Friday, February 26, 2016

American Hatchback: 1975 Chevrolet Monza V8 2+2

The Chevrolet Monza was released in the 1975 model year as GM's biggest subcompact offering on the H-platform shared with the Vega/Astra/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Starfire.  It was GM's answer to new sporty-ish compact offerings from Ford like the Mustang II, Capri and Dodge's Galant based Colt.  The Monza was actually quite a strong seller, with almost 750,000 examples of the H-body sold in the first 6 years of production, but GM axed entire line in 1980.  Find this 1975 Chevrolet Monza V8 2+2 Hatchback here on eBay bidding for $2,670 reserve-not-met with 2 days to go, located in Greenville, TX.

Personally, I find the Monza shape to be pleasing, but I have to draw the line with John DeLorean's claim that it looked like the Ferrari 365 GTB/4, perhaps his experimentation with the white stuff started earlier than we thought.  This particular example is somewhat dilapidated and will need a decent restoration, unless you are into the rat rod look. 

The Monza was originally designed with rotary engine power licensed from NSU, but fuel economy and durability problems plagued development, so GM switched to conventional piston engines right before production started.  Power started with a basic 4-banger, but you could option all the way up to a V8 -- the GM 262 V8 in most jurisdictions, but seriously detuned 350 V8 was (125 horsepower) the only option in California...which makes me doubt the veracity of the sellers claim that this 262 V8 powered car is a CA native.  Either way, it looks like an interesting way to get into a V8 powered Monza project for cheap.

See another Chevrolet that looks like it could have been from AMC?


  1. Another one with original unmelted wheel covers....unusual.

  2. Might not be rusty, but it's sure banged up. The expression on scared cat hiding under the car in the chassis/gas tank shot sums up my feeling on restoring this car.

  3. Embarrassingly, I admit I owned one of these (actually the sister car, Oldsmobile Starfire). Mine had the 231 V6 w/ 4 speed manual, had it for about 1 year in the 1980's. They are like a big heavy coupe that has been shrunk down just enough to be claustrophobic. I remember mine used to overheat all the time. They didn't ride or handle very good and were poor on gas compared with the imports (that rode and handled better). Rust eventually killed them off, plus they were built during GM's "built in obsolescence" formative years. Sorry, wish I had some positive things to say. Oh, and that V8 looks crammed in there, I wouldn't want to service this..

  4. I always giggle when these race against the Porsche 935 and Ferraris at Laguna Seca and do well.
    I was in the stands in 2014 when the wheel broke off
    Monza wheel

  5. I had a 1975 Monza 2+2 when I was 16-17. Bought it in '78 as I recall and it was already in need of a serious overhaul. It was an original 4.3l V8 model but the 4.3 was shot and I had a '70 350 small-block handy that fit right in place of the 4.3. Just had to use the oil pan from the 4.3 which had a special notched channel to clear the steering gear. It really was crammed in there - you had to loosen the driver's side motor mount and jack the engine up to change the spark plug on #1 cylinder. It was bright blue metallic with the rear spoiler, Centerline rims, an L-88 coffin hood scoop, side pipes, and orange racing stripes down the side and over the hood and it ran like a scalded cat though with the 350. I traded it in in 1980 for a Z28.


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