MARCH 2024: 1970 MONTE CARLO—MODERN MONTE IS A HIGH-TECH BEAST

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The Chevrolet Monte Carlo debuted in 1970 because the personal luxury car category was gaining strength in the market.

Personal luxury cars were supposed to be upscale vehicles, built for comfort, and bought by upper-end buyers who fell in under the Cadillac and Lincoln threshold.

Jerry Sutherland

Kevin Dyck is part of the Monte Carlo cult, so he’s a student of these unique Chevys. He bought this 1970 Monte because he had a serious game plan for the car. He wanted to make his Monte Carlo a beast with a massive dose of high-tech stuff under the skin.

This car had been well looked after over the last 50 years, so Kevin had a nice base to build a 21st century car he calls Modern Monte. The 350 small block V-8 was the first casualty—so was the 350 automatic—but Kevin still has them. Kevin dumped the original power train and replaced it with a massive 496 cubic inch big block (from his other Monte Carlo) and a 6-speed automatic.

Kevin said the big block had a conservative dyno of 425 horsepower at the rear wheels and 570 ft-lbs. of torque. This was a big job because he went with state-of-the-art fuel injection so the engine’s computer  has to tap into every function of the car—things like the transmission, exhaust, and cooling system are all tied into the overall map of the car’s performance.

The new engine is a beast—it twisted the car so much it cracked the windshield, so Kevin stiffened the frame to handle the power. He’s run an 11.8 quarter mile at the track but doesn’t want to crack the “you went so fast you need a roll bar barrier”.       

The body was done during what Kevin called the Covid era. His own business was down because of the fierce economic shutdown, so he found a shop that was quiet too—plus they let him work on the car during his own downtime.

The Monte Carlo’s body was in good—but not great shape. The rear quarters needed work because one had been hit so the lower sections were replaced from the top of the fender down on both sides. The front fenders needed a little attention on the inside, so they were dealt with as well during the process.

The car was originally a lighter blue but, Kevin went with a BMW M-series San Marino Blue because he wanted a deeper color on his Monte Carlo. The vinyl roof was also changed to accentuate the new shade of blue.   

The front seats were redone in their factory black, but the dash was mint—that was the selling point for Kevin because he is a huge fan of black interiors. The headliner was also redone. His only regret is that he didn’t upgrade the insulation more because the exhausts start pumping out some serious heat after a few hours. Kevin is looking at two options—more insulation or air conditioning. Kevin’s wife likes the second option.

Kevin focused on new tech for his Monte Carlo because he believes in the efficiency and reliability of things like fuel injection, and four-wheel disc brakes. He’s driven the car to some major Monte Carlo shows over a thousand miles way in Utah and had a few adventures—he lost a transmission cooler line on the way home, so the Monte ended up on a trailer.

Believe it or not this car is for sale—Kevin said you can buy it for $300,000. In other words, he doesn’t want to sell it because that’s the price for his time to build it and the cost of replacement.    

Jerry Sutherland

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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