The Monte Carlo was Chevrolet’s answer to the Ford Thunderbird. It was an urbane coupe with a sporty image in the then popular ‘personal luxury’ mould. Based on the same platform as the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, the handsome, clean out Monte Carlo significantly and outsold it handsomely. Chevrolet built 130,000 Monte Carlo in its first year, compared with just 40,000 Ford Thunderbirds. Inside, the Monte Carlo had a walnut dashboard and all the power operated devices you could want to make driving easy and stress free. It was also fast very fast for a car of its type, especially with the biggest SS 454 cu.in. V8 engine option in place. This 360 bhp workhorse could rocket the Monte Carlo to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a time of less than eight seconds, and push it to a top speed of more than 130 mph (208 km/h). All but a handful of Monte Carlos had automatic transmission as you might expect, and the car made a great long distance cruiser, capable of maintaining 110 mph (176 km/h) all day long. If you had to do a long journey, it was a dream of a car.
Smooth and quiet riding, the Monte Carlo also enjoyed some success on the stock cars tracks. It did particularly well in the hands of drivers such as Richard Petty and Bobby Allison. Production of the original shape Monte Carlo ended in 1972, to be replaced by an uglier, less powerful version that continued the models success.