1986 Monte Carlo SS 5-Speed: Car Rarity

Non-Standard Transmission from Dealer

A classic Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS is undeniably a sweet ride, but this particular fifth-generation example is something extra special. Back in 1986, the Schenk Chevy Dealership of New Jersey unveiled it as the answer to a pertinent question: if the Camaro could have a manual transmission, so why couldn’t the Monte Carlo too?

Indeed, this automobile is of the few sedans accompaning a 5-speed manual transmission. Lou Costabile included it in his YouTube channel and also at the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals event.

1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Schenk 5 Speed in Silver on My Car Story with Lou Costabile

Powering this vehicle is a 305 cubic-inch V8, as found in the typical Monte Carlo SS. The engine retains its initial 180 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. To provide further optimization, an exchange was required; the former three-speed TH350 transmission (plus overdrive) was replaced with a Borg-Warner T5 five-speed transmission and fitted out with a Hurst shifter on the floor.

When it comes to the saga, Charlie Graff – one of the joint proprietors of the Schenk Chevy Dealership – is said to have been indifferent of the automated Monte Carlo SS. Marketed as a revival of the renowned Chevrolet muscle car, it appears to have not satisfied several viewers like Graff, who might have anticipated added prowess. This harkens back to the time HPJ Performance modified the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 for manual usage.

The greatest thing was that Graff managed to convince General Motors to assist him with his small endeavor. In collaboration, they designed a kit which permitted an automated SS model to be altered into a five-speed version straight off the showroom floor.

What is the quantity of these cars manufactured? In answer to this query, Phillip Madden – the operator of the car – elucidated that the dealership did not record any of its hand-operated conversions. He furthermore declared that, as far as he knew, there was only another example of such type. Madden’s manual Monte Carlo SS is likely the lone one still running in exceptional condition.

Madden’s notion of LS-swapping his Monte Carlo might be something he’ll want to re-examine, since he’s now the proud owner of a real classic. His excitement at emerging victorious from an auction could only be surpassed when he found it had already been equipped with a manual transmission.

A contribution posted by Phillip Madden (@madden.phillip) has been shared recently. An enormous amount of enthusiasm has accompanied this entrance, and his profile has become a phenomenon. Much admiration and respect goes to him for the incredible task of captivating an audience with such grace and lucidity.

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