Do you think the stock car racingaero war ended in 1970? NASCAR rules may have dealt an evolutionary death blow to the winged Mopars, and nixed Ford’s King Cobras as the prototypes emerged, but it didn’t eliminate wind cheating designs. In the ensuing decades, Detroit learned that the challenges of meeting CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and increasing racetrack speeds could be served by continuing to improve aerodynamics, often with pleasing visual results. We can think of a few post “aero wars” examples, like the 1975 Chevy Chevelle Laguna S-3. Its laid-back front fascia helped lower the coupe’s drag coefficient. Buick affixed a similar design to its mid-’70s Special and Century, and Olds didn’t hesitate to lay back the front end of its Cutlass 442, though its superspeedway prowess began in ’78. This was the subtle aero war, a trend that continued when NASCAR finally embraced Detroit’s downsized intermediates for 1981.
Buick’s Regal was an instant hit, taking 47 wins in 61 races through 1982. Ford’s nine wins during that span led to a completely redesigned, well-rounded Thunderbird, while Chevy’s embarrassing four wins (one by a Malibu, another by a four-year-old Monte Carlo) led to the reintroduction of the Monte Carlo SS, which included a sleek windswept nose with a flush-mounted integral grille. The new SS helped land Chevy a season high 14 wins in 1983, and another 21 a year later. But by 1985, Ford regained momentum and the two makes ended the season with 14 wins each.
For 1986, Chevy brass tasked its engineers with creating an enhanced Monte Carlo SS that would further reduce drag at triple-digit track speeds.
No matter how much we may like cars, do any of us really enjoy going to a dealership? Haggling, getting sucked into the four-square method, politely chuckling at the dealer’s bad jokes, all when we really just want to look at the cars, compare their specs, get under the hood, and be a car geek.
One of the greatest joys in the whole of automobile-dom is firing up a vehicle that hasn’t started in many years. It’s a great problem-solving exercise that teaches you how cars work, involves physical exercise, lets you hang out with friends to work towards a common goal, and appeals to whatever part of the human brain is so captivated by things like mysterious shipwrecks.
UPDATE – Barn Finds first featured these cars when they were found back in 2017. Then they were listed on eBay in 2018 and got bid up to $200k! Well, they showed up again this year at a Barret-Jackson auction where they only got bid up to $67,100… What?! It was a no reserve auction too. How did this happen??? Read more here