Honest Gamble? 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

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1970 was the first year for a Chevrolet model that would last for many years. Introduced in the Fall of 1969, the Monte Carlo, named for the city in the principality of Monaco, was Chevy’s entry into the “personal luxury” category that had been established principally by the Ford Thunderbird, Buick Riviera, Olds Toronado, Cadillac Eldorado, and Pontiac Grand Prix.

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The Monte Carlo shared a body with Pontiac’s newest Grand Prix, that had been introduced in 1969, with great success. The first generation Montes (1970-72) were cleanly designed, and were apparently modeled somewhat along the lines of the much more expensive Eldorado, with what was known as “coke-bottle styling.” These cars shared many body parts with Chevelles, but really stood out as long hood, short deck two door designs, and they were extremely successful for Chevy.

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In the first model year run, Chevrolet sold 145,976 Monte Carlos, including 3,823 with the fire breathing 360 hp SS454 package. You could get a variety of engines and transmissions, but the majority of Monte Carlos came equipped with either a 250 or 300 hp 350 small block (118,002 with this engine) running through a Turbo 350 transmission (125,710 of the model year cars came with this tranny). Just over 24,000 buyers selected the big block 402. And only 1,428 buyers chose to row gears through the four speed transmission (it was not offered at all on the SS454), so the rarest 1970 Monte Carlo would be one equipped with the 330 hp 402 and a four speed – 589 of them were built.

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GM A-body cars like this one were very prone to rust in the quarters, trunk and elsewhere. Most of them that are found in the northeast today will have had extensive body work during their lifetimes.

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The example offered here for sale in scenic Guilford, Connecticut on craigslist, originally came from the west coast, and its seller states that it is a rust free survivor. That’s a major selling point for this car. While it is not in perfect condition, and comes with the relatively common 350 engine (which one is not stated) and 350 transmission, it appears to be exceptionally clean for its age.

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According to the seller, his car was garaged and does not have the typical trunk and quarter panel extension rot that almost all of these cars have.  The factory undercoat and back epoxy type door jamb paint are also still present. According to the seller, the original Adobe beige paint is in “presentable” condition, and the car has been driven a total of only 83,000 miles. It is further stated that the transmission shifts smoothly, and that the car “runs good.”  It is also said to be a “numbers matching” car. Its black interior is in very good condition, and comes with bucket seats and the very cool looking T-handle console floor shift. Chrome and bright work are said to be good also, and are not pitted.

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This Monte Carlo is wearing Chevrolet rally rims, which the seller says are original. The seller also points out that he has four NOS wheel lip moldings, and an NOS rear tail panel moulding that will go with the car.

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Can any of our readers identify which version of the 350 engine this is?

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The seller’s stated price is $10,000, which is said to be non-negotiable. This car does look like a pretty good deal, considering the originality of the body and the overall condition of the car. Hagerty states $11,700 for a car in “good” condition, with a strong upward trend in the market. Regardless of value or worth, this is a relatively inexpensive car for a hobbyist who is not interested in restoring the typical rust bucket we see so often. You could buy this car and be driving it the same day and you will definitely have a ton of fun with it. I’m guessing it won’t be around for too much longer. If you like these early Monte Carlos, there is an online owners’ club dedicated to the 1970-72 cars, which is a useful resource for parts and information. Personally, I’d rather have that elusive 402 with a 4 speed, but I doubt I could afford it even if I could find one this clean, and this one really does look nice, doesn’t it?

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Comments

  1. Fred W.

    Nice except for what looks like a minor hit in the trunk area.

  2. Roselandpete

    Loved the styling until 1978.

  3. Ed P

    This is less than perfect but a very nice car. The car is missing a/c so I would let it live on in the northern part of the country. A/c could be added, but that would ruin the “numbers matching” appeal. Not a lot of apparent work to be done.

  4. Rock On Member

    Proper name for the gear shift handle is horseshoe. This style was also available on the 1970 Camaro.

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      My 67 Camaro also had this shifter, albeit for a powerglide

  5. Willie Horne

    I currently own a 1970 Monte Carlo that I enjoy driving every chance I get. If I was able to own this car, I would definitely buy it in a heartbeat. Chevy the heartbeat of America

  6. 8banger Dave Member

    And to add, AKA “Staple Shifter”.

  7. carko

    10k a good price for this iron warrior
    Great classic chevy
    That trunk! Golf clubs galore fit in there
    Great styling, good engine
    Very nice ride, cruise in her , wax her,
    Plop in custom stereo and off U GO!
    Car shows, also, she a winner
    Call Sonny , Sonny n Cher and roll to Lucious Las Vegas

  8. John

    We had, in the family, a 1970 Camaro and a 1970 Monte. But had the same motor and trams (350, 2bbl, turbo-hydro). The Monte was, by far, a nicer car to drive and arguably handled better. You could put enough stuff in the trunk for a family vacation and it ate highway miles like a pro. It racked up almost twice the mileage than did the Camaroo. As I recall, it was trouble free for well into its second hundred thousand miles. The Camaroo went away at about 110.

  9. Barzini

    Every Monte Carlo that I owned (70, 71, 72, 76) had power windows so I thought that option was standard equipment. However, I have not seen power windows in most of the Montes shown here or at BAT. Regardless of the option package, I loved the 70-77 model years.

    Like 1
  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice car but with out A/C good luck on the price. The dash gauges and seats were just like a Chevelle and console was like both the Camero and Chevelle…..

  11. Grant

    I had a blue ’70 Monte C in 1976. It had a 400cid 2bbl. Nice cars!

  12. Fred

    Most likely a 350/300 L-48 motor. I believe the other two options were the L-65 ,250 horse two barrel engine and the L-M1 255 horse four barrel engine.
    All very similar however ,the L-48 had the higher compression heads . I’ve got a ’70 L-48 sitting in my garage.

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