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Friday, September 19, 2014

September 18: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo was introduced on this date in 1970


It's one of the great cosmic jokes in car culture that the name of a ritzy seaside principality in France is synonymous with the heyday of NASCAR. The Monte Carlo wasn't supposed to be a racecar; it was meant more as a luxury coupe, with faux woodgrain dash and vinyl roof.
 Chevy even killed the SS version offered at launch — on this date in 1970 — after a couple years of slow sales. It would be independent NASCAR racers looking for a cheap, easily repaired car with a balanced chassis that would turn the Monte Carlo into the series' most successful name, and give Chevrolet some of its greatest racing victories.
 You can see where Chevy would have taken things if left to its own devices below, in an ad from 1971 following a strike-shortened production run:

Photo: Chad Horwedel via Flickr