1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
As it stands, however, it is a sure-thing in preservation competition and will wow crowds with its impressive originality.
Introduced in 1970, the Monte Carlo was Chevrolet’s personal luxury coupe, and went on to decades of success in the showroom, on race tracks, and in consumers’ hearts. Luxury/muscle with legendary Chevrolet performance is quite appealing, and the dramatic styling makes them stand out, even today. Dashing, robust, and able to be dressed up as luxuriously as any Cadillac, no matter what your favorite car might be, you have to admire the Monte Carlo’s longevity and style.
Coming from a noted collection full of spectacular low-mile ‘70s collectables, this 1977 Monte Carlo shows a remarkable 17,282 original miles. Aside from the tires and battery, it appears that virtually every component on the car is factory-installed and wonderfully preserved thanks to careful storage for most of the last decade. The code 69 Brown paint is so shiny and evenly applied that we at first suspected that it had been repainted—none of us recalls paint looking this good in 1977. However, careful examination of the entire car, top and bottom, inside and out, clearly demonstrates that this is indeed factory-applied enamel. There’s a clarity to the finish and a shine you don’t often find in ‘70s General Motors products, making this car all the more impressive. A light dash of metallic in the finish sets it off in the sunlight, and the contrasting tan top and side moldings give it a sporting look. Fit and finish are quite good, and those massive doors open and close with ease, with no sagging hinges or tired latches. Even the weatherstripping is like new, sealing this big coupe up like a tomb on the open road. Were all cars this nice in 1977, because this one is extremely impressive.
Of course, there’s no rust anywhere on the car, including under the vinyl top, which is in exemplary condition. The chrome and trim is factory-issue, and it’s still bright, clear and shiny throughout. Taillight lenses are unmarked and the glass is like new. The only possible demerits are some very light fading of the Monte Carlo shield emblems on the sides of the C-pillars and a missing plastic filler piece under one of the taillights. Otherwise, this car looks showroom fresh.
That showroom fresh impression continues inside. The tan vinyl upholstery was standard-issue in 1977, and remains supple and almost completely unmarked. There are no creases, no dried out bits with cracks, and even the driver’s seat is firm and comfortable, just as you’d expect from a car with under 20,000 original miles. The carpets have been protected for decades by matching tan rubber floor mats, so they’re in excellent shape, and the door panels don’t even have a minor depression where someone might have been resting their arm while behind the wheel. And while GM headliners of the period had a tendency to delaminate from their foam-board backing, this one remains firmly in place with no sags or loose fabric anywhere. All the gauges save for the clock are functional, and the original AM/FM stereo radio pulls in stations loud and clear. The car also includes factory A/C, which is nice for cruising on hot summer days. Also note that the trunk is spotless, including in the lower corners where most Monte Carlos rusted out almost instantly, while this one still carries the original cardboard covers. There is no mat, but an original jack assembly is included.
While a vast majority of 1977Monte Carlos received a wheezing 305, this one sports the optional L code 350/4-barrel V8. Horsepower was actually up in 1977, gaining 15 over the 1975 version for a total of 170. Admittedly, it’s not going to stop the earth’s rotation, but it makes for a very pleasant cruiser with plenty of torque and a wonderful soft V8 rumble that sounds luxurious. And as a small block Chevy, every single performance upgrade devised over the past 50 years or so will bolt right on, so if more performance is what you’re looking for, this car is only a few phone calls away from serious horsepower. As it stands, however, it is a sure-thing in preservation competition and will wow crowds with its impressive originality. The engine bay is awash in originality, correct right down to the original tower hose clamps. That’s factory-applied Chevy Orange paint on the block, correct GM-stamped hoses, and 100% OEM wiring and plumbing throughout. Items that offered a natural finish such as the cast iron master cylinder show light surface rust, but bear in mind that’s how they looked on the showroom floor, too. It’s backed by a TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and a set of towering 2.56 gears so fuel economy is decent and it cruises at 75 MPH almost silently. Even things like the shocks are original equipment, and it’s quite likely that even brake pads and shoes are OEM. As far as we can tell, only the tires have been changed, and the optional Rally wheels now wear a set of 215/75/15 whitewall radials that were installed some years ago, but look right on the car.
These cars are on the short list of future collectables. Their older siblings are already seeing some nice gains in the marketplace, and as the generation of car hobbyists grow up and start to collect the cars of their youth, these will become increasingly popular. Of course, that doesn’t take into account that they’re simply nice cars to own and drive, and offer V8 power and a dose of luxury for a very reasonable price. This low-mileage 1977 Monte Carlo is shockingly clean, original, and unmolested, ready to drive and enjoy today. Call now!