Here’s What Everyone Forgot About the 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo


The Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the first luxury car ever marketed by the automaker. It was a two-door coupe and had options to make it a fast monster, with all the luxury inside that could have been desired. The 1970 Monte Carlo has been forgotten by most people, but it had its good times when it was a popular luxury choice.

Today, the Monte Carlo is known to be a “boat” since it was based on a Grand Prix but lengthened. Its large size made it slightly slower than some other options in 1970, but the car did have its moments, however. When it was a popular choice of consumers wanting the best of both worlds. Let’s take a look at some of the forgotten reasons why Chevy so awesome.

9 A big engine option in the Monte Carlo SS

Courtesy of You Tube

With all Chevy Monte Carlos, an engine size option was available, allowing the buyer to decide if they wanted horsepower or fuel economy. The SS version, however, offered an engine with no option for the engine. After all, if a Super Sport is chosen as the car, the driver is looking for nothing but power.

1970 Chevy Monte Carlo SS - Pinterest
via: Pinterest

The engine stuffed under the hood was a 7.4 L (454) that could produce 390 torque and averaged 326 hp, with some claiming it was capable of going as high as 360 hp. This engine was built for speed, not fuel economy. It could accelerate from 0-60 in 7 seconds and fly the quarter mile track for 14.9 seconds. Not bad for a big car with a lot of weight to pull.

8 Limited slip was not standard equipment

Limited Slip Differential - Road & Track
via: Road & Track

The limited slip was in demand for muscle car enthusiasts. This helps the rear end grip and launch the car forward, rather than spinning a tire out of control. With this type of differential, the rear tires can spin at different speeds. Gears and clutches inside transfer power from a spinning wheel to the stable one, giving both tires more traction and less spin.

The beast from the street - side view

The 1970 Monte Carlo was not automatically equipped with this type of differential. It was a special-order option on any model, including the Super Sports Edition. Thinking that a powerhouse like the SS came with it was a common mistake made when buying it new.

seven Standard automatic level control

1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 359, green

The 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo rolled off the production line with an automatic level control system. This system was a basic air suspension system. There was a compressor, valves and rear shock absorbers. The basic idea behind the system was to ensure that it kept the car level, in all conditions, by adding or releasing air. It was a simple idea that worked well for the year.

6 Body parts are not interchangeable

Chevy wanted the Monte Carlo to look fresh and new every year. To do this, they changed the body style and modified the grille and bumpers. The sad thing about this is that a 1971 front fender will not work on a 1970 car, which is different from most car models and versions.

Automakers usually keep the same design for a set amount of time to allow for crossover installation. It’s nice that every year is different, but it’s hard to find coins because it has to be the exact year.

Related: Check Out These Sick Modified Chevy Monte Carlos

5 The engine is balanced on the front axle

1970 Chevy Monte Carlo SS Engine - Silver Sport Transmissions
via: Silver Sport Transmissions

This has already been briefly touched on, but the importance of design on the Monte Carlo is substantial. Lengthening the frame allowed the engine to sit directly on the front axle. Balancing the weight like this did a few things for the car.

1970 Chevy Monte Carlo - Concept Carz
via: ConceptCarz

It made the car roll like it was on air. Smooth with no engine vibration or front end sag. The motor is perfectly supported above the axle and also helped when the car was used to jump off the line to knock down the quarter mile. Weight distribution is important for balance, whether it’s a luxurious ride or a fast time on the track.

4 1970 Monte Carlo lost $100,000 in sales


The 1969 GM labor strike that took place in September in Flint Michigan was one of the longest in auto manufacturing history. It lasted 57 days, during which no parts were produced. Since this factory was the main source of production for Monte Carlo bodies, sales lagged until the parts were back on track.

UAW Strike
via Saint-Louis Public Radio

Overall, sales are estimated to have suffered by around $100,000. This is taken from the overall sales for the year and divided by twelve to get an average of what was lost in sales. Labor strikes not only impact workers, families, and the local economy, but they send ripples through all consumers and the nation as a whole.

Related: Ongoing UAW Strike Will Hit GM Where It Hurts: Pickup Sales

3 Luxury car with performance qualities

1970 Chevy Monte Carlo - YouTube
by: YouTube

The definition of a luxury car goes against the concept of the title, but Chevy engineers decided to combine the best of both worlds. A luxury car is a vehicle that has been designed more for looks and comfort, with practicality being the last concern. A performance car is a car designed for speed, power and handling.

First generation 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Via: Autoclassics

Combining the two into one car was an innovative idea for the 70s. The idea behind the design was good, and it got many decent sales. Not as good as it should have been, though, because a person could buy a Chevelle for less money.

2 Monte Carlo has won 24 total NASCAR wins

Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Via Mecum

The Monte Carlo was designed for the street but became one of Chevy’s most important cars in NASCAR history. Of all NASCAR wins, Monte Carlo has contributed 24 wins, as well as 396 race wins. These numbers are combined, not just the 1970s model.

Budweiser Aerodeck

The reason the numbers in the present affect the ’70 version is because that was the start of it all. The car was marketed on public platforms as a luxury car, but it was perfect for NASCAR. The weight distribution, along with the power and handling it had, made it a consistent winner over the years.

1 Better quarter-mile run than the Stingray

1970 Chevy Corvette Stingray - Corvette Blogger
via: Corvette Blogger

The Corvette Stingray is one of the most iconic sports cars Chevrolet has ever made. With the 454 stuffed under the hood, it could cover the quarter-mile track in 5 seconds flat. You wouldn’t expect anything less from such a well-known speed demon.

The street beast
Via Pinterest

It may come as a surprise, but the Monte Carlo SS with the 454 engine could beat the Corvette on the quarter-mile circuit. In a ridiculously small 0.1 seconds, but still, this heavy luxury car had the ability to fly the same track in 14.9 seconds. Not bad for the size and weight of the luxury-turned-muscle car.

Final Thoughts

Via: Wikimedia Commons

The 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is a forgotten gem from the days when muscle cars reigned supreme. The combination of luxury and performance makes it a one-of-a-kind car. The other manufacturers of the 70s went one way or the other when designing their cars. Chevy decided to think outside the box and created a car that could cover both areas of production.

The combination makes the Monte Carlo a car to rediscover. The car has so much potential when it comes to looking good and running well. Whether racing or cruising, the 1970 Chevy is a car that’s the best of both worlds. As such, it’s a classic that should be parked in every garage.

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