Crossovers are an upwardly mobile status symbol, and in the 1970s, that role was occupied by personal luxury coupes, like this 1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Like buying a crossover today, the purchase of a 1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was an indication that you had made it, or you at least were in the process of making it.
The ’73 Monte Carlo was redesigned from its 1972 predecessor. The Monte Carlo series started as a long-hooded Chevelle…
…and then it morphed into its own distinct expression of styling, and to a lesser extent, performance. Sixteen colors and seven vinyl roofs from which to choose.
Note that the fender scallops became much more prominent with the ’73.
The year 1973 was a transitional bumper year, where the front needed to be crashworthy, but the rear wouldn’t have to be upgraded until 1974.
Surely the apparently California-native rust-free bumper will be snapped up a by a demolition derby driver.
This was a transitional year in styling as well. The Monte Carlo would eventually become a rectangular-stacked-headlight style pioneer, but its debut saw it wearing single headlights on each side.
Probably either a 305- or 350-cid V8 in this sparsely-optioned Monte.
The Monte Carlo’s styling draws your eye up and around the car’s wheels. It’s too flagrant to be prestigious, but it doesn’t fail to provoke.
The unspoiled-by-crash-bumpers-1973-rear-end is probably this generation of Monte Carlo’s best aspect, with its graceful curves and ribbed lenses.
Those trademark Monte Carlo curves really show themselves in a sidelong angle.
This was close to what you saw when you opened the Monte’s door. Again, substance with style.
Blind spots aside, the Monte’s greenhouse was shaped to seem ritzy.
That blind spot was considerable, but it was part and parcel of ’70s personal-car style.
The Monte’s door opening looks like it could easily accommodate the adjacent Saturn’s doors. Opening the Monte’s door was a big swing.
Deeply padded, this Monte Carlo’s door panels reinforced this car’s indulgent feel.
All Monte Carlos came with a clock, which was a token of its upscale intentions.
The imitation burled wood wasn’t any better or worse than what was similar at the time, but a clear eye on it reveals its patterned-plastic reality.
The Landau cap covered about 1/3 of the roof, and it accented the rear window’s pointy shape.
Arriving in a new Chevrolet Monte Carlo meant showing up in something that placed you firmly in the upper plane of middle-class society.
The fact that this one lasted as long as it did might point to the idea that that principle was appreciated throughout this Monte’s life.