1977 Chevy Monza Mirage: IMSA Homage

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Have we got a rare one here. When I first spotted this fat-fendered Monza, I thought for sure it was a high schooler’s idea of making his American economy car a candidate for the next sequel in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Nope – this 1977 Chevy Monza Mirage here on craigslist is actually quite hard to find and was built in tribute to the successful IMSA Monza GT racecar.

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The Mirage package consisted of polyurethane body panels riveted to the stock Monza body to give it the flared-out, widebody appearance. The kit design included the front and rear fenders, spoilers at both ends and then a smattering of graphics and striping. All Mirage Monzas were Antique White in body color and drop-shipped to Michigan Auto Techniques Corp. for the installation of the kit.

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If it wasn’t already obvious, this Monza needs everything. It looks rotten to the core, which makes me wonder if it will ever roam the roads again, mimicking a genuine IMSA racer. With just over 4,000 sold when new, it’s definitely a rare bird that unfortunately, isn’t worth much more than a regular Monza. Here you can see the front fenders that were added, one of 14 pieces of trim the Mirage kit featured.

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Adding to the shame of its sorry state is that this is a 305 V8 car with the manual transmission. If you were going to own a Monza, this was the way to spec it out. In its day, the light-weight combined with the V8 made this an entertaining driver, and the widebody applique likely gave it some serious attitude on the street. I’d want to add the blacked-out headlight covers like the IMSA car, however.

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The fact that the car is at least a numbers matching example helps its case, but I’m not sure by how much. The seller will take $400 or consider interesting trades. You’d have to be a serious Monza fanatic to want to bring this special edition back from the dead. I’m a sucker for these oddball racecar tributes, so I’m not a good judge of the value here. Is this Monza Mirage worth bringing back?

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Comments

  1. randy

    Well, the price is right, I’ll leave the rest of the commentary to the next commenters.

  2. 64 bonneville

    additional body panels or replacements may be next to impossible to get. appears that this is needing everything from the ground up. with the condition that the drivetrain is in, although a V-8 and 4 speed, may make a good cheap engine/trans combo for something else. shipping costs out way the value of the vehicle.

  3. Mark E

    I almost bought a new Monza Spyder back in ’76 and I remember seeing pics of the Mirage in car magazines. I was very interested until I learned the relatively high price for what was, in effect, a body kit on a Spyder.

    For $400 I’d buy this car, pull the Mirage body parts off and scrap the rest and use the body parts on a clean Monza.

  4. Jason Houston

    Look like a high schooler’s idea of making his American economy car a candidate for the next sequel of ”Fast and Furious”.

    • grant

      Um, yes as stated in the first paragraph.

      Like 1
  5. DRV

    A new Monzzzaaaa…Tubes.

  6. MountainMan

    It is so far gone, I wouldnt tackle it but its cool to know they exist.I dont recall ever seeing one. My high school automotive teacher raced monzas …mr Lunsford i think

  7. Charlie G

    Monogram Model Corp out of Morton grove , IL actually made a kit of this car back in the late 70’s. I was given a few that are still in my collection today, and like the real car aren’t worth much to this day.

  8. Bob Salter

    I was about to comment on how bad my Mum’s Monza was. She downsized from a 73 Pontiac granPrix for that POS. Then I saw it was a numbers matching V8 with a manual. Can’t imagine anyone saved them. For $400, it is investment grade.

  9. randyS

    I liked these when they were new as IMSA was all the rage in the circle back then, but the price was nearly the same as a corvette so was not worth it to buy. I remember having a long talk with the sales guy about why the 5-speed was only available with the V6 and not the V8.

    The Monza is not worth much of anything restored now so the right buyer of this would be smart to get for the unique parts to put on another pristine Monza.

  10. George

    A friend had a Monza Mirage in the early 80s. Kept in context with other cars of that time, with the V8 it was fun to drive and had much more power than other, similar cars.

  11. Chebby

    I do like reading “rare car, asking $400”. Need more of that and less greedsters.

    • randy

      Don’t fret Chebby, if there is any money left on the table, a greedy flipper will sniff it out.

      • dj

        Hey Randy,
        Had a run in with a flipper Thursday. Friend has a 65 Mustang and I told him if he ever wanted to sell it call me. He called said some guy heard he had it and was looking at it. He was taking all kinds of pics but wouldn’t give him his asking price of $3k(needs front fenders from wreck 22 years ago) and said all he’d give was $1k. Flipper was just seeing if he could make a guick buck off it. It’s sitting at my house now.

      • randy

        Good job, it’s always good to keep your feelers out, and to be fair.

  12. Ronniecarlo

    I had a ’75 Monza Town Coupe in the early 80s. V-8 5spd car.I had 8 inch wide 13 inch Crager SS’s on it.Was a REAR STEER CAR!!What a fun car.

  13. BCG 1

    When the Mirage came out, Road &Track called it a sheep in wolfs clothing. Since it was a POS off the showroom floor, why would a clapped out remnant be worth….anything?

  14. Tim S

    I used to see quite a few V8 Monzas and a few of these cruising Van Nuys blvd. back in the 70s and 80s. You know there’s a Monza guy out there who would love to have this. We’re all in this car disease thing together. I say more power to him!

  15. Mike

    I drove a Monza Mirage, for a few month during High School, it was one that Dad rebuilt from a wreck. It was a nice little car to drive and was fun the cruise the strip on Friday Nights, it was sold after me driving it for about 3 months, to one of the Older Brothers friends, so I got to drive a different car after it. We would get to drive the cars that Dad’s shop would rebuild to school and about with a for sale sign stuck on them so that they could be seen. We sold a lot of cars that way.

  16. Jamie miller

    Hello. I know it’s been some time since the original post. I would be interested in your monza mirage if you still have it. Please text me at 303-489-8916.

    Like 1

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