Dodge Monaco V8

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Keywords: Dodge Monaco V8

Description: Dodge had a full lineup of full-size cars in the 1960s. From its introduction in 1960 to the debut of the very similar Dodge Monaco in 1965, the Polara sat at the top of Dodge's full-size

Dodge had a full lineup of full-size cars in the 1960s. From its introduction in 1960 to the debut of the very similar Dodge Monaco in 1965, the Polara sat at the top of Dodge's full-size offerings, and was available as a two-door convertible, two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and four-door wagon. The first generation lasted just two years before Chrysler executives moved the full-size Dodges.

Dodge had a full lineup of full-size cars in the 1960s. From its introduction in 1960 to the debut of the very similar Dodge Monaco in 1965, the Polara sat at the top of Dodge's full-size offerings, and was available as a two-door convertible, two-door hardtop, four-door sedan, and four-door wagon. The first generation lasted just two years before Chrysler executives moved the full-size Dodges to a shorter wheelbase to meet an expected downsizing of Chevrolet's full-size 1962 models that never came. Instead, Chevy introduced a line of new mid-size cars that left Dodge without a true full-size offering until 1965.

This also was the year that a new two-door hardtop coupe, the Monaco, joined the Polara on the full-size "C" platform. By 1966, the Monaco had moved from the top Polara two-door to a separate vehicle line encompassing all of the same body styles as the Polara, except for the convertible. It was distinguished by a distinct taillight treatment, slightly modified grille, increased use of chrome, and little else. The standard engine for both was Chrysler's 383 V8, though Polara buyers looking for better economy could opt for a 318 V8 as an option.

In 1969, the crisp straight lines of the previous generation were cast aside in favor of Chrysler's rounder "Fuselage Look". Available powerplants for the Polara included Chrysler's slant six, as well as the 318, 383 and 440 V8s. The Monaco didn't offer the slant six. Both cars received a major facelift for the 1972 model year, with the Monaco now distinguished from the Polara by its hidden headlights and different grille. Chrysler needn't have bothered as the Polara was dropped after 1973.

For many, however, the 1974-1978 Monaco is the most famous for this is the generation that gave us the police car driven by Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) in The Blues Brothers movie. Unfortunately, the car hit the market at the same time as the 1973 OPEC oil embargo took hold, and there were minimal changes made to the car throughout its lifetime as sales never recovered. The Monaco was moved over to the smaller "B" platform for 1977, while the larger car stayed around for an extra year as the Royal Monaco.

The Monaco name – it was just a warmed-over Dodge Coronet by the end – faded away after the 1978 model year, but was revived in 1990 as a lightly modified version of the Eagle Premier. Chrysler needed the car to soak up all of the powertrains it had agreed to buy from Renault when it bought American Motors, and adding the Monaco to the lineup was one way to diminish the stockpile. The Monaco nameplate went away for good in 1992 when the Premier and Monaco were replaced by Chrysler's LH (Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, Chrysler New Yorker/LHS) cars.



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