Dale Earnhardt Monte Carlo - Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe


NASCAR domination goes in circles (no pun intended). Sometimes it’s Ford, then it’s Chrysler, then it’s General Motors. Whenever a car takes the spotlight, a competitor counters or new rules yank away the advantage. And from 1983 to ’86, the Ford Thunderbird was the car everyone was talking about. More aerodynamic than anything GM could muster, the “Aerobird” saw its first victory at Daytona on Independence Day 1983, and with Bill Elliott driving—Awesome Bill from Dawsonville!—it would keep on winning, winning, and winning. In 1988 Elliott won his first Winston Cup driver’s championship, Ford’s first since Dick Pearson won in 1969 in a Ford Torino Talladega.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/09/11/earnhardt-monte-carlo


Actually, the Monte Carlo SS in what ever incarnation it was raced in (notchback from 83-85 to Aerocoupe 86-early 1989) was a dominating racer straight out of the gate. It won Chevrolet the Manufacturers Cup each year the 4th generation Monte Carlo SS was raced in NASCAR and had no problem handling the Fords even before the Aerocoupe option was developed as evidenced by the statistics.
1983 Chevy’s won 15 of 28 races compared to Ford’s 4.
1984 Chevy’s won 20 of 30 races compared to Ford’s 4.
1985 Chevy’s won 14 of 28 races to Ford’s 14.
1986 Chevy’s won 18 of 28 races to Ford’s 5.
1987 Chevy’s won 15 of 29 races to Ford’s 10.
1988 Chevy’s won 8 of 30 races to Ford’s 9.
The numbers get even more insane when you consider that the 4th gen MC SS was used in about 175 Cup races and won over 50% of the time against Fords, Chrysler, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick. Just an outstanding race car and in my opinion probably the best race car NASCAR has seen in its most competitive era.