[American Classics] Monte Carlo, the car

Monte Carlo, a name that any American knows.
The original one.

Neo-retro generations
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo has been introduced in 1970, to create a new car segment, called "affordable luxuous cars". In other terms, it was intended to be a mid-class well-equipped car. Even more, the name Monte Carlo was supposed to refer to the "european" cars. Cherry on the sundae : the original ad was a french man playing accordion! Geez, that was some kind of "kitsch"....

Talking of the model, the Monte Carlo was easily findable with his loonngg hood. From 1970 to 1981, three generations of Monte Carlo were produced, and they all had this kind of neo-retro style. Hot Wheels recently introduced the original 70 Monte Carlo in the 2011 casting line. This is obviously the SS version (SS standing for Super Sports) with hs powerful V8 Big Block, offering 360 hp to the lucky driver. Hot Wheels, often recognized to put awful decals on nice castings, did a nice job with this one, adding a real lowrider job to the car. In this case, even the Hot Wheels wheels add a nice touch, it's a well-made car!

After these glorious years...

The classic SS of 1986. What a beast.

Style radically changed with the fourth gen introduced n 1981. As its cousins Pontiac Grand Prix/Oldsmobile Cutlass/Buick Regal, the new Monte Carlo introduced a way more sporty look, with smooth long lines. The hood was still long though. GM also introduced the Monte Carlo in the NASCAR racing serie, and this is where the car really got his legend title, especially with Dale Earnhardt (father).

In 1983, the SS was reintroduced, with a big blog V8 pushed to 180 hp (don't forget, USA just went out of the petrol crisis, it wasn't the crazy power of the 70's). The SS is often known as black with red trim and sporty tires. The Monte Carlo will be produced till 1988, and then sales were so atrocious that GM stopped the Monte Carlo (noticed the Grand Prix, Cutlass and Regal continued).

Two diecasts represent this era. First, Hot Wheels introduced in the 2010 casting line the classic '86 Monte Carlo SS, black with red trim. This casting is awesome, but missing rear tampo. The bulk hood is a nice add though, and really make the car looks like a killer. The wheels could have been better though... Maisto also introduced a 1986 Monte Carlo in its All Star line, but this one is customized to a lowrider. Nice casting overall, but the car is a bit too thin compared to the Hot Wheels one, and missing side mirrors. Tampos are a nice add, and personally, i'm a fan of the colors, it looks like it just got out of Pimp My Ride.

The yellow one is a Hot Wheels generic car called the "MonteZooma", which is a clear rip-off of a 1979 T-Top Monte Carlo. I think it's a nice one for kids, and it clearly shows the "fun" potential of the Monte Carlo, how it could be a cool car.

1995: Surprise!
The boring 1995 one.

The Monte Carlo wasn't dead! Chevrolet reintroduced the car along with the 4-door Lumina in 1995... but it was certainly not as good as the 70-80's ones. In fact, the design was trivial and ordinary, and it was only available with a V6 engine. Fans didn't like it, and it hasn't been really popular. Only purpose was to have a car to put in  NASCAR, since the rules tell that the NASCAR cars need to have their production equivalent.

In 1999, Chevrolet made a nice concept car about the Monte Carlo, with a flashy red color and big skirts and bumpers. This concept has been really nicely reproduced by Hot Wheels in the 1999 casting line. Tampos are missing, but it's made of metal all the way (a thing i like a lit, it makes the car look solid and more realist). As a children, it was one of my favorite little car, and i still have the one i had 12 years ago. Of course, there's a few playwear, but i still love it :)

A 2005 Monte Carlo with its strange curbs...

From 2000 to 2007, the Monte Carlo has been a coupe version of the 4-door Chevrolet Impala, and even been introduced with a good old V8 in 2006, but it hasn't really be popular, and has been replaced by the Impala in NASCAR in 2008. Johnny Lightning made the 2000 model in diecast, and i have the black one issued in the Modern Muscle line. It's nice overall, but i always thought that the lights were off... the real car got strange forms though and it's somekind of hard to reproduce it exactly i suppose. Still a nice add to any collection!

The Monte Carlo disappeared after 2007, but who knows, it might reappear soon, just like in 1995...

But hey, there's another Monte Carlo!
Flawless italian design for the Lancia Monte Carlo.

Let's fly away from America to Italy. In 1975, the biggest italian car maker, Fiat, just bought Lancia and was searching a way to boost the sales of this brand. After a study driven by the famous bodybuilder Pininfarina, the Lancia Monte Carlo has been introduced to the market. It was a street car , but with a structure defined for the race, with a central engine. It often been written has "super efficient at high speeds and perfect handling". The racing department of Fiat made a few racing versions, especially the infamous Lancia Rally 037 in rally. The car has been produced till 1981, for a total count of about 7600 cars produced.

Majorette introduced the model in its 200 line in 1983, it was the number 285. I recently acquired one, with rally colors. It has the ugly phat wheels, but hey, it's a rare diecast. I love those old school Majorettes :). The opened sunroof is really nice, and the model overall is well reproduced. It has been produced until 1987, when Majorette started to fade out a bit (financial problems). It was definitly the kind of special models Majorette was doing so well.

Enjoy the pics, leave some comments! How about some suggestions for my next topics :)

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