45k Original Miles: 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau

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By the time the smaller 3rd Generation Monte Carlo was launched in 1978, Chevrolet had a sales winner on its hands that was firmly established in the market. While the Sport Coupe was easily the volume seller, an impressive 141,461 buyers chose the Landau version. This ’78 Landau has been a part of the same family since new, and it has only accumulated 45,000 miles on its odometer in that time. The seller inherited the car from his mother when she passed away, and after five years in his hands, he has decided that it is time for it to head to a new family who will cherish it as much as his family has. Located in New Boston, Michigan, the Monte Carlo is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $8,500, and with the reserve now met, that new family isn’t far away. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this tidy classic for us.

When the original owner walked into her local Chevrolet dealership in 1978, it appears that she knew precisely what she wanted from her new car. She ordered the Monte Carlo finished in Dark Camel Metallic with a Beige vinyl landau-style top. It is a distinctive combination that is very much of its time, although it doesn’t look dated today. The seller admits that the paint has accumulated a few chips and marks throughout its life, but it is all original. It holds an impressive shine, and the vinyl top looks equally as tidy. The panels are beautifully straight, and there’s no evidence of rust problems. The original owner treated the underbody to rustproofing early in the car’s life, allowing it to remain structurally sound. The seller indicates that a few spots of surface corrosion are developing, so it might be worth the time and effort to address these before they can deteriorate further. The trim appears to be in good order, as do the original alloy wheels, I can’t spot any issues with the glass, and the overall impression that this car makes is pretty positive.

Classic cars will always have a story to tell, and if they have suffered a life of abuse, the interior is usually the first place that this shows. With the information that the seller provides, it is no surprise to find this interior is spotless. His mother replaced the factory radio with an aftermarket radio/cassette player, but otherwise, it is as it left the factory. The seats are upholstered in Tan chamois cloth, which can be prone to marks and stains. However, these seats look excellent, and the back seat looks like it has never been used. The remaining upholstered surfaces present equally well, as does the dash. The carpet might be slightly faded, but its condition is so good that I would struggle to justify replacing it. The only fault that the seller notes is that the air conditioning doesn’t blow cold. This could be something as simple as a service and recharge and would be well worth investigating. Other comfort features include power windows, a remote driver’s mirror, and a tilt wheel. That’s hardly a long list, but with the A/C returned to a working state, this interior would be a pleasant place to spend some time.

Potential buyers had a couple of engine choices when they ordered their new ’78 Monte Carlo, and this lady selected the 305ci V8. Bolted to the eight is a 3-speed automatic transmission, while power steering and power brakes are also part of this package. The 305 has never been renowned for its high-performance credentials, and this one should be producing 145hp. While that figure might not sound impressive, it was pretty competitive in the market of 1978. In this case, it should allow the car to cover the ¼ mile in around 17.8 seconds. The original owner used the vehicle sparingly throughout her life, and her son has continued this trend. That is why it has only accumulated 45,022 miles on its odometer. However, lack of use doesn’t equate to lack of maintenance. He has recently replaced the front discs and pads, along with the rear drums and shoes. He treated the original carburetor to a rebuild and fitted a new exhaust. A few other tasks have been completed, and the upshot of this attention is that this Monte Carlo runs and drives well. He suggests that the buyer replace the front tires due to their age, but otherwise, the Landau is ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

This 1978 Monte Carlo Landau is a tidy survivor with no immediate needs. Its odometer reading is well below average, and its condition is impressive for an original survivor. There are a few tasks for the buyer to tackle, but there’s nothing that’s too complicated or likely to cost mega-bucks. The Monte Carlo Landau does not command a huge price in the classic market, making it a strong contender for someone shopping on a budget. Initial impressions might suggest that this is not a car that will turn heads, but you can be sure that it would receive a few favorable comments at a Cars & Coffee. Before you dismiss it out of hand, ask yourself when you last saw one as nice as this. That makes it worthy of a closer look.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Stevieg

    I had the same velour (not chamois) seats in a Monte Carlo just like this. REALLY comfortable seats! Excellent road car with that interior.
    I think the price is approaching the ceiling of this cars value, but if the colonnade body style can bring $15,000 to $20,000, maybe this can too. Although not as stylish as the 1973 to 1977, it is every bit as nice of a car, with a bit better fuel economy and performance.
    By the way, those are hubcaps, not alloy wheels. Not complaining. I believe the writer is from down under, so how would he know?

    Like 9
    • nlpnt

      That upholstery was Monte Carlo-exclusive too, you couldn’t get it on a Malibu unlike the other trim options.

      Like 3
  2. Terrry

    These were very popular, and you still see some today in various degrees of condition.

    Like 5
  3. Bamapoppy

    My first wife who passed away years ago had one identical to this when we were both in college. Same everything. Hers never failed to start, always made the trip and back to and from wherever, and was as smooth as could be on the road.

    Like 6
  4. Vance

    This car ruined the legacy of the Monte Carlo, the 1977 was losing its power, but it still looked good. The long hood and short deck lid was its claim to fame. The pig of a motor (305), didn’t help it either, it was a lousy engine. I realize that designs have to change and government regulations hit all car makers. But being a Blue Oval guy, I always like the Monte Carlo, and hated to see the downfall of the model. Its replacement was disappointing on so many fronts. It was the beginning of the end of so many nice looking cars.

    Like 6
    • AnthonyD

      Remember, Vance, cars were being downsized all across the board then. The ’77 full size Chevys were the first to get chopped down..then the Monte Carlo in ’78. This was going on with all makes and models. A sad time for the auto world for sure.

      Like 7
    • JoeNYWF64

      Worse if you got the 267 v8.
      The v6’s i would think at least would get you better mpg & rear traction & be not much slower.
      Even worse than the above, IMO, is the later FRONT drive monte!

      Like 1
    • g-no

      hi Vance… Had a 305 in my 87 cutlass supreme . added a mild comp cam, hooker headers ,holley 600 , Edelbrock intake, true dual exhaust and a x pipe. Did 5 runs on a chassis dyno . Best run was 204 hp / 360 ft/lbs at 4200. the guys at the dyno shop could not believe the TQ numbers. I got 10 mpg but didn’t care. I dropped in a crate 350 when I heard the knock knock of death :)

      Like 1
  5. Vin_in_NJ

    Chrome bumper strips usually came off these cars. Very nice to see this car shill holding it’s strips

    Like 7
  6. Tracy

    I had one painted white with tiny red pin stripes down the sides along the wheel wells. Red landau top. The interior had white vinyl seats, red carpet, red dash. It had to have the tie rods replaced and the camshaft went at 120k. We rebuilt the motor and gave it to my mom to drive and she really liked it. It had the floor shift too which was unusual most I’ve seen had the shift on the column.

    Like 3
  7. g-no

    hi Vance… Had a 305 in my 87 cutlass supreme . added a mild comp cam, hooker headers ,holley 600 , Edelbrock intake, true dual exhaust and a x pipe. Did 5 runs on a chassis dyno . Best run was 204 hp / 360 ft/lbs at 4200. the guys at the dyno shop could not believe the TQ numbers. I got 10 mpg but didn’t care. I dropped in a crate 350 when I heard the knock knock of death :)

    Like 1
  8. Richard Stanley

    This was my car in 1978. I had one exactly like this color and everything. Power everything. Cruise, tilt steering wheel. I bought it in 1978 for 13,000 at a interest rate of 13 percent. 365.00 a month for 5 years.

    Like 1
  9. Albert Joanthan Shaw

    My mother bought one same color without the Landau top. It had the Vinyl and we kept it until 1990 when it was stolen and wrecked. Everytime I see one it brings back memories of the 80’s in Pasadena Ca. If I had the funds it would be I my Garage. Maybe in the near future.

    Like 1

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