Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5k: Daily Crime Scen-ismo: 1979 Chevrolet Monza Spyder V8

Craigslist is littered with thirty five hundred dollar vehicles -- it is a strange place where a rusted roller Porsche 912 chassis meets the best Renault Fuego you'll ever find, and about what I paid for the Draken a few months back.  It is also a good range if you are looking for a V8 pony car that has been well broken in.  Find this 1979 Chevrolet Monza V8 offered for $3,500 here on craigslist located in Boise, ID.  Tip from FuelTruck.

The Spyder name was used by GM back in the days of the Corvair, but it was a trim package and had nothing to do with open top motoring like you might expect.  The Monza was another attempt by GM to reinvent the subcompact and was essentially a sportier looking version of the H-body Vega.

The Monza was originally intended to be the recipient of GM's Wankel rotary engine, but  bean counters and reasonable people agreed that questionable performance, so-so fuel economy, and abysmal quality wasn't in the best interest of they ended up shoving a V8 into the front of the small 2+2.  Normally this would be a win-win-win proposition, but it was 1979 and smog requirements had reduce carburetor throat diameters to that of roughly a cockatiel's pyloric valve. 

This '79 Monza would have been equipped with a 305 cubic inch V8 (the red headed step sister of the 350 V8) that was rated at 130 horsepower or 40 more than the base 2.5 liter inline-4.  One can only assume that the power density of a 3 year old on a tricycle generates acceleration like a balloon powered slot car...but what is going on with the red-on-pink interior? 

See another 3500 dollar wonder?


  1. The faded red is really nasty!
    I remember these being killer on the track with the right mods.
    I had a '75 Buick V6 version that was originally designed to hold the rotary that GM never used.
    The quality of build was the worst....

  2. Gut it!

    (hopefully the first time that has been said in this car)

  3. The only wonder here is how it can be worth $3500. I love Monzas, but there's nothing in those photos that resembles that kind of money.

  4. It could of had the 262 ci V-8 also !

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I believe the early V8 California cars got the 350 for a couple years because the 262 or 305 or whatever they were using in them elsewhere didn't pass CA smog certification.

  5. Always hated those crappy aftermarket sun roofs looks like it took a whiz in there !

  6. These were built in an era when cost savings trumped weight savings every time. These were heavy turds, 3200lb if an ounce and nary an airbag or 12-speaker stereo to be found, full of iron bits borrowed from intermediates.

    My first real girlfriend had the Buick version, with the odd-fire V6. Not quite the slowest car I've ever driven in my life, but damn close.

    Pretty shape, arguably prettier than the third-gen Camaro to which it contributed its torque-arm rear suspension, but horribly engineered and horribly built.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.