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I was a big fan of the Tap Shift or Sports Stick (Dodge-Mitsu). In fact, I almost bought the Dodge Stratus coupe (R/T) instead. After a while of playing around with it, the newness wore off and since you're still going through a torque converter, it is not giving you more usable ponies.
So, when the Monte came out and advertised a heavier duty transmission (larger torque converter) and other motor refinements, I opted for the Monte.
Your input does beg the question why GM did not put it into the Monte. But this falls into the theory that they must distinguish the other cars. If they put a bigger motor into the Monte and RWD, the GTO would fall on its face, sales-wise.
 

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But GM knows one thing. The Montes and Impalas sell! And I guess this is one factor that comes up at the boardrooms regarding the question of re-design.
 

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That was the beauty of the early NASCAR. So many vehicles had to be sold for street use for the car to qualify. This action brought many of the test results from the race track into the public's vehicles. Nowadays, the cars have nothing in common with the production model except for the name.
But GM has the Dale Earnhardt series Monte Carlo as well as the other editions (winners circle, etc) knowing that they are cashing in on the ruboff.
 
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