Cheating the Wind: 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe

Some readers may be old enough to remember when the cars that competed in NASCAR actually were based on real cars.  In fact, as recently as 1986, an automaker had to sell at least 200 copies of a model to the public to make it eligible for NASCAR competition.  And thus, models like this Monte Carlo Aerocoupe, for sale here on Craigslist in Springfield, Massachusetts, were born.  Thanks to Michael for the submission!

In an effort to better compete with Ford’s Thunderbird, GM’s engineers made the Monte Carlo more aerodynamic by adding a more sloped rear windshield.  200 copies were sold to the public in 1986, and 6052 were sold to the public in 1987.  Unfortunately, while the Aerocoupe got the race car’s silhouette, it didn’t get any of its performance.  Just like regular Monte Carlo SS’s, the Aerocoupe models were equipped with Chevy’s High-Output 305 V8, which was only good for 180HP.  We should all be thankful that today’s definition of ‘high-output’ is much different.

While a 1986 model would be more collectible due to its rarity, this 1987 Aerocoupe still has lots going for it.  It has just 56,000 miles, so it’s still got plenty of life in it.  The seller says it has no rust and that the frame and floors are in excellent condition.  The seller also says that the car has won awards at shows, and based on the pictures, I find that to be a credible claim.

GM’s g-body cars are decent drivers, but, with the exception of the Grand National, they never really impressed with their performance.  Fortunately, their rear-drive, full-frame construction makes them easy to build into potent performers.  But given this car’s condition, would you be inclined to keep it stock or modify it?  I’d want to keep it stock-appearing, and maybe drop in a more potent small block.

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  1. RoughDiamond Member

    That is a gorgeous Monte Carlo “SS”! If the Aerocoupe styling is appealing to someone as well as White with a Burgandy interior, I would think one of the only 200 built ’86 Aerocoupes in comparable condition would be more desirable than the 6,052 plus built in ’87.

  2. RoughDiamond Member

    My sincere apologies to the author. I did not mean to repeat what had already been well stated regarding production numbers of both years. No excuses.

  3. Billy 007

    Beautiful car indeed. I always liked these. I was at the big Iola , Wisconsin car show yesterday and I saw a Pontiac aero but no the prettier Chevy, though I think the Pontiac is more rare, is that correct? Hate to replace that rear window if it ever went bad.

  4. CCFisher

    Power windows, power locks, tilt steering, cruise control, and A/C with column shift and a non-split bench seat? Who ordered this?

    • CanuckCarGuy

      Some poor fellow trying to convince his wife it was a family car?

  5. Dirk

    That thing’s about as “aerodynamic” as an outhouse.

    • Balstic

      There are some NASCAR teams that tested them at the time that would disagree with you. And they had wind tunnels to test them in, not just opinion as you apparently only have. Though I’m sure they never bothered to test an outhouse.

      • Dirk

        Yeah well, with enough horsepower, you can push a barn door to 200 mph but that aside, I think there’s a substantial difference between the roundie, roundie, roundie cars and and this street version.

  6. Tom

    LS motor updated trans beef up the rear. Keep outside stock and you have a sleeper. These cars will never really be a collector car so have some fun with it.

  7. Coventrycat

    Rounding off the corners of a brick to cheat the wind still makes it a brick.

  8. Ike Onick

    Breaking wind, GM-Style.

  9. John m leyshon

    Pathetic answer to the T-bird…looks like the dog it always was. Would get whipped by a base Ford Essex 232 V6. Won’t even mention turbo 2.3 and 5.0 Pretty sad time in American auto history. Chevy then replaced it with a Lumina…geez…

  10. John m leyshon

    If the rear glass is lost, cut out a truck bed …Monte-Camino !

  11. Ryan Member

    These cars looked so awesome though..I’m partial to the 86 and on T-Bird turbo couples and later on Super coupes, but they didn’t look like a muscle car the way these Monte SS’ did. My Uncle had an 86 turbo coupe, black with maroon buckets. Awesome car. I’ll still take a Monte SS though. Beautiful car

  12. Steve A

    These things just never did it for me. Personally, I’d rather have one with the normal rear glass. Just my .02

    • Dirk

      I agree. That goldfish-bowl back window just looks added-on rather than being integrated into the design. Probably more “aerodynamic” if you drove it backwards.


    Since it is in such decent shape, and you want more power how about a Paxton supercharger system adding bigger throttle body and bigger injectors beef up tranny and there you go more power with much less hassle than Ls swap. NOW that firebird would be a good candidate for La and 6 speed stick

  14. South Bound

    It uses a 4 bbl carb from the factory.
    The 305 uses a tiny 3.736-inch bore that restricts it from using cylinder heads with a decent valve and port size to flow at a decent cfm.

    A 350 or 383 crate engine makes it a quick and fun car to drive thanks to the factory 3.73 rear gears. The 200-4R transmission is plenty strong that came stock in the SS and the Grand National. The 7.625 rear axle will survive on street tires. Add a sticky slick and its history.

  15. chris giordano

    I would take the JC Whitney hood lump off to start…

  16. Raymond Hurst

    I owned an 86 non-aero Monte. Handled great, looked great, got lots of looks, no hot rod but peppy enough for what it was. If this car is half as nice as it is presented; it is a good deal at $9,000.00. Not a steal, but not overpriced either. Whoever buys it will be more than pleased; in my opinion.

  17. Elwood

    Looks like an 1966 Batmobile-inspired color scheme, complete with irridescent red accents, silver-finished wheels complemented by white lettered jet black tires, and a look as though it is going 90 miles an hour even when standing still. While I have never been drawn to the aero series, this is a looker for sure! Very nice.

  18. Bill in Round Rock

    The suspension on my 87 Turbo Coupe was great. Stiffened up when you nailed it or went around a corner. The seats adjusted around you to hold on tight. Might have only been a turbo 4, but I never felt like I was driving over my head. Wish I had left it in the garage instead of selling it when a baby came along and the car seat was making dents in that leather backseat. 😄

  19. Ryan Member

    None of that needed to be said Boy.


    Why all the talk about performance? This was never intended to be a drag car. Nice cruiser for a guy on a budget.

  21. Martin

    That’s why that nscar is so stupid ,it was fun when they ran STOCK cars ,what a load of crap . Those guys U all spend your $ on wouldn’t give U the time o day ,suckers !

  22. Jason

    Them t(erd) birds didn`t win the nascar winston cup in 86, 87 a black monte carlo won I believe.

  23. Jody got your mom n gone

    I have an 88 non-Aerocoupe. Does it have 1000 hp like the new hell cats or Camaros? Heck no. But for being so restricted on emissions, hp, safety, ect. I’d say they did a damn good job. You don’t need to go 300 mph to look good. BUT you can make these cars extremely fast and agile. And trust me, these cars WILL be collecter cars. Besides I have alot more room in the back seat of my Monte for my wife than I would in a new car anyways.

  24. Ryan Member

    The 86 Turbo Coupe was an awesome car. The 87 face lift with the flush headlamps and the distinct tail lamps was a styling highlte for Ford. Led right into the 91 Supercoupe. Legendary cars. That freakin Monte still grabs me though every time I see one. Must be the limited colors. I try and forget the crossmember that fell out of my buddies 85

  25. Mike R in De

    Supper clean car!! I’d enjoy it like this for a while. I liked the Pontiac better, smoother body lines, and not as many built. Nice car find!!

  26. Jody

    0.365 drag coefficient wasn’t bad for it’s day. NASCAR teams had it around 0.300 IIRC.

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