Rotary Casualty: 1979 Chevrolet Monza Spyder Two-Door Hatchback – STILL $7,000

Jun 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

June 1st Update:  Another month has passed and we find the seller still has his V6-powered, five-speed equipped, Monza 2+2 hatchback for sale with a fresh listing with the same $7,000 asking price.  Unfortunately, this private seller is quickly learning most people still consider these old used cars and the price may be what’s holding it back more than anything.  Good luck with the purchase! 

March 30th Update:  we noticed the private seller of this 1979 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 Hatchback we first featured on February 10th updated his latest listing on Friday however he continues to ask $7,000 for his 5-speed equipped hatchback. As the NADA pricing estimates below show, GM “H” bodies appear to remain in old used car value range, so we’re not surprised to see this example, as nice as it is, still unsold.

While AMC’s Pacer was supposed to feature General Motor’s version of its upcoming Wankel rotary power plant,  GM designed its Vega-based “H” Body line-up to use the innovative engine as well.   The 2+2 hatchbacks such as this 51K original mile 1979 Chevrolet Monza Spyder currently listed here on Craigslist in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania were one of the few stylish hits coming out of the 1970s.  The private seller is currently asking $7,000 for their Monza, which the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool as a guide shows the current caretaker has his Spyder edition priced well above the current “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of only $600, $1,400, and $1,950, respectively.  If you’re serious about purchasing this modified Monza, you can start the conversation by calling the seller Rich at (610) 929-4329 between 9:30am and 12:30pm EST weekdays only.

Chevrolet produced its version of GM’s “H” Body, the Monza, 1975–1980 model years. All “H” bodies shared the Chevrolet Vega’s wheelbase, width, and 140 cubic inch inline-four cylinder engine. While Chevrolet originally envisioned fitting the 1975 Monza 2+2 with GM’s upcoming Wankel rotary engine, mediocre fuel-economy and emissions-compliance issues canceled that engine forcing Chevrolet to offer optional V6 and V8 power in the for of its Buick 231 cubic inch V6 and Chevrolet 305 cubic inch V8 engine options.

Originally used on the turbocharged Corvair, Chevrolet’s “Spyder” nameplate reappeared  as a trim level on the Monza for 1976. This package included performance equipment and some small appearance items. The Monza Spyder equipment package was available on all 2+2 hatchbacks and while most came equipped with  TurboHydramatic three-speed automatic transmissions, this example features the rare five-speed manual.

By 1979, Chevrolet made extensive changes to the Spyder package including separate equipment and appearance packages with separate RPO codes found on the build sheet. The Spyder equipment package was a regular production option (RPO) Z01, while the Spyder appearance package was RPO Z02. The Spyder packages were available on Monza 2+2 sport hatchbacks. Spyder decal colors were determined by the body color of the Monza ordered and by 1979 six combinations could be chosen from.

Here is a detailed listing of the Spyder option codes we found on Craigslist one could opt for with the New ’79 Monza:

Z01 – Spyder equipment 
BR70-13C Steel-belted radial ply blackwall tires, sport suspension, sport steering wheel (two-spoke), center console, inside day-night rearview mirror, Spyder identification, wheel opening moldings (available if the Z02 – Spyder appearance package was not ordered), dual tailpipe system and white lettered tires were available in 1979.
Z02 – Spyder appearance 
Black highlights on front, side and rear of body headlight openings, parking light openings, windshield, rear window and side window moldings, body sill, door and center pillar louvers, rear end panel – (bright window moldings with black exterior), black or gold rear accents (taillight blackouts and rear end panel decals), body color front air dam and rear spoiler, Spyder emblems (front facia, rear lock cover and sport steering wheel horn button insert), body side stripes with Spyder lettering in red, white or gold depending on body color, black painted styled-steel wheels with trim rings and center caps, black sport mirrors, special hood decal and rear spoiler decal. For the 1980 model year, Chevrolet combined the Spyder equipment and appearance packages into one Spyder equipment package with an RPO code of Z29 and included newly re-designed bold Spyder side decals and a new front air dam that blends into the front fender wheel openings. Spyder decal color choices (five) were based primarily upon the interior color specified rather than the body color as in previous years.
Z29 – Spyder equipment package 
BR70-13C steel-belted radial ply blackwall tires (with option for raised white lettering), sport suspension, black front and rear bumper rub strips, black headlights frames, black windshield, belt, side and rear window moldings (not available with black exterior), black painted body sill (also not available with black exterior), black door and center pillar louvers, black painted taillight frames, body color front air dam and rear spoiler, Spyder emblems on front facia, rear lock cover and sport steering wheel (horn button insert), black sport mirrors (LH remote, RH manual), rear spoiler and body stripes with Spyder lettering outlined in accent body colour, Spyder hood decal, black painted Rally II wheels with bright trim rings and center caps.”

Here’s a commercial from 1977 Chevrolet Monza that will likely have you singing the jingle “It’s a MMMMMMonza by Chevrolet.” all day long:

Still stylish today, the owner of this low mileage 2+2 survivor completed a number of performance enhancements to a swapped-in Buick V6 with only 30K miles that likely make this a very fun car to drive.  We love the black over red with gold color scheme.  We always preferred these Monzas to the Mustang II hatchback it competed with.  Back in the day I had the opportunity to drive both cars and given the opportunity I would choose the former to this day.  If you can convince the seller to come down a bit on his current price, you’ll have a fun 2+2 that you rarely see anymore but everyone who grew up in the seventies will easily remember.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Low mileage, A title, mechanic owned, posi rear, new tires, new brakes, fresh mild performance 4.1 Buick V6 with Holley, Arias, Speed-Pro, Accel, never smoked in, rare T50 5 speed. Original 30,000 mile V6 engine and parts included. Call Rich at show contact info
between 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM EST weekdays

Do you have a Chevy Monza story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Analog Man

    There were a lot of things wrong with GM cars of the 70’s, but you have to hand it to the designers of the Monza for making a good looking car! How many of these can be left? Especially with a manual transmission! I think the NADA price guide is way off on this one. If the car is in as good condition as it appears to be, this seems like a reasonable price to get an unusual and increasingly rare car that you won’t see at every Cars & Coffee. If I had any garage space left, this one would be tempting.

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