1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo was the only 1981 Chevy to enjoy a sales increase.

The 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo received a mild -- but much needed -- reskinning. The nose looked similar to the 1980 edition but was lower, more squared off, and wore body-colored bumpers.

In back, the 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo replaced vertical taillights with horizontal lenses in a higher tail that was likewise boxier and adorned with body-colored bumpers. The sweeping fender creases that had long been a Monte Carlo trademark were still in evidence but toned down in a more slab-sided profile.

Engine choices were the same as before, though all were fitted with GM's new Computer Command Control (CCC) emission system.

The base 229-cubic-inch V-6 dropped from 115 horsepower to 110, matching the 231-cubic-inch Buick V-6 substituted in California. V-8s of 267- and 305-cubic-inch returned, with 115 and 150 horsepower, respectively, while the top power option was again the 170-horsepower turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6. Meanwhile, a lock-up torque converter was added to the standard three-speed automatic transmission.

Like other GM cars, Monte Carlo prices rose dramatically for 1981, the base model being up by $775 to $7,299, the top-line Landau V-8 increasing by over $1,200 to $8,056. Yet with the help of new styling, sales went up by over 25 percent to 187,850, making Monte Carlo the only Chevrolet to boast higher volume for 1981.

1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo rear
The 1981 Monte Carlo was a handsome, if formal, coupe.

1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Monte Carlo
3,102-3,228
$7,299-$8,056
187,850

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