This week we’re taking a look at the flagship year for one of the most recognizable cars ever built- the Chevrolet Monte Carlo! Originally modeled after the Cadillac Eldorado, the Monte Carlo has everything that most people look for in a muscle car restoration: power, superior handling, and aesthetic beauty.
In addition to the Eldorado, the Monte Carlo borrows many of it’s features from it’s sister car, the Chevelle. Among these are the windshield, the deck lid, and the rear windows. There were however some notable upgrades that Chevy included. Such as the hidden windshield wipers and a light monitoring system that relayed information about the status of your running lights.
Under the Hood
Power was a big selling point for the Monte Carlo as well. The standard engine option was the “Tube Fire” small block V8. This 350 cubic inch motor will get you over 250 horse power after some modern dyno tuning. Other options were available under the hood as well, but the best performing of these was the massive Turbo-Jet 400, a 402 cubic inch, 6 liter, four-barrel that brought with it an impressive 330 horsepower and 410 lbs of torque.
In 1970, a fully equipped Monte Carlo got around $5,000- which was fairly expensive for the times! Today though, a completely restored one in mint condition will fetch at least six times that much. Not a bad investment, huh?
The 1966 El Camino was a big success for Chevy and remains a popular choice for muscle car restoration experts even today. This was the third year of the second generation model for the car/truck hybrid. It seems that most of the previous issues from this car’s earlier versions were addressed and fixed.
Some of these changes included a new, sharper grille design as well as all new sheet metal that was also featured on the El Camino’s sister car, the Chevelle. The interior also got a face lift; a new instrument panel was included as well as new stylish vinyl bench seats. (For an additional fee you could opt for bucket seats.)
Under the hood
Under the hood, the engines got bigger but not necessarily ‘badder’. The standard choice in ’66 was still the 194 cubic inch six cylinder from the previous year. The top option was now a bulky 396 cubic inch V8 that got 325 horsepower in dyno testing runs.
When it was released in 1966 the price of the El Camino only increased by $43 from the previous year. The car brought the total ticket to about $2,500. Nowadays, at internet auctions, they regularly fetch anywhere from $20K-$35K!
Image source: www.hemmings.com
While popular among most auto restoration buffs, the Mercury Cyclone is perhaps a lesser known muscle car to the general public. While it did have seven solid years of production, the Cyclone never really stood out among it’s pony car competition. This lack of popularity, however, is not a reason to dismiss it from your ‘potential projects’ list. In fact, the Cyclone has everything that a muscle car lover could want: Style, sportiness, and power!
The body of the Cyclone underwent some drastic changes in 1970. All three models, the ‘Cyclone’, ‘Cyclone GT’, or the ‘Cyclone Spoiler’, got a redesigned front grill that consisted of a chrome square broken up into four pieces with a circle at its center. Additionally, every model got square running lights added on as well. Since these changes disappeared in the ’71 model, collectors or fans of rare muscle car restorations might be doubly interested in making this their next project.
Under the hood, engine options didn’t change much from the previous year. The base choice was still a 250 cubic inch that got 155 horsepower. The biggest difference was with the top performance option. It went up to a 429 cubic inch V8 from a 428, and now delivered 360 horsepower when put on the chassis dyno tuner.
In 1970 you could pick up a brand new, top of the line Mercury Cyclone for about $3K. Nowadays, at internet auction, fully restored Cyclones are fetching anywhere from $40K-$60K!
Image Source: brantford.canadianlisted.com
If your looking for a late 60’s Ford for your next auto restoration project, you should definitely consider the ’68 Farilane. With its’ ‘fastback’ style roof line and powerful engine options, the finished product will definitely be something you can drive around town and be proud of.
In 1968 Ford changed a bunch of the Fairlane’s features. This being the sixth generation of the model, they almost wanted to reinvent the brand. For starters, they made it a ‘full sized’ sports car by bulking up the exterior. Additionally, they added the now famous ‘fastback’ roof line, a favorite among auto restoration service mechanics and car aficionados alike.
Under the hood came even more change. The base engine model offered was bumped up to a 302 cubic inch diameter V8. Additional upgrades were available to a 390 four-barrel and even a 428 cubic inch ‘Super Cobra Jet’ that got 335 horse power during chassis dyno tuning and testing!
At the time of writing this article, fully restored 1968 Ford Fairlanes are fetching up to $25K on internet auction.
Image Source: www.boldride.com