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Rough Start: The Optimistic Seller’s 1980 Chevrolet Monza Is Still A Good Score!

Rough Start: The Optimistic Seller’s 1980 Chevrolet Monza Is Still A Good Score!

“Class 3 survivor collector car! 2+2 model designed to be modified to a hot rod!” Well, while we are pretty sure GM didn’t have hot rodding on the brain when they designed the H-car (more like finding a new way to sell the dumpster fire that the Chevrolet Vega had been…) it is hard to argue that they weren’t meant to be hot rodded. With styling that was sleek, Camaro-esque in form and light, the Monza is a staple of drag strips to this day. But finding one that can be put on the street…well, finding one that isn’t already hot-rodded is like looking for the thread for the needle in the haystack. Good luck. They do pop up every now and then, however, and today we were lucky enough to locate a Malaise-perfect brown Monza in Colorado Springs that could use a new home.

Somehow, this Monza has managed to evade the small-block swap, making do with it’s four cylinder and (assumed) four-speed manual trans. Everything looks more or less stock, except for the rear wheels…maybe it’s me, but they look wider in the photographs.

Original, with a period-correct twin-knob stereo. The color might be burnt out of the dash top, but compared to what you’d normally find on the cheaper end of Craigslist, this is borderline concours restoration material right here. Now, the real question: Is this Monza getting a V8 or not? If the price really is at two grand, it would be very hard to not go straight for a small-block and the nearest five-speed, but I’d suggest resisting. Enjoy the stock four cylinder for a bit and save up for an LGX V6 and six-speed raided from a Camaro that got balled up. It rocks in the sixth-gen Camaro, but in this Monza, I bet it would freaking rule.

Craigslist Link: 1980 Chevrolet Monza

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9 thoughts on “Rough Start: The Optimistic Seller’s 1980 Chevrolet Monza Is Still A Good Score!

  1. jerry z

    Veagas and Monzas are always on my list to buy but everytime I look at one, junk. The northeast were not kind to these cars.

    Put an engine/trans from a Solstice or Sky would be perfect for this car.

  2. Matt Cramer

    Allegedly, GM had plans for a rotary engine in the Monza. Swapping a 13B in one would definitely be entertaining.

  3. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    What would be really cool under the hood is a Ford Ecotec – just to piss off the LS sniffers…..

    1. sbg

      Living life to make others hate you. I’m impressed that you’ve achieved your life goal.

  4. Blu67RS

    Even though everyone was out of the factory performance game by this point (except a diehard few) the late ’70’s – early ’80’s….who woulda thought old stogey Chevrolet would put a 305 V8 in a Monza/Vega? let alone 350’s in the Spyder version???? Sure the competition had a V8 in their mustang II but not their mini-mini car, the pinto

  5. bob

    At $2, it is over priced. That there is a good $0.75 or $1.00 car. With an LS in it, even less.

  6. don

    it should have a Saginaw 4 speed in it. would work behind a small v-8 no problem. I did that when I built my v-8 vega wagon way back when.

  7. jason

    “the dumpster fire ”

    Love the descriptive ability of that phrase. Wonderful, creative, and evocative writing to get a point across.

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