Entries in Monza (5)


Parabolica, 1965


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.


Video of the Week: Over 8 Minutes of Vintage Racing Sexiness at Monza

I found this gem of a video in the dark corners of youtube and am thrilled to share it with you (only has 176 views as of now!).  There is so much absolutely fantastic footage of the Monza Historic Races from 2010, both on-track and in the pits.  My favorite part are the awesome powerslides you can see as the cars exit from Ascari and head down the backstraight to Parabolica. Simply magical!  Also, the low drag E-type Lightweight Coupe is pure sex on wheels.


Object of Desire: Heuer Monza Chronograph

Created to celebrate Ferrari's World Championship in 1975 with drivers Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni, the Monza Chronograph is pretty much my favorite vintage watch. The case was available in chrome plated finish or in PVD matte black. Personally, i'll take a black one.

Here are some photos of the Monza from a recent ebay auction that I failed to win..


Automobiliac Video of the Week DOUBLE FEATURE: Fangio in the Lancia D50 at Monaco and Alfetta 159 at Monza

In the early 70s, a fantastic documentary was made about the life and career of Argentinian maestro Juan Manuel Fangio. I was fortunate enough to have a father who owned this movie on VHS, and I watched as a kid until the tape got worn out.  While trolling through youtube, I discovered that someone had uploaded two of the movie's best scenes (sorry this version is in Spanish, but at least you can hear his actual voice).

In the first clip, Fangio, now retired, is reunited with his 1956 Lancia-Ferrari D50 at Monaco, and drives it flat out with some incredible onboard camera work and stellar editing. I get chills every time I watch this clip, and I have always loved the theme song that comes in at the end during the slow motion sequences.

In the second clip, Fangio tears around a deserted Monza circuit at sunset in his beloved 1951 Alfetta 159, in one of the most atmospheric parts of the movie.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy!