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Monday
Apr022012

The DeKon Chevy Monza: Unsung IMSA hero

I'll never forget the moment I first noticed the Chevy Monza. I was at Laguna Seca with my dad watching the vintage races. And there was this sleek red 1970's car I had never seen before that was utterly owning a field filled with 911's 935s, not to mention a few BMW 3.5CSL racing cars.  This guy was seconds a lap faster than his competitors. And when I found out he was driving a Chevy Monza, I was in shock.The Chevy Monza production car was powered by a hearty V8 but its styling has been relegated to the dustbin of forgettable malaise-era GM designs. The chassis surely was nothing to write home about either.  So how could an exemplar of late 1970s GM engineering end up as a competitive racing car, embarassing the finest GT machines Europe had to offer at the time?In partnership between GM and DeKon Engineering of Illinois, these racing Monzas were prepared from the ground up for privateers to compete in the IMSA GT Championship.

At the DeKon workshops, the cars took on massive tires, stuffed into aggressive fender extensions. The chassis was a spaceframe, so this was really a purposebuilt racing machine with only a passing resemblance to the showroom car. The appearance of these cars, with their low, agressive stance, is really menacing. The rear view is particularly awesome.After finding their feet, the Monzas went on to win the IMSA GT Championship in 1976 and 1977, beating Porsche.  One customer even campaigned his at Le Mans in 1978, but did not finish the race.

Primary Source: Sharch.org

Images, various sources.

Reader Comments (2)

These are by far my favorite IMSA cars.
April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaphael Orlove
i have to say these IMSA Monzas are SO cool.........such a shame that their roadgoing counterparts were such breakable turds!!!! They could have made it like a Ferrari Daytona for middle america! instead they made it like a Chevy Nova for arthritic america!
April 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersyed

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