Classic Classified: 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 454

From: Hemmings Motor News, March 1989

Price then: $8,000 ($16,100 adjusted for inflation)

Price now: $14,400–$45,300

Approximate dollar difference: $29,200 (assuming #1 condition)

Annual rate of return: 3.8%

MONTE CARLOS: 2 1971s, SS 454, 365 hp, power everything, buckets, console, tach & gauges, 12 bolt, both are 2 owner Calif autos, take your pick, $8,000, no tire kickers.

The Monte Carlo was unveiled in 1970 on GM’s new G-body platform, which was only introduced the previous year in the Pontiac Grand Prix. With their long hoods and well-appointed interiors, these new mid-size “personal luxury cars” helped shape styling for the rest of the decade. Just because the Monte Carlo was a luxury car, however, doesn’t mean it couldn’t pack a serious punch. Before the EPA strangled the life out of the muscle car market, you could option your Monte Carlo to be more performance monster than boulevard cruiser. This example had the very same 365-horsepower LS5 454 and driveline offered in the Chevelle SS 454. These cars are exceptionally hard to find, with fewer than 2,000 produced in 1971. Unfortunately, rarity doesn’t always equate to super-profitable collectibility. While this Monte Carlo is essentially a Chevelle SS in disguise, it has not enjoyed the same appreciation as the Chevelle. But for an enthusiast looking for an affordable sleeper muscle car, these cars represent a pretty solid value.

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