Named after an Italian town and originally intended to bear a Wankel rotary by NSU, a German company, the Chevrolet Monza isn’t the American car you expect to see in an Evel Knievel jumpsuit. Yet here it is adorned in stickers and polyurethane aero bits comprising the rare (and very American-themed) Mirage appearance package. Built during a time when it wasn’t in vogue to sport the typically American formula of “big engine in front, big smokey burnout in the back,” celebrating the Monza Mirage today is paradoxically patriotic. Find this 1977 Chevy Monza Mirage for sale in Oconomowoc, WI for $1,900 via craigslist.
About 4,097 Monza Mirages were sold in 1977, all with the 305 V8 mated to GM’s TH350 three-speed auto. In fuel-crisis form, it sends about 140 wheezing horses to the rear wheels. Resist the urge to swap an LS1 in there – more power is just a matter of carbs, compression, and exhaust.
With 51,552 miles, this is likely the freshest 38-year-old non-Corvette Chevy of any kind. Of course, “original” doesn’t imply “good condition.” There’s plenty of rust and surface corrosion that wasn’t originally on there in 1977. But the interior looks fantastic, and it’s said to run if you first pour fuel down the carburetor.
“Is that a rare performance model of the last of GM’s rear-drive compact cars? No, it’s just a Mirage.” Jokes aside, this is probably the cheapest way to own an IMSA-celebrated American fastback. As it sits, there’s just enough grunt to move around without getting you into much trouble, saving those white vinyl seats from getting soiled. And it has an 8-track player.
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