Dodge Monaco

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Dodge Monaco
'76 Dodge Royal Monaco Coupe (Orange Julep).JPG
1976 Dodge Royal Monaco 2-door hardtop
Manufacturer Dodge (Chrysler)
Production 1964—1968 (1st. gen.)
1968—1973 (2nd. gen.)
1973—1976 (3rd. gen.)
1976—1978 (4th. gen.)
1989—1992 (5th. gen.)
Model years 1965—1968 (1st. gen.)
1969—1973 (2nd. gen.)
1974—1976 (3rd. gen.)
1977—1978 (4th. gen.)
1990—1992 (5th. gen.)
Predecessor Dodge 880 (for 1965)
Dodge St. Regis (for 1981)
Dodge Diplomat (for 1982 to 1989)
Successor Dodge St. Regis (for 1979 to 1981)
Dodge Diplomat (for 1982)
Dodge Intrepid (for 1993)

The Dodge Monaco is a full-size car that was built and sold by Dodge in three generations from 1965 to 1976, as a mid-size model in 1977 and 1978, and again as a mid-size, front-wheel drive version of the Eagle Premier from 1990 to 1992.

First generation[edit]

First generation
1968 Dodge Monaco (3736056218).jpg
1968 Dodge Monaco 2-door hardtop
Production 1964—1968
Model years 1965—1968
Assembly Dodge Main Factory, Hamtramck, MI, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-door wagon
4-door sedan
4-door hardtop
2-door hardtop
2-door convertible (Canada)[1][2]
Layout FR layout
Platform C-body
Engine 383 cu in (6.28 L) B V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 121 in (3,100 mm)
Length 213.3 in (5,420 mm)
Width 80 in (2,000 mm)
Height 56.4 in (1,430 mm)
Predecessor Dodge 880 (for 1965)


On introduction on September 25, 1964, for the 1965 model year, the Dodge Monaco was intended to compete with the Pontiac Grand Prix in what came to be known as the personal luxury market, but ended up filling in for Dodge in the full-size, luxury line instead.[3]

The 1965 Monaco was based on the Custom 880 two-door hardtop body. The Monaco received special badging, different taillight and grille treatment, and a sportier interior with a full-length center console, as well as a 383 cu in (6.28 L) 325 hp (242 kW) V8 engine as standard equipment. Larger, more powerful engines were also available as options. The Monaco competed with the Ford LTD, a top-of-the-line model in the Galaxie 500 series, the Caprice package for the Impala Sport Sedan, as well as the 1966 Plymouth VIP model for its Fury series and the Ambassador DPL offered by American Motors. These models provided competition for mid-priced sedans like Chrysler, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Mercury.

In Canada, a version of the Plymouth Sport Fury was marketed as the Dodge Monaco.[citation needed] It was available in hardtop coupe or convertible body styles. The Canadian Monacos were equipped with Plymouth dashboards in 1965 and 1966.[citation needed] Unlike the U.S. Monaco versions, the Canadian Monaco were available with a 318 cu in (5.21 L) V8 or the slant six.


For 1966, in the U.S., the Monaco replaced the Custom 880 series and the former Monaco became the Monaco 500. The basic Monaco was available in hardtop coupe, four-door (pillarless) hardtop sedan, conventional four-door (pillared) sedan, and four-door station wagon bodystyles. In the U.S., the Monaco 500 was available only as a hardtop coupe. Although there was no convertible in the 1966 U.S. Monaco range, there was in the 1966 Canadian Monaco lineup.[1] The Canadian Dodge hung onto the "Monaco" name for the Sport Fury equivalent and Polara 880 for the Fury III competitor.[citation needed]


For 1967, all full-sized Dodges, the Monaco included, received a significant facelift with all-new exterior sheet metal.[citation needed] Chief designer Elwood Engel's work featured generally flat body planes with sharp-edged accent lines. The hardtop coupes got a new semi-fastback roofline with a reverse-slanted trailing edge on the rear quarter window.

In Canada, the Monaco name was applied for '67 to all of the premium full-sized Dodge cars, replacing the Polara 880 at the top of the Dodge line. Taking the Monaco's place as a premium full-size model was the Monaco 500, which was available only as a two-door hardtop and convertible.[citation needed]


Changes were minimal for 1968. The Monaco 500 was dropped at the end of the 1968 model year in the United States and at the end of the 1970 model year in Canada.[citation needed]

Second generation[edit]

Second generation
Canmania Car show - Wimborne (9592352584).jpg
1973 Dodge Monaco 2-door hardtop
Also called Chrysler 383 (South Africa)[4]
Production 1968—1973
Model years 1969–1973
Assembly Dodge Main Factory, Hamtramck, MI, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Layout FR layout
Platform C-body
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 122.0 in (3,100 mm)


For the 1969 model year, the wheelbase of the Monaco was increased from 121 inches to 122 inches, and the length was increased to about 220 inches. Returning for 1969 was the "500" option, which in the U.S. market gave the Monaco front bucket seats and a center armrest. In Canada, the Monaco 500 was a separate series that used the side trim of the Polara 500 sold in the U.S. Canadians could also buy a Monaco convertible; U.S. Dodge full-size convertible shoppers had only the lower-end Polara and Polara 500 to choose from.[citation needed]

All full-sized Dodge cars including the Monaco adopted Chrysler Corporation's new "fuselage" styling, in which the upper and lower body are melded into a uniformly curved unit. Curved side glass adds to the effect, as does the deletion of the "shoulder" along the rear. The look starts in the front of the car, with a nearly straight-across bumper—demanded by a Chrysler executive after a Congressional committee attacked him over the seeming inability of car bumpers to protect cars from extensive damage in low-speed collisions[citation needed]—and a five-segment eggcrate grille that surrounds the headlamps. When the cars failed to spark buyers' interest, Dodge executives demanded a change.[citation needed] By the summer of 1969, the division released new chrome trim for the front fender caps and leading edge of the hood as an option, which gives the appearance of a then-fashionable loop bumper without the tooling expense.[citation needed] At the rear, Dodge's signature delta-shaped taillamps were presented in a new form that required the top of the bumper to slope downward toward each end.

The standard-equipment engine on the 1969 Monaco is Chrysler's 245-horsepower (183 kW) B-block 383 cu in (6.3 L) V8 engine with a two-barrel 2245 Holley carburetor. Buyers could order the 383 with a four-barrel carburetor that increased power to 360 hp (270 kW), or they could opt for the 375-horsepower (280 kW) 440 cu in (7.2 L) Magnum RB-block engine. Wagon buyers choosing the 440 got a 330 horsepower (250 kW) version.[citation needed]

1969 Monaco 500 Hardtop Coupé, equipped with the optional Super-Lite projector road lamp.

The 1969 Monaco offered, as a $50 option,[citation needed] the first modern polyellipsoidal (projector) automotive road lamp. Called "Super-Lite" and mounted in the driver's side of the grille, this auxiliary headlamp was produced in a joint venture between Chrysler Corporation and Sylvania. It uses an 85 watt halogen bulb and was intended as a mid-beam, to extend the reach of the low beams during turnpike travel when low beams alone were inadequate but high beams would produce excessive glare to oncoming drivers.[5]

Available models for 1969 included a two-door hardtop coupe, four-door hardtop sedan, four-door pillared sedan, and four-door station wagons with six- or nine-passenger capacity. A new Brougham option package included a vinyl roof on sedans and hardtops and a split-bench front seat with a reclining mechanism on the passenger side (except on the two-door hardtops). Monaco wagons received woodgrained vinyl trim along their sides and across the dual-action (side- and bottom-hinged) tailgate.[citation needed]

Sales of the Polara and Monaco were down by nearly 20,000 cars compared with 1968, with the Monaco line accounting for 38,566 of the 127,252 full-size cars made by Dodge for the year.[citation needed]


The 1970 models got completely new front and rear styling that included expensive-to-make[citation needed] loop bumpers front and rear. In the front, the new bumper enclosed a new diecast grille and the headlamps. At the rear, the double-loop bumper enclosed the taillamps. Reversing lamps were moved up into the endcaps that terminated the quarter panels, in slotted body-color housings. The designers chose to emphasize the length of the hood this year, which meant that the redesigned front end grew by three inches. However, the new rear end was four inches (102 mm) shorter.[citation needed]

Improvements to the suspension were promoted as the new "Torsion-Quiet" system, which used strategically placed rubber isolators to reduce road noise and vibrations. The rear wheel track was broadened by nearly three inches as Dodge installed the rear axle that had been used only on Wagons on all 1970 Monaco models.[citation needed]

The Brougham and 500 option packages continued, as did the availability of the Super-Lite, but the 440 Magnum V8 was dropped. The 350 horsepower (260 kW) version 440, available only in wagons for '69, became the new top engine for all Monacos. Despite all of the changes, which cost Chrysler a rather large sum of money,[citation needed] Monaco (and Polara) sales declined with 24,692 Monacos built for the model year.[citation needed]


A 1971 Dodge Monaco Station Wagon, rear view showing the new woodgrain trim application

The 1971 Monaco received a facelift featuring a new grille within the bumper that had been used the previous year, and other minor styling changes that were focused mainly at the rear. The Super-Lite was no longer available because of a lack of consumer interest and challenges to its legality in some states.[citation needed] A new single-loop rear bumper and larger taillamps were installed.

The 500 option package was deleted although a stereo cassette player-recorder with microphone was new on the option list. Bucket seats remained available despite the loss of the 500 package, and the Brougham package was also still available for $220, despite the addition of a separate Polara Brougham series.[citation needed]

All available engines had their compression ratio reduced so they could all run satisfactorily on regular-grade gasoline. As a result, the two-barrel 383's still has the same power rating 245 hp (183 kW), the four-barrel 383 dropped to 290 hp (220 kW), and the 440 dropped to 320 hp (240 kW).[citation needed]

Monaco station wagons, which in 1969 and '70 had worn their woodgrain trim on the lower bodysides, got completely new woodgrain up high on the sides, even around the windows. The new vinyl decals were translucent, allowing some of the paint color to show through.[citation needed]

Despite the power losses and mild styling change, sales slightly rose. About 900 more Monacos were built for 1971 (approximately 25,544 — an exact number is not known)[citation needed].


For the 1972 model year, the full-sized Dodges finally got the all-new sheetmetal that had originally been planned for 1971.[citation needed]

Setting off the new look for the Monaco was a new front end with hidden headlamps set above a completely new bumper-grille assembly. The sides of the car lost their previous plump appearance in favor of a new, lean look with a new feature line that started on the front fenders and ran back through the doors, kicking up ahead of the rear wheels. Sedan and hardtop rooflines were new and more formal-looking. At the rear, there was yet another new loop bumper and full-width taillamp which, like the rest of the car, looked much more expensive and impressive.[according to whom?] Station wagons received a new rear appearance with "stacked" vertical taillamps.

The Monaco got a smaller standard V8 for '72. The 360 cu in (5.9 L) LA-block V8 engine, which had been introduced in '71 as an option on Polaras, developed 210 horsepower (160 kW), now measured as net instead of gross. Still the 400 was a new created V8 B engine 400 cu in (6.6 L) B-block V8. The 440 remained available, but it now produced 275 horsepower (205 kW) (net). 1972 sales nearly matched 1969 levels, with 37,013 built for the model year.[citation needed]


For its last year in the fuselage body, the Monaco continued with its 1972 styling, except for another new rear bumper with redesigned taillamps, along with a new decklid and rear-quarter endcaps. Large black rubber guards were added to the bumpers to comply with new Federal five-mile-per-hour impact standards. Hardtop and sedan models gained about 6.5 in (16.5 cm) due mostly to the bumper guards.[citation needed]

Inside, new fire-retardant materials in virtually every visible part of the interior meant added safety.[citation needed] Under the hood, all three available engines gained reliability with the addition of Chrysler's new electronic ignition system as standard equipment, which extended spark plug life and virtually eliminated periodic ignition system maintenance.[citation needed]

Despite the cars' improvements, sales dropped again to 29,396.

1973 proved to be the Monaco's final year as Dodge's top-of-the-line full-size car. After 14 years, the Polara name was dropped and, for 1974, all big Dodges carried the Monaco name.

South Africa[edit]

In July 1969, Chrysler South Africa introduced a rebadged locally built version of the Dodge Monaco as the Chrysler 383. This badge remained in use for about four years, being dropped in early 1973.[4] This was the first time that they had used the "Chrysler" badge on a locally built product in ten years. It was also one of the biggest cars built there, and had the biggest engine as well.[6] The 383 ci V8 offered 290 hp (216 kW), and the fully equipped car featured power windows and a standard vinyl roof.[6]

Third generation[edit]

Third generation
Dodge Monaco Blues Brothers (Rassemblement Mopar Valleyfield '10).jpg
1975 Dodge Monaco 4-door sedan
Production 1973–76
Model years 1974–76
Assembly Dodge Main Factory, Hamtramck, MI, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-door wagon (1974-76)
4-door sedan (1974-76)
4-door hardtop (1974-75)
2-door hardtop (1974-76)
2-door coupe (1975-76)
Layout FR layout
Platform C-body
Engine 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8
360 cu in (5.9 L) V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Successor Dodge Royal Monaco (for 1977)


1974 Dodge Monaco Brougham two-door hardtop

The full-size C-body 1974 Dodge Monaco was completely redesigned for the 1974 model year with an all-new unibody platform and all-new sheet metal. However, within days of their introduction, the 1973 oil crisis began. Chrysler was excoriated in the media for bringing out huge new cars, and sales suffered accordingly. Many in the automotive press also criticized the car's new design as being too derivative of what they thought resembled a 3-year-old Buick or Oldsmobile full-size car.[citation needed] The long-running (1960 to 1973 model year) Dodge Polara and Polara Custom models were all discontinued before the end of the previous model year (1973). A basic Monaco and Monaco Custom replaced them respectively. The previous Monaco was renamed Monaco Brougham. The Brougham name had long been used on the luxury option package that was available from 1969 to 1973. The hidden headlamps of the previous models were replaced by fixed headlamps on all Monacos. The standard engine on all Monacos was a 360 cu in (5.9 L) with a 2-barrel carburetor—engine options included a 360 cu in (5.9 L) with a 4-barrel carburetor, a 400 cu in (6.6 L) with a 2- or 4-barrel carburetor, and a 440 cu in (7.2 L) with a 4-barrel carburetor.


For the 1975 model year, changes to the base Monaco were minimal. However, the Monaco Custom was renamed the Royal Monaco, and the Monaco Brougham became the Royal Monaco Brougham. These newly named models featured hidden headlamps. 1975 was the last model year in which the four-door hardtop was available. Some models, depending on equipment and the state they were sold in, received catalytic converters to comply with increasingly strict vehicle emissions control regulations. After the start of the 1975 model year, a limited-production option for Royal Monaco Brougham coupes was introduced: the Diplomat package featured a landau vinyl roof with opera windows and a wide steel roof band. It was available in only three colors—Cold Metallic, Silver Cloud Metallic and Maroon Metallic. The standard engine on the Monaco and the Royal Monaco was a 360 cu in (5.9 L) with a 2-barrel carburetor while Royal Monaco Broughams and wagons received a 400 cu in (6.6 L) with a 4-barrel carburetor. Engine options for the Monaco and the Royal Monaco were a 400 cu in (6.6 L) with a 2- or 4-barrel carburetor and all Monacos could be upgraded to a 440 cu in (7.2 L) with a 4-barrel carburetor.[7] The car weighed over two tons with a top speed of 127 mph.[citation needed]


At the start of the 1976 model year, exterior changes on the full-size C-body 1976 Dodge Monaco were very minimal, though Chrysler's new Lean Burn system was introduced in order to reduce exhaust emissions (only on the 400 cubic inch engine), also at the start of the 1976 model year, the four-door hardtop, which had been part of the Dodge Monaco line up during the previous ten model years (from 1966 to 1968, from 1969 to 1973 and from 1974 to 1975) ever since the Dodge Monaco made its debut from eleven model years earlier (1965), had been discontinued during the end of the previous model year (1975), which relegated the choice of body styles only to just three offerings, the four-door wagon, four-door sedan, two-door hardtop for the 1976 model year. A 318 cu in (5.2 L) with a 2-barrel carburetor and 150 bhp became standard on the base Monaco and the Royal Monaco Broughams and wagons were downgraded to a 400 cu in (6.6 L) with a 2-barrel carburetor, but the Royal Monaco continued with 1975's 360 cu in (5.9 L) with a 2-barrel carburetor. Engines all the way up to a 440 cu in (7.2 L) with a 4-barrel carburetor could still be ordered.

Fate of the 1976 Dodge Coronet

At the start of the next model year (1977), the Dodge Monaco Nameplate would be moved over to Chrysler's mid-size B-body platform replacing the Dodge Coronet Wagon and Sedan. (The Coronet Hardtop of 1975 became the Dodge Charger Sport for 1976 and then would have its name changed again in 1977 to the Dodge Monaco.)

The next model year (1977)

All full sized C body Dodges would use the Dodge Royal Monaco nameplate, This would be the final year for the Dodge Royal Monaco.

The following model year (1978)

The Dodge Monaco for 1978 would continue from its 1977 Style and stay one more year with Dodge ultimately being replaced in 1979 by the Dodge St Regis based on the R body platform as the largest Dodge model being offered.

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco[edit]

1977 Dodge Royal Monaco
'77 Dodge Royal Monaco (Orange Julep '12).JPG
1977 Dodge Royal Monaco 4-door sedan at a 2012 car show in Quebec
Production 1976–77
Model years 1977
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-wagon
Layout FR layout
Platform C-body
Engine 347 cu in (5.69 L) V8
361 cu in (5.92 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Predecessor Dodge Monaco (for 1976)


At the start of the 1977 model year, Chrysler's full-size C-body Dodge (which had been the 1976 model year Dodge Monaco) was renamed the 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco, Chrysler's mid-size B-body Dodge (which had been the 1976 model year Dodge Coronet and Charger Sport) was renamed the 1977 Dodge Monaco. With exception to all the aforementioned name-changes (and for the bumper corner tip radius details, the otherwise virtually unchanged full-size C-body 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco line up, just as with the previous model year line up of its (full-size C-body 1976 model year Dodge Monaco) counterpart, offered a choice of only three body styles, the four-door wagon, four-door sedan, two-door hardtop. During the end of the 1977 model year, Chrysler's entire full-size C-body Dodge Royal Monaco line up (including the entire line up of its concurrent Plymouth Gran Fury counterpart) was discontinued from production, which made the 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco (just as with its concurrent Plymouth Gran Fury counterpart) the last full-size Dodge car ever produced on the C platform. (The 1979 Dodge St Regis considered a full sized car by the EPA was built on the R body platform.)

One model year later (1978)

During the next model year (1978), Dodge's largest car offering would be the mid-size B-body (1978 model year) Monaco (which would include its concurrent 1978 model year Plymouth Fury counterpart).

Thirteen model years later (1990)

During the following eleven model years thereafter (1979 to 1989), the Monaco nameplate would remain decommissioned until thirteen model years later (1990) when the Dodge Monaco would return to production as a mid-size counterpart to what would become the third of a five-model-year production run of a mid-size Eagle Premier.

Popular Media Culture

The 1974–1977 Monacos received star treatment as the Bluesmobile in the 1980 feature film The Blues Brothers, directed by John Landis. In it, a 1974 Monaco which was formerly a Mount Prospect, Illinois police cruiser is purchased by Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and used as the brothers' transportation. Jake (John Belushi), just released from prison, disapproves of the vehicle, but Elwood states its technical specifications as "It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before the catalytic converter so it'll run good on regular gas."[citation needed] Monacos from 1975 to 1977 are also featured as Illinois State Trooper cars and Chicago city police cars.

The California Highway Patrol cruisers used in the first three seasons of CHiPs were of this generation Monaco.

Also in the 1980 feature film Smokey and the Bandit II, a world-record automobile jump[8] was captured on film during the "roundup sequence," when stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker jumped a 1974 Dodge Monaco over 150 feet. Hooker suffered a compressed vertebra as a result of a hard landing.[citation needed]

The title sequence of the 1980s TV-series Hill Street Blues features three white 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco sedans.[9]

Fourth generation[edit]

Fourth generation
1977 Dodge Monaco 4-door sedan
Production 1976—1978
Model years 1977—1978
Assembly Dodge Main Factory, Hamtramck, MI, United States
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size car
Body style 4-door wagon
4-door sedan
2-door hardtop
Layout FR layout
Platform B-body
Engine 225 cu in (3.69 L) slant 6B
360 cu in (5.9 L) B V8
383 cu in (6.28 L) B V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) B V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) RB V8 (police)
Transmission 3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Predecessor Dodge Coronet (for 1976)
Successor Dodge St. Regis (for 1979 to 1981)
Dodge Diplomat (for 1982)


The 1977 model year brought an inherent number of changes to the Dodge Monaco line up as a lingering result of the 1973–74 energy crisis, especially as Chrysler decided to move the Dodge Monaco, in name form only, from the full-size C platform-body line up during the end of the previous model year (from 1976) over to the mid-size B platform-body line up at the start of the 1977 model year. Given the inherent number of changes, which occurred during the end of the previous model year (from 1976) and which occurred at the start of the 1977 model year, the entire 1977 Dodge Monaco line up received something of a make-over. The previous model year's full-size C-body Dodge Monaco (from 1976) became, just for one year only, the full-size C-body 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco until its abrupt discontinuation from all production during the end of the 1977 model year. The "all new" mid-size B-body 1977 Dodge Monaco four-door wagon and four-door sedan replaced the previous model year's Coronet four-door wagon and four-door sedan (from 1976). The "all new" 1977 Dodge Monaco Brougham four-door sedan replaced the previous model year's Coronet Brougham four-door sedan (from 1976). The "all new" 1977 Dodge Monaco Crestwood four-door wagon replaced the previous model year's Coronet Crestwood four-door wagon (from 1976). The "all new" 1977 Dodge Monaco, for all marketing practices, were little-changed from the previous model year's Coronet (from 1976). The 1977 Dodge Monaco received a revised front end design with stacked rectangular headlamps, which gave the car a resemblance to the contemporary Chevrolet Monte Carlo when viewed head-on.[according to whom?] With Chrysler Corporation in dire financial straits during these years, there was very little that could be done to give the 1977 Dodge Monaco line up a new fresh look, so changes had to be as minimal and as inexpensive as possible.[citation needed]


For the 1978 model year, the mid-size B-body 1978 Dodge Monaco was unchanged from the previous model year (1977), it became Dodge's largest car during the 1978 model year, Chrysler's previous (from model year 1977) full-size C-body-based (1977 model year) Chrysler's mid-size B-body platform, the 1978 Dodge Monaco was discontinued from all production during the end of the 1978 model year. The B-Body cars continued in the form of the Dodge Charger until 1979.

Twelve model years later (1990)

After the Monaco nameplate disappeared during the end of the 1978 model year, it would remain uncommissioned during the next eleven model years (1979 to 1989) until it would become recommissioned twelve model years later in what would be a three-model-year production run (1990 to 1992) as a corporate cousin of the Eagle Premier, which, itself, would go into production ten model years later in what would be a five-model-year production run (1988 to 1992). The mid-size B-body 1978 Dodge Monaco would become replaced by the downsized full-size R-body Dodge St. Regis in what would be the start of the following model year (1979). As it would occur, sales of the Dodge St. Regis (1979) would never even come close to match sales of the 1978 Dodge Monaco, which it would come to replace, it would come to do relatively well as a government fleet vehicle, as a lot of them would come to be sold as police vehicles. As it would turn out, into what would become its first model year (1979), what would become a stark majority of Dodge St. Regis sales practically would relegate to government fleets and to law enforcement vehicles, especially to law enforcement vehicles. As such, government fleet sales and even such law enforcement vehicle sales would not be so nearly enough to save the R-body Dodge St. Regis into what only would become a three-model-year production run (1979 to 1981), Chrysler would become resigned to wind up ceasing every R-body production run — it would include Chrysler New Yorker (1979 to 1980), Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue (1980 to 1981), Chrysler Newport (1979 to 1981), Plymouth Gran Fury (1980) and what would become the fleet-relegated Plymouth Gran Fury (1981) — into three model years (1981) after the Dodge Monaco was discontinued during the end of the 1978 model year.

Popular TV Culture

The 1977 and 1978 models can be seen as the police vehicles in the 1980–1985 seasons of The Dukes of Hazzard, the last three seasons of CHiPs, and also the TV police drama Hunter as Rick Hunter's L56 (also known "Lincoln 56"). Large numbers of still-unsold vehicles were bought inexpensively[citation needed] and then suffered ignominious ends, destroyed in stunt crashes but due to the toughness of the design, were often repaired and reused repeatedly.[citation needed]

Fifth generation (1989-92)[edit]

Fifth generation
Dodge Monaco -- 03-09-2011.jpg
1990–92 Dodge Monaco ES
Production 1989–92
Model years 1990–92
Assembly Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Longitudinal front-engine, front-wheel drive
Platform B-body
Related Eagle Premier/Renault Premier
Eagle Medallion/Renault Medallion
Renault 21
Renault 25
Engine 3.0 L (180 cu in) PRV V6

4-speed automatic

5-speed manual
Wheelbase 106.0 in (2,690 mm)
Length 192.8 in (4,900 mm)
Width 70.0 in (1,780 mm)
Height 54.7 in (1,390 mm)
Predecessor Dodge St. Regis (for 1981)
Dodge Diplomat (for 1982 to 1989)
Successor Dodge Intrepid (for 1993)

In 1987, Chrysler bought the assets of the Renault-majority-owned American Motors (AMC), mostly for the popular Jeep brand. The remaining assets of AMC were restructured into the Eagle brand of cars, which initially included the Eagle Premier (which had been on the verge of production just prior to the buyout) and Medallion. Later vehicles sold under the Eagle brand were developed by Mitsubishi Motors.

As part of the purchase agreement, Chrysler was contractually obligated to use 260,000 of the PRV V6 engines which Renault and American Motors had designated for the Premier.[citation needed] As a means of fulfilling the requirement, Chrysler management further rebadged the Premier as a Dodge Monaco by modifying the grille, tail lights and badging, and omitting the Premier's inline-4 engine option. The car became Dodge's top-of-the-line model and replaced the rear-wheel drive Diplomat, which was discontinued after the 1989 model year. Chrysler Canada did not replace the Dodge Diplomat as Chrysler was discontinuing all larger Dodge & Plymouth vehicles at the time and moving them to the Chrysler brand.[citation needed]

1990–1992 Dodge Monaco LE

Though the vehicle was actually designed by a combination of Giorgetto Giugiaro (exterior) and Richard A. Teague's team at AMC (interior), the Monaco did not gain wide acceptance from a public that was wary of the reliability of previous Renault-sourced AMC cars, specifically the Renault Alliance. Ultimately, fewer of the badge engineered Monacos were sold than Premiers. The similarly sized yet less technically sophisticated K-car-based Dynasty, which had been introduced two years earlier as a 1988 model, outsold the new Monaco. Fleet buyers such as rental companies and government agencies liked the fact[according to whom?] that the Dynasty could be equipped with any of three different engines and sold for a lower price.[citation needed] The Monaco, on the other hand, came with only one engine and was more expensive.

Critics have argued that Chrysler did not properly market the Premier and Monaco, having confused its intended market. Premier ES and Monaco models were compared directly with the Audi 80, Acura Legend, and similar ‘import’ sedans. Chrysler also ended up with six different brands after the purchase of AMC, just one less than GM, which was four times as large an automaker.[10] Not only could Chrysler not afford to properly promote and advertise each of its brands, it also faced the legacy of failure of French cars in the United States.[10] Of the Premier/Monaco and Medallion (based on the Renault 21 sold overseas), Bob Lutz, then a Vice President at Chrysler, said they were "unsellable".

The Monaco, built at the Brampton, Ontario plant alongside the Premier, was not marketed in Canada. At that time, the Dodge Spirit ES was Dodge's top-line sedan in that market. Both the Monaco and Premier were discontinued during the 1992 model year. However, the platform, its state of the art manufacturing plant, and the key executive from American Motors behind the Premier/Monaco design, Francois Castaing, would lead to the successful and highly rated "cab-forward" LH Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde, and Eagle Vision versions in late 1992 when production resumed at Brampton Assembly.[11][12]


  • Burness, Tad, American Car Spotter's Guide (Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1978 & 1981)
  • Flammang, James L. & Ron Kowalke, Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1976–1999, 3rd Ed. (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1999)
  • Gunnell, John, Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1946–1975, Rev. 4th Ed. (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002)


  1. ^ a b 100% Genuine Faux-Riginal - 1966 Dodge Monaco 500, Retrieved on 30 January 2015
  2. ^ John Gunnell, Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975, Revised 4th Edition does not list a Dodge Monaco convertible for any year from 1965 to 1968
  3. ^ John Gunnell, Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975, Revised 4th Edition, page 350.
  4. ^ a b Nassar, Troy. "Chrysler of South Africa: from 1910 Maxwell to 2013 Jeep". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  5. ^ "Chrysler/Sylvania Super-Lite turnpike beam" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-29.  (8.60 MB)
  6. ^ a b Emslie, Robin, ed. (September 1969). "New Cars: Chrysler 383". Motoring Mirror. Cape Town, South Africa: Motorpress. 7 (5): 29. 
  7. ^ Kelly Flory, American Cars, 1973 to 1980
  8. ^ 1974 Dodge Monaco (Internet Movie Cars Database)
  9. ^ Screenshot of 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco from "Hill Street Blues"
  10. ^ a b Ingrassia, Paul; White, Joseph B. (1995). Comeback: The Fall & Rise of the American Automobile Industry. Simon and Schuster. pp. 192–193. ISBN 978-0-684-80437-8. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Francois J. Castaing". Automotive Hall of Fame. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "Interview with Francois Castaing, vice president, Chrysler Corporation". Allpar. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 

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