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Old 11-08-2012, 12:03 PM
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Chevrolet Monte Carlo (2nd gen) 1973-1977

1973:
A redesigned Monte Carlo was introduced alongside other GM intermediates. Like other GM mid-size cars, the 1973 Monte Carlo was no longer a hardtop, but a pillared coupe with rear side opera windows and frameless door glass. Prominent styling features included dual headlights flanking an egg-crate grille with a Monte Carlo emblem in front and vertical taillights above the bumper. The front bumper was a large federally mandated 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumper that was among the required 1973 federal safety standards for all passenger cars sold in the U.S. with the 5 mph (8.0 km/h) requirement extended to rear bumpers on 1974 models. Also new was a double-shell roof for improved noise reduction and rollover protection along with the flush-mounted pull-up exterior door handles first introduced on the 1970 1⁄2 Camaro and 1971 full-sized Chevrolets and Vegas.

The separate body-on-frame construction carried over for 1973, as was the basic all-coil suspension.

For improved ride and handling, the 1973 Monte Carlo featured a number of innovations (for a large American car) such as standard radial-ply tires, Pliacell shock absorbers, high-caster steering, and front and rear anti-roll bars (previously offered only with the SS package). The standard Monte Carlo with manual transmission, retained "traditional" steering and bias-ply tires, but the radial-tuned system was included when the automatic transmission was ordered, earning the Monte Carlo S label.

A new model for 1973 was the Monte Carlo Landau, which was basically an "S" with a rear quarter Landau vinyl roof, Turbine II wheels and driver and passenger-side sport mirrors.

The standard engine was a 145 (net) hp (108 kW) 350 CID (5.7 L) Turbo-Fire V8. Optional engines included a 175 (net) hp (30 kW) 350 CID V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and a four-barrel carbureted 454 CID Turbo-Jet V8 rated at 245 (net) hp (183 kW).

The 1973 Monte Carlo was named Motor Trend's "Car of the Year", due to its new styling and emphasis on Euro-style ride and handling. The 1973 Monte Carlo set a new sales record for Chevrolet, with nearly 250,000 sold for the model year.

The success of the Monte Carlo and Pontiac's similar Grand Prix led to several new personal luxury cars from competitors, including subsequent Mercury Cougar, the Ford Torino Elite, the Chrysler Cordoba and restyled Dodge Charger, and even high-line versions of the AMC Matador, which got a swoopy new coupe design for 1974.

1974:
The 1974 Monte Carlo received only minor detail changes from its 1973 predecessor, most notably a revised egg-crate[8] grille in the front and taller and slimmer vertical taillights in the rear, along with a relocated license plate and larger 5 mph (8.0 km/h) rear bumper.

The base Monte Carlo with manual transmission, standard suspension and bias-ply tires was discontinued, leaving only the "S" and "Landau" models equipped with radial-ply tires and upgraded suspensions along with standard power steering and front disc brakes.

A three-speed manual transmission was listed as standard equipment on 1974 "S" and "Landau" models equipped with the standard 350 CID V8, and an automatic transmission was a required option with the larger 400 and 454 CID V8s. However, a number of sources indicate that Chevrolet built virtually all 1974 Monte Carlos with the Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission.

The standard 350 CID Turbo-Fire V8 was again rated at 145 hp (108 kW) with two-barrel carburetor in 49 states. For Californians, the standard engine was a 350 Turbo-Fire V8 with a four-barrel carburetor rated at 160 hp (120 kW) that was not offered in the other 49 states. Reappearing on the Monte's option list for the first time since 1970 was a 400 CID Turbo-Fire small block V8 rated at 150 hp (110 kW) with a two-barrel carburetor (not offered in California) or 180 hp (134 kW) with a four-barrel carburetor. The top engine was again the 454 CID Turbo-Jet big block V8 rated at 235 hp (183 kW).

Despite the Arab Oil Embargo of late 1973 and early 1974 that greatly cut into sales of standard and intermediate-sized cars in favor of smaller compacts and imported subcompacts, the Monte Carlo went the other way on the sales charts by setting a new sales record this year of over 300,000 units despite the long lines at gas stations and record-high gasoline prices. The Monte Carlo continued to lead in intermediate personal luxury car sales with the Grand Prix placing second and the arrival of new competitors this year, including an upsized Mercury Cougar, Ford Torino Elite and AMC's Matador coupe. Chrysler would introduce its entries in this field for 1975 including the Chrysler Cordoba and redesigned Dodge Charger.

1975:
The 1975 Monte Carlo received only minor styling changes from the 1974 model, including a new grille with the Monte Carlo emblem moved to the center section and new vertically shaped taillights with horizontal louvers.

All models received catalytic converters to meet the latest federal and California emission requirements that included bonuses such as improved fuel economy and drivability, along with longer spark plug and muffler life, but required more expensive and lower-octane unleaded gasoline.

Engines were carryover from 1974 except for the addition of GM's High Energy electronic ignition being made standard equipment. However, power ratings for all engines were decreased due to the addition of the catalytic converter. The 454 CID V8 no longer offered on California cars, leaving the 400 CID four-barrel the top engine in the Golden State. The base 350 CID two-barrel was rated at 145 hp (108 kW) (standard in 49 states), the 350 CID 4-barrel was rated at 155 hp (116 kW) (available only in California), the 400 CID 4-barrel 175 hp (130 kW), and the 454 CID 4-barrel 215 hp (160 kW) (now equipped with single exhaust with dual exhaust as an option). A three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment with the base 350 CID V8 used in 49 states and California-only 350 four-barrel V8. The Turbo Hydra-Matic optional and a required option for the 400 and 454 V8s. Chevrolet sources, however, report that virtually all 1975 Monte Carlos were equipped with the Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, which became standard equipment for 1976.

New for 1975 was a Custom interior option that included a plusher cloth 50/50 bench seat with recliner on passenger side and lower door panel carpeting. The standard interior still consisted of a bench seat with knit-cloth and vinyl or all-vinyl upholstery. The swiveling Strato bucket seats plus console and floor shifter were still optional with knit cloth or vinyl upholstery. Also, white all-vinyl interiors were available for the first time this year with either bench or bucket seats with contrasting colors for carpeting and instrument panels including black, red, blue and green. A gauge that showed if one was using to much gas, a part of the "Economider" Gauge package, became optional.[9]

Sales dropped off a bit from 1974's record-setting pace due to higher prices resulting from the addition of the catalytic converter, double-digit inflation and new competition from Chrysler's Cordoba and Dodge's Charger SE. Monte Carlo production ended up at around 250,000 units but would rebound to set a new record in 1976.

A 1975 Monte Carlo was featured that year in a Chevrolet TV ad with the patriotic theme of America's favorites including "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet".

1976:
A new crosshatch grille and vertically mounted rectangular headlamps, along with reshaped taillights identified the 1976 Monte Carlo (the reshaped taillight pattern was later incorporated into the fourth generation Monte Carlo). Under the hood, a new 140 hp (104 kW) 305 CID 2-barrel V8 became the standard engine with the 145 hp (108 kW) 350 2-barrel V8 and 175 hp (130 kW) 400 CID V8 both optional.[10] California cars got a 165 hp (123 kW) 350 4-barrel as the base engine (not available in 49 states), and could be equipped with the 400 4-barrel V8. The big-block 454 CID V8 was discontinued from the option list this year. The Turbo Hydramatic transmission became standard equipment on all 1976 Monte Carlos.

Interior trims remained the same as 1975 with both base and Custom levels, but the instrument panel and steering wheel featured a new rosewood trim replacing the burled elm of previous years. A new option was a two-toned "Fashion Tone" paint combination.

Monte Carlo sales hit an all-time record with production of 353,272 units this year. 191,370 "S" Coupes were made. 161,902 Landau Coupes which were $293 (188) more.

1977:
A revised grille with the Monte Carlo "Knight's Crest" emblem moved to a stand-up hood ornament and revised taillight lenses marked the 1977 Monte Carlo, which was the last year for the 1973-vintage design before the introduction of a downsized 1978 Monte Carlo. Engine offerings were reduced to two engines for 1977. The base engine for 49 states was the 140 hp (100 kW) 305 CID 2-barrel V8 and the 170 hp (130 kW) 350 4-barrel V8 was optional (standard in California). The 400-cubic-inch V8 was dropped as an engine option. The Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was included standard equipment.

Interior trim received only minor revisions this year with upholstery choices including cloth, velour and vinyl in both base and Custom trims.

This model year marks the only time in history when an intermediate model was larger in every dimension than a full-sized model, as the B-body Chevrolet Caprice/Impala had already been redesigned and downsized for 1977.

Source: Wikipedia
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:04 PM
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Chevrolet Monte Carlo (2nd gen) 1973-1977 #2
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:17 AM
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:18 AM
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