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#1052700 - 08/02/17 06:23 PM Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car?  
Joined: Aug 2017
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derek5154 Offline
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derek5154  Offline
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Lancaster, PA
So, as the title suggests, I am a teen looking to drive a monte carlo for my first car. I am in love with the body style of the 80s monte carlos and would love to drive one. There are many online up for grabs and here are a few I have looked at, most of them having the stock 305 motor,

https://allentown.craigslist.org/cto/d/monte-carlo-ss-speed-manual/6226625547.html

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-Chevrolet-Monte-Carlo-d625#listing=181937228

I'd like to know what others think about driving these cars daily. I realize gas prices and such things will be expensive, but that is something I am willing to pay for. If you could share your experiences and opinions with these cars, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for checking out the thread!

#1052702 - 08/02/17 07:11 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: May 2016
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
tough to beat the manual transmission setup for 6k. Dash isn't even cracked.
That one caught my eye when it got posted. No AC though and "one" rust hole...
Posting sounds like you can show up with 5k or 5.5k

Not sure how that carb will be on fuel. Others can tell you. I do very well on gas with my 350 and the computer carb. But my heads are low performance high fuel efficiency.


Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1052705 - 08/02/17 08:22 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Apr 2013
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wxdude64 Offline
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Covington, VA
I just pulled my stock 87 Aero out yesterday for a drive and ran mostly back country roads 40-55 mph and averaged 21.5 mpg. In town driving runs between 17-18 mpg.
I had a stock Olds Cutlass back in the day (new 86 model) with the 307 and got about the same mpg.
Congrats on picking a MC! My first car was a 76 MC with the 350 4b and wish I still had it to this day, traded it in on the Cutlass.


87 Black/Tan Aerocoupe
#1052707 - 08/02/17 08:48 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
my search for our area
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Last edited by Witness86SS; 08/02/17 08:48 PM.

Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1052708 - 08/02/17 08:50 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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PB86SS/87LS Offline
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New Berlin, WI
Lots of questions or factors if you are driving it daily. Are you mechanically inclined/motivated? Any car at 10 years or older, or even less than that, will require some work here and there. Good news is these cars are easy and often cheap to repair mechanically. How are roads in winter? Some of us don't mind or even prefer rear wheel drive in winter but many don't, plus the salt/rust factor. I wouldn't daily any older car that I plan to keep or care for more than basic maintenance and is just a daily driver since I'm in the rust belt. You won't get great mileage but as stated above, with a CCC carb that's tuned properly, or if you get one that's EFI, you should do ok mileage wise. I would daily drive a g-body if I didn't live in the rust belt and generally parked in a safe area for the vast majority of my stops. These cars are very easy and desirable to steal, if you get one make sure to have comprehensive insurance (cheap usually too) and at least one security device to stop the turd bags. Most people who take them aren't sophisticated and will move on or give up with at least something, collar lock, hidden kill switch, etc.

Last edited by PB86SS/87LS; 08/02/17 08:51 PM.

-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 350 CCC Q-Jet/CZF 2004-r/8.5" 3.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
[Linked Image]
#1052710 - 08/02/17 08:54 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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upflying Offline
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Reno, NV
I would not use a Monte Carlo SS as a daily driver. It will get stolen and the PA winters will eat right through the sheet metal.
Questions to ask yourself as a teen driver.
Purpose for buying the car? School, work, showing off, burning rubber?
Expect to get tickets and pulled over. How is your driving record? Are you still in high school? Do you plan on drinking and driving?(grades could be affected if you are devoting attention to the Monte Carlo)
Where will it be parked? (theft and weather concerns)
How much experience do you have with mechanical, electrical and body repairs? (You will be working on it a lot and some parts are expensive and scarce)
How much will your insurance be? (insurance will consider this a high risk vehicle with higher premiums)
Does PA require smog checks? (many of these cars have removed emissions and cats)
Bring someone with you when shopping for a car, keep your emotions out of your buying decisions. Do not fall in love with the first car you see!!!! You will get ripped off!!!
If you look at one, check the floors under the carpet for rot.

Last edited by upflying; 08/02/17 10:25 PM.

86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#1052715 - 08/03/17 12:22 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
87 LS was my first car so hard to say it but upflying is right on every point.


Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1052720 - 08/03/17 04:04 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Pottstown, Pa
Ditto on what has been said, times have changed, can't use a sweet classic as a daily driver these days, to many people who want to take it home for free. And yes, Pa isn't a place to drive 30 year old cars in the snow.

Pretty sure I saw that car at Carlisle last year, would say it's a good car for that money, but you would need someone to go with you that is familiar with GM frame cars to look for problems. From Lancaster to Lehighton to look at the car isn't a bad drive. You might want to use that trip for an education on Gs. In today's market a junk G might bring less than 2K, nice start at 5K and go up.
Don't loose sight of the practical side of owning a car as a teen.
That car would be a nice toy for a youthful driver, but there is more to owning an old car than putting gas in and turning the key.
As you know youth doesn't get much of a break in Pa on insurance, always check cost of a certain vehicle with your agent before purchasing.
Don't know what Lancaster does for emissions sticker requirements, but anytime a car is bought in Pa it's required to pass an emissions check. Sometimes that can be an easy fix depending on who does the checking.
Just some things to keep in mind. Don't rush into this without covering all your bases.
Bob

#1052722 - 08/03/17 05:23 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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derek5154 Offline
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derek5154  Offline
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Lancaster, PA
I appreciate all the responses guys! I am not someone who knows a lot about cars but I am learning as I go. My dad is a big car guy and has been his entire life. I usually would talk to him before I would ever make a decision and would bring him with me. While I understand how PA winters can be, I do plan on renting out a garage from an old landlord of mine that can offer up a space for cheap in the winter. So, I do have that covered. While driving a Monte Carlo as many have already mentioned might not be practical, I think it's something I would like to still do as a learning experience and hobby. There are so many Monte Carlos out there that picking one to look at is kinda hard. Like I said already, I really do appreciate you guys giving me info on these cars. And I don't think I'll be jumping on the purchase so quickly after looking at one. Instead, I'll make sure to research more about the car to make sure I am looking for things when purchasing. Thanks again guys!

Last edited by derek5154; 08/03/17 05:24 AM.
#1052723 - 08/03/17 06:15 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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merky45 Offline
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Hinesville, GA
Good luck with the decision. I guess sooner or later, you will still take one home.

#1052726 - 08/03/17 01:05 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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tigerss Offline
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greensboro nc
i say go for it if you dont mind the expenses and inconveniences. i daily drive mine if its not storming or snowing. i do have a back up newer car. i dont find it to be all that much more expensive then driving a newer car with the exception of fuel. plus you can get a very nice monte for 8k which is half of a new camry or corolla.

just be aware what you're getting yourself into as a old car isnt as fun when it needs work. if i lived in the north id get a beater monte carlo or something similar for salty days.

i know it varies by location but i overall think people on forums are overly paranoid over theft. some people make it sound like leaving a monte in a parking lots like leaving a hundred dollar bill on the ground. by all means have insurance and theft deterents but i never have had problems nor anyone i know with a monte and none of us avoid parking at mcdonalds or wal mart or whereever. and personally the day i start stressing over thefts the day i hang up cars as a hobby. life's too short to worry or drive an undesirable car.

Last edited by tigerss; 08/03/17 01:10 PM.

Black/maroon 1988 hardtop 90k stock
White/maroon 1985 hardtop 33k stock
#1052727 - 08/03/17 01:46 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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PB86SS/87LS Offline
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New Berlin, WI
All good points here, I will add that my SS was my first car at 18, while it was about 20 years ago now, some things have changed but many or most really haven't that relate to buying one and having it as your first or one of your very first cars and a also a daily driver. I only daily drove mine for a year before finding a winter beater for it then as restoration went along, driving it less and once bodywork and new paint, a toy only. Learned a lot along the way, the learning curve was steep early on. The theft thing is legit but it depends on your exposure, where you live, etc., IMO. It can happen anywhere but certain cities or regions are different, I think CA is a different animal. Look at how many times has Paul C's Monte SS early on and now Trailblazer SS was stolen. That is unheard of in most areas. I rarely have seen or heard (and have seen/heard of countless stolen g-bodies) of any g-bodies stolen that had a single theft deterrent, usually it's one without anything. Insurance rates might not be that bad, depends on the company and your driving record. At this point I wonder how regular car insurance views a 30 year old g-body, no matter what at a young age your rates will probably be higher. I didn't do too much stupid stuff in mine when younger, I guess I was a boring/responsible kid at that age. Seems we've had quite a few people here with one as their first car, from my time at that age through now some come and go, it sure beats buying a Camry or other boring car smile .


-86'SS 383 CCC QJet- BRF 2004r-8.5" 3.42
-87'LS 350 MAF/SD TPI- CRF 2004r-7.5" 3.42
-81'Grand LeMans Safari Wagon 350 CCC Q-Jet/CZF 2004-r/8.5" 3.73
-07'TBSS Stockish daily driver
[Linked Image]
#1052729 - 08/03/17 02:12 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 539
Witness86SS Offline
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Witness86SS  Offline
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Hatfield, PA
I've been pulled over 4 times in mine in in the past year. No tickets. I was pulled over to be checked out. I can't take it to the bar anymore. That's just asking for a 3 beer DUI.

Cops believe these things are fast cars... There aren't many cars out there today that are slower than a stock monte.

Go with stock. Find a nice clean one. There are plenty. Avoid the inspection hassle. Keep yourself out of trouble. Don't get yourself killed. The seatbelts are literally the only safety feature the cars have.

I worry about it being stolen every time i park it in public. It's a worthless car with a primer paint job, but it's the lowest of the low hanging fruit and a joyride would be fun and easy to do. I could probably steal it with my bare hands. Any person with any theft experience can take it at will and have a fun night out at my expense.

When I have it out, I feel like there are 3 conversations I have with people. I had a G-Body, Monte was my first car, and my Monte was stolen. The last stolen story was from a guy who had his stolen while he went into a donut shop in philly.


Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1052732 - 08/03/17 03:11 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,668
upflying Offline
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upflying  Offline
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Reno, NV
One of my many duties as a cop was an auto theft investigator. And guess which car was high on the most common thefts, G-bodies. It's not anymore because the numbers of g-bodies left to steal are few. But the few that are left are prime theft targets!!!
I've been on this forum a long time and there have been many forum members with sad stories of how their car was stolen. Atlanta seems to be ground zero for auto thefts. But it can and will happen anywhere, anytime.
And when your car is recovered, it will look like the '81 posted in this thread.
http://www.montecarloss.com/communi...at&Number=1052730&gonew=1#UNREAD

Last edited by upflying; 08/03/17 03:16 PM.

86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#1052736 - 08/03/17 09:20 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Jun 2016
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Nadnerb42780 Offline
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Rockland County, NY
I say do it!! My first car, at age 17, was an 1985 SS. It was 1997 and everyone in my high school loved it because it was so different. My family tried to convince me to buy a Camry or Accord but I was to in love with the car. I only owned it for three years, but I just bought another one last year. Have fun with it.
As for theft, it can definitely happen anywhere so be smart. Certain areas of the country are obviously higher risk, but it shouldn't be a reason not to own one. Best of luck!

#1052737 - 08/03/17 10:06 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Mar 2000
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upflying Offline
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upflying  Offline
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Reno, NV
Speaking of first car, mine was a '55 VW with no brakes. I had to stop with the hand brake..and I was only 15 with no drivers licesne.
With 36hp, it was full throttle all the time...it might do 65 downhill.


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#1052851 - 08/09/17 05:37 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
New posting by you. It's a couple cans of armorall away from a nice trip to the local show.
https://williamsport.craigslist.org/cto/d/1985-monte-carlo-ss/6256020543.html


Justin
1986 Black SS
Upgrades: 350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler - Proforged Steering Kit - Astro Shaft - AR62 OUTLAW II Wheels - Energy Suspension Bushings - Bitflipper Chip - 87 ECM - Moog Springs and Ball Joints - Bilstein Shocks - Bucket Seats
#1052865 - 08/10/17 09:09 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Apr 2011
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Hunter79764 Offline
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Hunter79764  Offline
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Grand Prairie, Tx
My Monte was my second car when I was 18. My first was an s10 which was a good introduction to driving and driving older cars. Keep in mind that your first car has a good chance of getting beat up more than any other car you will have. Even if you are careful, it is still a lot of time in a high school parking lot with the highest concentration of bad drivers in the country. Based on that, you might not want the nicest Monte you can find, but getting a total crap can will probably be too much work to keep going on a reliable basis. Like they have said above, the closer to stock the better. If you have a problem on a stock setup we can help out a lot easier than trying to diagnose over the interwebs...

But no matter what, get something you enjoy and enjoy it smile


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1052972 - 08/17/17 03:46 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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Billy182 Offline
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Bloomfield, NJ
I always liked the look of the '88 LS, a nice clean looking Monte. Good luck finding a good one at this point, I couldn't find a decent one 20 years ago when I was looking

#1053188 - 09/03/17 12:34 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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monteSS4mike Offline
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harrisburg PA
at 16 i bought a ford probe for 1k for my first car. at 17 i bought my monte carlo for 4500. So i had two cars and was able to drive my probe when the weather was bad. I still have the Monte. however it never was a daily driver, and never will be. Not because I wouldnt but because At this point I cannot get It legal to be a daily driver. LOL. But If you can get a cheap beater for a daily then get a Monte Go for it. Get one now while you can because they are going UPPP in price. I am sooo glad I didnt sell mine years ago when i was thinking about it. The problem with them is when you're young and have the time for them, you dont have the money. and Once you have the Money you dont have the time. But Its still worth it but definately dont buy the first thing you find. Engines are easy to replace/rebuild. Fixing a dented body/ rust is Much harder. Good luck.


#1053209 - 09/04/17 04:27 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: Witness86SS]  
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Buick Runner Offline
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Buick Runner  Offline
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Dharma station 1 the Hydra
Originally Posted by Witness86SS
I've been pulled over 4 times in mine in in the past year. No tickets. I was pulled over to be checked out. I can't take it to the bar anymore. That's just asking for a 3 beer DUI.

Cops believe these things are fast cars... There aren't many cars out there today that are slower than a stock monte.

Go with stock. Find a nice clean one. There are plenty. Avoid the inspection hassle. Keep yourself out of trouble. Don't get yourself killed. The seatbelts are literally the only safety feature the cars have.

I worry about it being stolen every time i park it in public. It's a worthless car with a primer paint job, but it's the lowest of the low hanging fruit and a joyride would be fun and easy to do. I could probably steal it with my bare hands. Any person with any theft experience can take it at will and have a fun night out at my expense.

When I have it out, I feel like there are 3 conversations I have with people. I had a G-Body, Monte was my first car, and my Monte was stolen. The last stolen story was from a guy who had his stolen while he went into a donut shop in philly.


I think its more like G bodies have a certain negative gang stereotype around them.

Road salt is very bad for all cars, new or old. I have seen 2 year old trucks with rust in the wheel wells.

Even a good shape G body can require a lot of work, like resealing seams to stop rain leaks, rotted out rubber parts, etc. Plus G bodies are prone to being butchered up and Jerry rigged by previous owners who especially love to cut up wiring harnesses.

Support for G bodies is also in decline. GM discontinue replacement parts for these cars constantly, aftermarket parts are often subpar. Performance companies have stopped making many performance parts except for some suspension and expensive LS swapping stuff.

Last edited by Buick Runner; 09/04/17 05:02 AM.

SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes, and Jmod.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1053213 - 09/04/17 02:38 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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84ss355*4spd Offline
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Edmonton,AB,Canada
86 ss was my forst car .i was 18 and car was all original.drove it year round .best car i ever picked up.


84ss current restoration
86 ss gone
85 ss new
85 z28 tpi
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#1074116 - 06/14/22 09:03 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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monteSS4mike Offline
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monteSS4mike  Offline
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harrisburg PA
any update, did you buy a Monte?? I know its only been 5 years lol


#1074132 - 06/17/22 07:58 PM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: derek5154]  
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MAP Offline
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MAP  Offline
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Yuma, AZ
Most of these links are stale but $5k-$6k for an MC, and especially an MCSS, have me pining about "the good old days." Nowadays, most halfway decent MCSSs are going for $20k-$30k and even more. It seems like right about five years ago, the supply of G bodies hit close to zero, and now they're worth almost as much as new cars.

Upflying, if you're still reading, can you give a list of things to do to these cars to make them as theft-resistant as possible? (I'm thinking most likely in a new thread.)

#1074139 - 06/18/22 05:04 AM Re: Driving an 80s Monte Carlo for first car? [Re: MAP]  
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Buick Runner Offline
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Buick Runner  Offline
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Dharma station 1 the Hydra
Originally Posted by MAP
Most of these links are stale but $5k-$6k for an MC, and especially an MCSS, have me pining about "the good old days." Nowadays, most halfway decent MCSSs are going for $20k-$30k and even more. It seems like right about five years ago, the supply of G bodies hit close to zero, and now they're worth almost as much as new cars.

Upflying, if you're still reading, can you give a list of things to do to these cars to make them as theft-resistant as possible? (I'm thinking most likely in a new thread.)


There isn't much that can counteract a tow truck. I noticed G bodies are not as well desired by theives in the Northeast as they are along the Southern border states.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes, and Jmod.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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