Last post on Apr 02, 2002 at 3:05 PM
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Mar 22, 2002 (11:44 am)
at the price of Italian cars.........they ain't giving you anything for free!
Mar 24, 2002 (9:45 am)
what image will buy you (as a manufacturer)!
Mar 24, 2002 (10:56 am)
I checked out a '78 Monza a couple of years ago, and even then, I found the build quality and fit/finish very appalling (for a GM subcompact).
#187 of 193 When I was 9 years old...
Mar 25, 2002 (9:17 am)
...my Mom was thinking about getting a new car. This was late 1979/early '80. The fuel crisis was in full swing, so she was thinking economy-minded. One of the cars she was thinking of was a Chevy Monza. I remember back then hoping she'd get one, especially since around Christmas time I got a Tyco racecar set that had a Monza racecar. I think the other car that came with that set was a Porsche. Sad isn't it, that I'd remember the Monza distinctly, but not the other car?
Anyway, Mom ended up getting a 1980 Malibu coupe, which is probably for the better, because it was still running well 7 years later, when I got my driver's license and she handed it down to me. I don't know if a Monza would've made it that far
Apr 01, 2002 (11:01 am)
I actually saw one on the road on Friday. It would have been maybe a 79??? It was the hatchback in very faded beige (I think it was called gobie beige). It had a 5.1 Liter badge. Weren't the first Monzas jest a rebadged 77 Vega? I seem to remember that they were exactly the same car for a year and then took on a life (not a very long one) of their own. Is this correct?
#189 of 193 Yes they were....
Apr 01, 2002 (3:52 pm)
Although they were available with a small block V8. The Vega was designed to accept any powerplant GM decided to use, including a rotary.
#190 of 193 Monzas, et al
Apr 01, 2002 (9:08 pm)
My stepdad bought a '78 Sunbird (aka Pontiac Monza) new. I guess it wasn't an *awful* car (it did have the 3.8 V6) but it had the usual non-virtues (small back seat, front heavy) so it wasn't the best family car on earth for sure.
Speaking of Monza miniatures, I do remember having an orange Hot Wheels Monza as a kid, I think they put it out when the car was introduced (late '74).
#191 of 193 There might have been some earlier models...
Apr 02, 2002 (5:08 am)
...but the only Monza model I can remember that looked like it was just a rebadged Vega was the sport wagon model they had. It looked just like a Vega wagon with a chromey, upright grille grafted on. The Vega was also available as a 2-door or hatchback, both fastback body styles, while the Monza was available as a formal-styled notchback sedan (I thought these were pretty attractive for the time, especially in Sunbird trim), and a fastback hatchback style that had a roofline that was trying to ape a certain Ferrari model. I forget the exact Ferrari model, but I've seen a few in pics, and the Monza's roofline does look like a copy. I think all the hatchback models had the 4-square headlight treatment, while the notchback Monza tried to look like a little Monte Carlo up front.
I know these things were designed to accept anything up to a Chevy 350, but how did they really handle and act with bigger engines? I have an old used car guide that covers the '77-86 era, and it says to pretty much avoid them all in general, but gives extra warnings about the V-6 and V-8 models because the extra weight would make the whole thing sag. My neighbor used to race Vegas when I was a kid, and he put 350's in them, but I'm sure he also built up the suspensions to match.
#192 of 193 I had a small block Vega
Apr 02, 2002 (7:44 am)
and it handled fine -- not as well as with the 4-cyl, but still not bad. Heavier springs and shocks were a good idea, but you wanted them anyway, just because of the extra power.
#193 of 193 well.......
Apr 02, 2002 (3:05 pm)
......I know our '78 Sunbird was nose-heavy with the 3.8 V6, so it handled poorly in snow. I can only imagine how the Monza handled with a 350 up front!! Since I was nine when they bought the car, I never drove it, but mom would comment about the things she liked (good a/c, nice looking, quick for the era, etc.) and hated (tiny back seat and trunk, lousy traction in rain and snow). Ours was a notchback coupe, finished in the requisite-for-'78 silver with burgandy vinyl interior, 3.8/automatic, the Pontiac four-spoke graphite mag wheels, a/c and aftermarket cassette stereo.
I guess the Ps didn't love it too much, they got rid of it in '80 (for a Fiat Brava sedan, of all things, very scary). Good thing we also had a '72 Ford Club Wagon (in very glamorous two-tone green) as our 'reliable' car, LOL!