87 Monte SS
Welcome to my Monte Carlo Restoration Page!
This site has been created to allow me to record and share my progress as I embark on restoring my 1987 Monte Carlo SS. Truth be told, I suppose it should properly be called a resti-fication since the Monte won't be original when I'm finished (it hasn't been numbers matching since the engine was replaced under warranty), and a lot of the new parts won't be original so I'm not going to split hairs over it. Anyway, with a little perseverance I hope to keep this site updated with photos and descriptions as my restoration brings this classic Monte Carlo SS back to its former glory! Hopefully when the car is fully restored this site will document the project from start to finish. Between restoring, and painting the frame, installing the new engine, cleaning the engine bay, fixing and painting the body and restoring the interior, there should be a lot of good information and tips contained within these pages!
This will be my first full-on restoration project since 1980. I'm not a professional mechanic, instead I prefer to think of myself as a mechanically inclined amateur with lots of talent. Hopefully, my enthusiasm will make up for my lack of professional training. I've got a feeling this is going to bring back a lot of memories along with some new challenges. In any case, with the motor I've got planned this Monte should give those little rice burners out there a run for their money when finished!
This site will be under construction for however long the project takes. You may find a missing picture or dead link, but none of those goofy animated "under construction" graphics for me. This site will ebb and flow with the project it documents. Money will no doubt be the biggest hurdle, (the last time I did this I didn't have a mortgage), and progress may be rather slow at times, since this will be a weekends only process. Besides, I'm not working on deadline, I get enough of that at work. My goal is quality, not quantity and I tend to be meticulous where things like this are concerned. So, feel free to browse around and take a peek at my progress!
In the beginning . . .
What you see here represents the culmination of all my rabid high school car fantasies. By 1986, I finally had the resources to join the late 80's muscle car revival. After spending years lusting after all makes and models of American muscle, it was love at first sight when Chevy re-introduced the Monte Carlo SS in 1983.
Why the Monte SS? Well, at the time, the Grand Prix 2+2 of the same period was ugly and underpowered, the Olds 442 while better than the Pontiac still had less power than the Chevy. Of course the Buick Grand National was too pricey for a guy working retail. I immediately began funneling all my extra cash into my "Monte" fund.
Each year I poured over the new car issues of all the major car magazines. One particular issue of Car and Driver paired off the Monte SS, the Buick Grand National and the Olds 442. There's no telling how many times I read that particular issue, which is now archived in the library section.
Finally, by the fall of 1986 I had enough of a downpayment to be able to have affordable monthly payments. I ordered it in winter 1986, then waited patiently to take delivery. Tragically, the love affair was cut short a mere 6 months later.
I was headed home from work one night on a winding country road, when a deer suddenly materialized out of nowhere. Acting on pure reflexes, I did the worst possible thing, I hit the brakes and cut the wheel, throwing my Monte into a sideways skid across the opposing lane which was thankfully empty.
Now out of control, momentum took me downhill sideways across the road at the apex of the curve, through a culvert and up the opposite bank straight into a tree. Somehow I managed hit it dead center too. Since the car couldn't pivot around the tree, it tried to wrap itself around it instead. They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one, but I had only owned the Monte 6 months and now there was nothing left that you could properly call a car.