1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau 454 from North America
A very classic, but often misunderstood car
Since owning this car, I have not had many problems with it.
I bought it on eBay in 2002. I was particularly looking for a big block engine as this car was being bought for my son (17 years old). This was a car I myself had in college, and just by chance it was also a 1974 Monte Carlo with a 454. I did not know why when racing others in their Mustangs and Camaros, I was just blowing them away with ease.. until I had a mechanic replace some hoses and found out it was a Factory 454 installed. I have always thought that the 350 and 400 were the biggest engines installed on these models.
Please look for rust when looking for these cars. They tend to rust in the trunk areas, so pull the trunk lining and look underneath. The bumpers tend to need re-chroming, so watch for that. And of course with a big muscle car, it eats gas like I eat pizza.
This car is sometimes over looked in terms of what is called a muscle car, and the reason for this is that you had 3 choices of engines and several choices in carbs, so you could order a 350 engine with a 2 or 4 barrel carbs, or a 400 with the same choices, or the monster, the mighty 454 with 4 barrel. Only most people saw the Monte as a personal luxury car, and ordered the first 2 options. Those in the know ordered the 400/4 or the 454/4. In those days, if you were going for the big block, you usually bought a Chevelle, Camaro, or Corvette, so only less than 3% of Montes that left the factory came with the 454 option; a rare beast in of itself.
With minor modifications, the car is seriously quick, even though for muscle car purists it was born in the smog age, 73-81. But never the less, these cars tuned right could hang with the best of the so called classic year cars 1962-72.
I believe and prices on eBay, Autotrader, etc.. are starting to reflect interest in these cars, as I bought mine for 2,500, and now it's worth over 8,000; not a bad investment, and I am sure the worth will only increase, as these cars are now being noticed.
As for the car itself, the seats are nicely appointed with 2 options that I am aware of.
First, the bench seating with the front split by the arm rests, and the desirable famous swivel bucket seats that swing out when the door is open.
The car was also offered with column shift and shift on the floor. There are some rare cars that have manual transmissions in them, so you could see the confusion as to whether this car was a muscle car (engine 400, 454) or a luxury car.
It has a landau roof, velour seating and other comforts.
One point that I would mention though; the doors are very heavy, not for the lightweights.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th September, 2006