1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo front
The 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was
downsized in the name of fuel economy.

The 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo coupe's downsizing blended with radical restyling to create a different breed, now aimed at fuel economy. This third-generation model was a foot shorter and 800 pounds lighter than the 1977. Less overhang and a tighter turning circle made this Monte easier to manage and park.

A 231-cubic-inch 105-horsepower V-6 engine was standard -- the first time six-cylinder power was offered in a Monte Carlo. For a little extra vitality, a 305-cubic-inch V-8 could be installed rated at 145 horsepower, but that was the limit. The engine upgrade cost just $150 extra. A three-speed manual gearshift was standard, but California Monte Carlos came only with automatic.

This "trim and timely new edition" with "stately stance and sculptured sides," the sales brochure insisted, "retains the unique personality of Monte Carlos past." It was "beautifully in tune with the times, yet emphatically apart from the crowd." The new front end held a grid-patterned grille flanked by single rectangular headlights.

Chevrolet pushed the interior as a personal "driver's suite," in a car that "demands to be driven." Fresh styling included a delta-spoked soft-vinyl steering wheel and a padded dashboard.

Options included power locks, Rally wheels (for the sport coupe only), Strato-bucket seats, a Power Skyroof, power windows, and a power trunk opener. The Monte Carlo's road-tuned suspension included front and rear stabilizer bars.

Of the 358,191 Monte Carlos produced in the 1978 model year, less than 40 percent were Landau coupes rather than basic sport coupes. The Monte Carlo Landau came with an automatic transmission, deluxe wheel covers, sport mirrors, pinstriping, elk-grain vinyl rear roof cover, and wide sill moldings.

Monte Carlos shared their platform, on a 108-inch wheelbase, with the "new-size" Malibus -- which were a foot shorter and as much as half a ton lighter than equivalent 1977 Chevelles.

1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo rear
The 1978 Monte Carlo retained the general lines of earlier models.

1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Monte Carlo
3,040-3,175
$4,785-$5,828
358,191 (approx.)

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