1998 Chevy Monte Carlo
Though this Chevy’s actual production date was April 1998, I purchased it in early ’99 with only 200 miles on the odometer. It came equipped with all options except leather and sunroof. The four-wheel independent suspension had a rather soft ride but was very quiet and felt like a full-size car on the road. The engine was an improved version of GM’s 3.1 V6, called the “3100”, and featured front wheel drive with a 4spd. automatic overdrive transaxle with electronic traction control. Major improvements to the engine include a more efficient sequential-port fuel injection and platinum spark plugs. This was as close to a maintenance free car as you could get in 1998: the spark plugs, coolant, and trans fluid were all designed for 100,000 miles, and the suspension joints were lubricated for life. It was a fairly trouble-free car but I felt I wanted something a bit “sportier”. I only owned this car for 36,000 miles.

Chevy’s Monte Carlo series dates back to 1970 and is referred to as a “personal luxury coupe”. After being discontinued in 1988, the Monte Carlo name was brought back in 1995 in a body style based on the 4-door Lumina. GM wanted to market a coupe that could also be used on the racetrack, and these cars became NASCAR favorites driven by the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Terry LaBonte. The Monte Carlo came fully equipped and only in two models: the LS and the Z34 (or SS in today’s model), which is the sport version. A new generation of Monte Carlos were introduced in 2000, this time based on the larger chassis of the Impala since GM is discontinued the Lumina series. The Monte Carlo model was discontinued permanently after the 2007 model year.

These photos were taken on the Gulf Coast at Waveland, MS:

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