55k Mile 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 454!

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Chevrolet got into the personal luxury segment in 1970 with its new Monte Carlo. The car sold like hot cakes in its first year, so changes for the next year would be few, sharing its platform with Pontiac’s Grand Prix. Chevy promoted the car as having a solid combination of luxury, style, dependability, and craftsmanship in one package. That also included the SS, which would add some muscle to the mix. The seller’s car is a ’71 Monte Carlo SS which looks largely original with low miles and a touch of rust. You can find it in Toms River, New Jersey, and it’s available here on craigslist for $19,500. 

The Monte Carlo was produced across six generations from 1970 through 2007, with a break between 1989-94. Chevy knocked out 130,000 Monte Carlo’s in ’70 and almost that many again in ’71 even though there was a lengthy labor strike that model year. Most Monte Carlo’s came with either a 350 or 402 V-8, but if you ordered the SS edition, it looks as though you got the big 454 engine. Less than 2,000 buyers went for the SS 454 option, with 365 hp being the one chosen more often over the 425 fire-breather. Chevy dropped this for 1972 thinking that much muscle in a personal luxury car was a bit over the top. Thanks, How Stuff Works, for the ’71 Monte Carlo data.

While the seller only describes his car as having a “big block”, if this is a 454, he missed a golden opportunity to say so. There is a SS emblem on the trunk lid, so we’ll assume it’s the general article. We’re told this is a numbers-matching car and it also comes with 400 Turbo Hydramatic transmission and a 12-bolt rear end. 55,000 miles is claimed to be actual. It has a luxurious interior that looks mostly good and has tons of options, including the factory tachometer and gauge package. The seller says there is minimal rust, but the limited number of photos doesn’t help us there. The buyer will receive the original build sheet and all documentation, registrations, and insurance cards issued throughout the years.

Most of the resale guides like Hagerty suggest $20-25,000 is top dollar for a ’71 Monte Carlo in excellent condition. But an SS would be a premium on top of that. If a good detailing, a new dash pad, minor seat repair, and some (hopefully) limited rust repair is all this car needs, I’d want to take it home for a few dollars less than the asking price to fund these repairs.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. PRA4SNW

    IF it’s a true 454 SS in this condition, it is well worth the asking price.

    Like 12
    • Dan Janes

      It’s not an SS454.

      Like 7
  2. Brent

    I think it is a fake. It doesn’t have the mounting holes on the driver’s side fender well for the air ride system. Plus the rear panel where the SS emblem is would be black.

    Like 22
    • Spanky

      I thought who would order an ss monte in this color combo!

      Like 8
      • Superdessucke

        A lot of posts debunking this, and they’re of course right. It’ll be interesting to see if the seller backs off and properly lists it as a standard 1971 Monte Carlo with a 400 Turbo Jet option or pulls from the playbook of the Third Gen F-body world, and claims it was a special order by a guy who worked for GM and was able to get it specially equipped this way.

        Like 4
    • jerry z

      Funny the air leveling system is usually the first thing I check if its a real SS 454. Don’t look real.

      Like 4
    • moosie moosie

      That rear end panel would also have two chrome mouldings to finish off the Black . Plus I’m pretty sure the SS Monte Carlos had the Chevy Rallye Wheels. ’71 was a long time ago and CRS sometimes kicks in.

      Like 5
  3. BoatmanMember

    Didn’t they have SS callouts on the fender bottoms? He should have showed us that.

    Like 15
  4. 8banger daveMember

    Agreed with a black tail panel, and side SS emblems.

    Like 11
  5. Troy s

    The interior is kinda nice, can’t make out the red line on the tach, but it’s got some appeal to it,,,
    The outside is where this car kinda blows, the color, the wheel covers, nothing really strikes me as an SS, figure it’s got a 402 not a 454. Still plenty of torque to turn all the accessories!

    Like 7
  6. Superdessucke

    Not a Monte Carlo SS. Doesn’t have the side trim or the rear trim that an SS would have. I believe Rally Wheels became standard in 1971 on the SS as well.

    Like 12
  7. Steve R

    The story is wrong about engine options available for the Monte Carlo SS’s. The 425hp 454 was never available in 1971. Some preproduction literature showed it, same with an LS6 in a 70 Camaro, but they were never installed in either.

    The seller says they have the build sheet, if so, they should have included a picture of it in the ad.

    Steve R

    Like 14
    • Superdessucke

      But the special order options were added at the factory after it was built ;-) Hard to win an argument with those who are convinced they’ve got something special, I’ve learned. Either pass and get one that’s clearly an SS or believe the story and pay 20k for a 1971 Monte Carlo. It’s really up to the buyer.

      Like 0
  8. Joe

    I KNOW these inside out. This is NOT an SS 454. Several reasons! No compressor, 73 and up truck brackets on A/C, NO tail trim *bumper strip and VERY hard to find or duplicate mouldings). I have owned a few of them. YES 1 of 1919. NO ss 454 would have wheel covers, and it has a 5000 redline tach !!!! ALL are tell tale signs and red flags.

    Like 15
    • Fred

      I see the redline at 5500 when I zoom in on the picture.

      7000 upper reading, line between 5000-6000

      Like 3
    • Dan Janes

      I agree with you, except for 2 things. The SS Monte for ’70 came with full wheelchairs, unless the rally wheel option was ordered, but you’re correct for ’71. The Rallys were included in the Z20 SS package for ’71. I have copies of build sheets for SS454 Montes that show the 5k redline taxh was factory installed on some, and I also have buildsheets that have the 5500 redline. My ’70 SS came with the 5500 tach.

      Like 1
      • BoatmanMember

        Monte Carlos came with wheelchairs? Lol

        Like 3
  9. Robert Hedden

    This car seems a bit sketchy as a few have pointed out.


    Like 3
  10. Johnny

    If it is a fake or not. Its a good looking car.. If the guy is MISLEADING the car . It is a felony and can be arrested for it. Now days the feds look hard on these. Awhile back an man in Ohio tried to pass a 64-65 Chevrolet Malibu as a SS AND HE WAS ARRESTED. It is a nice looking car, Awhile back on BF their was a 72 Monte Carlo .It had a big block,but the guy said he was NOT for sure what size–396-402 or a 454. He was being honest and it was a descent looking car,but needed some work and he was asking a descent price.Under the hood. Everything looked the same as this car. Their is some guys who specialize on certain makes and really can spot things out. Becareful and have things checked out first. Before you pay. Also if any amount of money is exchanged buy wire under false pretence is a felony.

    Like 4
  11. MakTruk

    The only thing super sporty about this ride is that eBay badge

    Like 1
  12. Marc

    The build sheet would confirm if this car is a TRUE SS with the Z20 code…

    Like 1
  13. Dan Janes

    It’s definitely not an SS454. Other than what had already been mentioned, another thing that yells fake is the air cleaner. That one is correct for a 402, but the 454 air cleaner has a larger air inlet.

    Like 2
  14. Gray Wolf

    The dealership I bought my ‘69 SS Chevelle from got in a’70 Monte Carlo SS and it had a four speed 454 on the showroom floor! I really liked it!

    Like 0
    • George A Gillespie

      No 1970 SS454 Monte came from the factory with a 4 speed. All were Turbo hydro 400 transmissions. I know as I ordered one new in October 1969!

      Like 0
  15. Dave Mathers

    I sold those brand new and every SS 454 came with rally wheels. I doubt this one is a real SS.

    Like 0
    • Dan Janes

      For 1971 yes, but not 1970. The SS454 package for ’70 didn’t include the rallys. My ’70 came with full wheelcovers. I have the build sheet that shows the same.

      Like 0
  16. Mike Adams

    It’s also not a 55,000 mile car. Way too nasty an engine compartment, and the interior isn’t trashed, but it’s not a 55,000 mile car either.

    Like 0
  17. Dan Janes

    Boatman, autocorrect changed wheelcovers to wheelchairs and I couldn’t edit. I knew someone would have fun with that. Lol.

    Like 0

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