Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Car Of The Day: August 3, 2011

Today's car of the day is Mattel's Disney/Pixar "Cars 2" 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (Darrell Cartrip/Darrell Waltrip).

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo is an American-made two-door coupe introduced for model year 1970, and manufactured over six generations through model year 2007. It was marketed as a personal-luxury coupe through most of its history, with the last model version being classified as a full-sized coupe. When it was discontinued in 2007, it had outlived many competitors that were either discontinued many years earlier or changed in concept to either a four-door sedan or small sport coupe.

The Monte Carlo endured six styling/design generations. The first four (1970–72, 1973–77, 1978–80 and 1981–88) were of a rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered (V6 available beginning in 1978) coupe style, utilizing separate body-on-frame construction. The later rear-wheel-drive generations bucked the trend of unit-body construction, along with smaller engines, that became more prevalent in the early 1980s as automakers downsized their vehicle lines to meet increasing stringent fuel-economy regulations in the aftermath of two energy crises that led to gasoline shortages and skyrocketing pump prices in 1973-74 and 1979-80. Despite those trends, the Monte Carlo remained a popular seller and even regained the SS version (initially offered for 1970-71 with 454 cubic-inch V8) from mid-1983 to 1988 with a high-performance 305 cubic inch V8.
Following a several year hiatus following the discontinuation of the rear-drive Monte Carlo after 1988, the nameplate was revived for 1995 on a front-drive, V6-powered coupe based on the Chevrolet Lumina sedan. It was succeeded by the sixth and final-generation Monte Carlo in 2000 that was built along-side of the Chevrolet Impala, which succeeded the Lumina as Chevy's mid-sized sedan. The Monte Carlo SS was revived from 2000 to 2007, initially powered by 3.8-liter V6 (supercharged in 2004-2005), which was replaced by a 5.3-liter V8 for 2006-2007.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Surprisingly, this is the first time we've featured a Darrell Waltrip car.  But in this case, Darrell really is the car!  This one is based on his DiGard Racing Gatorade Chevy from 1977.  Pepsi, however, still owns the rights to the paint scheme hence the generic flamed design seen on this model (and the movie version of the same car).  One thing's for sure, didn't exist in 1977!

A revised grille with the Monte Carlo "Knight's Crest" emblem moved to a stand-up hood ornament and revised taillight lenses marked the 1977 Monte Carlo, which was the last year for the 1973-vintage design before the introduction of a downsized 1978 Monte Carlo. Engine offerings were reduced to two engines for 1977. The base engine for 49 states was the 140 hp (100 kW) 305 CID 2-barrel V8 and the 170 hp (130 kW) 350 4-barrel V8 was optional (standard in California). The 400 cubic inch V8 was dropped as an engine option. The Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was included standard equipment.
Interior trim received only minor revisions this year with upholstery choices including cloth, velour and vinyl in both base and Custom trims.

This model year marks the only time in history when an intermediate model was larger in every dimension than a full-sized model, as the B-body Chevrolet Caprice/Impala had already been redesigned and downsized for 1977.

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