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Car Tales: Never A Drag, Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe

What a fabulous collision of two so different cultural attributes do we find in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe.


First, there is that name: Monte Carlo SS
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for sale
A clash between the so sophisticated gambling municipality of Monte Carlo in Monaco, so redolent of fabulous wealth, sexy glamour, palm-trees and sunshine; and the giant colossus of the American automobile industry.

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And then there is that term ‘Aero Coupe’. For students of physics, Aerodynamic Efficiency is a term to describe the relationship between the downforce a car generates, and its drag. Possibly apocryphally, Enzo Ferrari would insist aerodynamics did not apply if you could build appropriate powertrains. Yet Ferrari’s superb motors were frequently beaten in Formula 1 races by cars with superior aerodynamics. Don’t drag me down, some might say.
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS side view
And when it came to NASCAR events, American firms were hip to the importance of such ultimate streamlining. And so Chevrolet came up with the Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe, whose very purpose seemed to be wind-cheating dynamics.
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo had been in production since 1968 (although formally introduced in September 1969 by Chevrolet general manager John Z DeLorean); it was Chevrolet’s version of the Pontiac Grand Prix. Styling was modeled on the contemporary Cadillac Eldorado, although much of the body and structure were shared with the Chevrolet Chevelle – firewall, windshield, decklid, and rear window were the same.
It was significant that the Monte Carlo was marketed as a luxury vehicle rather than a muscle car. This was a principal reason why the SS 454 package would be discontinued in 1972 following the production of 1,919 units – although the 454 CID V8 engine would remain optional in Monte Carlos through 1975. This was despite the fact that the model’s reputation as a performance car on the race track was gaining strength. But Chrysler were ending their factory-backed racing support: this was due to declining muscle car sales and the need to divert dollars to meet federal safety and emission regulations.
As such brand support ended, the stock-car racing mantle switched to independent teams and sponsors: they overwhelmingly chose Chevrolets over Ford and Chrysler products due to Chevy’s much greater availability and affordability of over-the-counter racing parts.
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS rear view
The Monte Carlo was deemed the best-suited Chevrolet model for stock car racing by most NASCAR teams due to its 116 in wheelbase (only one inch above NASCAR’s minimum requirements at that time) and long-hood design – which placed the engine further back in the chassis than most other vehicles, ensuring better weight distribution. Thus the Monte Carlo became Chevy’s standard-bearer for NASCAR from 1971 until 1989.
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS interior
Aware of these independent developments, Chevrolet backtracked in 1986, bringing in the Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe, a car now being rediscovered by collectors as well as fans of stock-car racing. The Monte Carlo was now in its fourth generation.
Externally the only major difference between the Monte Carlo SS and the Aero Coupe was the latter’s sloped back window, which necessitated a redesign of the decklid, as well as the package tray within the cabin.
In 1986 only 200 Aero Coupes were built. But in 1987 a total of 6,052 Aero Coupes were manufactured, all in the plant at Pontiac, Michigan. That year a second gas strut was installed to support the short decklid and the exterior color pallet was expanded to include black, dark maroon metallic, silver metallic, and white. The stripe selection was also upgraded from a single two-tone combination on the 1986 Aero Coupes to either gold, red, or gray. A laid-down spoiler was installed on the decklid both years, as were a pair of body-color aerodynamic mirrors.
At Beverly Hills Car Club we have one of these 6,052 Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupes, a low-mileage 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe featured with only 23,889 miles on the odometer and finished in burgundy over the same color interior.
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS engine
Equipped with an automatic transmission, V8 engine, power steering, front-wheel disc brakes, dual-exhaust outlet, removable T-top roof panels, ‘SS’ badges, side marker lights, courtesy lights, quadruple Halogen headlights, fender-mounted antenna, rear spoiler, two-spoke steering wheel, alloy wheels with Toyo tires, jack, and a full-size spare tire fitted in the trunk.
Amenities include air conditioning, cruise control, dual-side mirrors, power windows, power-adjustable bucket driver-seat, cigar lighter with an ashtray, Delco radio, power door locks, dashboard cigar lighter with an ashtray, lockable glove compartment, armrest, Delco radio, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, and tinted windows for privacy. In addition to the equipment and amenities, this American classic featuring a body by Fisher comes with a clean Carfax report. This is a well-maintained and pristine Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe that is ready to be enjoyed and is mechanically sound.
You will always be flying with this Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe!
-Alex Manos, Owner
Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS buyer Alex Manos

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