THE CAR AND ITS OWNER: 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo owned by Danny Collins
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING: In the ‘50s and ‘60s, with cars such as the four-seat Thunderbird and the Buick Riviera, automakers expanded the genre known as the personal luxury coupe for buyers who wanted distinctive styling, plush interiors and only two doors. Even family-oriented Chevrolet got on the bandwagon in 1970 with the Monte Carlo, a coupe that would sell in large numbers over 30 model years. Despite their popularity, the swoopy second generation cars built from 1973 to 1977 are scarce at today’s shows, a situation some enthusiasts attribute to rust, racing and a lack of recognition for the model’s collectability. “This is a 38-year-old, like-new, original car,” Collins says of his award-winning ride. “The design and appearance just shout ‘American classic.’”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT: Since 2013
WHERE HE FOUND IT: It was advertised online by an Ohio owner.
CONDITION: “This car is as close to flawless as you can get,” says Collins. “It’s in original condition except for the radio. It has its original 350 (cubic-inch) motor and a whopping 145 horsepower. It couldn't pull a bum out of bed, but it is a pleasure to drive.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS: “For those who like this kind of car, just keep looking,” he advises. “This type of car won’t put you in the poorhouse, either. And it shows just as good as the classic, everyday collectible.”
VALUE: Collins values his coupe at $11,500.
THE BOTTOM LINE: “It’s special because it’s not the everyday old car,” he says. “This second generation Monte Carlo in this condition is rare. So many people relate to it, yet as popular as they once were, there just aren't many around. I try to get to as many shows as I can. The car is not a stranger to first-place honors.”