a 3:42 rear gear set. I also upgraded the lighting(Cibie "off road only" Z Beam 7" H4 halogens), and the audio system(Pioneer in-dash AM-FM w/Dolby Cassette, 6X9 20 oz. coaxials, and an AD-304 power amp with a whopping 15 wpc!). I left the suspension alone since even Road & Track thought it handled pretty well. It was very quick for its time(1974-1983 or so). It would chirp the tires on the 1-2 upshift at 35 mph and on the 2-3 upshift at 70 mph. Not bad for a 4200 lb. barge. I sold it in 1989 and it was still running strong...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,851
    One quirk with that - people of a just slightly younger generation (mine) also remember the 96+ Montes, and most probably see them as 2 door Luminas or Impalas, and definitely not something "cool". Those cars did not help brand/model cachet.

    By the time I was driving age, 70s/80s Monte Carlos were already a mainstay of the lowrider community, along with still being held on to by Peggy Hill style women, and little old ladies.

    That being said, the first gen cars are "cool" to me, along with 80s SS models, and maybe others with just the right equipment and colors.

    A friend sent me this very recent post from the 'Automobile' magazine blog. I had to laugh. Some of the author's points are debatable, even a fact or two, but I'm going to forward it to my adult kids.

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,654
    From what I recall the 75-76 231 V6 was odd firing which created a lumpy idle and kind of an odd rumble in the exhaust note. Buick modified it to become even firing in 77. I had the odd firing V6 in my 76 Sunbird. As it was a 5 speed I was able to increase the idle speed a bit and that really helped smooth out the idle. I changed the oil every 3k, so no issues in the 6+ years I drove it. It had around 85k and running fine when I traded it for an 80 Mazda 626 coupe 5sp in 1983. The Mazda had good reviews, rear drive and was the closest I could get to a BMW on my meager just out of college budget.

    2018 VW Passat w/tech, 2015 Audi Q5 Premium Plus w/tech, 2006 Acura TL w/nav

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    My Dad, who owned and enjoyed an '80 and '84 Monte Carlo, both bought new, on the new '95 Monte Carlo:

    "That's a Monte Carlo in name only".

    Truer words have never been spoken, LOL.

    I did like how you could still get them with a bench seat and column shift, but I'm weird that way. I like(d) the feeling of no console butting up against my leg.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,895
    Converting the Buick V-6 to even-fire involved more than changing the distributor pattern - most significantly, it required a new crankshaft design along with it to fix the timing of the pistons reaching TDC (although I could never understand why that wasn't done when it was originally developed in the early '60s). The other weakness of it was in the oiling system, as the oil pump housing and timing cover were made of aluminum and the oil pump gears wore it down, leading to low oil pressure. Combined with the weak design and manufacturing of the oiling system, this led to bearing failures and other catastrophic problems.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    I belong to a G-Body group on Facebook. I'm amazed at how many people like the whole lineup of those cars. Many seem younger than me, and there are a fair amount of 'urban-ized' cars out there, for lack of a more P.C. term.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,851
    One of my college roommates had an 83 Monte CL (I joked it stood for CeLebrity), 305, grey on grey. He bought it as his first car, from the original owner around 1995 as a nice ~50K mile car, he had always liked them. He used it as a DD for years. Being the 90s, he installed small wheels with low profile tires, but kept it stock otherwise, save for a loud stereo. He held on to it, later bought an 85 SS. Around 1999-2000, the transmission went out, he upgraded it to a TH350 IIRC. He kept the car for a long time, stored it in his dad's barn when he got married and moved on - the car cosmetically decayed, but still ran and drove fine. He finally sold it a few years ago, and the new buyer stayed in touch - the car lives on today as a lowrider with hydraulics. The car is still alive and someone is loving it, that's what counts.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    Sure, I like to see an older car in the hands of someone who appreciates it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,851
    There's a movement out there where fintails and 108/109s (fintail replacements) are put on air suspension and lowered/stanced (I suspect an easy conversion as these cars had air suspension variants from the factory). Some of them are also given flamboyant look-at-me-patina. Not my choice, but it keeps the cars away from the scrapyard or from rotting in a field, so I can tolerate it.

    image

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  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,895
    sda said:

    The 70-72 Monte Carlos were my favorites. I like the 73 that is pictured, especially with the sunroof. Chunky bumpers but not as bad as others for 73. Choked down hp for 73 was a bummer. Agreed the 81 was much improved over the 78-80. It seems every 78-80 loses the chrome bumper inserts, nice design.. What was the issue with the Buick 3.8? I’m familiar with the THD 200 woes.

    I thought the '70-'72 were the best-looking for sure. The '73-'77 rode and handled better but the engines were choked down so they weren't quick, and the build/materials quality was worse. Those mid-'70s models were bad rusters up here. The downsized '78-up models had even worse materials quality and the lightweight frames were prone to rust in this climate. GM made their engine offerings so weak in those years (not unique to them, as all manufacturers were fighting with emissions and fuel economy mandates) that the cars were not great performers for the most part.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    I can plainly remember the first Monte Carlo I ever saw. My Dad and I had gone downtown to buy the Sunday Youngstown Vindicator, and we drove past the Chevy dealer and pulled in. There was a light blue with black vinyl top Monte Carlo there, outside, with a sheet covering both the front end styling, and another, the rear panel/taillights styling While we were looking at it, someone walked out of the Service Department, got in it, and pulled it inside. This was pre-introduction of course. On introduction day I recall it being displayed in the showroom with the full wheelcovers that had the band of body color on them.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 25
    Although you'd be a pariah at some cruise-ins, I could also like a slantback '78 or '79 Cutlass Salon Brougham coupe, if it had a 305 and the Super Stock wheels with whitewalls. I just like the packaging of the downsized midsized GM cars, even if they attract less interest than the previous ones. The slantbacks, of course, were seen a lot less than the Supreme (and Regal). Some of the engineering was arrogant and really, the downsizing was more drastic than on the big cars the year before, but I am a fan of the size, inside and out.

    My experience is that it's almost impossible to find a clean, original stock '78 to '80 GM mid-size. For whatever reasons, even with the advent of 'Computer Command Control', I'm aware of more '81 and later ones out there.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,895


    My experience is that it's almost impossible to find a clean, original stock '78 to '80 GM mid-size. For whatever reasons, even with the advent of 'Computer Command Control', I'm aware of more '81 and later ones out there.

    The last decent one I saw was probably 20 years ago, on the lot of my GM dealer here, a ‘78 or ‘79 Cutlass slantback. It looked nice on the trade-in lot but had a sign on the windshield stating “NO BRAKES“ for the lot jockeys. I think the reason you see so few of them is that they became junky-looking very quickly, even aside from the thin frames rusting out which killed a lot of them here. On the outside the anodized aluminum bright work tarnished, the paint faded, and the plastichrome emblems lost their shine, while on the inside the headliners and sun visors drooped, the plastic trim pieces faded to different shades, and the seat padding lost its bounce. All of those things were due to corporate cost-cutting taking a toll on quality.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 3,654
    ab348 said:


    My experience is that it's almost impossible to find a clean, original stock '78 to '80 GM mid-size. For whatever reasons, even with the advent of 'Computer Command Control', I'm aware of more '81 and later ones out there.

    The last decent one I saw was probably 20 years ago, on the lot of my GM dealer here, a ‘78 or ‘79 Cutlass slantback. It looked nice on the trade-in lot but had a sign on the windshield stating “NO BRAKES“ for the lot jockeys. I think the reason you see so few of them is that they became junky-looking very quickly, even aside from the thin frames rusting out which killed a lot of them here. On the outside the anodized aluminum bright work tarnished, the paint faded, and the plastichrome emblems lost their shine, while on the inside the headliners and sun visors drooped, the plastic trim pieces faded to different shades, and the seat padding lost its bounce. All of those things were due to corporate cost-cutting taking a toll on quality.
    Other than the rotted frames, that’s been my observation as well. For the most part they just didn’t hold up. I never liked the cheap sound of the long coupe door when it was closed, a fragile clack, not a solid thunk.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    I've always said that back in the day, anyway, they struck me as quiet and smooth, particularly compared to the Ford competition. Seemed like a small big car, instead of a big small car.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    I think some of them not being saved, might be that a lot of people who liked the '73-77 midsizes were horrified at the '78's. I think they were a bigger pill to swallow than the '77 downsized full-sizes. The '81 specialty coupes had some styling that most folks seemed to think rose above the '78-80's in general and again it's far-easier to find an original one of those than earlier ones.
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 11,129
    My Dad had a 75 Monte Carlo when he met my mother... I’ll have to ask if the car made a difference. LOL

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2019 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    My brother-in-law wanted to buy a '75 Monte Carlo demo--five-slot Rally Wheels, white with red vinyl top and red cloth interior. My sister was against it. They were at our house one Sunday and he called the salesman, whom our family dealt with, and we drove out and dropped their Chevelle wagon off at the salesman's house and picked the Monte Carlo demo up for a day and overnight. Can you imagine that happening now?

    He ended up buying a new Century Special coupe at another dealer.

    I think the '75 was my least-favorite of that '73-77 era, followed by the '77.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168
    When I was a kid, I did yard and housework for one of my grandmother's old lady friends, who had a '75 Monte Carlo. I remember Granddad saying that she had bought it 1 year old in '76, and it had been a rental car. She was always having some kind of trouble or other, and Granddad was convinced that it was because it had been a rental. But, in retrospect, it was probably troublesome, because it was built in 1975 :p It was just a product of its era. It never had any truly expensive failures, but it was always something emissions-related, carburetor, vacuum lines, that kind of stuff.

    She died in 1986, from cancer complications. Still had the car when she died, but I don't know what ultimately happened to it. It was a dark metallic blue, with a white landau top, and, just going on memory, I'm picturing a white vinyl interior.

    I don't know that I have a least favorite, among the '73-77 era of Monte Carlo. But, maybe it would be a tossup between '74-75. I like the rear end of the '73 a lot. It almost looks exotic, and like it's too expensive for the rest of the car! Just something about the way the taillights are inset, and the way the edges of the trunk lid are curved, just gives it a nice, well-flowing look. Even the big bumper seems well worked into the design.

    But, for the most part, for any given year, there's just a whole slew of cars that I like better. I actually prefer the Chevelle/Malibu coupe, as long as it's the top trim level. The base model ones looked kind of cheap inside.

    Uplander, just curious, what is it about the '77 you don't like, compared to '76? Is it them moving from a 350 to a 305 as the standard engine? Stylewise, isn't the only real difference the taillights?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    The '76 also had a 305 as standard engine. I don't care for the 'capped' taillights and the addition of a hood ornament, which is just clutter to me. I did like how the '77 offered those plastic spoked wheelcovers like the '77 big Chevys could be had with, although a Monte was almost never seen with them.

    In '77, I was all about a loaded Caprice Classic coupe with F-41. Guess I was trendy then, LOL.

    I could have really, really liked a '76 Malibu Classic if it could've been had with the triangular quarter window and a hood ornament delete option. But not available with either of those.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 13,895
    edited October 26
    It's funny how Bill and Andre both express some fondness for the Colannade-generation Malibus. I never liked them from day one. The front end always looked awkward to me, like an afterthought as if they got caught off-guard by the bumper regulations, and the rear end lacked much style to my eyes. The interior could be pretty cheap-looking too if you didn't go for the top-end trim. I always remember that up here, where A/C was still a rare option to order back then, if you didn't order it they didn't even give you a dummy vent, and instead just left an open cubby on the left side of the dash. It looked unfinished.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 171,273
    tjc78 said:

    My Dad had a 75 Monte Carlo when he met my mother... I’ll have to ask if the car made a difference. LOL

    You might hear something that you can't un-hear. :(

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    Funny ab, I liked the cubby hole. In '73 they had that covered over with hard, black, grainy plastic.

    I'm sure my Dad would've put his cigars in there. :)
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,502
    edited October 26
    I test drove a used '74 Malibu 2 door at Tansky's in '78. It was low option 350, auto, a/c. Interior looked worn and tattered with about 47K miles. I remember the window trim on the driver's door was already rusting. It drove ok but just seemed too worn and tired-looking for a 4 y/o car so I passed.

    Now that I think about it I've never owned a 1974 model year Detroit or import car. But if I had to pick one now that I'd like to have...

    edit to add this Road Test link.
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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,168
    I think one reason I like the Colonade Chevelle is that, to me at least, the styling seemed a bit upscale, without being as pretentious as the Monte Carlo. But, there were still styling details I didn't like. For instance, in '73, I like the rear with the two taillights on each side. And, I like the front-end for the most part, but the bumper just looks like it juts out way too far.

    For '74 and later years, the front bumper looks like it fits better to me, but I don't know if that's just some kind of optical illusion. But then, for '74 the taillights look ill-fitting to me, like they just used the '73 rear and forced the new taillights on whether it was a good idea or not. The '75 and '76-77 rear seems a bit generic, and the style seems like it exaggerates any sloppy assembly quality.

    The '73-77 Chevelle/Malibu isn't the type of car I ever really lusted for. But, more along the lines of, if my Mom was buying a new car back then, I'd rather she got the Chevy than a Torino, or a Mopar B-body.

    My Mom did buy a '75 LeMans coupe, brand-new, and at the time I thought that car was hideous. Mainly, it was the front-end I didn't like, which I thought was really garish. But, nowadays when I look at them, I don't mind it so much.


    I do think the '73 looks nicer, with the grille segments actually separated from the headlight bezels. And the grille segments on the '74, while they did touch the lights, like on '75, the pattern didn't seem as garish. But, with these it was always the '76-77 that really caught my eye.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    andre, we've discussed this before. I like the triangular quarter windows, which were designed-in this bodystyle. When the public didn't like it, the next year was the afterthought opera-window-in-a-fastback-roof look. The public ate it up, but I wasn't a fan, then or now. I liked the airy roofline with the triangular quarter windows.

    In '74 and later, the Chevelle made you get the bottom-line Malibu (which really, replaced the '73 Deluxe) to get those windows, and the interior trim was dismal to say the least.

    The Malibu Classic had quality seating and door panel trim IMHO--tuck and roll, and cloth on the doors if you got cloth seating. That seating seemed to hold up well in addition to looking pretty rich IMHO. The vinyl was fairly leather-like.

    But in '74 to '77, it seemed to me like there should be a model between the Malibu and Malibu Classic. It was sort of like moving from the Bel Air to the Caprice Classic, with no middle-model there.

    I like the '73 Chevelle, generally. I didn't like the '74 taillights, and wasn't crazy that they returned to using the big, swoopy "Chevelle" script from the '72, again, on the '74.

    The '75 taillights to me are awful. Look close, and it looks like a shop class project. You can see where they cut out the prior year's panel and inserted that cheapy panel right in there.

    I did like the '76 Classic's ornate grille, and I liked the rear styling too. Even the base Malibu had a pleasant front end styling, but still--that very cheap interior.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    When the '74 GM midsizes came out, all the coupes were required to have a vinyl top until Jan.or so, to hide the cheap fix of filling in the big quarter windows. See page 3 of this brochure--when you looked inside the real car, it actually did look like this at the quarter window! Later, they had an interior panel that totally hid where the old triangular window was.

    http://www.motorologist.com/wp-content/uploads/1974-Chevrolet-Chevelle-Brochure.pdf
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    That red LeMans is pretty, but I don't ever recall a GM coupe of that era with the big quarter window, where a landau-style roof like that was ever available with anything but the opera window.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,502
    edited October 26
    "The 1973-77 Malibu's are rapidly appreciating."
    image
    Link goes to this '76 Malibu Classic which looks good and not a bad price for what it is.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,851
    The Colonnade coupes make me think of the son's car in Harry and Tonto - this was a sunroof model IIRC, which has to be pretty rare:

    image
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,721
    I like the red Pontiac.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    I like that '73--as is so often the case, the first model year is the purest iteration of the design.

    I would have always ordered the black rubber bumper strips on any GM with big chromed bumpers, in the '70's. Hid all those bolts.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 12,603
    edited October 26
    That white '76--the vinyl top has been added at some point, as from the factory it was part of a Landau package that had other trim features. Of course, dealers use to put their own vinyl tops on.

    The grille emblem is a bit too high, which would indicate something having gone on up there.

    A friend of mine and I chuckle at how many cars like this are advertised as having a 350, when both our memories are that most we ever saw new at dealers had 305's. We wonder how many 305's are actually advertised as 350's.

    That friend has told me to look for a '73 before they get too high, but really, not on my radar now.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 39,721
    edited October 26
    My favorite big domestic was the Can Am. Even though it was still a barge.

    I also liked the 74 GTO a lot too!

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