One Of Only 100: 1976 Monte Carlo Custom Cloud

From the land of 24/7 gambling, wedding chapels, Elvis impersonators and plastic champagne flutes, we have this 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with full Rolls-Royce “Custom Cloud” treatment. Located in, you guessed it, Las Vegas, Nevada, it is available here on craigslist for $12,000. Thanks to Pat L. for this unusual tip!

The second-generation Monte Carlo (’73-’77) had a bit of a ’70s caricature bearing about it with the hood ornament, landau top, opera windows, impossibly long doors and swoopy fender lines. It was a manufactured canvas, inoffensive in production form, but just asking for someone to complete it in as outrageous style as possible. And here you go, an MC with a faux Rolls-Royce facade.

The seller claims that this is one of 100 built-in ’76 and even has a Car and Driver article featuring the car but the listing is vague as to whether it is this exact example, or a different one, referenced in the magazine. The Custom Cloud concept was developed by car customizer and designer, Jon Tedesco. For further reading, there is some detail explaining how Tedesco’s custom car enterprise, and the Custom Cloud, came together here. Having only traveled 63K miles, the seller states that this Custom Cloud is in very good condition inside and out and it does show quite well via the few accompanying images. The finish is a flat silver but it’s not thin in any visible place and the fiberglass modifications appear to be holding together well – no sign of splits, sags, cracks or misalignment. Ditto the chrome, the bumpers still have a nice luster. Whereas the front end is wearing an amalgam of a Monte Carlo, a Rolls-Royce and a Super Fly pimpmobile, the rear is more straight-up Rolls. The landau top has been taken to new extremes covering over the opera windows which probably makes for some Mr. Magoo style lane changes. All-in-all, this Custom Cloud appears as was intended.

The interior, other than the custom steering wheel, looks pure ’76 Monte Carlo. The split-bench seat is covered in standard Monte Carlo knit cloth in a shade referred to as “mahogany” but it seems that “cranberry” would be more accurate. Regardless, it is in excellent condition and shows little sign of wear. It is safe to say that it needs nothing.

So how does this Custom Cloud run? The seller makes no statement on that front or references anything regarding mechanical attributes. There are no underhood images included in the listing. But with its low mileage, it’s safe to assume that this Custom runs well. The ’76 Monte Carlo came with one of several different engines including 305, 350 or 400 CI, small-block V8s that spaned a net horsepower range from 140 to 175 so this Custom Cloud should possess one of the three. A three-speed automatic transmission, sole choice in ’76, handles gear changes.

The seller advises, “No matter where you go, people take pictures.” So if you’re good with being the center of attention, here’s a chance to really shine. He further adds that this Custom Cloud will only go up in value – that’s a debatable point. Nevertheless, I would be curious to know if any of our readers have ever owned a custom like this Rolls-Royce inspired Monte Carlo, and if so, what was the motivator for acquisition?

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Comments

  1. IkeyHeyman

    Seller says in the listing, “If you see it, you will want it.”
    I’ll lay a bet on that, pardner.

    Like 54
  2. Moncton(was Winnipeg)carnut Member

    Yikes!

    Like 5
  3. ClassicCarFan

    Ughhh….on so many levels.

    I’m quite surprised they would have been able to make series production of these with such an obvious rip-off of the RR grille. Isn’t that considered a registered “hallmark” or similar. You’d think Rolls Royce lawyers would be sending them a “cease and desist” letter faster than you can say “cheezy abomination” ?

    Like 7
    • Mark

      RR did either threaten to sue or actually filed papers to sue GM

      Like 4
  4. Mark

    Why??

    Like 2
  5. Paolo

    Didn’t I see this in a movie entitled “The Car” starring James Brolin?

    Like 4
    • Skorzeny

      That’s a George Barris Lincoln. A ‘71.

      Like 1
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

      @Paolo
      The vehicle used in the movie “The Car” was a Lincoln.

  6. Stevieg

    My toothless exwife who lives on my couch is more appealing and has more class. This is a run down “superfly” ghetto cruiser. I usually like those old gangsta cars, but this does nothing for me. Waste of a Monte Carlo.

    Like 13
  7. H5mind

    “For the toupe-wearing man in your life…”

    Like 7
  8. Doc

    Weird days the late 70’s.

    Like 3
  9. Haig L Haleblian

    “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” has never been so true as this mess. Take it out in the desert and shoot it Elvis style as the King used to do to his TV when Robert Goulet appeared.

    Like 10
    • Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

      “Robert Goo Who”?

      • grant

        Really? You don’t know who Robert Goulet is?

        Like 6
  10. Superdessucke

    Whether you love it or hate it, it’s a preserved example of an obnoxious customized mid-70s personal luxury car that the Stutz Bearcat and IV-Porte spawned upon us.

    These types of vehicles were actually pretty common during that era in big cities, though usually the owners tarted up existing luxury cars. But many custom shops were creating things like this back then. This might be from one of the better funded and well known ones.

    Like 2
  11. Moparman Member

    IIRC this car showed up on the cover of Car & Driver magazine, and the question then, as now, was WHY? :-)

    • Superdessucke

      Heck, even the GM X-cars made the cover of C&D!

  12. MarveH

    I can never understand the prosthetic wealth treatment in cars. Cars like this and the lambo-fiero are making a statement but I’m not sure what that statement is. Are you telling people that not only don’t you have money but the bank account is empty on taste too?

    Like 2
  13. Rick Rothermel

    A rare gem from the golden age of snark within the pages of Car & Driver! Yates, Jennings, Davis, and the rest of that editorial crew redefined automotive journalism starting in March ’64 with the GTO v. GTO ‘test’s that really wasn’t.

    The Custom Cloud? Who cares? The baroque DeLorean era Monte with fiberglass bandaids to cover the ugly is still a slow ’70s smugger with railroad tie bumpers. Thos one looks decent but…

  14. Arby

    I remember one of the car magazines tested the Monte Carlo in the mid 70s.

    In their conclusion they referred to it as a “steaming pile”.

    Can’t imagine what they would call this??

    Like 1
  15. hatofpork

    This car has me rummaging through my closet looking for my double-knit sans-a-belt plaid bell bottoms. Stay classy!

    Like 2
  16. Comet

    Thank God for “limited editions”.

    Like 1
  17. Poppy

    12 large is a little steep for a Nardi steering wheel.

    Like 5
  18. Scott Marquis

    99 would have been enough.

    • Tom Member

      Scott, I think 1 would have been enough.

      So, if cars could have drunken binges, wake up the next morning wondering “what exactly happened….” 9 months later this shows up…..with the Rolls Royce saying…” Oh God, what did it do ?!!! “

      Like 1
      • Tom Member

        Darn TYPO…”Oh God, what did I do ?!!!! “

        Like 1
    • Paolo

      But 99 and a half won’t do.

  19. David Gearhart

    ‘ Interesting ‘ car . The Robert Goulet reference reminds me of the oil strike discovered near Las Vegas. Further research discovered it was only Robert Goulet’s comb !

  20. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’ve seen this car here in Vegas. Not to spoil anything, but it was parked in the parking lot outside of a “pic-a-part” yard off of Lamb Rd. So we know it runs, at least it did six months ago. At the time I found it interesting (loving quirky and odd cars) but frankly, this custom is a mess.
    I don’t know if RR could sue for grill design infringement, as RR has a one piece grill and this looks like two. The top part goes up with the hood.

  21. Rich Richer

    A widowed relative had a ’76 based, 43k mile example of these when her husband departed, leaving it unprepped for storage in the garage, where it sat for roughly 40 years, slowly returning to the earth. I did the research and spoke with the attorney who had conducted the lawsuit, and yes, Rolls Royce did get a cease and desist order which made any further sales illegal from any dealer who was unfortunate enough to get stuck with one. The theory was that the consumer would be confused by the grille and think it was an actual Rolls Royce. Not sure which blind consumer they found to get to that conclusion. The number produced (150 – 250) has always been unknown as some were assembled by dealers and others were from kits for someone who already owned a Monte Carlo. The factory did not keep very good track of the quantity made and “officially” published numbers were intentionally exaggerated, to as many as 350, much like the styling of the car itself. When I looked at it four years ago, the market was about $5,000 and it would have taken roughly that much to get it safely drivable. A comparable mint condition 305 or 350 powered Monte Carlo at that time was a $6k market. So effectively it was worth zero, and less than the car it was based on, though you couldn’t have unwound the conversion. The replica grille notwithstanding, the tail lights were an actual Rolls Royce product, at least on some of them. A salvage yard picked it up from her for a song, hoping to find that same consumer who would have mistaken it for the real thing. Ironically the real thing of that era has not been favored by the market either. Good luck with the auction – I hope you find that same buyer the salvage yard is seeking.

    Like 1
  22. John

    Ralph.

  23. Maestro1 Member

    If you have nothing else to do in your life, buy the car for as cheap as you can get it, take it to a body shop that knows what it’s doing and look at it.
    Stay with me. Leave the rear end alone. As far as I can tell. In the front: Get rid of all the silly lighting and replace with regular headlights. Get rid of the silly lights on each end of the bumper. If one insists on the RR theme then use a Lincoln radiator instead; your body shop will fit it, it is restrained, and better looking with regard to the design context. I can live without the interior color but for the sake of economics it stays. I don’t see the wheels but they are probably a nightmare like the rest of the current presentation so either mount very good but phony wire wheel covers, again, economics, and red line tires. An eyeball figure would be North of $9000.00 upon completion and believe it or not you would have something
    that people would take seriously. Maybe.

  24. chrlsful

    suit only achieved a drop of the ‘fog lights’. No c&d on the grill itself.
    Just proved the ol saying: “if ya wanna B an a$$#^le you can (and mostly get away w/it).”
    Just look at Hitler and Daimler.
    What emoluments clause?
    “Possession is 9 tenths of the law”
    etc.

    Like 1
  25. Mark P

    Late to the party but Geez that’s ugly.

  26. Chris

    That is an orphan if there ever was one

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