Home » The Nicest G-Body Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Examples Are Now Worth $40,000

The Nicest G-Body Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Examples Are Now Worth $40,000

Chevrolet Monte Carlo Ss Ts2
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If anything’s consistent about the definition of a classic car, it’s that the goalposts are always changing. The most accurate definition is likely the one given by the Antique Automobile Club of America, which states any vehicle 25 years or older is a classic. However, some people write their own definitions. Sometimes it has to do with carburetion, sometimes it has to do with OBDII, and some people write off anything American after 1973. That last definition is a bit of a shame, because the 1983 to 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS is proof America didn’t stop building hot, traditional cars after regulation took effect.

The G-body Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS may not quite have the performance chops of a Hemi Cuda or a Chevelle SS, but it’s still one seriously desirable classic, and nice ones are now worth a proper mint. In fact, if you want a showroom fresh example, be prepared to shell out around $40,000.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

That’s knocking on the door of a brand-new Ford Mustang GT or Dodge Challenger R/T money for a coupe that, on a good day, made 180 horsepower. However, to focus on numbers alone is to miss the point. The G-Body Monte Carlo SS offers an experience we’ll certainly never see again.

What’s The Appeal?

1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Ss Profile

For my American readers, I shouldn’t have to say much more than “raise hell, praise Dale” for memories to start jogging. From 1984 onwards, Dale Earnhardt Sr. became synonymous with going fast in a Chevrolet, and was one of many NASCAR drivers to go wheel-to-wheel in a Monte Carlo. In the car business, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” is an actual phrase, and plenty of people entered GM showrooms for their own NASCAR-inspired personal luxury coupes.

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1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Ss Interior

The one everyone wanted was the Monte Carlo SS, because it was one sweet family ride. We’re talking about a five-liter V8 pumping out 175 or 180 horsepower depending on the model year, sports suspension, a full nosecone, a wicked spoiler, alloy wheels, and a unique axle ratio, all in a coupe big enough to take a family of four and their luggage on vacation in comfort. It looked like it came straight off of the superspeedway, ran from zero-to-60 mph in a respectable 7.8 seconds in Car And Driver testing, and because the G-body of the time was essentially the old A-body, there was plenty of room to turn up the wick.

1984 Monte Carlo Ss 3

Mind you, even in stock form, there was an inherent rightness with the G-body Monte Carlo SS. In fact, Car And Driver put the Monte Carlo SS up against its platform mates, the Buick Regal Grand National and the Oldsmobile 442, and the Chevrolet won. As per the mag:

The Monte Carlo doesn’t go as fast or look as mean as the Buick Grand National, but the Monte Carlo offers its driver a nicely balanced portfolio of acceleration, braking and handling, and NASCAR style. It’s clear that Chevrolet gave this car a great deal of thought, because it delivers. The decals and special trim mask no disappointments. The car is what it says it is, and does what it looks like it ought to do. It rolls along the freeway just like a grown-up automobile, yet handles the swoops and humps of the Angeles Crest and Mulholland Drive like a great big sporty car. It ought to be sensa­tional for delivering the beer and friends to the beach for this week­end’s volleyball tournament.

Beyond that, the G-body Monte Carlo SS was likely the last of the traditional muscle cars. With a reasonably potent for the time carbureted V8 for the time up front, a sensible family car platform underneath, and enough practicality to simply be used as a car, it marked the end of the road for a particular formula when the last one rolled off the line in 1987. No wonder these things are desired.

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Are They Seriously That Expensive?

1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Ss 1

On the absolute top end, absolutely. In fact, a 1988 Monte Carlo SS with just 761 miles on the clock sold this week on Bring A Trailer for $40,000 on the dot. From the T-tops to the gleaming paint to the mouse fur grey interior, this ’80s time capsule looks the absolute business, so it’s not a huge surprise that it commanded all the money. However, it’s far from the only Monte Carlo to do so.

1984 Monte Carlo Ss 1

For instance, this steely 1984 Monte Carlo SS with 2,700 miles on the clock sold on Bring A Trailer last week, and it commanded $38,500. Not only is this thing leather-jacket-and-Bensons hairspray-era-Bonnie-and-Clyde cool, it’s also proof of repeatability for that 761-mile car’s insane transaction price.

Monte Carlo Ss Aerocoupe

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Oh, and that’s before we even look at the premium pristine Aerocoupe models pull. With a re-worked rear window to aid racing efforts, these odd-looking Monte Carlos can attract serious moolah, with this 978-mile example fetching $43,750 on Bring A Trailer back in November. Who says homologation specials are just for Europe and Asia?

Is A Collector-Grade Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Worth It?

1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Ss 3

To the right person, paying up to $40,000 for an ’80s Monte Carlo isn’t just worth it, it might be the best damn deal they’ll ever make. To the rest of us, it’s a maybe, but not necessarily a no. These cars are both incredibly nostalgic and surprisingly good for what they are. Excellent examples are rare, and they play a role in popular culture, not just automotive culture.

1984 Monte Carlo Ss 2

On the other hand, you can still pick up a nice driver-spec Monte Carlo SS in the teens, and although it may creak more than a nearly showroom-fresh car, it’s still a great way to take off the T-tops and hit the beach. Plus, if you have plans to take things beyond OEM, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to start with a pristine car. In any case, there’s no arguing that the last rear-wheel-drive Monte Carlo SS is a certified classic that appeals to a huge swath of enthusiasts. Hot midsize rear-wheel-drive V8 American cars didn’t die after 1973, and this Chevy is proof.

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(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I was 8 when thee went out of production, but I still think they’re damn good-looking cars. My Aunt had a white 87 up till the late 90’s, she actually let me drive it once when I got my permit (accompanied with a “Don’t tell your uncle!” haha).

Even with such low HP, it FELT quick off the line. All domestic V8’s had good low end in those days, and no tq management or anything to dull throttle response.

I recently saw a decent condition one street parked, and of course sent a pic to my aunt. Hers had well over 200K on it when she finally traded it in, btw. I still liked the look, but it was taller and narrower than I remembered. In my mind these were super low and wide.

I gotta say, 40K for a mint one doesn’t seem bad. Personally, I’d buy a nice driver and LS swap it.

MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
1 month ago

Sticker price on the Monte (shown in the BaT listing) was $17,915. Adjusted for inflation, that brings it to almost $49K. https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

J Money
J Money
1 month ago

My (admittedly weird) unicorn I’ve always wanted to land is a 1987 El Camino SS, which looks very much like the Monte but with the truck bed. Much more rare and, unfortunately, also climbing in price — though not this insane yet.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
1 month ago

Since these things were always more show than actual go, I always liked the look of the 442 G-body better…especially with those sweet slot wheels.

GBody Toys
GBody Toys
1 month ago

I own an 85 Monte Carlo SS and an 86 Buick Regal. I wouldn’t pay $40k for a Monte Carlo, but I don’t care about the preservation of stock G-Bodies. For $40k, I think I could buy a new frame from Schwartz Chassis (including suspension and 9″ rear end), decent paint/body, possibly used LS swap w/ transmission and driveshaft, etc… a good finished vehicle for me. Doing a lot of work myself, I could be well below that.

I keep track of what low mileage G-Bodies go for at auction and they can fetch a pretty penny. I appreciate that because aftermarket support increases when manufactures see potential for profit.

Objectively, G-Bodies are the most diverse vehicle platform in existence. Stock preserved vehicles, circle track/stock racing, drag racing (both conventional and “big rim racing”), lowriders, autocross, road racing, etc… They are appreciated in car cultures all across the country. They’ve had small blocks, big blocks, LS/LT, HEMI hellcat, 2JZ, etc.. and all types of engine swaps.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
1 month ago

These things had paint? I thought they came from the factory with primer and rust and a mismatched hood.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
1 month ago

I don’t remember these sitting as TALL as the cars pictured here. All the cool guys probably lowered theirs a bit…and tinted the windows too. If the car wasn’t fast (and it wasn’t) then it should at least look cool.

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

Indifferent assembly quality, impressivly high NVH levels, sailboat levels of handling and performance. The 40k is couple of orders of magnitude high even for one with 100 mikes on it.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago

Oddly enough there are a lot of the newer FWD Montes listed for strong money too. I don’t get it. Not just the Dale Earnhardt (and Jr.) editions that are clearly collectibles and should have been kept in a climate controlled garage from Day 1.

These Montes do scream 80’s to me more than just about any car, short of maybe the IROC-Z and box Caprice featured last week.

Sgtyukon
Sgtyukon
1 month ago

I’ll pass. My 79 Monte is the car that swore me off GM products forever. Paint failed. Tranny, of course. Stuff broke on the car that never broke on anything else, for instance the manual adjuster for the driver’s seat. Between that and my 72 Estate Wagon, I said fool me twice, shame on me. Haven’t bought another GM car since.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

I’ve mentioned before that I put a fair few miles on the 3rd production one. It had a plaque on the dash and all that. I have to say that, for something that size, it carried its weight fairly well. We did a lot of night cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and, while you couldn’t double the posted speed for a curve like in a 280z, you could add 15-20 mph without scrubbing much. It did wallow over bumps more than the much lighter cars I was used to, though.
For years I wanted one with a Gale Banks Engineering turbo kit & a 5 or 6 speed manual, but when I got a chance to buy one a decade later it was pretty clapped-out & I passed. I couldn’t afford the upgrades anyway.

Last edited 1 month ago by TOSSABL
Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

They weren’t that heavy.

They weighed in around 3300 pounds (That’s just a slightly large American more than a modern Corolla).

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Jj

I got my permit in a ‘74 Super Beetle and we also had a Rabbit at the time, both <2000lbs. This was in 1983.
i still don’t own anything over 3050lbs as I enjoy throwing light(ish) cars around

Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

I wish I could say the same. I love lighter cars, and most of the vehicles I’ve owned have weighed below 3000 pounds. Unfortunately my dogs keep getting bigger. (I like Big Mutts and I cannot lie.)

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 month ago

I’ve mentioned in other Autopian comments that my dad bought a new 1984 Monte Carlo SS. It really was the perfect car for him, and it was the first new car he’d bought in 10 years. (Prior to that his daily driver was a ’75 El Camino he’d picked up in ’77.) He was happy that he could equip it with a bench seat, and I remember him telling me about the electronically-controlled carburetor.

But what I haven’t seen in a long time is any image of that car in the midnight blue color that my dad had. It seems like whenever this car is written about, the accompanying images are always white cars. I think the dark blue was seriously classy and understated for a car of this nature, and the photos here don’t quite do it justice, but I’m very happy to see it here nonetheless.

When the SS got stolen out of my dad’s driveway around 1989, the insurance company replaced it with a white 1986 SS, so the ubiquity of the white cars even extended to our family.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

That blue was a good color. I think the dark red was my favorite shade on these cars.

Huibert Mees
Huibert Mees
1 month ago

Those are nice cars but I still prefer the first series. I’ve owned a 1971 Monte Carlo since 1984 and I much prefer the proportions of those cars. The wheelbase on the ’85 is just too short for the length of car. It looks awkward to me. And those urethane bumpers never fit right or matched color. I’m amazed they are getting this kind of money.

Smoke&Mears
Smoke&Mears
1 month ago
Reply to  Huibert Mees

100% on the wheelbase issue. I think it has something to do with the width & wheel size as well -just too narrow/small. Maybe Adrian has thoughts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Smoke&Mears
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Huibert Mees

I love the body line: the way it turns down at the rear of the door. They are just iconic.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

I really like these cars, but that’s an insane price. To be sort of fair to the ’84, that was a one-year color and IMO was the best color. Still ridiculous, though. These are cars to drive and maintain with three tools and parts from Anybody Auto, not turntable look-but-don’t-touch queens.

Dennis Birtcher
Dennis Birtcher
1 month ago
Reply to  Cerberus

That blue was also available in ’83. My parents bought one new. I still have it. So I may be a tad biased when I say I also think it’s the best color.

SirRaoulDuke
SirRaoulDuke
1 month ago

You don’t want a mint stock super low mile one, the values are too high to do what you want to do: swap in some honkin’ horsepower and upgrade the suspension and brakes…Detroit Speed is your friend for the suspension.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago

I’ll take mine in black.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 month ago

$40k for a mullet on four wheels. No thanks.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
1 month ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

You’re thinking of an IROC Camaro

Smoke&Mears
Smoke&Mears
1 month ago
Reply to  Usernametaken

The Monte is the same dude in a jeans-suit vs a tank top and cut-off shorts.

El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
1 month ago

Always wanted to buy another 85 Monte Carlo, guess I need to get it in gear before prices keep going up.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

My definition of antique car is quite simple. If I could have purchased it new, it is not an antique. So despite the ironic Antique Auto license plate on my 1990 Miata, if it was made after 1980 and/or it has any kind of computer, it is not an antique.

Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago

Those weren’t the best years for GM (were there any good years?)… style and looks and possibly nostalgia are there, if it’s what the buyer likes. One look at that plastic steering wheel and you can see the cheapness of the components. The seller only needs one buyer, of course.
A base Camry from a few years ago would blow the doors off of it.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris D

Have you driven both? I don’t care if they swapped an LFA engine into the Camry, I’m a sports car guy and I’d still take a MC SS running on half the cylinders and leaking T-tops over the bland, feeling-devoid, soul-sucking horror of the Toyota. If cars had sex, Camrys would be eunuchs.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris D

Comparing it to a modern Camry is a ridiculous exercise. The point of the 1984 Monte Carlo SS was how well it performed relative to a 1984 Camry.

Jj
Jj
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

Looks like 87 Camry would have been around 9.2 seconds 0-60 while the Monte SS ran about 8.6 . Neither was any sort of fast.

Mustang of the time was around 6.1 – 6.3 seconds.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago

No, they’re not, that’s just what some people are paying for them

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, you generally couldn’t give away ’60s and ’70s era muscle cars. But then starting in the ’00s, the baby boomer generation hit their accumulated wealth prime, and went after all the stuff they loved as kids but were too young/couldn’t afford before.

So I imagine same dynamic now with stuff like this, as my generation (X) starts getting to that point. If anything, the internet has accelerated the uptake, esp. in the twilight of the ICE era.

Before, one might hold off buying a classic b/c maybe they’ll make a new Camaro that you might really like b/c you always thought they really needed 75% more menace or something. But now, they will literally never make a car like this again.

Edit: And if you’re going to get one, this is one of the few recent decade cars that looks amazing in white (with the red door decals, naturally)

Last edited 1 month ago by Jack Trade
El Jefe de Barbacoa
El Jefe de Barbacoa
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I had white exterior with the burgundy interior. Loved it!

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Yeah, a friend of mine in high school in the early ’90s had a matching number Chevelle SS 396 in fully restored condition. It was appraisal-insured for $6k. About ten years later, it was probably worth close to 10 times that. It was nuts how cheap they were and how quickly it flipped to ridiculous in the other direction.

My ex had a white ’85 MC SS with the red stripes. She had me drive, so I drove it a lot and—surprisingly to me—it was a great car.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
1 month ago

Sure, they cost $40k now, but that doesn’t mean they’re WORTH $40k.

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