Dodge Accessories

Dodge Monaco Accessories

Dodge Monaco Introduction

The Dodge Monaco was originally intended to compete with the Pontiac Grand Prix model in what came to be known as the personal luxury market. Introduced on September 25, 1964, the 1965 Monaco was based on the Custom 880 two door hardtop coupe body. The Monaco received special badging, different aftermarket tail lights and grille treatment, and a sportier interior with a full-length center console, as well as a 383 cu in (6.3 L) 315 hp (235 kW) V8 engine as standard equipment. Larger, more powerful engines were also available as options. Chrysler Canada Ltd. fielded a Dodge Monaco which was Dodge's version of the Plymouth Sport Fury in Canada. It was available in hardtop coupe or convertible body styles.

However, Canadian Monacos were equipped with Plymouth dashboards in 1965 and 1966. Unlike the American Monaco, the Canadian Monaco could be had with the 318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 or even the slant six. For the 1969 model year, all full-sized Chrysler cars, including the Dodge Monaco, would adopt Chrysler's new "fuselage" styling. The theme of the design was to integrate the upper- and lower-body into one cohesive, gracefully curved unit. Curved side glass added to the effect, as did the deletion of the "shoulder" which had made the design of the 1965-68 Dodges (and, for that matter, all Chrysler Corporation full-size cars) look like boxes stacked upon one another. However, the new big Dodges were very bland and had very little definition in their design.

Dodge Monaco WheelsUnlike the gracefully-curved intermediate-sized Coronet and Charger which had debuted the year before with very distinctive lines, the Monaco was very plain and featureless. The look started 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) and a five-segment eggcrate grille that surrounded the headlamps. When the cars failed to spark buyers' interest, Dodge executives demanded a change. 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 gave the appearance of a then-fashionable loop bumper without the tooling expense.

At the rear, continued with Dodge's signature delta-shaped taillamps, this time in a new form that required the top of the bumper to slope downward toward each end. With nicely-tailored chrome accessories surrounding the lamps, the rear end was arguably more distinctive and better executed than the front. Available models for 1969 included a two-door hardtop coupe, four-door hardtop sedan, four-door pillared sedan, and two four-door station wagons (six- or nine-passenger). A new Brougham option package debuted, which included a vinyl roof (on sedans and hardtops) and a split-bench front seat with a reclining mechanism for the passenger's side (except on the two-door hardtops). Monaco wagons received woodgrained vinyl trim along their sides and across the dual-action tailgate.

Dodge Monaco Tail LightsDodge topped off the new cars with a new option, which forecast the projector-beam halogen headlamps that came into use years later. It was called "Super-Lite," and consisted of a $50 optional road lamp mounted in the driver's side of the grille. The premise behind the Super-Lite was to enhance visibility at night in situations where more light than the standard low beams was needed but the high beams would cause glare to oncoming drivers. As mentioned above, the new-look '69 big Dodges did not set the world - or the sales charts - on fire. Sales of the Polara and Monaco were off 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.

In 1987, Chrysler purchased the assets of American Motors, mostly for the Jeep brand. However, along with Jeep came the new Eagle brand of cars, which were a mix of models designed and produced by Renault and Mitsubishi Motors. As part of the purchase, Chrysler agreed to purchase a set number of Renault drivetrains for use in the Eagle Premier. It soon became obvious to Chrysler management that there was no way that the Premier alone would sell in sufficient numbers to meet the requirements of the Renault contract. Chrysler needed to find a way to take care of this problem as quickly and cheaply as possible. Company executives soon figured that the only way to fulfill their obligation was to create another model using as many Premier parts as possible.