1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS With 300HP!

If a 1980s classic is high on your shopping list but you aren’t too fixated on complete originality, then this 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS might be a decent sort of option to consider. It presents extremely well and should have a bit more grunt courtesy of what’s happening under the hood. The Monte Carlo is located in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN on the SS is $12,300, but the option is there to make an offer.

The exterior presentation of the Monte Carlo is extremely good, with the car having spent its life garaged. It isn’t clear whether the Black paint is original, but it looks to have a nice shine to it. There are no signs of any rust issues, while it also appears to be free of noticeable dings or scratches. The red SS graphics and stripes look to be flawless, as do the alloy wheels, which wear a fresh set of tires. It seems that the squarer styling of cars from the late 1970s through into the 1980s can have a polarizing effect on some people, but I think that the combination of Black paint and lack of chrome really helps the appearance of this car.

If this Monte Carlo has a weak point, then it really has to be the condition of the interior. It isn’t horrendously bad, but it is looking tired in a few areas. This actually isn’t surprising, because interior trim items from this era were renowned for their ability to deteriorate over time, which was not helped by their susceptibility to UV damage. There is some noticeable discoloring in a couple of spots on the console, along with a few marks on the seats, the carpet, and the door trims. There are no major rips or tears, and the car has never been owned or used by a smoker. It is certainly serviceable as it is, and in fact, if it is well cared for from now, it probably won’t suffer any more major deterioration. Air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM/CD player will all help to make life pleasant behind the wheel.

Lifting the hood should reveal a 305ci V8, producing 180hp. Well, it should, but it doesn’t. That engine has been given the old heave-ho, and in its place is a 350ci crate motor. This beauty produces 300hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 4-speed 200-4R automatic transmission. Bringing things to a safe halt is a set of power front disc brakes, while the SS also scores power steering. The original engine endowed the Monte Carlo with only reasonable levels of performance, but I’m sure that a 120hp increase won’t go astray. The owner doesn’t reveal how well the SS runs or drives, but when you consider that the car tips the scales at 3,472lbs, then it should be a pretty lively beast. In standard trim, it was capable of a ¼ mile ET of 16.6 seconds. With the power increase, I would expect that it might actually dip into the 14s.

The ’87 Monte Carlo SS had a real weakness, and that was the fact that it couldn’t deliver the sort of performance that its appearance promised. This car would seem to address that weakness, and I suspect that it would be quite an entertaining car to own and drive. It might not be original, but I suspect that it would have you grinning every time that you hit the loud pedal. Sounds good to me.


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  1. Moparman Member

    The placement and design of the after market radio antenna, and those chrome exhaust tips (IMO) doesn’t do this cars’ look any favors. Both items draw the eye’s attention away from the otherwise smooth appearance. The underhood “heart transplant” though, is perfect!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 11
    • JoeNYWF64

      If the cat converter is still on & even if it passes Calif emissions, will CARB allow it to be registered there, due to the non stock larger motor?

      Like 2
      • Boatman Member

        CARB doesn’t need to know.

        Like 4
      • JoeNYWF64

        Boatman, i should have said the Calif inspection facility(not CARB) that 1 would have to take the car to each year – i believe on any ’76 or newer car – don’t they still take a good look under the hood to ck that all emission devices are there & ck the motor itself closely? I believe a targetmaster motor, for ex., is ez to spot & it with a carb replacing a fuel injected motor would probably anger them. lol
        Troy, below, read this …

  2. Troy s

    Always thought Chevrolet blew it by not offering up some form of the 350 in these,,back then. Not in the same league as the turbo Buick at all, even with this 350 I’d bet on the Buick by a fender length.

    Like 7
    • Miguel

      They offered the 350 in Mexico and with a stick shift no less.

      I wonder why they didn’t offer it in the US.

      Like 3
  3. Marko

    Perfect for stealth hunting Buick GNX’s.

    Love it.

    Like 3
    • Michael

      A stock gnx would destroy this

      Like 12
      • JoeNYWF64

        & some 4 cylinder turbos today might beat the GNX.

        Like 4
      • Troy s

        True, very true Joey,,,, but Yuucckkola! Actually,I haven’t seen a legit GNX for years….on the road.

        Like 3
      • Superdessucke

        A 4-cylinder Ecoboost Mustang with the High Performance Package (HPP) cranks out 332 HP and goes from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and complete the 1/4 mile in 13.4 seconds. My admittedly brief research shows a 1987 GNX is roughly the exact same. Amazing how far engine tech has come!

        Like 2
  4. jerry z

    Obviously this car didn’t see many winters in the northeast. Clean car and maybe just a tad high but not far off. Own more than a few Monte SS’s and this one is tempting.

    Like 2
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I always liked these Monte Carlos, they were good-looking cars. Nice to see one that will go as fast as it looks. If the engine swap was well done, the price is probably fair. The interior is a little disappointing and might hurt the ask. Still, a nice vintage ride for the money.

    Like 4
  6. Stevieg

    I need to get one of the Mexican Monte SS’s with the factory 350 & 4 speed. Miguel, when I finally make my move to the desert, would you help me find one?

    • Miguel

      I have been looking for a nice one. There are some here where the owner changed out the engine and many other parts.

      We can look when you are ready. I should be set up by then.

      A friend of mine is a customs agent so I hope he will be able to advise me on the new laws, but it will probably be after the first of the year, because they change the laws every January 1st.

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