The Monte Carlo is one of those cars that no matter the generation, I always loved. Yes, even that thing from the nineties. And while in 2000, the Monte Carlo got a slight revival with some features returning that the early nineties so desperately seemed to want to shake and had both the support of GM Motorsports and racing teams trying to get some life back into that comatose and savaged horse, it only lasted until 2007 before being killed off all together for good in favor for the back-from-the-dead Camaro. A decision largely made to focus as many potential buyers onto that revival.
Though honestly, it sprung to life in 1970 – peak muscle car era, as a car that was for the mid-wealth class providing luxury as well as performance. Swivel seats for easier entrance and exit, all the components you’d want for a road cruiser like cruise control and A/C systems, AM-FM radio, trim taken straight from a Beverly Hills mansion bathroom and what was shoved under the hood? Well, it would come standard with the 350ci V8 Turbo Fire small block but… it could be a gargantuan big block Chevy V8; the SS 454. For the most part, the Monte Carlo’s existence is quite possibly all thanks to the revamped Pontiac Grand Prix(What was the fuss? Well, it was a long, long, long sports coupe basically) being a success in 1969 and Chevrolet not having their own version of such a car, the blend of comfort and luxury together with burbling powerhouses and track-capable suspension.
I mean, it was a gargantuan car… Yes, it was smaller than Cadillac Eldorado’s but, that’s like saying a 45 floor building’s smaller than the Empire State Building; it’s still huge. The Monte Carlos of 1970 through 1972 were 17 and a half feet(5.3m) long, that’s 2 feet longer than a full bore Mercedes Benz S-Klasse! All that empty engine bay real estate, woof man.
But regardless, it just sprouted out of a idea and within two years it was on the market for 1970 with all the possible options available you’d normally expect for a car with an established customer base. Suppose that’s the nice thing of being able to just… inherit all the buyer statistics from your(technically) competitor because you’re both under the same company in the end. And through the seventies, it got several changes. One of them was the one we’re talking about in this article; the 1977 version. The last of the boaty Monte Carlos. In ’78, it got cut shorter by over a foot, lighter by 800 pounds and prepped up some so that it could actually, y’know, make it from the driveway without having downed a gallon of gas. But the ’77 Monte Carlo wasn’t gonna go out on a vapid whiff, oh no. It came equipped with all the stuff that was added over the years since 1973.
Quad square headlights, segmented grille and of course the tail lights that would stay similar all the way until the last Monte Carlo of 1988. It still had that Coke bottle shape, it still had the disgusting length of a Cadillac and of course, it had luxury. Specifically, in 1977 you could either have it as the “S Coupe”, which basically meant you had the normal hardtop, or you could get the Landau coupe. Boy if there’s ever a country club name for something so basic as a strip of vinyl on the ass end of the roof, it’s this(though of course, the landau option as a “fake convertible” is one of those pretentious things that goes back to the early 1950s). The name comes from those old almost fairy tale carriages where the two cloth tops could fold backwards for and I ain’t kidding; maximum showcasing of the passengers.
But I digress, Revell’s the sole manufacturer of a 1973-1977 generation Monte Carlo and it comes in the shape of a extremely basic SnapTite kit. Which, I have to admit, not a bad thing at all. I mean, sadly it means it doesn’t come with a lot of parts like for instance a engine. It also means the entire chassis is one solid piece. But does this mean Revell’s lowered the bar for incredible quality all around? Hell no. You could turn this bad boy into just about anything your heart desires, just without a engine sadly. Revell first brought this quite amazing kit to the market way back in 2001 as a lowrider(for some reason, Revell had a giant lowrider craze going on in the late nineties and early 2000s) and didn’t come around to making it a proper Monte Carlo(with the right mag wheels) until 2011. Like I said, the quality is supremely high – the Monte Carlo scripts are very clear, the dash and interior detail is very high and all the little details like the segmented grille, tail lights with the chrome accents, it’s all there.
It’s a mere 36 pieces in total and it’s kind of inflated even cause it counts the movable suspension as unique pieces even though they’re firmly attached to the chassis. Speaking of which, a nice thing this kit has is adjustable ride height! It’s as simple as just forcing it up or down(it’s got a bit with teeth that with some force can be pushed up or down) so you can stance it normally, front/back up or as a lowrider – some variety I can appreciate.
Either way, I got this theme going on for some reason that I love which is to turn any Monte Carlo black. No chrome trim, or at least as little as possible unless it’s a factory option and for the most part just a simple black paint job. I did it on the ’78 El Camino, I’m doing it on the ’78 Monte Carlo kit from Trumpeter and I kind of let it go through in the ’86 and ’87 Monte Carlos as well. So I thought, yep, definitely going it here too. Though of course, it’s a Landau so it has the soft top which I had to accentuate in a different tone so it would look… correct. Though, left the trim of it body color as it is.
In the end, it’s one of those kits that I’m glad exists even though I would’ve loved it if it got the “Basic Builder” treatment, which is a series that Revell-Monogram once did for a few models like the 1985 Camaro and such which were pretty much snap kits in nature but with a slight bump in the difficulty with requiring glue and having more in depth parts. Also, a waterslide decal sheet instead of sticks would’ve been appreciated… But y’know, this is also one of this kits that serves as an example that even the most basic snap kits can be frickin’ fantastic models. They’re definitely not just entry model kits for children or bored folks, they’re high quality kits that are easy enough for kids or those who just don’t wanna go through the effort of it all yet complicated and detailed enough to warrant a purchase from any serious minded modeler.
Hell, if we could get more models of cars of the seventies like a Pontiac Can Am or such and the only way would be via a SnapTite release? Then bring it on, I will buy friggin’ fifty if need be.
’77 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau specifications:
Skill Level: 1
Molded in: Red, White and Black