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Monza History

The Chevrolet Monza was produced from 1975 through 1980. It served as a replacement for the Chevrolet Vega, though there was a three-year overlap. It had not been created to replace the Vega, it had been intended to house GM's Wankel engine. The Wankel engine was not used, in its place was a four-cylinder as standard and a V8 engine offered as optional equipment. The eight-cylinder engine just barely fit into the cramped engine bay. Not only was the eight-cylinder engine large, it was also very heavy and often accounted for severe driveline vibrations. There was a third engine option offered, another version of the V8 in 350 cubic-inch size. The option package was called the California/High Altitude edition. The Monza was a rear-wheel drive vehicle built atop of GM's H-platform and offered as a hatchback, coupe, and wagon.

1975 was not the first time the name 'Monza' was used on a GM vehicle; it had been used prior on the Corvair line of vehicles. The 1975 Monza was awarded Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.

In 1976 another V8 engine was added to the line-up - GM's new 305 V8. in 1977 the 262 cubic-inch V8 was discontinued. This left the 305 cubic-inch version of the V8 engine the only optional engine offered.

1976 saw the introduction of the Monza Spyder which would remain in production until 1980. It could be ordered with a performance package which saw improvements to the vehicles suspension, brakes and other areas. The Monza Mirage was introduced in 1977, the only year it was offered. It was offered by Michigan Auto Techniques which was an aftermarket company contracted by GM. The Mirage was basically a styling option; it was adorned in cameo white paint with red and blue racing stripes that ran the entire length of the car. The body panels were flared to give the vehicle a more aggressive stance. In total there were about 4097 examples created.

In 1978, a station wagon bodystyle was added to the Monza. The Monza S was also introduced in 1978 of which, less than 3000 examples created.

The Dekon Monza was a racing version of the car used in IMSA Camel GT road racing series in the US.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
Chevrolet Models

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