Mike's 1972 Monte Carlo Restoration

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The beginning of the story of the Monte Carlo restoration started in May of 1975.

I bought this car originally in May of 1975 as a replacement for a 1971 AMC Gremlin that served me well through high school and 2 years of college at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

The Gremlin was a good car, inexpense, cheap to run, and pretty peppy for a straight 6 and 3 speed on the floor. I bought the Gremin brand new off the showroom floor for $1,900.00 in 1971. Payments were $52.00 per month for 3 years, (ah, the good ole days). But this story is not about the Gremlin so enough of that and back to the Monte Carlo.

As I mentioned I purchased the car as the second owner in May of 1975. The car was in wonderfull shape, the former owner was a real car guy and really kept the car in great shape. The color is paint code GM26 which at the time was called Bright Blue Metalic,(now it is called Bright Blue Poly), The interior code is A52 725 which is a bench cloth seat in blue.

Mechanically the Monte Carlo has the base 350 CID engine with a 2 barrel carburator and was rated at 175 horespower. It has a TurboHydromatic 350 transmission and a 10 bolt Chevy rear end. Not a street racer but with the lack of all the mid-70's smog equipment it wasn't too bad. As far as options go it has Air Conditioning, AM/FM radio, power steering and power brakes, (discs up front and drums in the back).

So as you can see this isn't a high horsepower or a rare highly optioned car so why, you say, would I take the time and go to the expense of restoring a run of the mill car?


I mentioned that I owned this exact car back in 1975, (sold in September of 1976 when I found a 1971 Corvette I couldn't live without), not only that but my wife and I had our very first date in this car way back in June of 1975. I sold the car in September of 1976 and 30 years later my wife bought this car for me as a Christmas gift in 2006. Amazingly enough the car was still owned by the same lady that bought it from me back in '76. So in 34 years now I am the second and fourth owner of this 1972 Monte Carlo.


Monte Carlo side view
Monte Carlo first paint

The top picture is the restoration 'before' picture. This is how the car looked the day I brought it home on December 26, 2006. Not too bad from 40 feet away, taken at dusk and a little fuzzy.
The bottom picture was taken on September 9 2010. At this point the engine, frame, suspension, brakes, brake lines, fuel lines and all body work is complete and this is the first paint. Keep in mind that I am not a professional body man, I try, try again, ask someone who knows, try again. The car has been primed 3 times and blocksanded 3 times to get it ready for the first paint. Well I painted it and it didn't turn out like I planned so I sanded it down, asked some questions to people who knew and painted it again. The second time was HORRIBLE, I guess I should have followed the instructions I was given. Live and learn right? It is December 4, 2010, and I am sanding the body again preparing for the 3rd paint.

Last update May 3, 2021


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