NEW! Award 106: 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Diesel – Sold?

by | Aug 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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September 19, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

August 14, 2022 Update – The private seller just replaced their expired Craigslist ad with a fresh listing.  In it, the description, pictures, and asking price of $18,500 all remain unchanged.

Mid-size personal luxury comfort and convenience combined with compact car fuel economy. That was the promise of General Motors (“GM”) in the early 1980s when the company started installing Oldsmobile-sourced diesel engines in just about every body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive car the company offered.  While the move helped GM exceed its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (“CAFE”) standards at the time, eventual warranty claims really took a toll on the General’s bottom line.

Rather than design a diesel engine from scratch, Oldsmobile engineers developed diesel-powered versions of its stout Rocket V8 design.  While Oldmobile’s gas-powered Rocket V8s was a very durable, well-built design, the stresses of compression ignition were often no match for it.  Consequently, GM diesel car customers soon started experiencing head gasket failures and other anomalies. The defect rate was so profound that General Motors eventually found themselves offering customers gas-powered engine replacements under warranty.

This 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, originally listed in July 2022 On Craigslist in Beaver Dam, Virginia (Richmond), managed to escape a similar fate as it is still powered by an Olsmobile-sourced 350 cubic inch V8 diesel.  You’ll have to confirm with the seller whether GM ever had to replace the engine on this car.

Currently offered for $18,500, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the seller’s ask is over two-and-a-half times this guide’s #1 “Excellent” assessment of only $7,345 after deducting a whopping 35% for the diesel engine. Consequently, we’re giving the seller our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!) Award for an asking price that is not in line with this car’s condition or power train.

General Motors (“GM”) continued its late 1970s downsizing program when it launched all-new intermediate-sized cars for the 1978 model year in response to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and CAFE requirements. The new third-generation Monte Carlo for 1978 was 700-800 pounds lighter and fifteen inches shorter than the car it replaced. Despite the smaller exterior dimensions, engineers and designers figured out how to provide more interior and trunk space than the 1977 model.

Fast forward to 1981, and GM further restyled all of its rear-wheel-drive, mid-size formal coupes (Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Pontiac Grand Prix, and Buick Regal). The Monte Carlo featured a smoother profile than the previous models and new vertical taillights similar to the 1973–1977 models. Engine offerings were carried over, including the standard 229 cubic inch Chevrolet V6 (231 CID Buick V6 in California), an optional 267 cubic inch V8 (not available in California), a 305 cubic inch V8 in the base and Landau models, and a turbocharged 170 horsepower 231 cubic inch Buick V6 in the Monte Carlo Turbo.

Few revisions were made to the 1982 Monte Carlo. The one-year-only Monte Carlo Turbo model was no longer available.  In its place for 1982 were the additions of either Oldmobile’s 260 cubic inch V6 or 350 cubic inch diesel-powered V8s. While a typical gas-powered Monte Carlo barely managed 20 miles per gallon in real-world driving, diesel-powered Montes easily achieved over 30 miles per gallon.  Unfortunately, Oldsmobile’s dubious decision to build a diesel powerplant based on a gas-powered design proved an unreliable one. Diesel head gasket failures became so common that GM offered many diesel buyers the option to convert their cars to gas engines under warranty.

With the introduction of GM’s new mid-size platform that saw the introduction of the Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and Pontiac 6000, the chassis designations were changed. The new mid-size cars were designated as A-body cars, whereas the cars previously designated as A-bodies were now called G-bodies. A black exterior was not offered in 1982 and also not available in 1982 for the first time in Monte Carlo history was a sportier interior option with Strato bucket seats and console, as only the standard notchback bench or optional 55/45 bench were offered this year. Weight distribution was 57% in the front and 43% in the rear.

The Cory Heisetercamp YouTube Channel features this 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Dealer Training film:

The seller claims this diesel-powered 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to be a one-owner example, which, combined with the lack of license plates, has us thinking this might be a jump title deal the seller is hoping to get a quick flip out of.  Unfortunately, the faded paint combined with the original owner never having their diesel engine replaced by GM under warranty likely means the seller will not find anyone willing to pay such a ridiculous asking price.

Here’s the seller’s description:

Chevrolet 1982 Monte Carlo diesel, 5.7 liter Diesel engine, 87000 original miles, one owner, car starts, runs, and drives.
 The car is in good shape with electric windows, door locks, electric antenna, 60/40 bench seat drivers side electric, rear defrost, and electric trunk. Price 18500.00 Please call, do not text or email.”

Fair or ridiculous: What say you about the seller’s asking price for this 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Diesel?  Please comment below and let us know!


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