As far as I’m concerned, the Monte Carlo has the same overall poor “curb appeal” to your average person nowadays as a third-generation Camaro, but with none of the great heritage or rewarding driving experience (in comparison). It was sold on the same platform as T-types, Grand Nationals, the Hurst/Olds Cutlass, 442’s, and the last (and arguably most cleanly styled) El Camino. In the grand scheme of things, this generation Monte Carlo SS was a NASCAR-purpose production vehicle with a fake Camaro nose and a lesser variant of the 5.0L V8 than could be had in the F-bodies.
With that said, I really do love the Monte Carlo. Much like the redesigned B-bodies of a few years prior (which ironically left the mid-size Monte a larger overall car than the full-size Impala) the new G-bodies came in lighter, more nimble and sportier than their Megalodon-sized predecessors. For this generation the bow-tied Super Sport was available with a not-so-super and not-so-sporty 165hp 5.0L V8 with the dreaded CCCQJ (Computer Command Control Quadra-Jet) fuel/ignition system. It’s design is archaic and finicky. Believe me, I have a very similar system on the 140hp 5.0L V8 in my 1984 Caprice. It’s one of the members of the Quadra-Jet family that I would suggest avoiding.
Barring it’s anemic (by modern standards) engine output, without all of the bullshit that comes with a fuel-injected, computer controlled engine management system, it can easily take any member of the first generation small block Chevrolet V8 engine family as a replacement with very little work. Let’s be honest with ourselves though. Chances are the common upgrades for the 305 are going to be on a 4.00″ bore block, with either a 3.48″ or 3.75″ stroke. Basically, your standard, run-of-mill, take-the-horse-to-the-glue-factory-already 350 or 383 cubic inch engines.
AMC stands out as a car maker that produced some very ambitious designs, despite having to compete in the same arena as the Big Three of Detroit. During their ownership of Jeep they created the Cherokee, turned the CJ-7 into the Wrangler, and used their ownership of Jeep to create the first joint US-China auto manufacturing venture. That was way back in 1984, when GM was barely getting it’s shit together with the Corvette. Thanks to said Jeep ownership, they were also able to create the AMC Eagle. Essentially a parts bin 4×4 passenger car, it pretty much defines the CUVs of today, while being infinitely more bad ass in the process. Continue reading →
We all know about the GNX’s, T-type Buicks and Grand Nationals. They “brake for Corvettes”, right? The 3.8L Buick mill is a well known OHV V6, that starting in the 1980s, decided to pack heat wherever it went. Well, what you may not know (unless you’re a third generation f-body or Buick T-type buff) is that in 1989 you could have yourself a turbocharged 3.8L Buick-powered Pontiac Trans Am. Continue reading →
I assume as car lovers, we’re all familiar with America’s favorite pony car. The car that coined the term and has ran the longest in it’s class when even it’s competitors at GM (better performing products that they were) could not remain profitable. This car, whether good or bad, was and is the Ford Mustang. Continue reading →
When you hear the name “Shelby”, you probably think of either a Mustang or an AC Cobra (or a replica of one, anyways), but that’s because your brain is probably blocking out that bizarre time period in the 80’s when sporting a car with a Shelby logo on it meant driving a Chrysler product.
I spotted this unique 1967 Ford Mustang at the DuPont Registry booth at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013. DuPont Registry is a magazine where people advertise high-end and exotic cars for sale – sort of like an AutoTrader for millionaires.
This black stallion comes all the way from Beautiful British Columbia in Canada, where it was built by 360 Fabrication. This car has a lot going on with it – it’s half show car and half pro-touring car. The grille, wheels, and air ride are all show, but the rest of the car is all “go!”
When you get right down to it, a car is a machine that does work. It transports people and cargo from one location to another. For most people, a car is just another appliance which is no different from an alarm clock or a garbage disposal. It is a purpose-built machine that makes our lives easier in some way. You use it when you need to, fix or replace it when it breaks, and feel no special attachment to it.
From the beginning of the automobile era, cars were designed with functionality in mind. Early automobiles were simply boxes on a ladder frame with some wheels. Today, cars have evolved into sophisticated, computer-controlled machines – but I would argue that the majority of cars on the road are still more functional than beautiful.
The appearance of a car hasn’t changed much because it hasn’t needed to: a car doesn’t need to be beautiful to get us where we are going. While I can certainly appreciate the intrinsic beauty of something that is purely functional, I can also appreciate when things are both functional and beautiful.
This car, a customized 1962 Corvette roadster “C1RS” is one of the most aesthetically beautiful cars I have ever seen. This vehicle transcends the definition of a car or even a hot rod, it is a work of art.