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2013 Rolex24 Weekend: The H Body Edition

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So, a couple weeks ago, Hooniverse workhorse tips line contributor, MV, sent in the above images of this Buick Skyhawk mentioning he had not seen this body style Buick previously and did we know what year it was? Of course we Hoons on that tips line quickly informed him of this body style mentioning the Chevy Monza, Olds Starfire and Pontiac Sunbird as well. I even commented that my daughter, you remember her, TheSmartOne, anyway her Mom owned one of these H body styles back in the day when she was in college. However, her’s was the Pontiac Sunbird notchback edition. As a matter of fact, there is a notchback Bowtie version with a big ass V8 down in the bay beneath me as I type this up in The Garage where I hang my hat these days.

Well, my fellow Hoons, this olelongrooffan has previously mentioned how it seems I will see a quasi rare vehicle one day and see another similar to it shortly thereafter. This past weekend out at the Rolex24 at Daytona, this recurrence was once again proven to be the case. But all ya’all will need to make the jump to see it.

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Yeah, there this olelongrooffan was, checking out the Hurley Haywood tribute cars and some of the other cool shit Joie Chitwood and his team had assembled out there that Rolex weekend when I stumbled upon this old race car. This one is equally as cool and just as rare as rare as some of those old Porsches. It is an old aero Chevy Monza. And while the Vega based production version of this body style left much to be desired, this tube frame race car is just beautiful to this olelongrooffan. I mean just take in that mid 70’s styling and stance.

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This racecar is referred to as the Dekon Monza. It was built in a a collaborative effort between Chevrolet, Dekon Engineering and Lee Dykstra and Horst Kwech to win the then new IMSA AAGT class in that now defunct racing series. While the production based Monza was offered with the ever crappy Vega aluminum 4 cylinder as standard, this one is powered by a small block Corvette 350. Of course, what else but a SBC? 

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And lest you think this 1976 and 1977 IMSA class winning Monza is a restored trailer queen, I can only ask my fellow Hoons to check out the stress and age cracks on the fiberglass front spoiler in the above image. Yes, excellent original patina just waiting to be seen by this olelongrooffan. Thanks Joie.

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While the front end of this race car sported a combination of oversized round and rectangular headlights, the ass end of this thing is even more outrageous. It sports a factory based rear fascia with huge fender overlays and a spoiler that almost puts the Uberbird to shame. Almost. I did note the horizontal fin on this spoiler was adjustable by about one inch.

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And the cockpit of this Al Holbert driven beast was stuffed with more gauges and old school toggle switches than any Hoon can shake a stick at. Yeah, all around a cool ass sighting for this olelongrooffan and definitely the first time I had ever seen one of these IMSA Monzas in the flesh, so to speak. As a bonus, this H body along with most of those Heritage Exhibition cars did a few parade laps around the road course a little later in the day.

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And as much as this olelongrooffan wanted to stay around and just take in the beauty of this old survivor….

What’s that over there?

Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan

Currently there are "21 comments" on this Article:

  1. mnm4ever says:

    I built this exact car as a model in my young days in the late 70s! Brings back such memories, I think I even have the amazing photos my dad took of it, he fancies himself an almost-pro photographer and took some great shots to make my model cars look like real ones. Great find!

    • JayP2112 says:

      I had that same kit- was it one where you could make it stock or racecar? I wonder how many were built stock?

  2. Rust-MyEnemy says:

    It's strange that GM in the mid to late seventies had a brief flirtation with stylishness… and then forgot all about it.

    I keed, I keed.

  3. MVEilenstein says:

    10,000RPM tach FTW.

  4. racer139 says:

    I owned a 78 sunbird hatch when I was 13. It was given to me by an uncle. nevr could get it going. Droped the oil pan to.diccover a bent crank. found a 350/350 for freen and proceded to find engine mounts and such for the swap. One day the police showed up in the yard to confiscate the car as it had been used in crime and a hit and run (explained the bend crank). what a nice uncle I had,jackass.

  5. salguod says:

    I had an '80 Monza in that brown color. I loved it and hated it. Loved the looks and handling, hated the craptastic build quality.

    BTW, I think that Skyhawk is a '75-'77 based on the nose, but it seems to be wearing a '78 or newer Monza bumper based on the chrome trim. My H body knowledge is a bit rusty, so I may be off here.

  6. stigshift says:

    That's definitely a transplant bumper on the front. Does anyone else remember the fixed glass roof option on the Skyhawk?

  7. stigshift says:

    took me awhile, but here it is -http://monza.homestead.com/C06.html

  8. stigshift says:

    dammit….

  9. onrails says:

    Oh My God I Love You People. My first car was a '76 Buick SkyHawk. I NEVER see them! The occasional Monza, maybe once a year. But the Buick is a rare find! Odd fire 90 degree 3.8 and a Borg-Warner 5 speed. Bought it at 85k miles and drove it through high school and college, across the country a few times, and 6 years later sold it for a whopping $200 at 230k miles. Even had a full tank of gas…like giving the guy a 15% discount!

  10. Ol'Shel' says:

    These models were doomed when the American public discovered that these cars were badge-engineered Ferrari Daytonas.

    Americans like unique designs.

  11. Bill Crayling says:

    I had a '76 Skyhawk, too, also with the five speed. Yellow. It had the brushed chrome targa band, and a white interior with black and white houndstooth seat inserts. Dash and carpeting were black. I added a ducktail spoiler and one of those multi-element panoramic rearview mirrors. Firestone gave me a new set of 721 radials to replace the 500s it had originally. I enjoyed that car.

  12. joedunlap says:

    Never owned one of these, but always liked the styling. I saw this very car at an IMSA race with Holbert driving it at Laguna Seca sometime in the 70s. I did have an upclose encounter with a Skyhawk as a young tech serving my apprenticeship in a purgatory known as a Union 76 station. Lady came in complaining that 5th gear had gone away and become neutral. Odd, I thought, but true. Upon opening the rear of the box (5th and reverse were side by side on the mainshaft in an extension housing) I found that the snap ring that kept 5th gear located on the mainshaft was missing, allowing the syncro hub to just push it down the shaft instead of engaging it. A further search never located the snap ring or even any tiny pieces of it. How the thing ever had a 5th gear is still one of the great unsolved mysteries of my life. A few hours and a 50 cent snap ring from my stash and she was back on the road.

  13. PhatCat says:

    I had a 78 Monza. I called it the Monza-ratti !!! It was primer bondo and rust colored BUT….. It had a small block 350 and a corvette suspension kit in it ! Very fun times burning miles of rubber and taking down snobs in heavier muscle cars. People laughed cuz it had a spoiler and carpet (brown shag, lol) on the dash but then I'd let her loose and it was fun.

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