For as long as I can remember, I've loved the Monte Carlo SS. Something about its looks resonated with me. Something about the sound of a small-block V8 got the adrenaline pumping. Something about torque turning the rear wheels felt so right. I knew I had to have one.
When I finally got one... well, maybe I should have kept looking. My particular car is far from a perfect example of what a fourth generation Monte Carlo SS should be.
When I got it, the stock L69 305 "H.O." was pretty far from high output. I think "Highly Tired" fit it better.
The transmission was acting up, in typical fashion.
The "exhaust system" the previous owner left me did nothing to promote anything resembling mileage or performance.
With work, it got better. A new exhaust system brought drive ability. Rebuilding the Quadrajet brought performance to the table for the first time. Replacing the Throttle Position Sensor after it went south kept the good times rolling.
Then the motor started to show it's age. The previous owner didn't take very good care of the car, and it was beginning to show. In the form of about a quart of blow-by a week.
I built a mild, non-emissions 350 to replace it, and it was FUN! For about 700 miles. The cam had steadily been wearing the wrong way, and then it finally died, taking my oil pressure with it.
Even after that, I still have the car, and still have faith in it. Through all the problems I've had, I still have a desire to sink money into it.
That car, as a package, was incredible. Power was an uphill battle with my bad luck, but everything else was perfect. It could corner almost on par with my 1994 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, but it didn't punish you when you just wanted to cruise.
The Monte Carlo SS is, to me, the ultimate cruiser. It turned, it burned, and I could comfortable bring 3 people and quite a bit of luggage along for the ride.
I try to hate that car, but I can't. Even with the power-train mishaps, I love it. There was room for improvement (ahem, like a World Class T5 five speed manual transmission), but it's a solid platform for a wonderful driver.