Monzamino! 1979 Chevrolet Monza

Monzamino! Here’s something you don’t see every day, or, ever. This is a 1979 Chevrolet Monza, a former wagon that was turned into a mini El Camino. It’s listed on eBay with a $9,800 Buy It Now price or make an offer. Given what some restored Vega wagons, I mean, Monza wagons go for, that seems darn near reasonable given the amount of custom work that has been done on this one. This Monzamino is in Windber, Pennsylvania.

Isn’t that cool?! Come on now, of course it isn’t a full-sized pickup and you’re not going to haul a ton of hay bales or two snowmobiles in there, but for what it is, I think it’s very well done. This is more than enough hauling room for most people. I bet I could fit a couple of minibikes back there.. hmm..

I knew that it would be an automatic. Well, it looks great inside despite that. I’m not sure how the fuzzy dice go with the late-70s-Vega-with-Monza-grille-custom-pickup theme, but other than that it looks like new in there. There’s even a bit of extra storage behind the seats.

The seller mentions that this is a V6, but not whether it’s the 196 cubic-inch V6 with 110 hp or the 231 cubic-inch V6 with 115 hp. I believe this is the Buick 231 V6. The engine isn’t quite as tailored and crisp-looking as the body and interior are, but that’s usually the case. The seller says that it’s in “good condition, runs and drives”, which isn’t exactly a glowing review. But, overall it looks like a fun vehicle and it’s doubtful that you’ll see another one parked next to you at a car show. Have you seen a Vega or Monza wagon made into a mini El Camino before?

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  1. Jeffro

    I don’t even know where to begin. It’s different. Interesting look. But No.

  2. Woodie Man

    The things people spend their time doing………….converting a Chevy Monza wagon to a pickup seems an odd choice. I’d like to know the back story……

  3. Fred W.

    Well done, but not worth the trouble and expense…

  4. Howard A

    It’s a Vega “Ute”. I like it too, it seems very well done. I couldn’t justify the cost for this, but it is neat.

  5. Tirefriar

    Let’s see what $9800 will buy you today and my list will be quite limited:
    – W208 or W210 MB AMG 55 (sometimes both depending on the condition)
    – Mercury Marauder in pristine shape
    – Jaguar XJR (X308 body)
    – BMW E39 Touring with a manual trans (Good condition V8 or pristine I6 or a slew of other BMW models including an E36 M3)
    – Audi S4 (C4, B5 and possibly B6 depending on the condition)
    – Mustang (second, third and fourth generation – with good mechanical ability and great negotiation skills plus cash in hand you can get 2 out of three. Stellar negation skills might beget you all three)

    The list can go on. In fact, I welcome you all to copy and paste and add your candidates. It would interesting to see all the alternatives to this Monza – an answer to a question never asked.

    • Howard A

      A good down payment on a castle in the Northwoods.

      • Howard A

        Mornin’ thumb downer. You must be on the west coast.

      • Woodie Man

        Howard….whats up with the haters?

      • Howard A

        Hi Woodie Man, I think it’s a little blow back from me calling these shysters out on their bogus mileage claims. A certain 5,000 mile Fiat comes to mind. They can thumb all they want. Still some great folks and great finds.

      • Woodie Man

        Could be. Seems like whoever it is ought to get a hobby.

        Well…since the newly elected president seems to live in a fact free environment….why can’t car sellers ? :0

        The rest of us will soldier on sifting the wheat from the chaff.

  6. hhaleblian

    “Stupid is as stupid does”

  7. JW

    I do enjoy people’s creativity if done well otherwise we wouldn’t have half the products we have now. Now for this car cool but not enough function for me.

  8. Jeffro

    I could actually buy a Porsche with $9800. Of course it would be a rusted, burned up, no motor, no trans, and no wheels. But which sounds better? To say “I own a Porsche” or to say “I own a Chevy Monza”.

    Love, Peace, and Fish Grease!

  9. Ralph H.

    Its not about what else you can have for $’s unique, one-of-kind, and surely the only one at your local car show..reap the benefits of the massive amount of work put into this project..expect a lot of interest, stares, and questions when owning this…

    • Tirefriar

      No, I think what you’ll get at the show are bunch of comments you see here above…

  10. Moparmann Member

    “Runs and drives”..exactly what does that mean? “Runs”, I understand, but “drives” what?…cattle? or that it is driveable with or without additional work? :-)

  11. charlie

    I always have wondered if the Vega/Monza was the body for next generation Corvair, because of the fake vents on the rear fenders, which could have been real vents. I have never seen the “next generation” Corvair body anywhere, and one would think GM would have had it on the drawing table to come out in 1970 or so. Anybody know?

  12. Rob'sGT

    Nicely pulled off, but not for me. Anyone notice the latch for the rear hatch in the rear interior shot?

    • Mike H. Mike H Member

      I saw that too and felt it was a weird little detail. . . As in, why wouldn’t you have removed that prior to welding the former hatch in place? Makes me wonder what other sketchy details lurk underneath all the filler.

    • Howard A

      Hi Rob, ebay is on the fritz, apparently, but I think I know what you mean. On these conversions, it’s very common to use the tailgate ( or a tailgate) to form the back of the cab. I saw a guy with a Dodge mini-van made into a pickup, and did that.

  13. MDW66

    There was a Tempcharo in our nieghborhood for a while. Havent seen it for a while… This is kind of interesting but kind of too much $$$.

  14. American_Badaz

    I want to hate it….. and yet I would still like to have it show up in the driveway Christmas morning. (As long as Santa is buying!)

  15. Dovi65

    Seems to be a well done conversion. Cute as a labrador puppy, but it’s definitely not $9800 worth of cuteness. If the seller is looking to recoup the conversion costs .. he/she should have chosen a better project to start from as they’re out of luck on this one. $4k is about all [and that’s being generous]

  16. CelestialGryphon

    Jeffro, you could have a 944 in pristine condition for that price, or a needs a little work 951 for that price, or a 924s for that price, maybe two of those! Yeah, the engine may be in the wrong spot but they are still fun!

  17. Leon

    with the engine bay looking like it does it’s not worth anything close to asking price

  18. Doug Towsley

    Many people I know refer to a car or project like this as “Turd Polishing” No matter how much you dress it up,, its still a….XXXX.
    That being said, I think its cool and interesting but not something i would ever do. Few people would ever do what I find interesting either so there is that as well. I look at this one as a eccentric but talented old guy car. Something over the years built in a little workshop or garage and driven with pride. Probably the star of some backwoods town in the midwest or a remote corner of Idaho. I know a few guys like that in my area, and heck,,,,, I sold one of my kit car projects to a super cool old marine corp retiree who does a kit car or custom project every 1.25 years and impressive track record of completed projects so more power to you guys that do this.
    But I find that time and money is limited so just because I can does not mean I should.
    My $0.02, (Bring on the haters,. Howard, we dont always agree but you dont deserve those down votes,)

    • Howard A

      Well said, Doug.

  19. Birdman1973

    As my 14 year old often says to me… ” No…Just No”..(I love getting under her skin)

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