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Really Red: 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

One comment on my recent write-up of a 1976 Ford Elite stood out to me — “If the law of percentages was driving the number of low-mileage Elites out there, we’d be seeing more than twice as many low-mileage Monte Carlos for the same model years.” I can’t disagree, as we’ve highlighted many low-mileage second-generation Monte Carlos on Barn Finds, including several from 1976. This one can now be added to that list. Barn Finds reader Gunter found it here on Craigslist in Henderson, Colorado for an asking price of $19,000.


I don’t know if the second-generation Monte Carlo was a boon to Chevrolet’s bottom line, but the revised styling and award as Motor Trend’s 1973 Car of the Year seemed to have caught the attention of potential buyers. Average sales were significantly greater than that of the 1st generation – 1973-1977 units more than doubled the average model year production of 151,798 of 1970-1972 models. This 1976 example was one of more than 350k built for that model year.

I know there are many who feel the opposite, but there’s something about a red-on-red (on-red) classic car that I find appealing. This car delivers on that. Specifically, this one appears to be painted Firethorn Red with a matching vinyl top. It’s said to be in original condition with the seller offering no more insight into its exterior condition other than “must see to believe” but it appears to be in no worse than good condition. I don’t recall having ever seen the factory wire-wheel covers. In my opinion, they’re a slight improvement over the deluxe wheel cover but perhaps their look could be improved with a whitewall tire. My guess is the next owner of this one will put on some Rally wheels.

Completing that red-on-red look is a (darker) red interior. Swivel high-back buckets are split by a full-length console. Everywhere you look there’s more red, save for some woodgrain accents. The interior shows in at least very good condition, which is typically expected on a 24k mile car but not one that rolled off the assembly line 47 years ago. While you may be seated in comfort, to drive in summer comfort — at least where I live — the A/C will need a recharge. The original radio works but the 8-track cooperates only intermittently.

This Monte Carlo is powered by the optional 350 cubic-inch 2-barrel V8. Power is sent to the rear wheels by a console-shifted automatic transmission. Again, the seller is stingy with information and offers no details on its running/operating condition but since the car is shown in multiple locations I’ll assume it at least runs and moves under its own power. There’s a bit of surface rust under the hood but it generally looks clean.

Unlike original buyers, I much prefer the first (and fourth)-generation Monte Carlos but would entertain an early second-gen under the right circumstances. This 1976 example, however, could make me expand my horizons. It appears to be in no worse than good condition, has logged few miles, is in original condition, looks fairly well optioned, and is priced competitively compared to some other units on the market. I guess I may be in that camp of putting on some Rally wheels and hitting the streets in this one after all.


  1. Avatar photo Zen

    Very nice car, I wish I could buy it. Most of these rotted away, or were used in endurance races because the radiator was so far back from the grille.

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    Dave’s right – there won’t be another buyer at $19,000.00. Unless they either aren’t paying attention to what they are worth or they just gotta have it. Which could be the case. These Monte Carlos are sure great cars with awesome styling but with 300,000+ produced – they aren’t worth a whole lot more than $12,000.00 tops. Good luck though.

    Like 13
  3. Avatar photo Ivan

    To bad it wasn’t ordered with every option you could think 🤔 💭 of, besides the 350 2BBL how about a 350 4BBL Big Block, 400 4BBL Big Block or even the 454 4BBL Big Block 4Bolt Mane Rocket Jet with a Automatic Horseshoe Console Shifter the more options there is the more it would have gotten as a very high bid.

    That would make a hell of an amazing 😉 and awesome 👏 😎 addition to a collection.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo ACZ

      Last year of a 454 in a Monte and Chevelle series was 1975.

      Like 7
    • Avatar photo Jonathan Q Higgins

      I remember my grandmother buying one of these. Dark green with green vinyl. Being a large woman swivel seats would’ve been nice but I think it just had bench seats. I remember looong doors.

      Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Jeff Fitzgerald

    In 2005 I was the Customer Service Manager for a Chevrolet dealership. An elderly lady traded in a very nice 1977 Monte Carlo. Almost identical to the one listed here. One of our employees bought it for $2,500. This was back before social media and auctions like Mecum ran up the prices so high. I think the the Monte Carlo listed here is nice but not worth the asking price. I miss the days when you could by a classic car for reasonable price but those days are gone.

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo Gregg latin

      Nice car but no power windows, na the wire week hubcaps only look good with white walls. Not sure if that’s real leather or vinyl? If they fix the service rust under hood get ac going convert to power windows I know a guy who does that can be done I’ll give 2 thousand that’s it

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Rixx56 Member

    The ‘Motor Trend Car of the Year’ references
    always have me smiling. They went from the
    Road Runner to a Vega in 2 years… oops!
    After ’71 I never took those seriously.
    This Monte is quite nice at far less money.

    Like 6
  6. Avatar photo Gary

    Interesting options with the swivel seats, AM/FM 8-Track radio, tilt wheel, console, and remote mirror, but manual windows & locks. It kind of tells you what was important to the original buyer, and what was not. Too bad we don’t have those choices today when we’re shopping for a new vehicle, instead we are left with the “take it, or leave it” option.

    Like 9
  7. Avatar photo T. Mann Member

    “no worse than good condition”

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Hollywood Collier

      I like the old a/c needs a charge line. This doesn’t even have a belt on the compressor. For $19k it should be blowing 40 degree a/c air. Pretty car to me…but way too pretty on the price. I live in Kentucky and now everyone here thinks they own a Barrett Jackson car.

      Like 7
  8. Avatar photo Joseph Ryan

    Spare tire sure does look like the original Uniroyals they came with. General made similar tread pattern with that same really thin whitewall.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo ACZ

      That’s a TPC spec tire. Tread pattern was the same for all manufacturers.

      Like 1
  9. Avatar photo C Force

    Up until eight years ago i drove 70s vehicles for over 20yrs.low mileage survivors like the still have issues the most over look.40 plus year old engine gaskets,soft brake lines,vacuum lines,fuel lines and fuel tank that all should be relpaced. if they havent.the problems will surface once the miles start getting added.something i always factored in when it came to buying.unherhood and underneath you should always inspect

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo ACZ

      The part you didn’t mention is that no matter how good the fuel lines look, they should be replaced with stock that is designed for fuels with ethanol. Also consider rebuilding the carb with a kit that includes a Viton accelerator pump, and even update the fuel pump to something that is ethanol compatible otherwise you could end up with a crankcase full of fuel.

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Joeguerrero

    I have a 1975 Monte Carlo I wouldn’t sell it for nothing Everything works on. It has original motor transmission the original color. These are great cars.

    Like 0

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