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|Body Style|| 2-Door Coupe|
|Transmissions||4-Speed Manual, 5-Speed Manual, 3-Speed Automatic|
|Engines|| 2.3 litre (140 cid) I4|
2.5 litre (151 cid) I4
3.2 litre (196 cid) V6
3.8 litre (231 cid) V6
4.3 litre (262 cid) V8
5.0 litre (305 cid) V8
5.7 litre (350 cid) V8
|Similar||Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Starfire, Pontiac Sunbird|
The Chevrolet Monza was introduced September 1974 and produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years. It is based on the Chevrolet Vega and shares its wheelbase and width. Standard powertrain is shared with Vega through the 1977 models. The Monza name was previously used for the 60's Corvair. Chevrolet's original choice for the Monza was Chaparalle after the famous race car, but didn't want to pay Jim Chaparalle fees for using his name. Two Monza varients were also introduced, the Buick Skyhawk and the Oldsmobile Starfire, with a third varient, the Pontiac Sunbird introduced a year later for the 1976 model year. The Monza was available with an optional 262 CID V8, and later, V6 engines. It featured styling cues from Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupe. Initially the Monza was available as a 2+2 Hatchback. Mid-year, in March 1975, the Monza Towne Coupe was introduced. Monza Mirage hatchback was offered in 1977 with flared fenders and bold red/blue stripes. About 4,000 were built. In 1978 Monza S hatchback marketed as a price leader, and Monza wagon through 1979 both used Vega bodies.
The Buick Skyhawk and Oldsmobile Starfire, avaiable only in hatchback models, changed very little during their tenure other than minor facelifts in 1979, and didn't sell near the numbers that the Monza or Pontiac Sunbird did. The Starfire offered 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines, while Skyhawk's only available engine was the 110 hp Buick 3.8L (231) 2bbl
2+2 hatchback and Towne Coupe notchback have different sheet metal and front end designs - the 2+2 has GM's first-time offered quad rectangular headlights with parking lights below the bumper (much like a 1970-1973 non-RS Camaro), while the Towne Coupe, introduced mid-year in March 1975, has dual round headlight design with the parking lights within the grille and originally featuring the half vinyl foof as standard. The tail treatments were different, the hatchbacks getting a horizontal wraparound design. The bumpers on the hatchback are body-colored, chrome on the Towne Coupe. GM's Wankel engine was planned for the 1975 Monza. Poor fuel economy dictated GM's plans to offer conventional powertrains. Base engine was Vega's 2.3L I4 with a 1- or 2bbl carburetor. An all-new 110 hp 262 CID (4.3 liter) V8 was optional, while the 125 hp 350 CID (5.7 liter) V8 was avaiable only in California as this de-tuned 350 V8 met California's stricter emission standards. Sales totaled 136,000.
Spyder, an option for the 2+2 hatchback model, included an upgraded suspension, front and rear spoilers, full instrumentation and various stripes and decals. Other models continued as before. The 5.7L (350) V8 was dropped this year, other engines also continued. Transmission choices were 4 and 5-speed manuals for the 4 cyl engine, but a 3-speed automatic was optional on the 4 cyl and standard on the 4.3 V8. Sales inexplicably dipped to just under 81,000 this year.
The hatchback's quad headlight front end was avaiable on the Towne Coupe as the Sport option. The 4.3L V8 was dropped this year, replaced by a 145 hp 5.0L (305) 2bbl V8. Sales totaled 73,348.
Vega's Hatchback body style continued for 1978 as Monza S, Monza's price leader. Vega's wagon bodystyle was also offered in 1978 as Monza wagon , and continued through 1979. A new front end design was introduced for base model line replacing Vega. Round headlamps with a blacked-out grill with a vertical chrome strip running down the center ( Monza S and wagons also had this front end design). Monzas with this front end also got new larger tri-colored taillights (coupe and hathback) The previous quad headlight design continued as before. The Vega 2.3L I4 engine discontinued, replaced by Pontiac's Iron Duke 2.5L I4 2bbl engine (to distance itself from the previous aluminum block 2.3). Two Buick V6s were offered this year, A 3.2L (196) 2bbl V6 and a 3.8L (231) 2bbl V6, as well as the Chevy-built 305 V8. Sales increased this year to nearly 139,000 units.
After all the changes and shuffles in 1978, the 1979 models, which included the Towne Coupe, hatchback, wagon, and Sport models Towne Coupe and 2+2 hatchback, all continued as before with no appreciable changes. Sales jumped again to 163,833 units for all models.
The wagon was discontinued this year, as were the 196 V6 and 305 V8 options, as well as the 5-speed manual transmission option. The 2.5L I4 and the 3.8L V6 were the only engines left this year, both available with 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual transmission. The 2-door notchback and 3-door hatchbacks continued with very little change - the Spyder model continued on the hatchbacks and recieved a revised airdam, decals and graphics. Speedometers read 85 MPH this year ( up from the previous 80 MPH units). Since the Monza's replacement, the Cavalier, wouldn't be ready until mid-1981 (it debuted as an early 1982 model), the Monza would be produced until the end of the 1980 calendar year. The Monza varients Sunbird, Skyhawk and Starfire, were all replaced by Cavilier variants. Perhaps due to the extended model year, the Monza enjoyed its best sales year - over 170,000 units were still sold.
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