20 June 2007

RIP Monte Carlo: Don't Let the Door Hit Your Ass on the Way Out

GM announced today that the last front wheel drive, W-body Monte Carlo "sports coupe" has been built. The Monte Carlo of the past several years took all that was wrong with the Impala (review here) and added to it a cheaper looking interior, large and impractical coupe doors, the biggest quarter panels since a 1976 Coupe de Ville (slight exaggeration), and a redneck/NASCAR owner stereotype.

Similar to the Impala, the Monte Carlo is a perfect example of the OLD GM and exactly the kind of car that it should not be building. I'm glad that they finally gave up on it. Sales were a lukewarm 34,113 in the 2006 calendar year, and were down over 30% so far in 2007. Few buyers want coupes after their first two years on the market, and even fewer want ones with gangly styling, a NASCAR alter ego, and chassis architecture that dates to the late 1980s (albeit with periodic improvements).

I'm not going to miss the Monte Carlo, at least as it was in this form. My favorite style is the first generation. The second generation was way too overstyled, and the next generation began a trend of mediocrity for the car. The low point, though, was probably the Lumina-looking Monte Carlo of the 1990s that had ZERO style, grace, or character. At least the last generation had a little style, even if it wasn't exactly a current style.

Rest in peace. Now, will the NASCAR fans in the South start driving Impala SSs? It's hard for me to imagine, unless they release a special "Intimidator" edition with black paint and silver ground effects.

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