Unique collector cars are consistently the most interesting segment of the hobby, as varied as the fingerprints of the guys who collect and build them. And while you've seen custom Monte Carlos before, this Darrell Waltrip homage 1976 Monte is one of the most attention-grabbing NASCAR throw-backs we've ever featured. A slice of nostalgia that can actually be drive and enjoyed, this tribute #88 Monte is a very special A-body.
Sure it's not original, but who cares? Custom painted in an awesome and period-correct NASCAR paint scheme, the builders really captured the spirit of the time with this one. Featuring heavy-hitter sponsors everywhere you look (Gatorade, Goodyear, Die Hard), this white-and-green Winston Cup racer is a head-turner that brings the crowds everywhere it goes. Who would have known that the chiseled, formal Monte Carlo would look so good as a stock car-street racer? The custom finish also seems to accentuate some of the details you miss when these cars are plain old red or black, namely the angled sweep of the fenders with a secondary crease running just below the ridge, the boxy nose, and the aggressive slope of the Winston Cup Series race spoiler out back. There's a period-correct safety net on the driver's side, four chrome hood pins on the bonnet, windscreen/rear glass center bracing, and cover screens on the headlights to further the illusion, but those details have done nothing to get in the way of the street-legal status on this Monte. The paint isn't show-quality but was a solid application when it was finished, showing complete coverage and a good shine with only a few demerits to indicate it's ever been used at all.
The interior remains fairly close to a stock Monte Carlo, which offers comfortable bench seats, a B&M floor shifter, and plenty of luxury features that you'd never find at a NASCAR race unless you went into the parking lot. But there are some performance-spec things sprinkled in too, most notably the non-functional roll bar (installed to complete the look), the four-point Racequip safety harnesses, the B&M floor shifter, the tachometer mounted on the dash, and the auxiliary gauges in the center of the dash. The black vinyl upholstery is in great condition and the seats are just the right combination of comfortable and supportive. The gauges are fairly comprehensive given the Monte's mission and luxury options include cold A/C with R134a refrigerant, wood-grain applique on the dash bezel, a bitchin' foot-print gas pedal, and a Jensen AM/FM/Cassette stereo. The sporty Grant wheel helps with the sporty demeanor but if you want to take four people across the country in comfort, few cars will do it better than a Monte Carlo, especially with that giant trunk, which also features a full-size spare.
The “V” in the VIN denotes that this Monte was born with the venerable Chevy 350 cubic inch V8 engine. With great torque and a throaty V8 rumble, this is a deserving descendant of the full-sized muscle cars of the past, and because of what this car is emulating, it's been built up with a .030 overbore, a Thumper cam, and long-tube headers. Chrome finned valve covers and a matching air cleaner add a little flash, but other than those slight deviations the engine bay is largely stock. It has always been properly maintained, so everything in the engine bay looks good-to-go and it has plenty of grunt, as you'd expect from a snarly small block Chevy V8. Underneath it's all original and shows a few signs of age on the unfinished parts, but careful care is evident everywhere you look, although there is a snarling dual exhaust system to improve the soundtrack a bit. A TH350 3-speed automatic transmission feeding a 10-bolt was standard equipment, so the Monte is both quick on its feet and an easy cruiser on the highway. Distinctive black racing wheels wear traditional Goodyear Eagle white-letter radials to finish the period-collect look.
You won't be looking for attention in this car, it'll find you. Fortunately, when it does, it'll also find a very well-built and nicely finished Darrell Waltrip tribute car that runs and drives extremely well. Boogiddy, boogiddy, here you go! Call today!