87 Monte SS - library


Now for some non-greasy entertainment.

   Backstory

Not every car enthusiast collects car magazines, but I've been doing just that since before I got my learner's permit.  I was fascinated with the cars of the 1960's & 70's, having grown up during those decades; regrettably though, I was just a bit too young to fully appreciate these marvelous machines.  So, I haunted garage sales, yard sales and flea markets, spending my allowance on boxes of magazines from a bygone era.

Now, for the first time, I'm sharing a portion of what I've collected over the years with the world.  Why?  Well, first and foremost, I think these might be of interest to my visitors.  Secondly, I've come to realize that print media tends to become increasingly fragile as time marches on.  I had never even considered this before.  It has become obvious that if I want to re-read these in my "golden years" (assuming I survive that long) I'd better do something before all these resources crumble into dust.

When these magazines were printed, they were never intended to last 30 years or so.  Secondly (and more importantly), I think some enthusiasts might be interested in how their favorite marques were judged against the competition, by the journalists of the day. In an effort to archive my collection, I've undertaken the massive task of scanning, consolidating and retouching most (eventually all) of my magazine collection.  Between oily thumbprints, ink bleeding and ancient mailing labels, through torn and missing pages, this process (as imperfect as it no doubt is) is painstaking.  To that end I am somewhat limited in the quality of documents I can upload to this site.  The full size documents included herein are only a fraction of their full size archival versions.

Bandwidth is expensive, so I can only share documents large enough to be legible not full the full size ones I am archiving.  Even with these limitations, I hope visitors won't be too disappointed by the quality of my documents.






   1983 Monte Carlo SS

Here's one of the first glimpses I got of the Monte SS from 1983.


   1984 Monte Carlo SS

Here's a two-page rundown from Hot Rod Magazine circa 1984.


This was the big one.  I must've read the following article 100 times at least as I "saved my pennies and I saved my dimes," as the Beach Boys once sang. Alas their legendary 409 was long gone by this time.  It looked like I'd be stuck with a four speed (automatic) single-quad, open diff 305.  If I'd had the money, I'd have gone for the buick, but it was just too rich for my blood. The next-hottest looked to be the Monte SS, so that's what I went for.












   1980 Z-28


I grew up digging Camaros like this.  During the Malaise era of the late 70's affordable performance came one of two ways.  The Camaro Z-28 or the Pontiac Trans Am.  The 'Vette was still around too, for those who could afford the payments and insurance.





1978 Camaro Z28    


   

After meekly testing the waters with a "tape job" in 1977, Chevy got serious again a year later.  Sweet!









1977 Pontiac Can Am    







1974 Pontiac G.T.O.    


   

This is it.  The final swan song of the once mighty GTO.  By this time no one was writing songs about it, there were no longer special shoes, cologne or cuff links.  The party was over and it was nearly time to turn out the lights.


  

By this point the GTO was based upon the Nova clone the Ventura.  The only engine available was a 350 cubic inch engine with a shaker hood pirated from the Trans Am.  I saw one at a car show in 2010 not far from my house.  It didn't attract nearly the same attention, admiration or shutter-bugs as the cars built in the 1960's though.



1973 AMC Hornet    



I'll have to admit that the James Bond film: The Man with the Golden Gun definitely made the biggest impression on me regarding American Motors iron.  With Roger Moore making his second appearance as the British secret agent, the producers pulled out all the stops in creating a spectacular chase scene in the film.  Bond not only drives the car through the showroom window, but also pulls off an amazing 360 degree mid-air spiral corkscrew, allegedly captured in just one take.




Another AMC masterpiece, the radically styled Matador coupe was also featured in this film.  Christopher Lee, (playing the villainous Scaramanga) actually transforms his into a flying car (obviously a model in the long shots) to escape from Bond.  I never owned an AMC product.  They were pretty scarce in my neighborhood and the classifieds never had that many for sale.  Nonetheless, several models have a lasting appeal for their inherent uniqueness.



Movie impressions aside, leave it to Hot Rod magazine to find a way to spice up an ordinary road test.  They turned a mundane test into a cross country comparison of two Hornet hatchback models and two radar detecters at the same time.  I had a radar detecter in the late '80's and discovered that I got as many false alarms as I did valid warnings of police presence.  Passing an industrial park with all the alarms tended to trigger the darned thing too.

I didn't use one for very long because of this.  Evidently they're still marketed, but the price is insane for the so-called peace of mind you ostensibly get from having one of these.  Oh, they're also illegal in some states also, just to keep drivers on their collective toes.






















1971 Plymouth GTX    



I've read and re-read this roadtest many times over the years.  I especially like the opening paragraph. The really neat thing about reading these old road tests is the contrast of our 20/20 hindsight with the assertions made in the article written at the time.

Many will agree that 1970-1971 was the zenith of muscle car design and horsepower until a resurgence occured (emissions now balanced with performance via computers and sensors), in the mid 1980's.  By this time computers controlled everything from your vaccuum advance to your carburetor.  When fuel injection squeezed out the carburetor, even greater balance was achieved.

The interior shot shown here is virtually the same setup my 1973 Satellite used.  The only difference is the "tuff" steering wheel, which my car lacked.  My car had the same dash, console and high-backed bucket seats.  My buddy's '71 Satellite was virtually identical both inside and out.  I almost bought a '71 but was late getting to the guys because we moved the clocks back that day.  So that's how I ended up with my '73 a short time later.  To this day I've never seen one of these in the "flesh" so to speak, talk about rare.








I really wish they'd included a color shot instead of the "artsy" black and white shots.  Only because Chrysler used some of the most outrageously vivid colors imaginable.  And believe me, there's plenty of trunk room without the cheesy lugage rack bolted on as an afterthought.



Back in the day, this thing blasted down the standing 1/4 mile in 14.9.  The mileage must've been truly atrocious... they didn't even bother printing it!




1970 Pontiac Firebird    



Here's one of the first road tests of the then-new 1970 firebirds.  These two were the most performance oriented of the four different trim packages available.







1970+ Pontiac Firebirds    



Here's another road test from back then, this time giving a rundown on the entire Firebird lineup.  We even get an overview of the 6 cylinder "secretary special" as well as the fire-breathers.







1968 Pontiac GTO    



A Hot Rod Magazine test from '68.  The car won awards for its unique "endura" front bumper which complemented the all new "coke bottle" styling for 1968.



1968 Plymouth Road Runner    



Mind you, not just any Road Runner... it's...  A HEMI!



1968 429 Thunderbird    



So you've finally made it... put all that high-performance stuff behind you... you want comfort now.  But suppose, just suppose now, some snot-nosed punk pulls up next to you at a light on your way home from the golf course, and blips the throttle of his muscle car a few times?  Well, Ford had you covered baby!


1967 New Cars    



I'm not really sure what happened in 1967, I was but a mere lad of 5 at the time.  I know it was called the summer of love, but for some reason the car magazines exploded with road tests.  It could simply be the new models that were introduced that year, including the Cougar and a little car called the Camaro.










1967 Camaro SS 350    



Here's in-depth road test of the then-new 1967 Camaro SS 350.  This was the premiere performance model, second only to the Z28, which was much less refined due to its racing aspirations.









1967 Camaro Z/28 350    



Here she is... an in-depth road test of the then-new 1967 Camaro Z 28.  This was the ultimate performance model, second to none and a higly sought-after collectible today.









1967 Firebird 400 vs. G.T.O.    



Sure wish I'd been old enough to participate in this one.  Or at the very least be a witness to it.




1965 Riviera 425 Gran Sport    




Holy Burning Rubber Batman! Can you imagine a personal luxury car outfitted for maximum performance?  "Speed-Minder" speedometer anyone?









1965 Barracuda S    




Plymouth took the front-clip off their Valiant and added a fastback body to come up with the Barracuda.  This variant is the type S!