Chevrolet’s all-new Monte Carlo was a luxury-personal-performance car based on the 116-inch-wheelbase Chevelle sedan. Even though the Monte Carlo had its own eight-inches-longer frame, many of its chassis parts were interchangeable with those of the Chevelle. The reason for the longer frame was the Monte Carlo’s six-foot-long hood, which was there to enhance its classic look more than anything else. The length wasn’t needed to accommodate optional big-block V8 engines, which fit easily in the new car’s engine bay.
Due to the body and frame changes, the Monte Carlo had different weight distribution characteristics than the Chevelle and Chevrolet engineers had to beef up the springs and shocks and install heavier stabilizers. The front stabilizer bar was larger than the Chevelle’s and the rear stabilizer bar was of a type available only as an option on the Chevelle SS-396. The Monte Carlo’s 60.3-inch front track and 59.3-inch rear track were both wider than those of the Chevelle.
The Monte Carlo was sheer luxury inside with comfortable seats, an electric clock, assist straps and simulated elm-burl dash panel inlays. There was a full complement of gauges although Motor Trend’s tester Bill Sanders complained that they were “rather small” and hard for the driver to see. Standard equipment included all features found on Chevelle Malibus, plus power front disc brakes and G78-15B tires.
While only 2.6 percent of the 1970 Monte Carlos built came with the big SS-454 option, many were built with the small-block Chevy V8 like the one in this car owned by Jesse Fisher of Fond du Lac, WI.
This was an overhead valve engine with a cast iron block and heads. Bore and stroke was 4.13 x 3.76 in. for a displacement of 402 cid (it was called the “400”). The compression ratio was 10.25:1 and brake horsepower was 330 at 4800 rpm. It produced 410 lb.-ft. of torque at at 3,200 rpm. A four-barrel carburetor topped off the engine.