In 1996 I was 19 years old and grew up in the car hobby. I had wanted a car from that muscle car era since I became a teenager but never really made an effort to seriously search for one since I wasn’t making much money at the time. I had a somewhat rusty 1976 Cutlass S that my Dad purchased new which was working fine for me.
A friend of mine was looking for a used car so we were visiting several dealerships throughout the Vancouver area of British Columbia to find the right car for him. At one dealership I saw a beautiful car from about 100 feet away parked at the back corner of the lot but I didn’t know what it was. Just as a salesman was walking out to greet us I said to my friend that it was a great looking car. Jim the salesman heard me and proceeded to explain that it was his car that he purchased earlier that year. Jim added that it was a 1970 Monte Carlo with the stock 300 horsepower 350 engine, original paint and interior with only 47,000 miles. He also mentioned that it was for sale. I liked it even better now! At that moment I decided I wouldn’t give it a closer look since I really did not have a whole lot of money to spend. My friend and I continued on our search for a car for him.
For the next 2 weeks all I could think about was that Monte Carlo so my Dad and I went to give it a closer look. Often times when you see a good looking classic car for sale from a distance you are met with some disappointment with the condition as you get closer but this was not the case here. The paint and vinyl top were in good condition for the age of the car. The interior looked very nice and clean with a cloth bench. There were some small amounts of rust in typical areas but not enough to scare me away. Overall the Monte Carlo was a very nice low mile car and I was able to get enough money together to buy it. I had no idea that this purchase would eventually lead me to so many great experiences.
Fast forward to the early 2000’s and the car had a repaint and I am now married. I started doing internet research on 1970 Monte Carlos and came across the First Generation Monte Carlo Club which had a lot of great information for 1970 to 1972 Monte Carlos. I quickly joined and started organizing a few small meetups in the Northwest and eventually grew into the club’s official Western Meet that I organize each year. My 1970 Monte Carlo has always performed well on these road trips and has become a great car for travelling all over the Western US and Canada. My wife and I have logged over 15,000 miles in this car just for these meets from 2004 through 2012 and have some great memories attached to those trips.
In 2013 I purchased a 1971 SS454 which became the car we would use to travel to car shows. The duties of my 1970 Monte Carlo changed from road trips and occasional driving to daily duty in the summer months. Since then the 1970 Monte is driven roughly 4,000 miles a year to work and back for 7 months a year. This car is now 50 years old and has over 125,000 miles with the original drivetrain. I have recently redone the seats, carpet and door panels as they were starting to show their age. This car is not perfect but it certainly owes me nothing after all the enjoyment these past 24 years.
Who knew that this Monte Carlo would take me and my wife in the direction of such a great experience through my car club and attending meets all over the country. It all started with a simple sighting of a nice car 100 feet away.