Hatchback Utility, V8 Power, Horrible Build Quality: V8 Chevy Monza

1975 Chevy Monza V8 For Sale1975 Chevy Monza V8 For Sale
Due to when I was born, when I think of crappy GM products, I think early 90s Cavaliers or Luminas; mostly vehicles that were crappy due to boringness or what they could’ve and should’ve been. By the time I was on the road, there were few truly defective cars to be had. I’m told GM’s H-platform was just such a thing. What’s the best solution to a poorly constructed vehicle? More Power!

This ’75 Monza’s sporting a 350 with a 3 speed auto, decent paint and what looks to be a clean interior. It’s especially clean considering the cigarette-butts-and-burger-wrappers treatment bottom-rung compacts typically get.

Believe it or not, the 350 was a factory option for those in high altitude or smog-restricted locations. In stock form, it was a wheezy 2-barrel making 125hp. Luckily, our specimen’s smog exempt, ready to drink heartily from the Jeg’s well and return to the streets with enough torque to twist the body so hard the windows pop out.
It’s at $1500 with and unmet reserve. Auction ends tomorrow!

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  1. Alff Avatar

    One of the best cars I every owned was this car's stablemate – a '76 Buick Skyhawk. It had three redeeming qualities – low mileage (my grandparents gave it to me in 1990 with a mere 75K on it), low value (never gave a damn about it, or what happened to it) and a broken motor mount that allowed the air cleaner to bounce off the inside of the hood when I punched the throttle. I'm not sure what was cool about this last point, except that it was good for laughs.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      My grandparents had what I remember as being the same car. They drove it cross-country once, and I think it did fine. This was when it was new, and I remember as a kid being pretty impressed with it's AM/FM/8-track/CB radio.

    2. Boca Raton Service Avatar

      Yes your right, His strategies for it consisted of interior work and a warmed up 327 SBC that he allegedly had actually stashed away someplace. The paint and decals were in excellent shape, and in basic I keep in mind being really fond of his little vehicle.

  2. superbadd75 Avatar

    Damn, between this and the Plymouth Turismo pictured in previous post today, I am starting to realize the horrible things that growing up during the malaise era has done to my taste in automobiles.
    Some time in the late '80s/early '90s, I had a friend that had one of these. His was a '79 Monza Spyder with a 4 cylinder. His parents had owned it since new, and it sat in their driveway, awaiting the day that he was able to drive it. His plans for it included interior work and a warmed up 327 SBC that he supposedly had stashed away somewhere. The paint and decals were in great shape, and in general I remember being very fond of his little car.
    When they first came out, my uncle bought a Pontiac Sunbird, a sister car to the Monza. I also remember loving that car when he brought it home for the first time. It was a nice shade of blue, with some sort of sport wheel package and raised white letter tires. It was a sharp looking little car, and at a time when Japanese cars were still rare in my neck of the woods, it was probably the best looking compact car I had ever seen. Too bad they weren't as good as they looked.

  3. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    My best friend back in high school had a sister who drove one of these. Even the exact same color. She was 2 years older than us and really quite the hottie. When I first met her I had a huge crush on her and thought her car was all kinds of awesome. As I got to know her, I quickly came to understand why my buddy couldn't stand her. She turned out to be as bitchy as she was pretty. I guess she and her car were a match made in heaven. Or something.

  4. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Don't forget the offset suspension bushings, needed on all these eventually when the weight of the V8 bent the subframe!

  5. Tomsk Avatar

    My mom's friend from college had a yellow one of these up until at least the turn of the century. I've always dug the Ferrari-Daytona-but-not-quite shape of the hatchback H-bodies.
    One of my dream (nightmare?) projects is an Olds Starfire with an injected Rocket 307 that revs halfway to the moon, a 5-speed, lowered, 15" Minilites, and an update to the later Firenza package's body kit.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4f/1978_Olds_Starfire_Firenza.jpg&quot; width="594" height="337" />
    (imagine this without the three-tone, lettering and generally way-the-hell awesomer)

      1. Tomsk Avatar

        I love me some Dekon, but that splitter wouldn't work too well on the street.

      2. Balestra Avatar

        I do love IMSA cars. Shouldn't we have had a Hooniversity post on this already?

  6. Greg Avatar

    I remember working on one of these once. I'm pretty sure you had to unbolt the motormount and jack the engine up to get to that last rear sparkplug

  7. junkman Avatar

    I absolutely despised these when they were new for obvious reasons. Now, inexplicably, I'm craving this. Gonna' have to go with Summit Racing speed parts, though.

  8. salguod Avatar

    Ah, memories.
    I drove an '80 Monza with a 4cyl / 4 speed through college and my sister had a '79 with the same drive train. I had the same aftermarket wheels, only mine were gold centered instead of black. It started our brown, but was dark blue with matching rear window louvers when I was done with it. Amazingly awful cars.
    Both started smoking badly somewhere before 100K. My sister's would surround itself in a blue-gray cloud at stop lights.
    The clutch cable froze on mine and the additional force eventually ripped a hole in the firewall.
    The upper hinge pins were pushed in from the bottom. Evidently, GM engineers were not familiar with gravity, as the bushings wore the pins eventually fell out. I'd be driving with my girlfriend (now my wife) and I'd hear a 'clunk' and when we arrived, she'd have to get out and I'd climb over to her side. Then I'd open the driver's door, carefully holding it, and the hinge pin would fall on the ground. While she held the door, I'd put it back in place and I'd be good for a few more days.
    Thing caught fire twice, once in the shop. Mechanic called and said it wasn't fixed, but I had to come and get it anyway.
    In the end, the starter would stick, continuing to run even after the key was removed. That's why it caught fire, the starter overheated igniting the oil that coated the starter from all the oil leaks. I had to park at the top of a hill and roll start it for the last few months. Some nut bought it for his wife!
    I don't think the 350 was ever original equipment, the early ones like this '75 came with a 265 I think. Later ones could be had with the 305. And, yeah, you had to jack up the engine or cut a hole in the inner fender to change the plugs on the V8s.

  9. hbody Avatar

    350 was a 1975 only California car designation. 305 was for the rest of the country. This one has the Vega dash, confirming the 1975 designation. Worst part of the V8 Monzas was that even the 4-cyl taxed the front box sections of the unibody to which the upper control arms were mounted. The boxes collapsed over time with no way to bang them back out (they curved with the inner fender). Leads to uncontrollable shimmies, shakes, and eventual loss of caster/camber control. Interior plastics of the era turned to dust if they so much as see the sun for a moment. No anti-UV treatments in their manufacturing. You were lucky to make it out of the warranty period with these things and still have the car intact.

  10. nofrillls Avatar

    Ooooh, yes. The long-forgotten Monza!
    My stepmother had one of these (with a 4-banger…iron duke, perhaps). I'll never forget how my 7-year-old ears would ring after a freeway ride. The cheapo-supreme red plastic interior quarter covers would buzz and vibrate deafeningly. This was when the car was brand new in 1980.

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  26. BIll Avatar

    I had a 75 350 Monza with a 4 speed. We tweaked the V8 to give it some life and it was fun to drive when you got it to hook up. The open differential meant lots of remarkably long single wheel burnouts. I eventually sold it and built a Vega with a Buick Skyhawk v-6 and aluminum bodies 5 speed tranny. Now that was a fun car to drive. When it was in top form it was so light it would run stop light to stop light with the mid 80s 5.0 mustangs. Always good for a laugh.