MY MONTE STORY
The Early Years
When I was 2 years old, my parents traded in a bright red 1968 Chevrolet Impala SS for what became "my" car, a buckskin tan 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
(base model, no trimmings). The story goes [mom tells it best] that, shortly after we purchased the car, I started pointing to other MCs (1976, mind you) & saying
"arlo", which was even more special since I had not yet begin talking much. Thus, the "love affair" began.
My parents needed a 2nd vehicle. What did they choose? Another MC! In this case, a "leftover" 1981 MC SC (tan) that the dealership *almost* sold from underneath
them. Unfortunately, my Dad had the ralley MC hubcaps swapped with the Malibu "plan jane" hubcaps. For about 2 years, I was a happy camper...2 MCs in the same
family...1976 & 1981. But, alas, by 1984, "my" car was in very sad shape...& was replaced with an (ugh) 1982 Chevrolet Chevette.
Once I received my driver's license, Dad kept asking me what year MC I wanted. I told him...1979 (the "mid" point of the original 4 generations, 1970-1988).
Little did I know that had I said "1976", I might have had my parents' old '76 back. But, during the 1st semester of my freshman year of college, I opted to do
a "title search" for that '76 MC. Sadly, I discovered that the car had been junked about a month before I started searching.... I contacted 2 of the owners it had
after my parents traded it in & learned that it had been "relatively" taken care of...but not really. So, I probably would not have wanted it anyway....
About this time, I began "dreaming" of having 1 of each year of MC, 1970-1988. But, I quickly realized that that was a bit out of reach, so I set my sights on
obtaining 1 of each generation, 1970-1988.
I found my 1st car...a 1979 MC in Indiana where I was in college. But, soon after I bought it in October, I found out that it did not have a 267 V8...instead, it
had a 267 V7...the #1 cylinder was not compressing. But, I drove that car & kept very good care of it for about a year, until I discovered that the rear bumper was
falling off because the back part of the frame was rusted. So, I put it in storage & found my 2nd MC, a grey 1988 LS. I drove that car for almost 3 years, until I got
the 79 out of storage & had the back part of the frame re-welded. By this time, I was out of college & was job-hunting.
I left the '88 at home while I took the '79 to Nashville TN to find work in September.... But, within the 1st week, the '79's 267 V7 finally gave out...& I had
Bill Heard Chevrolet install a 350 V8. With funds rapidly going away & not finding a job, I returned home in October 1996....& quickly got busy selling the 88 LS,
finally finding a buyer in January 1997. I drove the 79 exclusively that summer; by fall, I realized that I did not want it out in the winter. So, I purchased a 1997
Chevrolet Malibu as my daily driver.
A friend at church told me in November that I should contact her friend's mother about a black 1976 MC. I was hesitant, if only because every time someone told me
about this "wonderful" MC I just "had" to see....I ended up disappointed. I called the lady & arranged a time to meet. Luckily, it was a bright, sunny, relatively
warm day (no salt on the streets), so I drove the '79. As I pulled into the parking lot, my jaw dropped. Before me stood a beautiful, black '76 MC. I took it for a
test drive & immediately fell "in love". The lady was pretty impressed by me as well....she was the original owner & wanted to be sure her "baby" got a good
owner...namely me. By early December 1998, I had my 2nd generation MC.
A couple months later, I got an interesting piece of paper in the mail from the dealer I bought my 1997 Malibu...it was an article from a GM publication on the 2000
MC. The only words she wrote on it were, "food for thought". A few months later, I test drove a silver 2000 MC & decided that the Malibu just would not do anymore.
At the end of October 1999, I purchased my 2000 MC, which has since been replaced with a 1987 MC LS (more later).
My parents finally decided that it was time to sell their '81 MC. I was not about to let the '81 suffer the same fate as the '76, so I bought it from them in
Thus, I had 3 of the 1st 4 generations.
Strange as it may sound, after the events of 09/11/2001, I thought more seriously about "finalizing the family" & purchasing a '72 MC. So, I put ads almost
everywhere.... In late April 2002, a fellow associate at work forwarded me an ad from the Chicago Tribune...'72 MC, brown, original owner, etc. I almost did not
call because even I was not sure it was such a good idea to have 4 older cars...let alone 3. But, I called anyway....& quickly decided to at least see the car.
We met in Schaumburg on a Sunday afternoon...& despite the obvious flaws (rust, etc.), I was hooked. On Monday, I checked to be sure I could get a loan...yes!
So, I made her an offer, which she promptly turned down, saying it was not enough. I stood my ground, telling her I would not pay more for her car than I did for
my '76 since my '76 has less rust than her '72. On Tuesday, I called her again to see if she had changed her mind...no. But, about 2 hours later, she called me
back & said that she had thought it over...& had decided that she did not want to "dicker" about the price anymore...& that she really wanted me to have her car
because of my other baby girls (yes, I had shown her pictures), so that same evening, we met in Schaumburg to do the paperwork...& my family was compete!
On May 10, my 2000 MC was damaged in a flood; over a month later, Friday, June 13, it was totaled. This was fine with me as I had been trying to sell it & had been
looking for a 1987 MC LS. A week before the MC Nationals in June, I spotted a light blue '87 MC LS online for sale near Cincinnatti OH. I called the owners &
discussed it...it sounded great, but I wasn't sure when I'd be able to see it, as they had plans the weekend of the MC Nationals, which were held near Cleveland OH.
During the MC Nationals, a friend offered to drive down after the convention with me to see it. He & his girlfriend did just that Sunday afternoon...along with a
couple other MC friends. When we saw the car, all of our mouths dropped. The engine bay was clean enough that you could eat off it...& the owner claimed it
was "dirty". Heh...I had met my match in keeping cars clean. After "thinking" about it for a few days (i.e. on the drive home Sunday evening & Monday morning) I
decided to purchase the car. Unfortunately, no "dickering" would be, as the owner stood firm on his price, which I readily paid. My dad drove me back to OH to pick
up the '87 MC LS on Saturday, July 12.
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