One of the coolest cars to come out of the early ’70s that gets little attention, is the first-generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo. These big, beautiful cars are often overlooked and underrepresented at car shows. When we saw this ’72 Monte, we knew we had to talk to the owner and get the skinny on this big cruiser.
It belongs to Don Robertson of Aloha, Oregon, and when he bought it, his intentions were not to make it into a show-worthy cruiser. “I’ve been working on it for the last four years, but I’ve had it for 17,” Don stated. He actually bought it to use as a parts car. Destined to be dismantled to rescue another Monte Carlo, it ended up becoming a project of it’s own.
“The car sat around for a long time, and I decided to throw an interior kit in it, put a cheap paintjob on it, and try to flip it. The build got out of hand though, and four-years – and a ton of money – later, here we are,” Don stated. Instead of flipping it for a quick profit, he gave it a little more than just an interior kit and a cheap paintjob.
The engine between the custom-riveted inner fenders that Don installed, is a built 6.0-liter LS2. “Putting the LS in was actually pretty easy,” he said. In addition to the LS engine and 4L70E automatic transmission, Don installed a C4 Corvette suspension. “The car handles just like a Corvette,” Don expounded. On the dyno, Don’s Monte Carlo delivers an impressive 350 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque.
The color is the same as factory applied, but with a lot of extra pearl added to really make it pop. In addition, the fender vents, rear wing, and gas cap are all custom additions by Don, to add a little flair to the look of the car – it definitely worked! The interior kit also ended up not being as simple as his original intentions. Instead of something traditional, it features all-new OPGI interior with a custom, bolstered bench seats and a center console.
Don also installed an Aeromotive 20-gallon fuel cell with an in-tank pump, 2 ½-inch stainless dual exhaust, Classic Performance brakes with hydro-boost assist, an American Autowire wiring harness, and Vintage Air A/C. The interior has also seen the addition of a six-gauge Classic Dash conversion with Speedhut gauges. The custom center console features a push button electronic shifter. In addition to the push button shifter, Don also has paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
A nice set of wheels can compliment a fine build – or ruin one. The American Racing wheels that Don used are subtle and don’t detract from the rest of the build. Wrapped in Goodrich G-Force radials, this Monte Carlo sits on a solid foundation.
Don did all of the bodywork, custom modifications, paint, drivetrain, mechanical, suspension, and drivetrain upgrades himself. This beautiful Monte Carlo is a true Home-Built Hero, and Don did a stellar job putting this beast together.