(first posted 5/28/2012) My green Monte Carlo. After 13 years, it’s become my mascot. In 1999, it was advertised in a local paper here in the Los Angeles area. We went to go check it out, and found, literally, an old-lady car. Turns out it had belonged to Ida May Moore, who bought it when she was 76 years old in 1976, and never bought another car.
When she saw that lime green “demonstrator” at the local Chevy dealer in Redlands, CA, she just couldn’t resist. You see, green was her favorite color, as told to me by her old friends who ended up handling her estate and selling the car a few years after she passed on.
She even left a green tire gauge in the glove compartment. It didn’t hurt that GM happened to use a matching green for the Monte Carlo owners manuals that year. It was meant to be!
The Monte Carlo was a runaway hit when it was introduced as a popular-priced personal luxury coupe in 1970, sort of a bargain mini-Eldorado or Riviera, one year after Pontiac’s Grand Prix was downsized with great success. Both the GP and Monte Carlo were stretched from GM’s mid-size A-body platform.
Like the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, which used the Tempest/LeMans sedan’s 118″ wheelbase, the Monte Carlo rode the Chevelle/Malibu sedan’s 116″ wheelbase instead of the coupe’s 112 inch span. All of that extra space was for the hood.
From the beginning, Monte Carlo shared a lot with the Chevelle it was based on, but offered more – more style, more hood, more luxury, but for not a lot more money. For 1973, it was restyled in the latest “neoclassical” retro-1930s look filtered through a ‘70s eye, with huge round single headlamps, aggressively sculptured sides, and narrow opera windows. It was no longer a hardtop but technically now a 2-door sedan, and those opera windows didn’t roll down.
Fast forward to 1976, and the formula was still the same, with the addition of stacked rectangular headlamps, huge 5mph bumpers in back (the 1973 had them only in front) and a few trim changes, including a new grille. As had been the case since 1973, you could get your personal luxury Chevy in plain Monte Carlo and fancier Landau versions. Several different interiors were available, and bucket seats with a console and floor shift were a popular option.
A 305 CID V8 was new, and the standard powerplant. You could also get 2- and 4-barrel 350s and a 4-barrel 400. The 454 CID V8 had been discontinued on Montes after 1975. Regardless of engine, all ’76 Montes had the proven three speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission.
Being a demonstrator, Ida’s Monte was loaded. For starters, it was the Landau model, with standard half vinyl roof, upgraded 50/50 split seating up front, special Turbine II wheels, and upgraded trim all around. It also had cruise control, power windows and locks, tilt, 8-track stereo and a lot of other gadgets that weren’t really all that common on a Chevy in the mid-70s.
Best of all, it was color-coordinated, so its white interior was complimented by green “environment” (that would be the dash and carpets) to coordinate with the lime green exterior. All in all, a nice combination. And with 22,000 miles on it, it drove pretty well. The air conditioner even worked! After checking out the car, I woke up the next morning and all I could see was GREEN. I had to have that car!
She’s not perfect. You’ll see plenty of little dents and flaws on Monte. That’s original paint you see. Original vinyl top. Original interior. Pretty much original everything! You only get that once, and I enjoy preserving it.
When driving the Monte, the first thing that might surprise you is that its 350-cubic-inch V8 actually motivates the car pretty well, and it handles nicely for its 3700-lb. weight. For her size, she’s amazingly agile.
This car has presence, from its mile-long doors (yes, they’re heavy but they aren’t sagging too much yet), to its even-longer hood, to its tiny back seat with “private” opera windows.
The 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission has no trouble at all bringing Monte up to a nice freeway velocity, pretty much devoid of wind noise. And really, although this car is not driven daily, it’s honestly been very reliable over the last 13 years and about 15,000 miles that I’ve driven it. The style may be baroque, but underneath, it’s just a solid Chevy drivetrain and body-on-frame construction that has held together pretty well. Of course, having a first owner who took pretty meticulous care of it and hardly drove it didn’t hurt.
I am a classic car aficionado, to be sure, and I’d owned a couple of classic cars before this one and several afterward, but the only real keeper so far is this Monte. Some like the GM colonnades and some don’t, but for me, the combination of color, condition, originality and ‘70s style made it a must-buy. 13 years later and counting, I can’t imagine letting her go!
Chris, I love the color combo but the colonnade I want most is an all-original, rust-free. red-on-red, 1973 Ponitac Grand Am w/ 4-speed, buckets, SD 455, no vinyl roof, and in the coupe bodystyle. Now watch me drool like a St. Bernard over that car!
P.S: Don’t be surprised if Zackman says he hates this car.
Zackman needs stuffed in the back seat for a couple of weeks .
That was the downfall of the colonnade coupes of all sorts:(
LOL! A little aversion therapy can work wonders.
Somehow the Reply to the post isn’t there, so….
Well anyway, totally awesome car. It’s just a so beautifully and consistently done example of the worst of 1976 Americana it simply transcends itself. Like others have commented, this is sculptured to an inch of its life, even if what they were aiming at is entirely questionable. Along with the metallic green, you just gotta love the thing. The green rings around the instruments (really, instead of chrome on all color interiors?) plus green seat belts on white seats…well, what can you say? And that all green dashboard instead of black or gray….whew.
A loaded old car is clearly the way to go, and the original condition of this one is great. I just don’t get someone putting money and care and love into a base stripper version of some old car. This one is the ultimate example of whatever the hell they were trying to do.
Chevrolets have a history of being in some ways low rent cheapo Cadillacs, picking up various Cadillac design cues. The assembly line worker bloke has to get the cheap people’s car, but he gets a bit of Cadillac aspiration in the deal. Note the three (!) levels of sort of Cadillac pattern grilles.
I once owned a 1970 Renault 16. Green, but dark metallic. Anyway, from a close period but perfectly embodied French/European ideas where this greenmobile embodies GM/American ideas of the period. Like you said, a lot of the length is in the hood – even though there is only a shortish V8 in there. The Renault hood was a bit long, about half the Monte length, but had the engine, transmission, entire drive train, and full size spare tire in there. Instead of a smallish back seat, it had enough room for humans if tighter on kneeroom, a fold down center armrest, and if you took the seat out, a completely flat floor like a Honda Fit. And of course huge windows all around instead of the “opera” window and a hatchback besides.
Right down to the faux wood trim on the radio knobs, yikes! The back seat in a car like this was only ever meant to be a bonus of sorts. The person who chose a Monte over a Malibu wasn’t looking for a people hauler. The abundance of green is a bit much for me but I do appreciate the 70s custom color/color keyed aesthetic vs. the monochromatic cars of today. And yes, “whatever the hell they were trying to do” is exactly what makes this car quirky and awesome. Love it, and it truly does transcend itself. And this from a Mopar guy, lol.
But my favorite colonnade is the 75 Century, had an h.s. friend in the 80s who seized the engine on one, killed me. But the 86 Jetta I was driving at the time was way more fun
I don’t know, it worked out okay for my fmily. My dad bought my mom this car new in ’76, same lime green white Landau 350, I can still taste the ashes from her flicked cigarettes from the window as my brother, sister, and I were riding quite comfortably in the back seat. On vacations my sister would lie on the rear window deck, brother on the seats, and me on the floor. We had this car until 1993, all three kids learned to drive on it, parents weren’t handing us the keys to the SeVille or gullwing Mercedes, especially not my Dad’s baby, the ’68 Coronet Super Bee. Car had 200k on it before I drove it to the junkyard, transmission was shot and I was going of to college and needed something reliable, which turned out to be a low miles LeBaron, what a POS that car was. The Green Booger, 1976-1993, RIP.
Nice call on the “kinda Cadillac” eggcrate within the three horizontal divisions. I’d never noticed until now, but this is almost exactly the same style of grille used on the ’79 Malibu, except that one had four horizontal divisons rather than three, in an argent surround rather than body color. I guess a good idea could live twice in that regard, especially given that they changed the grille design pretty much every year during the 70’s and into the early 80’s.
I had the same car. It was dark green but had
The same white interior . I was 17 when I got it. I loved it. Hang on to it. Roger
I love your car. I am not the biggest Colonade fan out there, but I am a sucker for a really pristine original car. The color combo of Jolly Rancher apple green and white is perfect for this car.
My mother and my step mother each had a 74 Colonade. Mom had a maroon 74 Luxury LeMans with white interior, and step mom had a white 74 Cutlass Supreme with white interior. I loved how GM would give you dash/carpet color choices with white interiors then. Mom’s was maroon, and the Cutlass had blue. Your green one makes probably a complete set.
I think of these Colonade cars (just what the hell is a colonade, anyway?) compared to contemporary mid-sizers like the way Winston Churchill described democracy: the worst form of government, except for all of the others. I never liked the feel of the bodies of these as well as that of the earlier series, but they turned out to be better cars than anything coming out of Ford or Chrysler at the time, both in terms of driving dynamics and durability.
Thanks for writing this up and sharing your car with us!
1. A series of columns placed at regular intervals.
2. A structure composed of columns placed at regular intervals.
So what does this have to do with these cars? My guess is the greenhouse of the 4-door sedans and base 2-doors.
Each pillar was narrow, both edges of each one remained parallel almost top-to-bottom, and the body color b-post was quite noticeable. This pic shows why that stood out in an era when the style had been no b with a fat tapering c.
It worked pretty well on the two Cutlasses in the pic. It was a little strange on the Buick sedans, like Kojak’s, to have delicate tapered pillars perched atop bulging silicone-injected fenders.
Of course, the upmarket coupes like Chris’s ditched the colonnade effect for the no b/fat c look.
In ’73, Pontiac allowed the owner to choose a contrasting carpet color by itself which is odd. I do not know if they continued this practice in other years though.
In thinking about it, our 74 LeMans was actually a maroon interior with white seats. Just the front and back bench seats were white vinyl. I never saw another car like it. I always wondered if somebody else had wanted maroon seats in their otherwise white interior and had the dealer swap them out. Or else, maybe Pontiac really did offer this to someone really good with the order forms.
Your car most likely came from the factory that way. My ’74 Malibu Classic was ordered in a similar fashion. The interior is black but the seats themselves are white. (Outside is green with white vinyl top). I’ve only seen one other car this way — it was also a ’74 Malibu Classic with black interior/white seats.
I prefer all-white but the white interior plastic crumbled to pieces — finding replacements for my prizes has become impossible.
Little old lady cars forever! Before me, the Imp was only owned by a Mrs. Dutton. The only options I wish she’d ordered were the passenger-side mirror and the 8-track!
The first ’70s bomb owned by my high school crew was car buddy Zach’s ’74 Cutlass coupe. The 350 did seem like plenty of power. This Monte has a much nicer interior.
Thanks for sharing, Chris. 🙂
Another GM hit that stucked just a little life out of Oldsmobile, Buick, and Pontiac… but I still want one.
What a gorgeous car Chris. You should be proud.
For me the Cutlass is my favorite Colonade. My dad bought a new ’76 Olds Vista Cruiser in the Spring of ’76, the Cutlass Station Wagon. Although our Vista Cruiser had a 350 4bbl TH350, it had a tall rear end (2.73?), was heavy, and had a first gen catcon, so it was a dog, especially when loaded with family and bags for a roadtrip. It was quite a let down after riding around in his ’69 442 convertible, but it was what it was for the times. We kept it until the summer of ’86, so it was the family workhorse for a decade.
Barouqe indeed, but also lean and muscular in comparison to the many imitators it inspired. And here in LA, always good to see the blue, or rarer black plates.
I am a sucker for these cars, especially the ’77 Regal. In high school at the time, I thought these cars and the people who drove them were smooth and elegant.
(I also am the recent recipient of a little old lady car for my daily driver, an ’07 Infiniti m35 with 1800 miles!)
1981. A ’69 Cadillac with 23,000 miles for $600. 1985. A ’78 Caprice Classic with 32,000 miles for really cheap (I can’t remember how much).
Little old lady cars both. Lowest cost per pound, obviously. But more important, lowest cost per number of miles left in them. Plus a bit of luxury thrown in.
The Monte Carlo is one of the few cars that I have always liked the look of right up through the last ones in MY1988. Your car looks great! You really have to like green to fully appreciate that bright green dashboard though. 🙂
Well I do.
Just to clarify, I think the green dash is fine except for the green surrounds on the gauges and idiot lights, which Eric VanBuren mentions more in his post below. If they put chrome trim rings around these, it would look pretty sharp against the woodgrain and against the green for the smaller gauges.
+1, also the gas gauge (by itself) as the only equivalently sized gauge next to the speedo? I mean it’s an automatic from the 70s, so I get it not being a tach, but….
Actually the gauge next to the speedometer is a vacuum gauge…something was pretty popular in the 70’s to help you gauge your fuel economy by trying to feather the accelerator. The actual fuel gauge is one of the small gauges to the left of the vacuum gauge and Speedometer. A pretty good idea, engine vacuum at least has some value in an automatic car, but you know these days how that worked out, as almost any car has a tachometer (back in the day, even many manual transmission cars lacked a tachometer, now routinely automatic cars seem to come with them). I guess the tachometer seems more “sporty” (good) not more “nerdy” (bad) like the vacuum gauge.
What a fantastic car. I quite like generation of Monte Carlo and yours might be the nicest example I’ve seen. I LOVE the colour. Great how it continues inside and fits with the white seats. The colour coded seat belts are a nice touch. I have a Mazda 2 in a similar green.
Nicely preserved! And a fine Leprechaun Green, it ’tis, luck of the Irish here?
My aunt bought one of the first redesigned ’73’s, for the life of me, I could never figure out the color combination, metallic dark red maroon exterior, white landau roof, brown dash and mouse fur upholstery. Very strange. I remember it as a ginormous, plasticky conveyance, and those mile-wide doors were nearly uncontrollable. She sold it to her next door neighbor in her retirement complex in 1980, it soldiered on well into the mid-90’s, a testament to the durability of its sheer mass, I guess. Never cared for these Monte’s, the ’70-’72’s were so much more refined. Does anyone remember the advertising tag line when the Monte’s first came out, “Relax, Chevrolet, it’s one of ours.”
I love it!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I revved up my computer this morning before heading out today, to, believe it or not, look for a Monte Carlo of this vintage to shoot for a CC!
I still think if I can locate it I am going to shoot it and share it here.
It gladdens my heart to see that you keep this car original and unmolested.
It’s people like you that one, I could be friends with, and two, continue to give me hope for mankind 🙂
Thanks! Looking forward to see the one you found.
I’m afraid that it didn’t work out. However, I did find it’s close relative today, a Malibu coupe that I will put together for an Outtake soon.
I have a 75 monte I’m selling in Cleveland Ohio. Runs like an Ohio state tight end. Hit me 216 2884749
thats a nice horse bro i have the exact same ranfla a 1976 MC i love this ranfla i need the paint code tho, i want to keep it the original color can u help me that jolly rancher apple green is fuerte thanks
I saw a similar vintage Chevelle/Malibu sedan at Bishop Intl. Airport that was white with a dark green vinyl roof.
Wow! Now that woke me up this morning! What a time capsule; and that green dash. I’m in love.
This has to be one of the more splendiferous Montes out there. And very nice photography’ love those first two shots.
The designers must have had a hay day with this; all those lines and protrusions. The clay modelers earned their paycheck. Thanks for sharing and making my morning. I never knew I could feel so strongly about a Monte Carlo.
Wow. Agreed on those first two shots; those are both dealer brochure quality.
Vibrant colors look fantastic on the colonnades. Why does it seem like the only ones I ever see are ratted-out beiges, whites, and silvers?
Oh, and for my colonnade money, it’s ’73 GTO (in black) closely followed by ’73 Chevelle in refrigerator white. A big healthy set of meats in the rear really gives these cars a tuff vibe.
Thanks guys. The first shot was taken about 9 years ago from a hotel balcony — the second last week when I just pulled it out of its parking space for some quick shots. As you can see she hasn’t changed much over the years!
Chris, your car can now be seen on google images when someone types the query “1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo”.
I rather like all the Colonnades (sorry Zackman), but what may be my favorite is an odd one: a 1976-77 Olds Cutlass Supreme sedan. The combination of the 1973-75 fender blisters (lost on the coupes starting in ’76) and the rectangular lights just do it for me. I’d like one in Chris’s color, so I guess it would have to be a ’76, since that’s the only year the color was offered.
Thanks for sharing your car with us Chris, it’s beautiful!
Thank you for your great editing! Around the time I found the Monte, I spotted a 1977 Supreme Brougham 4-door in the choice green of that year — a soft metallic silver-green, inside and out with striped loose-pillow seats. It was in mint condition. I tried to track it down (maybe left a note or something) to buy, but never got anywhere with it. It wasn’t for sale. I really like the Colonnade 4-doors and that one was another with (IMO) great color, condition and option level that would have been fun.
Same here on colonnade love Tom.
These were very popular cars in NJ when I was of Prom age. I Remember a Freind and his mother had Matching triple white ones, and the charming story to go with it…
I Would Have rather had just about any other Car in the Personal Luxury wannabe club…
What a great car. Dig the white seats, they aren’t by chance leather are they? Wondering if Chevy even offered that as an option. I like their style/pattern, because most A-car seats it he 70s had a much more plain look than those and (like my 79 GP) were vinyl.
They are not leather. Two trim levels were offered with vinyl seats — the base was a bench with a ribbed upholstery sew pattern, and very plain jane. The Landau got this “Special Custom” (that’s the official name) 50/50 vinyl seat interior and (I think) more woodgrain on the dash, etc. The Special Custom interior was also offered in a very smart looking checked fabric upholstery. And then of, course, the swivel buckets with operating console were an option, and would look great with this green/white scheme — but that’s not what Ida found on the lot that day. I’m happy with the split bench and column shift.
I want to correct my own error. The upgrade interior I have was not part of the Landau option — it was a separate option. So my car is a Landau (which comes with the badging, Landau roof, Turbibe wheels and a few other small items) and also has the Special Custom Interior option, which gives it the upgraded 50/50 vinyl seat and different door panel design.
I get it. I took delivery on the same car/color in Dec of 1975 that I had custom ordered. I saw a demonstrator like it in the parking lot when I pulled up and quickly changed my mind from the silver that I was going to get. It had 96,000 miles on it but was still in pristine condition when it was stolen in Nov 1981. It was recovered the following March but I had settled with ins company and bought another car. I have never had a car before or since that I liked as much as that one. Drove like a dream. Mine had the bench seat but was fully loaded. I was teased a lot about the color. Folks referred to it as my slime lime but I did not care. I loved it enough for all. I hope you still have it. What a classic. I’ll have to send you a photo of the one I had. Happy Driving.
Is present-day “leather” upholstery in cars really leather? I won’t embarrass the carmaker but have seen a driver’s seat that was supposed to have standard equipment “leather” that cracked and exposed white woven fabric underneath. It looked a lot like the backing for regular vinyl upholstery. Somehow I got the feeling that it never saw a cow in its life; that it was born of petroleum, not a female cow; and in a factory, not a barn. There were enough split places in it that the lame excuse, “It’s only ‘leather-trimmed'” (and the catalog description did not say that) would not apply unless the “trim” was only in narrow 1 inch strips.
Yes, a great deal of actual cowhide leather is still used for upholstering cars. There’s beginning to be a movement away from it, toward other leatherlike materials.
That is a beautiful old Chevy! I love the white seats and green dash, priceless!
These cars represent the peak of what GM did; the THM350 and 350 4bbl was the best drive trail Chevy ever had. Smooth, syrupy torque, no lock-up anything. Reliable are and electrics on these cars, too.
My car was also a Little Old Lady Car. She had it for eleven years and 66,000 km, which is just under 40,000 miles. Hardly a nick or ding on it. It drives and looks like new.
I love the audacity of a brougham-era car painted that bright shade of green. Somehow it all comes together without looking tacky. And a low-mileage grandma’s car too boot… Thanks for showing us the car behind the avatar.
Not a car I particularly care for, but yours is certainly a nice example. I like the fact that it has its original plates from new; that option is unavailable in far too many states including my home state of Washington.
Those long, heavy doors are hell on door hinge bushings. Back in the day when GM doors were all like that it was a cinch to get the bushings replaced at a dealer…don’t know if that’s the case now. That was something I paid particular attention to when I was looking for my 2nd-generation Firebird, because a door that’s let sag for too long will ruin the striker plate and latch.
The 3rd generation Firebird/Camaros were even worse because the door hinges were WELDED to the doors themselves. Wear out a hinge on one of those & you got muchos problemos.
Really Nice Monte. Back in 1976, I used to work with a guy who bought an Olds Toronado in the identical color scheme. He had gotten a payment for losing a finger in an industrial accident. He said the car cost him $ 11,000, (probably most of the payment for his finger.)
While showing it to me, he said it had everything but a portable ____. (Use your imagination.)
Anyhow, the steel industry collapsed, and he drove the car well into the mid 80’s. I last saw the guy and his car in about 1985. The car looked pretty bad.
I think the ’76 Olds brochure shows the Toronado in that color. I’ve seen it on all kinds of ’76 GM cars (from Monzas to Electras) and almost the same color was offered on 1974 Cadillacs and named “Persian Lime”.
Good memory! Here it is:
I just saw a ’76 Delta 88 four door hardtop in this color, complete with white vinyl roof, last week. I was riding with a friend in his vintage car (full writeup coming soon, don’t worry) when we saw it. If I’d been in my own car, I would have followed him to get some pics!
Love it! That color scheme is so strong that every time I see another car with it, I feel like it’s a “relative” of mine. For that reason I was very tempted to buy a rather nice green/white ’76 Buick Skyhawk on Ebay last year, but I passed.
But that pic is a Toronado, not a Delta 88, no?
Yes, the car in the pic above is a Toronado, but Delta 88s were offered in that color, too. I guess nearly every ’76 Olds was! Even the 98 and the Custom Cruiser, although that would seem a little crazy. But the color is actually more tasteful in person than you might think from pictures. It’s vivid but not neon bright, and sophisticated in a ’70s way.
Like it….no love it. Thank goodness for the old folks that took great care of their cars, leaving them well preserved for us to enjoy.
Chris you beat me to it, but hey that’s what happens when I procrastinate. Lovely car and I have to agree with you on how much of a nice driver these rides are. I owned a few cars but I always get a kick seeing all those “lines and protrusions” the designers didn’t go half way.
The Response that this car gets 50 plus crowd is always an event. I listened to people who had one or two of these things. When I brought it in to get certified the mechanic first words were “Your breaking my heart a 76 Monte was the first car I bought in Canada” he was grinning ear to ear driving it into the shop. When I went to get the car appraised I said “Some love it some don’t. Maybe it’s the 70’s vibe and maybe the association with disco”. The appraiser shot back “this was the disco car!” he too was a bit smitten by it. Nice write up and beautiful Monte.
Thanks! So you have a 1976 Monte Carlo? Can you share some pictures with us? Would love to see it.
Sigh… I still pine for my parents’ Monte, a 1974 Landau, white with a navy blue top and interior. It also had the F41 suspension package and polycast wheels like Chris’ car.
My folks were planning to pass it down to me, but a carb fire changed all that. This was around 1989 or so. It had been in the family since 1978.
I’m still a tad bitter about it.
That’s a beautiful survivor you have there, don’t ever let it go.
Love the white interior my 1973 Buick Century Luxus had the Buick version of that white interior though it had the buckets and floor shifter. While I like the gauges in the Monte, the wood-grain should extend around all the gauges so I prefer the look of the Buick’s dash as it had some wood-grain on the passenger side too. I have some mixed feelings about the fact that a little of the underlying green can be seen around the gauges and indicators which makes in look like the tacked on addition that it is but also does add an interesting contrast.
I LOVE The Dash in Green Gorgeous. Very Gran Prix Like I Might Ad. See my Mom Had One and I Was Inclined to like what she had. Conveniently her next car was the 73 TBird… which I’m sure I guided her to the Bargain Mark 4… Black on Black with White Leather Was All Hers… Id Have picked a Moonglow color.
What a great time capsule a very mint condition car just keep it like it is, personally I dont like the colour I can cope with dark green my( Citroen is emerald green) but that Chevy is too green for me.
I’m surprised that nobody has commented about how the left gauge pod above the steering column, where an optional tach was probably intended, is taken up with a huge “Fuel Economy” (vacuum) gauge. I guess that was another sign of the times when this car was made.
A tach was probably still available, though the “fuel economy” gauge is a sign of the times for sure.
‘Twas available but very rare after the ’74 model year when the Econominder cluster was first offered.
Vacuum gauge economy lights or some other form of notification have been around since the 20’s. I used to have a late 40’s-early 50’s add on light. If the light was red your gas economy was suffering. I wish I knew what I did with it.
Lovely car, and unique colours. I have my “original” ’75 Monte for 24 years, and have nudged it up to 275k miles on the original drivetrain. The book-end twin has 73k, and both have the 350/350THM combo, but are fairly sparsely optioned Canadian cars. The original has full catalytic converter, whereas the other has none, with no unleaded markings, etc., making me think that we could order cat-free Monte’s in Canada in 1975. As with all cars of this type, it would be much more preferable to get one in the best original condition that you could find, because any amount of restoration is not cost effective, and parts are very hard to find
Great color. How amazing that you found a bookend for it! The 275K example looks just as fresh as the 73K one.
Both, very nice!!!
Nice cars! You might find the build sheet in them still — they are hidden in various locations depending upon which plant the cars were built at. They tell you everything there is to know about how your car was ordered/equipped. I found four build sheets in one ’77 MonteCarlo once.
It’s very much a treasure hunt.
The ’70s blue and gold Cali plates look great on most cars – not this one
I also wanted to comment on all the comments about preferring other colonnade models. Hey, I’m with you! At the time I found this Monte, I had a ’77 Grand Prix that was amazing. I think the dash on the Grand Prix is a lot more interesting, plus mine had leather buckets, console and factory T-tops. But the Grand Prix was white with a black interior. When it came time to sell one or the other, the choice was not exactly easy, but obvious. I love the Cutlasses, Century, Regal and LeMans and Malibu too, and I also owned a ’76 Cutlass Supreme Brougham for a short time several years ago. I wasn’t even specifically looking for a Monte Carlo when this car turned up. But the color combo really clinched it for me, and that’s what made me a Monte Carlo owner for keeps!
That is quite a color, that’s all I’ll say.
I discovered last night that someone in my neighborhood has a well-preserved example of the subsequent generation of this car. I don’t know the year, but I’d guess a ’78-’80 Monte. I’d like to get some photos of that one.
love love LOVE it! I always has a soft spot the stacked headlight Montes…took driver’s ed in one the looked just like Dean Edwards twins except it was a ’76 model! Later in life I was able to buy my own “old-lady” car in the same color combo and it became my fave car-I-wish-I-would-have-kept! 1976 Olds Delta 88, same color combo inside and out down to the seatbelts! And it was Hurst modified car! (have to find a pic of the door tag to show). Unfortunately a dash fire took her out and the insurance company sent her to the junkyard in ’89
That Delta 88 is one rare bird. Shame about the fire.
That roof package,It had a name, Crown Royale coupe or something like that.
Ooh! That Delta is AMAZING! I was going to say Crown package — it’s something like that. What a beauty. Thanks for sharing the photo.
FYI:It had the Landau roof package.
I really like it. That shade of green looks great with the white interior and vinyl roof. I had a 76 in silver/grey two-tone with burgundy interior. Also had a gold 70. It’s funny how long that hood really is. I remember opening the hood on my 70 and people had a good laugh at the “clothes dryer” between the radiator and the fan!
For those of you that don’t know, our good friend Sajeev Mehta over at TTAC started a group on Facebook called the “Brown Car Appreciation Society” (Yes, I joined it). I’m thinking we need to start a “Green Car Appreciation Society”!!!
It would be a small and exclusive group at that….Would Kermit be available as the “spokesman”?
I’ll be the first to be in on that group!
Upon further Facebook research, I have hound out that there already a “Green Car Appreciation Society” called the “Matte Green Car Appreciation Society”. Does anybody want to join it? I already have.
Did the stupendous soundtrack come with the car? Huge +1!
hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm HHHHHHHHHHRMMM HRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMMMMM!! DUN dun! *DUN dun DUN dun DUN dun DUN dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNnnnn
No, but it’s one of the rarer tapes I’ve collected, and sometimes that white interior does seem a little like the inside of one of the space pods on that movie!
Nice Monte.Here is My 76
Just now seeing these posts. Nice car, looks like a twin? More details?
I was pleased to be with you when you first laid eyes on the Monte- and all of the coaching to keep you from screaming was worth it. It was obvious from first glance that it was destined to be your car and I am very happy that you still have it.
Chevrolet had high hopes for Medium Lime Metallic in 1976- every model from Chevette to Corvette was offered in the color and every model except wagons offered a white vinyl interior with lime “environment”- ie, dash and carpets.
Happy Motoring, Jeff
I almost forgot that Joe Pesci drove one of these, in 70’s brown, in Casino, it even had the same cast wheels.
What a fantastic color scheme! How come so many cars today are black or dark grey? Gee, we have become so serious.
Love the car Chris! My dad had a ’76 Catalina Coupe that same green- also it was a demonstrator too! Same white seats with the green carpets and dash! Check out my ’75 Grand Am! It’s white but the same kinda thinkg inside- white seats and red carpet and dash! It’s a “fastback” Colonnade on the shorter “A-Body” chassis.
I also love that you are keeping this original! As long as there is no rust or major dents, people spend way to much money “restoring a 22,000 mile cars”. You shouldn’t have to do more than change the oil, tires and few other things to a 22,000 mile “original car”. I wanna kick idiots that bark “I did a frame off on this 22,000 mile car”. Really? That just means you’re a boorish moron that wants to show everyone how stupid you are with your money! Cars like this should be owned by someone like you Chris who become it’s “steward”…”caretaker”…fix stuff when it breaks, keep it up and drive it carefully! That’s what it’s all about! Not about $10,000 paint jobs!
wow, when you wrote ida may moore, i assumed it was ida moore, the hollywood character actress, who played kooky old ladies but she passed away in ’64. too bad, the car would have been perfect for her!
Wow, I never heard of her! She looks like a great character. Now I’m wondering if they were related somehow. Or maybe that was just a really popular name around the turn of the 1900s!
That Lime color was available on nearly all GM vehicles in ’76, from Vega to DeVille. And even Chevy vans, Suburbans and pickups too. As the trucks aged, I’d see some with spare lime green beds, doors, gates, and hoods being recycled. “They got the part from a ’76!”
If you’d just described it, I’d hate it…but seeing it….it’s awesome.
Thank you for flaring up my Monte Carlo jones! What a beauty.
Chris your car is stunning! “Lime” is my absolute favorite mid-70’s GM color & white interior has always been my favorite color. It’s in absolutely incredible condition. The 1/4 window moldings are amazing in at they even exist — the plastic things crumble to bits & command hundreds of bucks on E-bay if they are ever even found.
Wow, your car is so rare with its color & long list of options, the 350, the gage package, 8-track, blower rear defogger, tilt, cruise, power windows, locks, deluxe seat belts. Delay wipers were seldom seen but I think your car has that and the power seat too… Is the radio the AM-8-track or AM/FM 8-track? If your car has the remote RH mirror that’s rare too… the knob is mounted to the right of the radio. Is a power trunk button in the glove box? Man, I’d love to see the build sheet on that baby.
The Landau upgrade is so nice — I think it included the awesome polycast wheels, sport mirrors & 50/50 front seat. I stripped a base ’76 M/C of its white interior a few months ago at the local scrapyard & its seats are nowhere near as attractive as the Landau units in yours.
This is my favorite car so far on this website. I still can’t believe the shape of those 1/4 window moldings… they were made of stainless steel only in 1973 and not all A-body cars had them even then.
Things Monte Carlo brings me back to my high school days in San Rafael, 1973-77. Many of these Montes plied the streets of Marin and the whole Bay Area. Naturally, engine choices were limited to the 350 LM-1 4bbl (although the 454 was an option in Cal in ’73 and ’74). Before the proliferation of Bimmers, Benzes, Lexus cars to such an extent 15-30 years later, most upper crust (usually wives) seemed to be driving these cars all around the “smart” areas of Marin – We lived a block from the Marin Tennis Club and Ballet Center . . . these cars were relatively affordable and by today’s standards, horrible wasterful interior space – bulky on the outside – leisurely acceleration – in the day they were something else. If you ordered the F41 suspension (70 series radials and thicker sway bars), pretty good handlers. Nice car!
The economy gauge was on the white ’75 Buick Century wagon our group in Driver’s Education had . . . . the white top over green is very pretty. Buddy of mine in high school his Mom had a similar colored ’75 Coupe de Ville. Of course, the Caddy seats were pleated leather . . . and had the California big-cat equipped 500 cuber . . . . . 8 track player! “Click” !!
Most of the Montes of this vintage I remember seeing new were usually maroon, brown, beige, blue or white. Second to this Monte, I remember Buick Regal coupes and Lincoln Mark IV’s the ‘favorites’ of the then Bay Area upperwardly mobile. Today, it would be an E class Benz or Lexus ES350, or Bimmer 5 series. Or a GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition . . .
I have to say that I have never seen a Monte of this vintage in this nice of shape. It truly is a time capsule and kudos to you for preserving it. I rarely see these cars, even at cruise nights or car shows, which is surprising considering how popular they were. I think it is probably one of the sharpest color combos I have seen on a Monte Carlo.
I’ll have my T-bird for ten years this October. I can understand when you say there is just something about a certain car that draws you in. I’ve had several cars over the last ten years but the only one that I’ve kept around is the T-bird.
“Like the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, which used the Tempest/LeMans sedan’s 118″ wheelbase, the Monte Carlo rode the Chevelle/Malibu sedan’s 116″ wheelbase instead of the coupe’s 112 inch span.”
I don’t think this is correct, at least the part about the Grand Prix and Tempest/LeMans sedan sharing a 118″ wheelbase. IINM, all 1968-77 A-body four-doors use the 116″ wheelbase, and all conventional 1968-77 A-body coupes and convertibles (i.e., other than the Grand Prix and Monte Carlo) use the 112″ wheelbase. The 1969-72 Grand Prix uses an A-body sedan wheelbase stretched two inches to 118″, which is unique to the Grand Prix from that period. The Monte Carlo by contrast always used the regular 116″ sedan wheelbase from the time it was introduced in 1970. When the A-bodies were restyled in 1973, GM decided to abandon the longer wheelbase for the Grand Prix, and it moved to the regular 116″ sedan wheelbase, same as the Monte Carlo.
Absolutely beautiful car, Chris. Congratulations! I love the color, but what really makes the car for me is the white upholstery. Here in Virginia, white seats are so comfortable in the summer. Why is it that all we can get now are black, grey and tan? Anyway, I wasn’t a Colonnade fan when these cars were new, but I see them in a completely different light now. Never, ever sell this car!
I had the same exact car 25 years ago. The only difference was I had the white swivel seats and green console. Most people didn’t know the floor shifter had a Hurst linkage. When you had it in low and slapped the shifter up and to the right it would stop in 2nd gear. One more time put it in 3rd. Instead of flipping the seats forward to get in the back, my bucket seats rotated. Never seen that feature since. When you want to sell??? 🙂
Breathtaking! What a car Chris!! Congratulations! As mentioned above – Never, ever sell that car!! My father actually had a Chevelle Malibu Classic Coupe with exactly the same dashboard and it had swivel seats and floor shifter. I tried to find it back some years ago without any luck :-(. Last Friday though, I managed to find another one of his old cars….a 1976 Cutlass Supreme with T-top, the 455 engine and much more. Sold new in Stockholm, Sweden to an Ericsson Director who had it only for a short time. My Father was the second owner. The car is said to be in good condition with only 160.000 km and in total five owners. I’m picking it up in September, will share some more info and pictures then!
I’ve seen your car in the wild when I lived in Southern California….at an architecture tour of a Welton Beckett building on Wilshire Blvd., “The House of Tommorow” I think. As if the color was not memorable enough- I immediately recognized the license plate frame- my folks bought their 73′ Monte brand new from Lange and Runkel in Redlands, CA! It’s now “Tom Bell Chevrolet”.
Beautiful! superb lines & color.
1973-77 Montes had style & a typical US look…majestic!
Today’s GM designs are so “anonymus”… no style & boring!
Bill Mitchell, would surely be desapointed!!!
My brother bought the same car used back in ’80 or ’81, but in red. I remember those long heavy doors that would sag when you tried with all your might to close them!
The color of your car is amazing, I got one metalime green Firebird myself.
Read this thread, lots of lime green ’76 Firebirds and Camaros.
My own thread (in swedish)
Stefan Westlund, Stockholm, Sweden
Thank you, Stefan, and thanks for sharing your green Firebird. It looks amazing in that color combo! I’ve seen a couple of 1976 Grand Prixs in that color combo over the years, as well.
Beautiful MC! I’ve longed for a monte ever since high school, but for a really strange reason (especially after almost 30 years) I’ve yet to own one. I remember this ’76 color for the MC and the full size chevys, and they were amazing to look at.
Great example. Let me know if you ever decide to sell!
I love this Monte. I have seen pictures of your car throughout the web in the past. A friend of mine owns a twin to this car, with around 30K miles, and oddly enough it originated in California. The difference is that it has the Chevy “Corvette” slotted steel Rally wheels and white letter BFGs. Personally, I like yours better with the Polycast wheels and whitewalls.
There are people out there who might take offense to the color but I’m glad to see so many people have chimed in here saying they love it, because I do! I think it’s a refreshing color personally.
I used to own a ’74 Impala Sport Coupe that was pretty much this same color…it was called “Bright Green Metallic”. The paint code for the body plate was “46”…I don’t know if this color was 100 percent exactly the same as your car, but it was close. It had been repainted a long time ago, but it was the original color and that was still in the door jambs. There was one in the 1974 Chevrolet (passenger) brochure in that color too. The interior was all bright green, instead of with white seats or contrasting door panels.
I really miss that car, but unfortunately it was getting very rusty, sold to a friend, who then sold it to a guy who demo derbied it. I did manage to get all the hard to find parts off of it to save as spares for the much nicer ’74 Sport Coupe that I own now. Such a fun vehicle, everyone commented on the color whereever it went.
Another view of the color:
This is the replacement that I bought when I still had the green Impala…it made it easy to let go of the other rusted out one since they were so similar. I’ve seen two Sport Coupes in person since at least the 90s (I got the green one in 2001 as essentially my first car), and have never seen another, I owned both!
Lastly, this is the color combination of the interior in this car, matching light beige headliner, headliner trim, door panels, seats (there are seat covers hiding the uncomfortable factory upholstery that have been there since around 1980), brown dashboard, carpet, package tray, and A-pillar metal trim pieces. The metal trim around the inside of the windows is all beige except for those A pillar pieces. Kind of strange!
I enjoyed seeing your green 1976 monte Carlo. I bought the same car new in Dec 1975. In fact I special ordered it from the dealer. Like Mrs. Moore, I was influenced by selecting that color when I drove up to the dealership and saw a demo on the lot. I had a bench seat in the front however but I had all the options. Everyone told me that mg car was slime lime but I didn’t care, I loved it. It had 96,000 miles on it in Nov 1981 when it was stolen in Houston. It was not recovered until March of the next year when if was recovered in Dallas. Someone had busted the column and drove it there and parked it and it wasn’t discovered for months. By that time, I had settled with the insurance co. I still think about that car that I pampered and it was taken away so suddenly. The car was smooth and ran like a top. I had a problem with people steeling the center caps from the rally wheels. On my honeymoon a few months before it got stolen, we were driving down to Padre Island and the AC went out. If was so hot that the 8 track tape melted in the tape player. I thought the cad had such beautiful lines and an awesome ride. I still have a lime colored jacket that I bought that matched the car. I smile every time I look at my old photos of the car. Enjoy the car. Your lucky to have it. If you want my 70s lime jacket let me know, I’ll sent it to you!
For some reason, I’m just now seeing these more recent posts! I would love to see your lime green jacket! Great story, but I’m sorry you had theft problems. I’ve been lucky so far (knock on wood), but I think these cars are much less targeted for theft than they were back in their heyday. If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area, let me know and I’ll show you the car for old times’ sake. I’m from Texas myself, but I have lived in California since I bought the car and it’s always been here.
Even though both the 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and 1976 Oldsmobile Toronado belonged to the same Personal Luxury Size Car categories, there is a significant size between these two similar looking cars as shown from this photo comparisons which I have created. The 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was about 15 inches shorter (a little over a foot) than the 1976 Oldsmobile Toronado – 212.7″ for the former and 227.6″ for the latter. As a matter of fact, these Oldsmobile Toronados were even almost 5 inches longer than the pre-Downsized 1976 Chevrolet Impala/Caprice Classic 2 & 4 Door Sedans. On the average, the 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlos were even almost 1,000 pounds lighter than the comparable 1976 Oldsmobile Toronado – 3,900 pounds for the former and 4,850 pounds for the latter hence both the 1976 Chevrolet Impala and Caprice Classic Coupes and Sedans weigh in between 4,300 to 4,400 pounds.
not a big fan of the vehicles that were popular during this period but I’ve always loved the big Monte Carlo’s (I prefer the 1976-77 stacked headlights over the 1973-75 rounded headlights) and the 1976-77 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme’s, my mother used to own a ’76 Chevy Monte Carlo and it was a really good car, if I were to own a car built in the 1973-77 time frame I would choose a Chevy Monte Carlo or Olds Cutlass Supreme 2 door.
Loved reading about your Monte Carlo. Even though I’m a Ford guy first & foremost, I always held huge affection for the Gen-2 Montes. I’ve owned 2 in my lifetime; a ’77 in gold with the full on Laundau treatment just like yours, fully loaded, only cloth seats & 305 2bbl; & a ’74 with the more sporting swivel buckets, console & floor shift, Rallye wheels & a 400 2bbl, finished in pewter with black top & interior. The ’74 had factory duals, but I did convert the ’77 to duals. Both cars got converted to Quadra Jet 4bbl carbs for more spirit. I really dig the shade of green on yours. Seems like there was a LOT of green cars in the ’70’s; some shades were nice like this & others were vomit-inducing. Same with the many shades of brown, too! I regret selling both of my Montes; so stylish & great riding, great handling cars to boot. The fuel consumption was respectable, too. I could get about 18 on the freeway with the ’74 & manage an honest 20 with the groovy gold ’77. These are great cars but hard to find nice like this, & when you do, boy is the cost of entry steep. Thanks for sharing; brought back fond memories.
These Monte Carlo Landau coupes are amongst the best looking Chevy’s of the 1970’s and not to mention amongst the most popular selling even during the oil embargo. I’ve seen a couple of these bright green ’76 models in person and this has to be the nicest. What sets this one apart is the special custom interior (first available on the ’75 models). It’s also not common to see the special custom trim in white vinyl as typically it was velour cloth. These cars looked best with white landau roofs and matching white interiors. I’m guessing most ’76 models were equipped with the 350-2 but also pretty sure the 305-2 was growing in popularity. And yes the turbo hydramatic 350 and 400 transmissions in these were reliable performers.
Here is one that I saw this past spring at a car show. It’s was primarily original with the exception of the aftermarket wheels. The interior was swivel bucketed in showroom condition. It was optioned with cruise control, an 8 track player and the econominder gauge but curiously enough it wasn’t equipped with air conditioning.
My Brother and I both have a Factory Lime 76…His Just Had A New Roof Welded on due to Rusting From Water Pooling In The Landau
Whoa, amazing! I would love to get all three of these lime Montes together!
My 1976 21k Miles
Picked this one up last year. One owner and brought back some memories.
Picture taken at recent car show
I find it amazing to believe that for the next model year, 1977, both a
full- and mid-size car would share the platform under that Monte/
That is the truth. GM’s downsized B-body full-sized(Caprice, Bonneville,
88, etc) was pinned to the 73-77 A-body platform(with minor mods, of
course!), and the downsized A-body itself was cooked from scratch
for the ’78-onwards.
I also heard tell that the A-body used underneath the 73-77 Colonnades
also under-pinned Chevelles, Skylarks, and GTOS back to 1964.
If so, that would make the A-body the longest continuously used
platform(1964-96 model years) in domestic automotive history!
No, Not much interchanges between a 64-72 car and a 73-77 car.
The 73-77 cars have more in common with the 77-96 B/C/D cars than earlier.
I’ve got a 77 Malibu Classic sedan, and the only suspension/frame parts that interchange are the body mounts and shocks.
Mine was a 1977 Landau I bought used in 1979 with only 17000 miles. Beige Landau roof and interior with all the trimmings, including the swivel bucket seats, which all my friends thought was the coolest. I loved that car, but I wore it out prematurely because it drove so well with its 350 4bbl and factory Super Sport wheels, the slotted ones (Corvette wheels, but they were available on the MC as 7-inch instead of 8). That remains my favorite car of all.
I finally get to comment on Chris Green’s Monte Carlo! This is perhaps one of my favorite Monte Carlos from the 70’s – ever!
Beautiful condition, loaded, white vinyl interior – LANDAU!! 350 V-8!! Be still my heart!!
I had no idea this was going to get posted again. Thank you for the compliment!
You’re welcome! Your car deserves all the accolades it gets and then some!
Never liked this generation of Monte Carlo. But the colour combo on your survivor Chris put a smile on my face. Good for you to buy the Monte, would anybody else have appreciated the car as much as you?
A most “period correct” color.
What an appropriate vehicle for you, Mr. Green. I love matching exterior / interior themes particularly in this combo. I see that it has the instrument package primed and ready for a factory tach. But then it is a virgin original so . . .
Absolutely phenomenally stunningly beautiful. I love the styling of these, and lets face it, they’re basically ALL about the styling, as the sculpted fenders, stylized front end, opera windows and landua top are about all that distinguishes this car from the workaday mid sized Chevies they share a platform with. My mother had a ’77, in chocolate brown metallic over tan. It was the first car we ever owned with power windows and locks. The only “updates” they made to the car for ’77 was a stand-up hood ornament and horizontal trimwork on the taillight lenses. The first though I had upon seeing the pics was how amazing it was to see all of the center caps in place on those turbine wheels. I remember being sent off into the brush on more than one roadside to retrieve one of those for Mom. It’s extremely rare to see a Monte of this vintage with all the wheel trim in place. Those center caps were designed to kamakaze at every opportunity.
I’ve never had that problem with the center caps flying off, and I hope I don’t, but I do have spares because I found nicer ones not long after I bought the car and put them on. I absolutely agree with you, it’s all about the styling, but the *secret”* of why I’ve kept this car so long is that it’s also been a great driving, comfortable, and reliable car. It could almost be a daily driver if not for the huge doors and gas mileage, but I wouldn’t do that to it.
I always thought that these were ugly compared to the first gen montes,but go to the
parking lot of the small factory I worked at in St Louis there must have been ten
monte carlos I have to say I liked the looks better as time went on and this green
one is a dandy
I’ve always been a Monte Carlo fan, and we had a 1980 (terrible quality of a car, but great styling). I’ve only liked the 2nd gen Montes, when done right–bigger tires on the back, customized, but there’s something about this over the top shade of green that really works. And a fuel economy gauge? That’s cool! Did they all have that gauge, or just some of them? I’ve never driven a 2nd gen nor have ever looked too closely inside.
I have an aunt who had a 76 Monte Carlo when I was a boy. At the time, I found the vertically placed headlamps to be hideous looking.
Kermit the frog once sang a song called “It’s not easy being green.” I think he said all that needs to be said.
Despite what others say I personally thought the stacked headlights looked better on these cars than the rounded headlights, I’m probably biased because my mother owned a ’76 Monte Carlo and I absolutely loved that car.
I actually like the round lights and other details of the ’73-’75s as much or maybe better than the stacked rectangles, but this particular car in this color made it all worth it. It’s a keeper!
Wow, so much love for this car, I don’t really get it. Between the elevated stance and the wings/bulges (?) over the wheels, it looks like the body is trying to leap free of the chassis.
The 1st generation Montes are almost classics, and yet they very closely resemble the “everyday” Chevelles. The 2nd generation Montes look like the stylists were trying VERY hard to distinguish them from Chevelles.
But this car in particular? WAY too much green, and not even an attractive shade of green. And green on the instrument surround AND the steering wheel….not to mention the carpeting. It looks a massive case of pond scum/mold inside this car.
I think I’ve said it on here before: when it comes to these 70s mid-sized 2 doors from GM, make mine a Buick Regal….or maybe an Olds Cutlass. And any color but this green…..or at least (a lot) less of it. Black carpets and black steering column and wheel, at least.
I love this car.
The whole two-tone interior thing is sorely missed. The white half-roof, body side trim and white stripe tires are sharp as well.
It’s unfortunate that cars aren’t styled to work with two-tone schemes anymore.
I lament the days of two tone paint schemes. I wonder if the demise wasn’t out of the expensiveness of it……I’m not sure how much more it cost at the factory, but speaking for aftermarket paint jobs, any time you get anything involved that is more than one colour usually costs lots of extra $$$.
Awesome Monte! And Grasshopper green! Love that interior! The mid 70’s were awesome for styling and color combos, in my opinion!
Just a beautiful example of a survivor ’76 Monte. Love the color combo, it is simply stunning in pics. I am sure it’s like lime green fire in the sunlight. Love the green dash trim and color coordinated seatbelts. If I were ever to own a colonnade coupe – and that is on my bucket list – I’ll have to seek out a lime green car, too.
I think that it’s also the turbine rims on your car here, that make it look so good.
I think back to an article written on Junkyard Life (great site, full of fixer uppers and various cars in varying states of decay; they are also huge fans of the mid 70’s Colonnades), about an olive green 1973 Grand Am that I normally probably might not like either the colour or the car. When done right, the two door G body Colonnades, with their huge proportions and bulky styling really, really work.
I just found a 77 Monte on my local Craigslist. For $6500 you get a “mint green” example that is advertised as having 58,000 miles but I STRONGLY suspect it has 158,000 miles on it. Mint green looks like a light jade color and while the WHOLE interior was mint green, unlike this car’s white and green, it looks okay. The only jarring note is a medium green landau top.
My Uncle had a 1976 Monte Landau, it was white with a black vinyl top and black cloth interior. I always loved that car. It rode great and looked great too. When he gave it to my cousins to drive they literally destroyed it. And then it was involved in a front end collision and totaled. Sad.
Beautiful car Mr Green. At the risk of being bias l own a 76 Monte Carlo Landau also. The back story is very similar to yours. I bought it from a 92yr old widower in 2008 with 14,000 miles on it. She rarely drove. They lived in town with everything they needed within a few blocks.He stated that she passed away in 1992. He said he just kept it, didn’t need the money and rightfully knew it certainly was worth more than he paid for it. He said his wife spotted it on display at the downtown Chevrolet/ Buick in Troy, Mo. and traded in their 73 Caprice. When he got home that day she said “we have to go pick up my new car” My car is white with maroon interior and vinyl top. 350 2brl. It does not have the deluxe interior/convenience pkg. as yours. It has a few nicks and dings l never saw on deal day viewed through rose colored glasses of the moment and a little respray spot from a shopping cart attack. The unused spare has the blue protectant on the whitewall. It now has 24,000 miles . I put on reproduction 8in deep rally wheels per my own taste. The center caps are simulated 3 spoke knock off spinners . I think they ad a touch of elegance to the overall look of the car more so than the usual derby hat centers. I enjoy taking it to few local shows and cruise nights and will not modify it in anyway. It’s quiet and reliable just the way l like it. It does get much attention from the over 50 crowd. I enjoy conversing with them and thank them for their stories. I can always sit in a lawn chair at home, well up to a point. Chris l am very glad your fine car from the mid 70s received so many positive comments here. Sometimes I think the comments regarding this era of cars tends to be to the derisive side, perhaps viewed from what was before and what came after it rather than the context in time when these sold new. The 76 and 77 MC record sales speaks exactly of that time.
Your car sounds great, Rich. I would love to see photos! These cars have been underdogs for a long time, but now they seem to be getting more respect, finally, and it’s nice to see.
I have a 1976 Pontiac Bonneville coupe in that exact color green with a white vinyl top. Runs and drive beautifully with the Pontiac 400 V8. I saved it from the scrap yard, its amazing to think someone would junk such a nice car.
Wow! I would love to see pictures of this Bonneville!
Now this is a cool way to end a work day. Such a neat car with that striking color combo. Brings memories flooding back of a college friend with a 1975 Monte in a shade of medium blue with swivel bucket seats, gauges and the 350 4BBL and THM 350 transmission. We used to go out for lunch and break between classes in his car back in 1990 and I was always amazed at how well it still went down the road and how quiet it was despite having well over 150K miles on the clock. He was the 3rd owner passed down from his mom passed down from his grandmother. Thankfully they all took really good care of the car and I remember seeing it well into the 90’s before we went our separate ways after college. I sure wouldn’t mind finding a mint low miles grandma car like this or in Grand Prix SJ trim for a fun Summer cruiser.
What a FANTASTIC color green, and an amazingly well-kept car. Hard to believe that it’s all original, and it’s a testament to both the original owner’s care and to your careful stewardship of this time warp original. I also love the white-on-green interior, and lament that we can’t have such things anymore.
I’m one of the perhaps few who actually prefer the stacked headlamps on this generation Monte as well. The dual rounds looked like they were trying a little too hard to be neoclassical, not to mention giving the car a perpetually surprised look. The rectangles work much better.
How many miles are on yours these days? Here’s to many more, albeit accumulated slowly through cruising for the sheer joy of it.
Thank you. It turned over 40,000 miles recently. It continues to be a great driving car. As far as I know it’s mostly original. If anything was repainted it was long ago when the original owner had a fender-bender, maybe. It has plenty of dents and dings, and I’m slowly collecting parts that it could use better versions of (door opening moldings, wheel moldings and the like). So, yes, original and definitely not really “show” quality, but that has never seemed to matter in the 16.5 years I’ve had it, because it has kind of a special “something” that transcends that.
I must ask: How good, really, was the handling in
these Colonnade-era Montes, and in the downsized
ones to follow for 1978? I have it impressed in my
poor brain that ALL AMERICAN cars have mushy,
numb steering with no build-up in the turns(except
Corvette and maybe the F-bodies). The last ten
years I’ve grown used to the snappy return, 2.5
lock to lock steering of imports, with wheels that
stay straight ahead unless you put some actual
effort into steering them.
Am I just disillusioned?
I can’t comment on the handling in the Collonade era Montes, nor in the ’78-’80 ones, but I can tell you that the 1980 Monte that we had was by far, the worst quality control that I’ve ever seen on any car that myself or my family has owned. I was too young to drive our ’80 Monte, but within a few years, the floorboards were completely rotted out, and we were continually doing repairs on it with the transmission/ cam/ etc. It had also suffered the typical moulding problems where the aluminum foil inside of it would crinkle/ get moisture in it and look terrible within a couple of years.
Such a perfect color combo, a true inspiration for how I will paint my car. But I may use a more modern color, like the VW Viper Green used on Scirrocos.
That color was also available on ’76 Firebirds, and also with the extremely rare green interior. Seriously, it’s that rare.
Here’s a ’76 Formula that popped up on eBay last year
And the interior
For some reason, the 2nd Gen Firebird steering column that had the Formula steering wheel remained black up until 1978.
Notice the color matching seat belts as well. I’ve been looking for a set of these for several years, they’re too damn rare. Not many people even know this color was available on ’76 F-Bodies. Camaros had it too.
Thanks for sharing. I love the Firebird in that green! That’s interesting about the steering wheel. It would look a lot better in matching green. I wonder why they did that?
I guess they thought it looked sportier in black. Someone made a custom interior in that color and wrapped the steering wheel in green, it looks a lot better :
That is a great color combo, on both cars. It’s loud! The dashboard is fantastic, so 1970s (in a good way).
So Chevelle was the ‘mother’ car of that line, and
Malibu and Monte were trim levels. Got it.
Now if someone could straighten me out on
which Pontiac F-coupe was the mother car
and which was an upscale trim level: Trans
Am or Firebird? Drives me cuckoo!!
Here’s how the 2nd Gen Firebird line was divided :
– Firebird = base model, standard interior and base engines
– Firebird Esprit = a base model with more chromes and plushiness, the “brougham” Firebird
– Firebird Formula = base model available with the Trans Am engines and better drivetrain options, and a specific twin snorkle hood.
– Firebird Trans Am = upscale model with all the options available and only the better engines, and off course the specific shaker and wheel flares.
Each variation had its own VIN letter.
Perfectly clear, thanks!
So Chevy sold the Camaro and Pontiac
the Firebird. Guess I just heard too many
folks talking about the “Trans Am” they
either owned or wanted to own, be it
a ’75 or a ’83.
Ditto Chevelles bought from the mid-60s
into the early ’80s: all were Chevelles,
and Malibus and Monte Carlos were
just different trim levels/power plants,
etc? Chevelles were strictly two-door,
like the MC, and Bu’s were two or
four or wagon, if I recall. Gets confusing!
I’m not sure but I don’t think the Monte Carlo was a trim level of the Chevelle, it was an entirely different car from what I can tell but based on the same chassis.
The Malibu was the upscale Chevelle. The original brochures give a good bit of information on the variations :
The reason I made the “Chevelle Monte
Carlo” connection was based on the cover
of the owners manual posted in #3 photo.
Unless that was just to save having to
print separate manuals for each model.
Alas, all upscale and nothing else is the
norm today, as there is no more Chevelle,
only Malibu. Wish everyone in general
could just be a degree or two more humble.
Not everything needs shiny trim.
I can only assume they were trying to save printing costs since the cars were mechanically identical. Any pertinent model-specific differences could be explained by extra photos/diagrams.
And I don’t think the disappearance of the Chevelle nameplate really equates to everything being upscale. The Chevelle name went away in 1978 when the whole line was renamed Malibu, but that was really more “GM name debasement” than anything else, much like the Biscayne nameplate being replaced by Bel Air being replaced by Impala… I own a 1979 Malibu in the base trim level (there were only base and Classic) and, while mine has a nice selection of options, you could order it as a true stripper if you so desired. You can’t really do that with the 2016 models, but that has nothing to do with the name and everything to do with the fact that the market demands items formerly perceived as “luxury” even on the lowest-line models. And that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.
We’ve become spoiled.
End of “whole ‘nother discussion”. LOL
I suppose that this brings up another point of the discussion in which we can probably understand why GM nuked the Chevelle name, in the confusion of various similar lines of the same car. Maybe the Chevelle nameplate in itself, conjured up a more muscular car image than GM had wanted to still continue on with and offer?
Oh that lime green! Sorry, I’m from the Detroit area and rarely, if ever, saw that. I remember that light green olive-ish non-metallic was popular within a certain demographic though. I do appreciate the color-keyed dashes/steering wheels though. We had a ’77 MC Buckskin Metallic (gold) with tan interior and even the cheaper cars looked much more expensive with the color keyed interiors. I remember a cheap daily driver I bought new for work, a Dodge Intrepid (sister worked for Chrysler) and first time I really noticed all dashes were black or gray now and thinking how lazy. First time I noticed those interior parts come from various suppliers as there were about 8 mismatched shades if light gray in there. Loved the Landau MC as a kid. The subtle differences really stood out – door panels, seats and my neighbors had power windows and the swivel buckets and I was so jealous. I noticed yours has the blower type rear defog too before the electric grid lines. .
And the turbine wheels I hated but in hindsite they were kinda classy and fitting for the Landau. I had to have those rally wheels on our MC but those 8 parts were stolen twice. I remember we found one of those center caps near the railroad tracks and used it as an ashtray. And no hood ornament! I liked the hood ornament in place of the emblem in the grill on the 77s. And I was floored when the downsized ’78 MC didn’t have the chrome strip down the center of the hood like the GPs or Cutlass – how cheap! Boy was I discerning as a kid telling my mother what type of car to buy!
Chris, got the exact same car with low mileage here in Ohio. Visited California in it around 1982, a few years after Mt. St. Helens eruption. Then drove it up to Seattle and Puget Sound area up the Pacific coast and then the scenic way back to Ohio. Drove comfy like a hot-rodded Cadillac.
I tried to buy a set of two turbine wheels and eventually did. (It had two snows on black steel rims.) Only two match. Are they grey with light color trim or darker grey with a slightly different turbine slot design with no trim (for 1976). I have the opportunity to switch two wheels either way.
Chris Green or anybody else, could you send me a sharp close-up picture of one of your matching1976 wheels? Also, somebody stole two of four center hubs when I parked it at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn years ago. Can one still get the centers somewhere? Also my wide side bumper strips fell off. I have them in the trunk. What do you reglue them with? Thanks.
Essentially, the car has been garaged since about 1980. Never in snow by me.
Beautiful car! My first demo in the Chevy biz was a ’77 Monte Carlo Landau, Light Blue with a White top and the Blue Velours interior. First Chevy I bought was a ’77 Caprice Landau, Firethorn Red with a White Top and a White Interior. I miss the fact that we had actual color choices back then. Modern car colors are like looking through a black and white TV screen.
What a beautiful ’76 Monte Carlo! I love that it seems to have most of the options, save for the metal sunroof. The “Special Custom” 50/50 interior is a sight to behold, and a white one at that! There was never a 1/25 promotional model available for the ’73 through ’77 MC, but thankfully, Revell produced a 1/25 kit as a lowrider-type kit, but outfitted with Rally Wheels and proper tires, it looks good. I would love to find a full-size 3nd generation MC Landau one day!
I’ve been waiting for an encore of this one!
Were any of this generation sold without a landau roof?
I was looking at a youtube of a ’71 MC SS yesterday, and MCMLXXI was imprinted on the front crest. I wonder if that continued.
There were ‘blunt skulls’ with no vinyl roof, they were very rare, but not usually in the upper content levels. unless it was a special order. Which, was sad.
I always liked the no vinyl top look in those days.
Just think if the Boat-tail Riviera was built on this platform (A-special) as Bill Mitchell intended it to be. Would have brought the content way up in this sector for GP & Monte Carlo. I know a few guys who had these cars would have loved more ‘bling’.
The ’73 Monte Carlo that my mother had special ordered did not have a vinyl roof. It was the S model (below the Landau) and looked resplendent in dark blue metallic.
My brother and I helped pick out the options, and none of us wanted the vinyl roof.
A friend in high school briefly owned a ’76 Monte in this color combo. I think it was a 305, and equipped with swivel seats, but I don’t remember for sure; it definitely wasn’t as highly optioned as this one. Sadly, the transmission biffed it not too long after he purchased the car, and it was never fixed.
It’s neat to see that one has survived (I’m presuming it’s still being loved and maintained some 9.5 years after the story first ran), and I can imagine it parting the ocean of white-grey-black transportation units out on the road today. It does make me wonder where we went wrong… why can cars no longer be happy colors, and even in the few cases that they are, said happy color never makes it to the interior?
I drive an orange car and people constantly ask me why I bought THAT and not a nice silver. So many cars now come in silver, gray, black and white. They built for the lowest common denominator. Built what won’t offend people. It’s sad that the originality is going away.
Its not often a land barge from the seventies puts a smile on my face. What a car, what a colour combo!