The 1970s may represent Detroit's darkest days to some car enthusiasts, but don't tell Chevrolet.
The division sold 411,000 Monte Carlos in 1977. In fact, that one-year total for the Monte Carlo swamps all sales of the model since 1995, when it was reintroduced on General Motors' W-body front-drive platform.
Those glory days of the Monte Carlo are celebrated with the 2000 model. The new Monte Carlo, which went on sale last month, uses several styling cues from the 1977 sales king. The fender eyebrows over the wheel wells, for example, evoke the double-humped quarter panels of the original Monte Carlo.
The 2000 coupe shares no external sheet metal with its four-door counterpart, the Chevrolet Impala. But the 2000 Monte Carlo, including LS and SS versions, does share most of its underbody components with the Impala and the Pontiac Grand Prix. The SS varies from the LS by adding a larger engine, sport suspension, traction control, different alloy wheels and body trim.
The two engine choices are GM's pushrod V-6 standard bearers. The LS uses a 3.4-liter engine making 180 hp. The SS has the 3.8-liter engine generating 200 hp.
The Monte Carlo LS has a base price of $19,850, and the SS starts at $22,295, both including a $560 destination charge.