My '87 Monte Carlo SS is one of my favorite cars (Also own:'90 Mustang 5.0 LX, and '69 Caprice 2-door hardtop-my favorite) I had the 700-R4 auto rebuilt and strengthened by an automatic transmission shop to sort it out; that is a weak point with these cars.
My 1987 Monte Carlo SS.
This was the "hottest" car that I've ever owned. It was jet white with full burgundy running throughout the inside. T-tops and loaded with full power everything. It had a partially chromed out 305 V8 HO engine and was beefy. This car was in showroom condition, inside/out with low miles when I bought it. I had more trouble with this car, it left me stranded countless times. I spent $1200 to have the transmission rebuilt, it still never worked right. I spent hundreds on super wide tires. Drivers side power window button broke, heater/air switch control went bad, I struggled to prevent rust and the car suddenly failed to start one night. I tried everything for 3 months to get it started, but no dice. The gas tank somehow sprung a leak, (this was too much). I had a family, worked and went to school full time and I needed something more reliable and dependable with better maintenance. Even though the car was "hot" looking, looks was about all it had because I couldn't keep it running for any length on time. I needed more than looks, I needed a reliable and dependable car. It hurt me to trade it off, but what choice did I have? It turned into a money pit. I recommend these cars for guys who are either single or have the time, money and ability/patience to work with them. My 1976 Monte Carlo was just too sweet, 350 V8 engine, full white vinyl roof and blood red... no problems with it throughout the 14 yrs I owned it, with the odometer turning once on it. I still have pictures of both of my Monte Carlos, the memories will never die.
I used to own a 86 Monte Carlo LS the original motor was a 305 V-8, I bought it in 2005 with 86,000 km on it, From a friend for 200 bucks, the car was in not the best shape, No exhaust, doors didn't open from the outside or outside, but the engine ran good.
It needed rocker panels, new suspension all round, frame was cracked behind rear wheels. Lets just say it needed a lot of work for safety. The original color was light gray, but it faded to some ugly puke color. I painted the car white with over 6 cans of spray paint. It wasn't the best paint job, but hey it was better than faded paint. After that I painted two sweet black racing stripes.
The car was starting to look nice, I two 14 inch American Racing chrome deep dish wheels. That I put on the rear. It still had stock rims in the front. It only had front brakes because the rear had a leak in the line so I pinched the rear lines off from the master cylinder. I went behind my local tire stores and found a bunch of really used 14 inch tires, that I could burn off.
Lets just say even after I sold my dream car due to the cops and insurance reasons, At lease I can still see the black marks all over town for a few of years...
My Father bought a 1985 Monte Carlo SS back in "The Cetera Era". He was previously driving a 1980 Z-28 so this wasn't a first for him to be driving an American Sports Car.
It was to be his retirement car. He was a Machinist since he was 16. Although born in Ireland, his family moved to England where if you don't have a lot of money to go to a University or College, you learn a trade. He survived the Blitz but, his dad died in his arms as they did not get to their air raid shelter in time during a German raid in September 1940. Later he would "be called up " and served in The Royal Corp of Signals and ended up in the Far East.
24 years of him driving the SS to and from Church and food shopping. An occasional ride to visit relatives has left him with a folder of car repair bills. I can see why people buy Japanese cars. During 2007 my dad at age 86 asked me if I wanted the car and I said "Yes". It was white, which really showed up the rust from 22 years of Massachusetts winters.
I had traded in some of my cars in the past like a 79 Trans Am and 86 IROC Z. I wished I held on to them. This time I decided to not to make that mistake and accept my fathers offer.
First off I had to have new exhaust system and fuel lines installed.
There were no serious dents or scratches on the vehicle. The right passenger side quarter panel was rusted badly. My auto body guy folded a piece of steel near where the bottom is. He soldered lead around the area of the red side marker, and where it was blistering around the top of the wheel well, he cut out a piece from a parts car. Sandblasted everything. Shot it with white paint plus added the decals (Why do so many people have their SS's repainted and not add the decals)? It looks like a brand new car bought off a lot.
It won't be my daily driver, but a car to go the drive in on a Saturday Night, and most of all to remember my dad by who will be 88 in December.
Next year 2009, I hope to have the interior updated with a new headliner and carpet. I also lucked out and got a pair of doors being sold on Craigslist. They were rust free off a California car. So far the restoration has cost me about $4000. Most of this is of course the labor. The frame required a 1/3 Resto. Maybe one day I will add some chrome wheels. For now I passed on raised white letter and saved some $ by getting 4 new Regatta's. At age 49 I don't plan on driving at high speeds like I did when I was younger, especially with a wife and family.
I could easily get back the money I have spent on it if I were to sell it right now. With 72,000 original miles, I see SS's selling for between '$4000 and up to $25,000. It all depends on how much memories the car will bring back to the buyer if he or she has the money. These will be the 55 Chevy's of tomorrow.
I have encountered several younger guys that say to me "Oh wow, wish I still had my 87' or "I had an 87 but I drank too much" and the bottom line is they tell me they totaled their cars. So sad if you are a car enthusiast.