From the 1970 Chevrolet Accessories Brochure. It confirms that Chevrolet pulled the plug on a convertible version quite late. But a number have been built in private hands, using Chevelle convertible parts, like this one below:
WOW that burgundy Monte is beautiful. An opportunity missed by Chevrolet
I always liked the first gen MC the best, and this looks even better. Love the color of the actual one and the rally wheels! I wonder why they never built it – afraid of taking sales from Chevelle?
Dead market. By 1970, Chevrolet knew that the colonnade generation (scheduled for fall 1971 intro but postponed during the 1971 model year) wouldn’t have any convertibles. Camaro already had previously abandoned convertibles.
That illustration looks a bit like a ’71 Eldorado convertible if you squint.
Re the Eldorado: Maybe a silly theory, but the painting perhaps elongates the Chevy a bit (as these often did), thus bringing its proportions closer to a “real” (photographed) Eldorado:
Aaron65, I thought the same thing, Eldorado. The side-sculpting in the rendering are a bit too ‘haunchy’ — but what a missed opportunity.
Same here. Only thing missing on the sides are the faux vertical air inlets
Maybe that haunchy rendering is the reason the colonnade Monte has such exaggerated sculpting, which didn’t translate well into the smaller A/G that came later. Those haunches were the reason that, as a child, the Monte was my least favorite of the common GM intermediates. It looked like a cartoonish version of the separated fenders common back in the 30s, which I recognized even when I was young, and thought it pretty silly. My dad’s 4-door colonnade Cutlass had weird sculpt lines at the bottom of the doors that I always thought looked like body damage. The coupes didn’t have that.
I don’t think a convertible Monte would have done particularly well. Chevrolet already had four other convertibles in their lineup (Chevelle, Impala, Camaro, and Corvette), adding a fifth didn’t make much sense when the convertible market was rapidly contracting.
Besides, this was the dawn of the Personal Luxury Coupe era: While a convertible is about fresh air and being seen, a PLC is all about A/C and being me. You wouldn’t want your tufted red velour interior to get wet or sun faded, would you? Other than the aforementioned Eldorado, I can’t think of any other convertible PLCs offhand.
I think you’ve hit it: just too many convertibles. With the advent of affordable, reliable A/C, convertibles just weren’t selling, anymore, and the PLC convertible was on the way out with only GM holding out to the bitter end.
A real shame, though, because the MC convertible is definitely a looker. Has anyone done a ’69 or later Grand Prix convertible? Seems like that one would be in the same boat.
Saw a convertible GP (69 or 70) for sale on a lot near my town around 20 years ago, looked great and was done really well, but at that time I didn’t have the means to afford it
The Monte came out in ’70, as did the 2nd gen Camaro/Firebird, which was never offered as a convertible, so there would still have only been four.
Just 3 convertibles in the ’70 line-up….the new Camaro was hardtop only! 🙂
If you can envision the Monte Carlo convertible being shrunken in a clothes dryer, you might come up with something like Bob Lutz’ 2002 Bel Air convertible concept car. I still think they made a mistake by going with that lame SSR truck thing, instead.
I remember seeing that Bel Air concept car at the LA Auto Show. As I recall it was built on a modified Trailblazer chassis. It does seem like a missed opportunity, the SSR was just goofy and did not sell very well.
They should have offered it.
Nice! The combination of maroon paint and the wheels works well with the convertible, and it’s great to see that a few people took the initiative and built their own. The first generation Monte Carlo is my favourite of the model, and while I understand why GM pulled the plug on the convertible, I think a small run would have made quite the statement, and they would have been a collector’s item fifty years on. A beautiful classic.
What could have been. It sure loos good.
Thank you for posting this Paul.
I had that very 1970 accessory catalog as a kid – having ridden my bike to the local Chevy dealer and picked it up with the other sales brochures I’d gotten – and remember that illustration.
The 1970 MC was, to me, far and away the best-looking of the entire bunch. It has the bones to be a great driver today. Despite my adoration of Tri-Fives, I’d be hard-pressed to turn down a nice ’70 Monte Carlo.
I’m with Dman all the way. The conversion is a beauty.
The first generation MC was one car that I liked with or without the fender skirts! The convertible is just drop top stunning! 🙂
If I had the space and the funds, I would sure jump on this one:
Better hurry –
My youngest sister has a 70 Chevelle in nearly the same colors, vinyl roof is white on her car and body a darker green.
A nice driver even if it only has a 307 with PowerGlide.
I like convertibles, and I wish this had been offered if for no other reason. This car would have been particularly attractive as a convertible, unlike some of the final crop on sale at that time.
But the realist in me acknowledges that it would not have been worth the effort. Convertibles were dying off. John DeLorean undoubtedly realized this, and the lack of a convertible kept the coupe version from being “lesser” in in terms of image.
You know how they say cameras add 10 pounds? Well those fender skirts add 800.
How many 1970 Monte Carlo convertibles made it out of production ?
Out of production? None.
It was rumoured that there were a couple built for GM executives
Huh! I’m not a particular fan of the ’70 Monte Carlo, but that wine-red convertible is quite sharp.
Its always fun to find those photos and renderings of prototypes that slip into the literature and manuals of models that never made it to production,
Someone in my area has built a Monte Carlo convertible like the maroon one, its medium blue metallic with white interior and top and its is sporty and elegant. What a shame it wasn’t put into production, A/C be damned!
Looking at that rendering, I wonder if they feared it looked a little too much like the new Eldorado due out the next year.
I was a lot boy for Carr Chevrolet, B
eaverton Or and I remember a Monty that was in the back covered up before introduction
Here is my 1970 Monte Carlo Convertible
Just remember Chevy lovers the 1st gen MC was nothing but a try of copying the 69 Grand prix. The MC can’t hold a candle to the PONTIAC Grand prix.
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