Article about the 50th anniversary of the Monte Carlo posted on Hemmings blog.
By the late 1960s, the era of the Detroit Big Three personal luxury coupe was in full-swing. In September 1969, Chevrolet introduced its own take on the theme in the form of the Monte Carlo, a stylish two-door meant to go head-to-head with Ford’s Thunderbird. Though the Chevrolet Monte Carlo drove into the automotive sunset in 2007, the model soldiered on through six generations and 30 model years, a noteworthy achievement worth recognizing on the car’s golden anniversary.
The Monte Carlo wasn’t GM’s first attempt at a personal luxury coupe. Oldsmobile’s Toronado debuted in 1966, and Pontiac’s own Thunderbird-fighter, the Grand Prix, arrived for the 1969 model year. Chevrolet did what it could to distance the Monte Carlo from the offerings of other GM divisions, but both the Monte Carlo and the Grand Prix shared a 116-inch wheelbase A-body platform. The Chevrolet excelled in value, launching at a base price of $3,123, enough to undercut the Thunderbird by $1,838 and the Pontiac by $862.
Chevrolet sold the Monte Carlo on more than just price. In it own words, the coupe offered “Elegant prestige car styling… dramatically emphasized by the longest hood ever produced by Chevrolet; Rich front end look with bright precision-cast grille…; Premium-quality interior trim and appointments; Rich simulated wood burl accents on instrument panel and steering wheel; and Deep-twist carpeting on floors, lower door trim panels, and lower edge of front seat back.”