Chopped by Matrix: 1985 Monte Carlo Converible

There were a variety of aftermarket companies that got into the business of removing the hardtop roof from numerous GM and Ford vehicles, usually choosing a model that had a dedicated following or a coupe body style to justify the added costs. Although ASC is the only factory-backed conversion company, many others like Matrix have come and gone. This Matrix-converted Monte Carlo here on craigslist is listed for $15K near Boston, Mass.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Tom A. for sending this in. The seller has owned this Monte Carlo since 2001, and it has less than 90,000 original miles on it. The view from the back quarter panel is surprisingly sharp, almost as if the Monte Carlo should have been offered as a drop-top all along. However, the potential for cowl shake and the loss of structural rigidity should be considered when evaluating a convertible conversion by a now-defunct company.

Not much info remains about Matrix, other than they converted other vehicles like the Camaro of the same era. ASC vehicles come with higher levels of documentation, thanks to its factory connection, which can make owning a conversion by a different aftermarket player a bit of a roll of the dice. Tops may have to be custom-made, but other components like the body panels and glass should be off-the-shelf Monte Carlo parts. The interior on this example looks quite clean, even better than expected for the mileage.

The seller notes this Matrix conversion has a power top, and that the company has “transformed many cars” for the various divisions of GM. While it may be the case that they converted multiple models, it’s certainly far from common today. Although rare, buying one of these as an investment vehicle doesn’t make much sense given the lack of factory provenance – but it certainly is an attractive car and likely the only one of its kind at the local cruise night.

Fast Finds


  1. Fred W.

    Looks pretty good top up or down. Can’t say that about all conversions.

  2. Nova Scotian

    I’d buy it.

  3. John M.

    I live roughly 25 miles from where this Monte is. I’m not that far north of Boston.



    • glen

      If that means you don’t like it, I agree!

  5. edh

    That rear window looks like a hack job, everything else is nicely done.

  6. Vin in NJ

    Although the Monte SS was offered with a split bench and column shifter, it still don’t make it right. Id rather see this car with buckets and a console.

  7. Drew V

    The only other Monte SS converts I’ve ever seen was in 85′ at Nashville, Tn. The dealer there had 5 of them, Black and Gold sitting out on the grass in front of the dealership… Beautiful cars…

  8. Coventrycat

    Rags covering number plates really inprove the looks of that.

  9. BMW4RunninTundra

    I like it for what it COULD become!!! Lots of aftermarket performance goodies to give the engine some “juice”! (just got to make sure the frame is tied up correctly) The downside I see is that with the top up, it looks cheesy. But, as with my convertible, the top is down or it’s in the garage, top up, and under a cover so I don’t see it anyhow. For some inexplicable reason, I have always liked these square boxes?!?!?!? Oh, one more downside – $15K? Um, no!

  10. Rustytech Member

    Gorgeous car with the top down, but the top definitely looks like an afterthought. I’d want a close inspection to see how the body was reinforced, as I don’t know anything about Matrix. Too bad GM never did their own drop top.

    • Tyler

      Agree! There is something about the side & back that look off when the top is up. Top down & it’s gorgeous!

  11. charlie Member

    Friend had an Olds Cutlass done like this, conversion included a frame added underneath, raised the whole car about 4″, you could see it under the rocker panels, painted flat black, and it was a pretty rigid car.

  12. Mike

    Crappy conversion…devalues the car. I wouldn’t even think about it.

  13. EJB

    I remember seeing a Monte that was converted to a convertible back in the early 90’s. I don’t know who did the conversion but it was a hack job. This one looks world’s better than the one I saw.

    The one I saw was in Massachusetts as well (about 40 miles south of Boston). I wonder if there was a dealership offering them up here?

  14. Mitch Ross Member

    Being a full frame car, I doubt it would have the same issues that aftermarket conversions of unibody cars have. I think the look of the car top down is fantastic, could be factory. Price seems ok for a very rare car in such nice condition. Those Monte SS cars have only one way to go in value.

  15. Brian B.

    I have seen these before on 80’s Montes, Grand Prixs, Regals and Cutlass models . All I can say is hell no!

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