250px-1977 Chevy Monzas

Template:Infobox Automobile The Chevrolet Monza is a subcompact, four-passenger automobile that was introduced September 1974, and produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years. The Monza is based on the Chevrolet Vega sharing its wheelbase, width, and standard powertrain.[1] It competed with the Ford Mustang II and other sporty coupes. H-body variants Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Starfire and Pontiac Sunbird were produced using Monza's body style with different engines and grill and trim variations. The Monza nameplate was originally used for the Chevrolet Corvair.



Based on the GM H-platform, the Monza was slated for GM's Wankel rotary engine, which delivered high performance from an engine much smaller than a conventional piston engine, yet still capable of developing the same amount of power. Developmental problems with the rotary engine, similar to those encountered by NSU, the first automaker to adopt a rotary engine, led General Motors to discontinue further development on the engine. Notable issues included premature failure of engine seals and poor fuel economy. The latter was compounded at a time of comparatively high fuel prices following the Arab oil boycotts of 1973 and 1974. In addition, General Motors' abandonment of the rotary engine affected American Motors Corporation. With an agreement to purchase power plants from General Motors, AMC designed the 1975 AMC Pacer to utilize GM's new rotary engine. Because GM cancelled their rotary engine, AMC was forced to market the car with an inline six engine.

1975–1980 Edit

File:75 monza 2+2.jpg

The Chevrolet Monza 2+2 was originally offered as a 2-door Hatchback body style which was shared with the Oldsmobile Starfire and Buick Skyhawk. The Monza is Template:Convert longer and weighes 180 pounds more than the Vega from which it is derived.[2] John DeLorean nick-named it the Italian Vega citing styling with a strong resemblance to the Ferrari 365 GTC/4.[3] Monza 2+2 and its variants were among the first cars to adopt the newly approved quad rectangular headlamps.[4] Monza's standard engine was the Vega 140 CID (2.3 liter) aluminum-block inline 4-cylinder (L4) with single barrel carburetor, generating Template:Convert at 4200 rpm Optional was the 2-barrel carburetor version that generated Template:Convert at 4400 rpm.[2] Chevrolet's new 4.3 liter (262 cid) V-8 engine was optional. It features a Rochester 2-barrel carburetor and generates Template:Convert at 3600 rpm. Monzas sold in California and high altitude areas of the U.S. were available with a version of the 5.7 liter (350 cid) V-8 engine with a 2-barrel carburetor tuned to just Template:Convert. The 1975 Monza 2+2 and its variants feature GM's first use of a torque arm rear suspension, also adopted for the 1975 Cosworth Vega introduced mid-1975, and later, all 1976-77 Vegas and Astres.[5] The design was also incorporated into GM's third and fourth generation F-bodies, Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.

File:1976 Monza Coupe.jpg

In April 1975, the Monza Towne Coupe was introduced-a notchback coupe with a conventional trunk that used different sheet metal than the 2+2 hatchback coupe.[6] It features single round headlamps, instead of the dual rectangular headlamps on the 2+2. The Towne Coupe was built in response to the sales success of the Ford Mustang II notchback coupe and its luxury version, the Mustang II Ghia. The Towne Coupe was Template:Convert shorter and Template:Convert lighter than the 2+2 and had slightly more head room. Production of the Chevrolet Monza for the 1975 model year totaled 66,615 (with 41,658 equipped with 4-cylinder engines and 24,957 equipped with V-8s).[1] The Chevrolet Monza 2+2 won Motor Trend magazine's "Car of the Year" award for 1975.[7] In 1976 saw the introduction of Chevrolet's new 5.0 liter (305 cid) V-8 engine with a 2-barrel carburetor generating Template:Convert at 3800 rpm. It replaced the previous 350 CID (5.7 liter) V-8, but only for California and high altitude customers. The I-4 and 262 V-6 was available in the 49 states. Late in the 1976 model year, a Sport Front End Appearance option was available on the Towne Coupe, which features the 2+2's Sport front end and quad headlamps. The Monza Spyder option package was first introduced in 1976. It features 2-barrel carburetor version of the 4-cylinder engine as standard, a floor console, F41 suspension with larger front and rear stabilizer bars, special shock absorbers, and appearance features that distinguishes it from other Monzas.[8] The Spyder nameplate was originally used to designate the 1962-1964 Corvair turbocharged model.

File:77 monza mirage.jpg

From 1977 through 1979, the 5.0 liter (305 cid) V-8 was the only V8. The 1977 Monza Mirage was produced by Michigan Auto Techniques, an aftermarket company contracted by GM. The Mirage is painted white, with red and blue racing stripes along the length of the car. It also features flared body panels, and a special airdam & spoiler. The vehicles were built in GM's St. Therese plant, and sent to MAT for modification, after which they would ship completed cars to the dealer. There were approx 4,097 Mirages made from MAT[1], but there were also Mirages created by dealerships. The standard Vega 2.3 aluminum-block engine was discontinued.

File:1978 Monza wagon.jpg

For the 1978 model year, Monza received a facelift. Sport 2+2 hatchback and Sport notchback used a modified version of the previous quad rectangular headlamps, now above a full-width open-slot grill. Four new Monza base models replaced the discontinued Vega. Offered in 'S' hatchback, wagon, 2+2 hatchback and notchback. They feature a new front end with chrome bumpers, chrome grill, and single round headlamps. The Vega hatchback body-style did continue for 1978 as the Monza 'S'. It was marketed as the Monza price leader. The Vega wagon body style also continued in 1978 and 1979 as the Monza wagon. The 151 CID (2.5 liter) inline-4 'Iron Duke' replaced the Vega engine, and was standard for 1978. Engine options were a Chevrolet-designed 3.2 liter (196 cid) V-6 engine with a 2-barrel carburetor that produced Template:Convert at 3600 rpm. Replacing the 3.2 liter V-6 in California and high-altitude areas was Buick's 3.8 liter (231 cid) V-6 engine. Four-cylinder engines and the 3.2 liter V-6 were not available in high-altitude areas. The V-8 engine option was available on base and Sport 2+2 hatchbacks and notchbacks, and was not available on 'S' hatchback and wagon. Discontinued at the end of the 1978 model year were the 'S' hatchback and Towne Coupe Sport option.[9] 1979 model line-up was the base Monza 2+2 hatchback, notchback, wagon and Sport 2+2 hatchback. Discontinued at the end of the 1979 model year were the Monza wagon, the 196 CID (3.2 liter) V6 and the 305 CID (5.0 liter) V8.[10] The 1980 model year was the last for the Chevrolet Monza and its variants. the 2.5 liter (151 cid) 4 remained as standard, the only available engine option was the 3.8 liter (231 cid) Buick V6. The lineup consisted of a base 2+2 hatchback and notchback and 2+2 Sport hatchback.[11]

Monza Spyder Edit

File:1977 Monza Spyder.jpg

The Spyder option was made available in 1976 on Monza Coupe and Hatchback and was essentially a performance related package with minimal appearance items. In 1977, the Spyder package expanded to include a separate and extensive appearance package to go with the Equipment package. This Spyder Appearance package remained available until the end of the 1979 model year. In 1980, Chevrolet would combine both the Equipment and Appearance Packages into one Spyder Option Package which included new, larger Spyder striping + decals. The 'Spyder' name was introduced for the Chevrolet Monza. This package included performance equipment and some small appearance items to identify the Spyder option on the car. The Monza Spyder Equipment package was available on all 2+2 Hatchbacks and Monza Towne Coupes (with 'Sport Equipment' package) with 5-speed manual and Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmissions. The Spyder Equipment package included 2-barrel, Dura-Built 2.3 litre engine, floor console unit, large front/rear stabilizer bars, special shock absorbers, steel-belted radial ply blackwall tires, wheel opening mouldings (chrome), Day-Night inside mirror, Sport Steering Wheel (2-spoke wheel), Special instrumentation and 'stitched' instrument panel pad with added wood-grain vinyl accents (standard on 2+2), Distinctive "Spyder" identification (script fender emblems, steering wheel horn button insert and Spyder front facia and rear-lock cover) Chevrolet made extensive changes to the Spyder package including separate Equipment and Appearance packages with separate RPO codes found on the build sheet. The Spyder Equipment Package was regular production option (RPO) Z01, while the Spyder Appearance Package was RPO Z02. The Spyder packages were available on Monza 2+2 Sport Hatchback. Spyder decal colors were determined by the body color of the Monza ordered. There were 4 color combinations for 1977. For 79, there were 6 combos, which included a green and a blue color scheme.

File:77 Monza Spyder.jpg

Z01 - Spyder Equipment -- BR70-13C Steel-belted radial ply blackwall tires, Sport suspension, Sport Steering Wheel (2-spoke wheel), Center Console, Inside day/night rearview mirror, Spyder identification, Wheel opening moldings (available if the Z02 - Spyder Appearance Package was not ordered), Dual tailpipe system and white lettered tires were available in 1979. Z02 - Spyder Appearance -- Black highlights on front, side and rear of body headlight openings, parking light openings, windshield, rear window and side window moldings, body sill, door and center pillar louvers, rear end panel - (bright window moldings with black exterior), Black or gold rear accents (taillight blackouts and rear end panel decals), Body color front air dam and rear spoiler, Spyder emblems (front facia, rear lock cover and sport steering wheel horn button insert), Body side stripes with Spyder lettering in red, white or gold depending on body color, Black painted styled-steel wheels with trim rings and center caps, Black sport mirrors, Special hood decal and rear spoiler decal. Template:Clear For the 1980 model year, Chevrolet combined the Spyder Equipment and Appearance packages into one Spyder Equipment package with an RPO code of Z29 and included newly re-designed bold Spyder side decals and a new front air dam that blends into the front fender wheel openings. Spyder decal color choices (five) were based primarily upon the interior color specified rather than the body color as in previous years. Z29 - Spyder Equipment Package -- BR70-13C steel-belted radial ply blackwall tires (with option for raised white lettering), Sport suspension, Black front and rear bumper rub strips, Black headlights frames, Black windshield, belt, side and rear window moldings (not available with black exterior), Black painted body sill (also not available with black exterior), Black door and center pillar louvers, Black painted taillight frames, Body color front air dam and rear spoiler, Spyder emblems on front facia, rear lock cover and sport steering wheel (horn button insert), Black sport mirrors (LH remote, RH manual), Rear Spoiler and body stripes with Spyder lettering outlined in accent body colour, Spyder hood decal, Black painted Rally II wheels with bright trim rings and center caps.[12] A total 731,504 Monzas were produced in six model years.[1]

End of the H-body line Edit

The H-body Monza, Starfire, Skyhawk, and Sunbird were replaced in the spring of 1981 with the new front-wheel drive J-cars; the Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Firenza, Buick Skyhawk, and the Pontiac J2000 introduced as 1982 models. Oldsmobile had previously used the Firenza name as an option package on the Starfire. The Pontiac J2000 would become the Pontiac 2000 and a convertible model would be called the Pontiac 2000 Sunbird. Eventually all 2000s would be renamed Sunbird, and later Sunfire. Because the forthcoming J-body cars were to be sold as 1982 models, there was a long production run of 1980 H-body models in order to provide sufficient inventory to carry dealers until the spring of 1981.

In other markets Edit

Brazil Edit

In Brazil, the Chevrolet Monza name was used on GM Brazil's J-car, which was based on the Opel Ascona C, but featured initially a three-door hatchback (which resembled the larger Opel Monza) which was unique to Brazil and never available in European markets. Similarly, the five-door hatchback, estate and convertible body styles were not available in Brazil. In May 1983 a four-door sedan version was introduced along with a two-door coupé in September. The Monza was the best selling car in Brazil from 1984 to 1986. It was produced from April 1982 to August 1996 and sold 857.510 units during its 14-year life. Just like the Ascona C in Europe, the Monza was also replaced by the Vectra in Brazil. Initially Chevrolet sold both the Vectra and the Monza together, the Vectra A was launched in Brazil in September 1993, but in 1996 GM stopped making the Monza after the Vectra B was introduced in May of that same year in the Brazilian market.

Mexico Edit

From model year 1997 until 2003, General Motors Mexico used the Monza name on a sedan version of the Opel Corsa, the 2004 to present model is a Chevy C2 sedan.

Motorsports Edit


Chevrolet Monzas participated in the IMSA GT Series powered by Chevrolet Corvette engines[13] Template:-

See also Edit

Sources Edit

  • Flammang, James M. & Kowalke, Ron, Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1976-199, 3rd Edition (Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 1999)
  • Gunnell, John, Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1946-1975, Revised 4th Edition (Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2002)

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 1975 Chevrolet Monza brochure
  3. Wright, J. Patrick. "On a Clear Day you Can See General Motors: John Z. DeLorean's Look Inside the Automotive Giant". New York Smithmark Publishing, 1979 ISBN 0-9603562-0-7.
  4. Motor Trend-September 1974
  5. 1975 Chevrolet Monza brochure, 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega brochures, 1976 & 1977 Chevrolet Vega & Pontiac Astre brochures
  6. 1975 Chevrolet Monza brochure-March 1975
  7. Motor Trend-February 1975
  8. 1976 Chevrolet Monza brochure
  9. 1978 Monza brochure-January 1978
  10. 1979 Chevrolet Monza brochure
  11. 1980 Chevrolet Monza brochure
  12. 1976-1980 Chevrolet Monza sales brochures
  13. Template:Cite web

External links Edit


Template:Early Chevrolet carsde:Chevrolet Monza lt:Chevrolet Monza pt:Chevrolet Monza sv:Chevrolet Monza

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