Dodge Monacos

 
 

The Dodge Monaco (1965-1978)

 

The Dodge Monaco was a full size automobile built and sold by the Dodge division of the Chrysler Corporation (now Daimler Chrysler) between 1965 to 1978 and 1990 to 1992.

The Dodge Monaco was originally designed to compete with Pontiac's Grand Prix model in what came to be known as the personal luxury market. Introduced in 1965 as a hardtop coupe, the Monaco was based on the Dodge Polara two door hardtop coupe. The Monaco received special badging, different tail light and grille treatment, and a center console.

In Canada, the Monaco was Dodge's version of the Sport Fury, available in hardtop or convertible body styles. Unlike the American Monaco, the Canadian Monaco cold be had with the 318 in³ V8 or even the slant six.

1966 

The American Custom 880 series became the Monaco and the former Monaco became the Monaco 500. The Canadian Dodge hung onto the "Monaco" name for the Sport Fury equivalent and Polara 880 for the Fury III competitor.

1967

The Monaco name was applied to all premium trim level, full-sized Dodge products (sedans, coupes, and station wagons) in Canada, replacing the Polara 880 at the top of the Dodge line. Taking the Monaco's place as a premium full-size model was the Monaco 500, which was available only as a two-door hardtop and convertible. Dodge terminated the Monaco 500 at the end of the 1968 model run in the United States and 1970 in Canada.

Chrysler Canada Ltd. fielded a Dodge Monaco in Canada, which was also available as a convertible. However, Canadian Monaco’s were equipped with Plymouth dashboards in 1965 and 1966.

1970 

Dodge Monaco and Polara models offered the "Super Light" option, which placed a quartz road lamp on the driver side grille for better visibility. Despite the fanfare, Dodge dropped the light option at the end of the year because of lack of consumer interest and various challenges to its legality in certain states. 

The 1974 Dodge Monaco was the first year Monacos were common in use as Police cars. The '74 model shot to stardom in the 1980's cult classic; "The Blues Brothers" (staring, Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi) who played "Jake and Elwood blues". The Eldwood brothers named their car, the now famous; "Blues-mobile". The Blues Brothers have a huge following, from the older generation to the new. There are many "Blues-mobiles" replicas driving on today's roads.

As a result of the 1970s' energy crisis, Chrysler shifted the Monaco nameplate to the mid-size B platform in 1977, retiring the Coronet name. For 1977, the older, larger Monaco remained available and was called the Dodge Royal Monaco. The nameplate disappeared at the end of the 1977 model year and was reincarnated as the Dodge St. Regis for 1979. The St. Regis was gone at the end of 1981.

1990 

With Chrysler searching for a way to sell the required amount of Renault-based Eagle Premiers, the Monaco name was briefly revived for a re-badged version of the Premier, differing only in grille, tail lamps and badging, as Dodge's top-of-the-line model. It didn't work; with the similarly-sized Dynasty (also a mid-size car, but smaller than the Monaco) already a known entity and by far the more popular (and some say more reliable) model, the latter-day Monaco was destined to fail. Although built at the Bramalea, Ontario plant in Canada, the new Monaco was never sold in Canada, because the Mitsubishi Galant-based 2000GTX was Dodge's top-line sedan in the early 1990s.

The Monaco (and, for that matter, the Dynasty as well) was discontinued following the introduction of the Dodge Intrepid in late 1992.

 

 

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