The college I attended in the mid 90’s was located in northeastern Wisconsin. To get myself there, I drove a cool car that had been given to me by a friend. At the time, it was probably the coolest car I had owned. Of course, I had only owned a 76 Honda Civic, a 66 Buick Skylark, and an 82 Subaru DL hatchback. So, that’s not saying much. But I really considered this to be a neat looking car. Mine had a 4 cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. So, it wasn’t the speediest car in town, but it sat low to the ground and I felt like I was driving a sports car wherever I went.
I remember seeing one of these in Columbus, Ohio with a six cylinder engine. I always thought it would be fun to drive the V6 version as it had to be more powerful. You can imagine my amazement when I found out that the car was also produced with a V8. That would be a blast to drive! At least that’s what I thought before I read Car & Driver’s article pitting Mystery Car 82 against a 1975 Ford Mustang V8. What is it? Bill Pressler guessed correctly; it’s a 1975 Chevy Monza 2+2 V8.
While a V8 sounds impressive, the 262 cubic inch engine in the Monza only produced 110 hp. However, torque was an impressive 200 lb/ft. That combined to a three-speed automatic was not very impressive. A sprint to 60 mph took 11.4 seconds and the standing 1/4 mile took 18.5 seconds. Sad to say, those specs are worse than a 2004 Chevy Aveo. But that’s just the way things were in the 70’s. Nothing was very powerful. So, let’s just smile and enjoy the memories.