56k Mile Survivor: 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Until recently, this 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS had spent the entire 21st Century to date hidden away in dry storage. It has just emerged from hiding, and what was revealed is a tidy and clean survivor with a genuine 56,000 miles showing on its odometer. It is a classic that has generated plenty of interest because it has already received forty-six bids since it was listed for sale here on eBay. If you want to join the bidding frenzy, you will find it located in Carthage, New York, where the price has sailed past the reserve to sit at $10,000.

It seems that the storage environment must have been ideal because this Monte Carlo appears to have emerged none the worse for two decades in hibernation. Its original Silver paint shines impressively, with no significant flaws or issues. The decals and stripes look crisp, while the owner has recently treated the original wheels to a repaint. I suspect that the car was someone’s pampered possession when it was active because the panels are free from dings, dents, and bruises. The exterior plastic has no physical damage, and there are no signs of the type of deterioration that can result from years of exposure to UV rays. For potential buyers seeking a vehicle that isn’t going to spend weeks in a paint shop, the news that the Monte Carlo is rust-free will undoubtedly be welcome. The panels look clean, and the underside is spotless. On the face of it, this SS seems to tick the right boxes for anyone seeking a turn-key classic.

If this Chevy’s exterior presents nicely, its interior offers potential buyers more of the same. The carpet has some dirty marks on the outer edge from dragging feet, and the wheel has developed a slightly matte appearance, but those are two of the few faults worth noting. However, there is one other quirk that I’ve noticed, and it is an odd one. The front mount for the driver’s seat looks heavily corroded, which is at odds with the rest of the car. I’m not sure why this has developed, but it would be worth removing the seat to address this, as it is a distraction. Otherwise, the gray cloth upholstery on the seats is in excellent order, as is the vinyl throughout the rest of the interior. The owner has recently installed a new headliner that adds to the positive impressions. The dash and console are spotless, and for those who like touches of comfort, the Monte Carlo delivers. The original owner ordered the car with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a remote driver’s mirror, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM stereo radio.

The ’85 Monte Carlo is not a fire-breathing monster, as manufacturers were still grappling with squeezing power from their traditional V8s that had been strangled by emission regulations when it rolled off the line. However, the 180hp delivered by its 305ci V8 was about as good as it got at that point. The four-speed TH200-4R automatic transmission was standard equipment on the SS, while this car also features power steering and power front disc brakes. The power figures may not hold much promise for performance potential, but the 16.4-second ¼-mile ET was pretty respectable for the era. Apart from fitting new tires, it isn’t clear what other work the owner performed as part of the revival process. He states that the dual exhaust is original and that the car has a genuine 56,000 miles showing on its odometer. He doesn’t mention verifying evidence, but the claim appears plausible when you consider that the vehicle was only active for fifteen years before the original owner placed it in storage. He says it runs and drives nicely, suggesting that the winning bidder could fly in and drive this classic home.

Cars from the 1980s are beginning to gain traction in the classic market. While they don’t offer the performance that came from the early 1970s, buyers seem to like the hard-edged styling of many of these cars, as well as the interiors that are generally more plush and refined than their predecessors. The ’85 Monte Carlo SS clearly demonstrates this trend because values have crept up by around 15% in the past couple of years. That growth isn’t as rapid as for some earlier classics, but it is evidence that there is now a generation of enthusiasts who wish to recapture their lost youth by grabbing cars that were beyond their means when they were new. That goes a long way towards explaining the bidding to date and makes me believe there might be a little way to go before the hammer falls on this auction.


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  1. Mike A

    Yes, that driver’s seat lower bracket sure IS rusty. That made me pay attention to other left-side interior photos. I had one of these ( bought an ’86 AeroCoupe new), and found the fixed rear quarter-windows were prone to leakage. The left rear arm rest area looks pretty funky too, like something has leaked in thru either an open front window or the quarter window. I’d want to examine that interior carefully: back seat bottom removed, and carpet pulled back.

  2. Bick Banter

    Great example but very regretful that the seller decided to hose everything down underneath with undercoating. Ugh! Pretty lazy way to “clean up” the undercarriage IMO.

    Like 1
    • NHDave

      You’re right, lazy indeed. I’m thinking the undercarriage had a fair amount of surface corrosion/scaliness (perhaps to be expected and not unlike that seat mount bracket), and the paint/undercoating bath was the way to hide it.

  3. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $12,101.

  4. R.Lee

    I bought one new in 85 for15,100 and is the Best car we have ever owned.

    The car in in great condition, with the original 305HO with 273,000 miles on the car. Rebuilt trans at 105,000 mark and put headers on, roller rockers and took off the cat. The car passed the smog test for 15 years and then Missouri did away with the testing for older cars. Besides batteries and new GoodYears every 35,000 really never even put on water pump, fuel pump nothing. Valvoline every 3,000 miles dump antifreeze at 25,000 intervals and trans filters every 50,000.

    We still drive the car only rarely, but still gets driven. A month ago the ORIGINAL nylon timing gear just gave up the ghost, yep 273,000 miles, no lies here. I still can not believe that a 30,000 mile part lasted for 35 years. Fully optioned car with T-Tops white and burgandy bucket interior. This was our Bracket car in the 80’s at Gateway International. It will nail down the same time every time that night. The best time was 15.35@89mph with the air filter off.

    We love our 85SS and will never part with it. I have had others and sold everyone for twice what we had in them. They are cool cars, comfortable and have full frames making the cars the last of a breed of real cars that can be modified with drivetrains from 60 years of GM cars. These are some of the most underated cars because of the engine. Place 500 HP 5 gear, and some rubber, prepped rear and a cage and have a comfortable car that will give up 10 second slips all day long.

    Like 2

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