Auction Pick of the Week: 1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS “Lingenfelter”


The Mustache Muscle era of the late-1970s through the early ’80s was a bit of a mixed bag for car fans. Many nameplates that had become steeped in legend during the muscle-car heydays of decades prior were still hanging around, but they were shells of their former selves. These nameplates—Mustang, Regal, Camaro, Charger—offered attractive styling but still lacked substance thanks to buzz-kill safety regulations, fuel-economy concerns, and the smog-reduction tactics of the early 1970s.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Lingenfelter Auction POTW exterior side profile by pond

Chevy’s Monte Carlo was no exception. The fourth-generation car, which debuted in 1981, was underpinned by GM’s mid-size G-body platform, the same bones that formed the likes of the Buick Regal, the Olds Cutlass, and more. The coke-bottle-styled sheetmetal was attractive, in a distinctly ’80s fashion. In 1983, a high-performance variant—the Monte Carlo SS—finally returned to the order sheet.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Lingenfelter Auction POTW exterior rear three quarter roof inserts off

Initially, the 305-cubic-inch V-8 produced just 175 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Five additional ponies arrived in 1984. In 1985, a new axle ratio (3.73:1 vs. 3.42:1) and a TH200-4R four-speed automatic helped liven up the Monte a bit. Peak sales came in 1986, with 41,164 Monte Carlos leaving dealer lots across the nation.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Lingenfelter Auction POTW exterior passenger front three quarter

One of those 41,164 happens to be this week’s Hagerty Marketplace pick of the week. The 1986 Monte Carlo SS seen here is no ordinary car, however; this one has been fitted with a 406-cubic-inch V-8, built by Lingenfelter Engineering and believed to have been installed shortly after the car was first purchased.

In the comments, the seller notes that they were told the car produced 500 horsepower from the V-8, although he notes that he has no data to support that. Either way, it feels safe to bet the Lingenfelter motor handily outstrips the 305 that came stock in this car. There’s even a little blue bottle of surprise juice in the trunk, should you feel the need to really drop someone at a stop light.

That belter of an engine is fitted with an aluminum intake manifold, a four-barrel carburetor, and dual exhausts. It mates to a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 automatic transmission, shifted by a B&M lever.

The five-spoke wheels that were new for the 1896 model year on these cars have been replaced with 15-inch rollers from Enkei Racing that wear meaty Goodyear Eagle GT tires up front and Hoosier Quick Time tires out back. (The seller recommends the tires be changed soon due to age.) To help keep the rear from breaking loose, this car also has SSM rear traction bars.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Lingenfelter Auction POTW exterior side profile by pond roof inserts off

The black paint coating the exterior is believed to be original and looks to be in quite good condition. Red “Monte Carlo SS” decals accent the sides and a pinstripe graphic runs the entire circumference of the car, adding a nice break in the black-on-black scheme.

Inside you’ll find a cloth interior with removable glass roof panels offering that classic T-top vibe. This was a relatively high-optioned car when new, as it includes power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, and more.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Lingenfelter Auction POTW interior instrument cluster

While the odometer currently displays just over 2100 miles, the listing does note that the true mileage is unknown. The CARFAX report accompanying the listing shows that the current owner purchased the car in June of 2018 with a mere 1733 miles reported, but the first registration noted on the car in 1992 shows an odometer reading of 10,451 miles.

With five days left to go in the auction, the leading bid currently stands at $17,000. If you’ve been craving a piece of Mustache Muscle–era styling with about four times the expected punch, this Monte Carlo might be your golden ticket.


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    Cool car. The first thing I’d change would be the trans, though. Back in the day, switching to the 350 turbo was probably necessary since the 200R4 would be short lived behind that 406. Today you can build a 200R4 that will be happy and offer a low 1st gear, lots of torque converter choices, and overdrive.

    Knew Lingenfelter back in tha day, so car probably came from Fort Wayne Indiana originally which isnt a plus if drove in winter. Looks in great shape. Motors were great but that’s a long time ago too. Wish I knew what to do on mine, I have a 85 with over 400,000 miles on original motor. Been parked now 10 years, 355 scat going in mine and 200 R4 has been bullet proofed. Since cam requires a stall convertor of 2000 I wonder about what will happen to overdrive lockup when that’s RPM they engage some less. Had to go to lower profile tires to up rpms and go to manual carb/distributor years ago and use vacume controller to make converter work. Then theres thatching is it 27 or 31 spline or what converters work, not much listed for the 200R4. Switch to 700R4 non lock up. ??

    This was back when John much did a lot of the work himself. We had several engines John built himself and they were great.

    I really miss him.

    I have a poster with John with his truck and my truck framed and signed. I will always treasure this.

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