By on April 12, 2017

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

Our last couple of Rare Rides have been special limited edition vehicles. Last week we saw a GMC Spectre which, upon viewing, my friend declared, “That interior looks like an old Taco Bell!” Prior to that, a Nissan Desert Runner made all your Zima-beach-toting dreams come true, even with its sketchy and unclear history.

But today’s limited edition is more rare and more ugly than either of those two prior examples. It’s also newer, which makes its styling all the more egregious and offensive. By the year 2000, we were supposed to be beyond such gaudy nonsense. But the Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon Signature Series Commemorative Edition is as ridiculous as its name is long.

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

Fortunately, this special edition was extremely limited in production, with only 24 examples screwed together. The one for sale here is number 19 of the run. The seller must really think the number 19 is quite special, because he’s priced this dated front-wheel drive coupe at $49,900.

Maybe he’s banking on the fact that this particular Monte Carlo was produced toward the end of the bygone Personal Luxury Coupe era, where the Monte Carlo was a willing participant for many years. Though this generation ran from 2000-2005, there was another version after that, from 2005 to 2007.  Then, Chevrolet finally decided to call it quits on the model.

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

And by the way, this Monte Carlo is the V6 one (though a majestic 3800 Series II), not the full-fat 5.3-liter LS4 version.

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

The interior is nothing special, either. There are some red bits sewn onto the wheel and the automatic shift lever, for extra NASCAR reality and sportiness, and stuff. The interior is in as-new condition, as you’d expect for a car with 112 miles on the clock.

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon
In addition to the shocking five-shade and graphically enhanced paint job, you get some special wheels, dual exhaust, cladding, and the signature of Mr. Jeff Gordon right on the back of the car. There’s another signature there too, but he must not matter because he doesn’t get a mention.

It’s certainly a Rare Rides qualifier, but I think I’d wear a bag on my head if I had to be seen in it. That way, my mullet could flow freely out the back, undisturbed.

[Images: MSM Global LLC, via Hemmings]

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64 Comments on “Rare Rides: A Horrendous Monte Carlo is Your Year 2000 Nightmare...”

  • avatar


    For some reason, I thought these were RWD like Camaros. More like Grand Prixs, I guess. :-(

    • 0 avatar

      The first 90s Monte’s were essentially 2-door Luminas.

      The last RWD Monte was the ’88 G-body, BOF too.

    • 0 avatar

      The sad part is that this outlived the Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar, and Lincoln Mark VIII by about a decade.

      RWD, IRS, V8, LSD. All these good acronyms (and the parts they represent) were in the Ford cars up against this 2-door Lumina. And the Ford cars were selling far better than the Monte Carlo! But Ford gave up on them in 1997, while GM kept these around for another 8 years.

      I guess platform sharing was a big part of the problem for Ford, as those cars were on a pretty unique platform . And it didn’t cost GM too much to continue this platform variant of the W-bodies.

      I think Ford missed an opportunity to continue developing the MN12 / FN10 platform. The Lincoln LS carried on as a (distantly related) RWD sedan for a short time, but it floundered. The Mustang Cobra got a different IRS (with some shared parts) in 2003 and 2004. Eventually, the entire Mustang platform went over to IRS anyway. But the weakness of all these cars is that they lacked economy of scale. (When Ford sells 300k Explorers per year as a relative of the Edge and Flex, selling 80k RWD coupes or sedans per year is just not a lot.) But if there was a Mustang, a Thunderbird, a Lincoln Mark, and a Lincoln RWD sedan, that would give better economies of scale, and give some great options to enthusiasts. Of course, Ford would still have to find the buyers, and I don’t think Ford is big on taking risks.

  • avatar

    Looks like something a BHPH lot would mark up heavily and have no trouble selling to a mulleted guy rich with his tax return proceeds.

  • avatar

    The Dale Earnhardt edition Monte’s used to be fairly common – at least in this area. Now these ‘aught Montes are getting to be pretty rare. I still see a few around here in salt city, but they are beginning to look pretty ragged.

    • 0 avatar

      Had one time job assignment at a Daytona 500 about a dozen years ago when these were still regularly on the road. Your comment about the Dale Jr replicant cars especially is spot on, what impressed me about these and for other NASCAR driver special editions was the level of detail many of the owners went in placement of sponsor decals, replica wheels, etc so that these future hoopties shone in their moment of being glorious rolling shrines to their venerated drivers. Seemed like there were dozens of them driving around the parking lots for show on race day.

  • avatar

    This generation of Monte is so hideously ugly that this godawful paint job and graphics can only help distract one from its vomit-inducing visage.

    • 0 avatar

      They were bloated, droopy whales and the undersized stock wheels and tires made them look especially so.

      Cue the GM FWD apologists who will say “but there was an SS with a V8!” Nope, still a bad, dumb car.

      • 0 avatar

        “Cue the GM FWD apologists”

        You rang?

        • 0 avatar

          “bloated, droopy whales” describes the vehicles as well as the drivers.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, but the funny thing about this car (like all those fatties who used to claim they need a Crown Vic to carry their ample frames) is that these cars actually were not very roomy inside at all. And since these were essentially Impalas, they handled sloppily.

            I remember back in 2000 thinking this was one of the ugliest cars I’d ever seen, but thanks to 1) the distracting paint job, and 2) what Nissan has done to cars in general in the last 8 years, this thing looks pretty fun! Too bad I’ve driven one to know they’re not.

  • avatar

    Around here takers would be legion but none could swing a five-figure price.

  • avatar

    Good news: the trunk’s so long that it could serve as a traveling stage for an “Up With People” show.

    Bad news: even “Up With People” has standards. No freakin’ way would they be seen on that.

  • avatar

    I dunno…
    Yes, it’s garish. But would you rather look at another crossover? In gray?

  • avatar

    I don’t think it’s all that bad, compared to a ‘regular’ one of the same vintage. I certainly wouldn’t drive it but I’ve seen much worse.

    I still have fond memories of my parents’ fire engine red 1970 Monte Carlo, the car I learned to drive in …

  • avatar

    I thought this was the last gen Monte Carlo. I don’t recall ever seeing the 2005-2007 version. Had to look it up on the web to see what I missed.

    Didn’t miss too much. Looked like a FWD impala.

  • avatar

    The early aughts refresh of the Monte managed to be so ugly because they were channeling the wrong styling cues from the history of the car. Everybody loves the 80s-era G body examples despite their many flaws, and these cars were trying to evoke (badly) 60s-era styling.

    When it comes to W-bodies, the Grand Prix was the way to go.

  • avatar

    This made me think of the episode of “My Strange Addiction” featuring a guy who is in an intimate sexual relationship with his 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo. Previous generation Monte Carlo, I know, but I wonder what he’d think of this one.

  • avatar

    UGH!!! My eyes! My freakin’ eyes!! That image is going to be stuck in my head the rest of today. Thanks.

    Of course to be fair, I pretty much have the same reaction when I see any 2000-04 Monte Carlo, particularly in red or yellow which for whatever reason was a thing on these.

  • avatar

    Early Montes were a lot of young rustbelters’ last US vehicle.

    “Hop in, just yank your door up so you can shut it!”

  • avatar

    This is not worth $50K and the color scheme is too weird even for me.

    That said, I’d rock a Monte of this era although it would not be my first choice.

  • avatar

    This generation of Monte Carlo never looked good to me. It’s the roofline: it’s just not a nice coupe roofline. It’s hella awkward, and that wasn’t helped by the enormous, wide slab of a rear end.

  • avatar

    It’s a pretty poor amalgam of 70’s sculpting and modern aero themes. Neither fish nor fowl.

  • avatar

    Last gen Monte Carlos sucked bad enough to embarrass a stellar mass black hole. Ugly and huge with garbage truck handling .

    In LS4 V8 configuration its also a ticking time bomb since the transmission is flakier than an Uber executive.

    That car is worth scrap value in any universe where the H body Buick Rivera is still sold.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    $49k for a Rainbow Warrior Jeff Gordon special? Ha, nope.

  • avatar

    Reminds me I haven’t spoken to my Uncle Tim in quite awhile. I should ring him up and see if he still has his 3800 powered Monte Carlo SS.

    He’s the only man I knew who owned 3 W-body vehicles. A 1990 Cutlass Supreme sedan (oh digital dash!), a Cutlass convertible (3.4 HO DOHC V6) that eventually developed head gasket issues (like every single one ever built did), and the Monte Carlo SS.

  • avatar

    I would much rather have a 1969 Cale Yarborough Special edition Mercury Cyclone, from the era when stock car racing actually involved slightly modified production bodies and drivetrains.

  • avatar

    TTAC should do an interview with the guy selling this, I’d love to know what he was thinking when he bought it. Was this really his retirement plan? At what point did it dawn on him that the W-body Monte Carlo would not be regarded as a classic? What were his thoughts when non-terrible coupes returned, like the Camaro, Challenger, and 2005 Mustang? How much did he pay for this thing in the first place?

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      The company website has an air of get off my lawn about it.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a classic car dealer that posts to Hemmings. Overpricing a car by 1.5 – 3 times is standard operating procedure.

      Doing some Googling it looks like these go at auctions for $20k – $25k. Which still seems high to me, even as an apologist.

      One of these at B-J did go for over $100K, but that looks more like some rich guy charity circle-jerk than about the value of the car.

      • 0 avatar

        If that’s the case, there’s still a guy out there who bought this brand new and then never drove it. That’s the guy I want to hear from (if he’s still alive). I just want to understand the thought process. It’s not like this car carries the name recognition of a Shelby, or the ridiculous power of a Hellcat. It’s just an ugly paint job!

  • avatar
    Dan R

    There was a shot of a Bentley coupe underdevelopment. Its profile looked very like a Monte.

  • avatar

    We built those in Oshawa. Agreed it was a travesty to the to the Monte name plate. Yes, it was absolutely a poorly executed 2 door Impala.

    I believe it was somewhere around spring 2006 when we built them out. At the time we had an incompetent , over promoted , and particular obnoxious material handling handling manager. Everybody in production, and material handling was geared up for the build out. Pretty simple, you count your inventory, check number of vehicles that were scheduled. The practice was to err on the side of caution. A lot of the innovatory was shared with Impala.

    We the hourly, and our supervisors did the counts . The info was passed up the ladder. I was involved in several build out campaigns . It certainly wasn’t rocket science . As I recall we did have a few extra racks of M/C body panels. No big deal, the extras just went to the parts depot. I know this because I shipped them . Lots of quarter panels, and doors, sitting on my dock while I waited for “green light ” to ship. Build out went smoothly, the die sets were stored , and prepared for shipping.
    A couple of days later the hourly blank dock tech, questioned why he was receiving M/C , or C2 blanks from the blanking supplier..He passed this concern, to his supervisor , who in return informed the material handling manager.

    The material manager tried to deflect this expensive mistake, to the hourly, and the first line supervisor. As this mistake worked its way up the management ladder, an investigation was launched. As it turned out us people on the lower levels,were all schooled on the C.YA doctrine. We the hourly, and our supervisors had dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s.

    The “who knew what, when”… pointed to the incompetent, over promoted obnoxious ..Material handling manager. ..When the dust settled a few days later, a young man made his way to my dock. He shook my, hand and introduced himself as the new material handling manager.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    If my memory isn’t completely making things up now, I recall when these were coming out there was discussion that the body shape was designed specifically for NASCAR. Basically in the hopes that they could get an aero advantage.

    With the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow, any remaining attempts to use anything close to stock cars (even simply their physical dimensions) went out the window.

    I will always have a soft spot for the Intimidator versions of these and the subsequent generation. I’d consider an ’07 for no particular reason other than nostalgia.

  • avatar

    Ridiculous asking price for a fake FWD replica of a fake RWD “stock car”.

  • avatar

    We were browsing a Chevy lot years ago on a Sunday afternoon and came across a Dale Jr. edition of one of these. We looked at it for a minute or two wondering who the hell would want one of those things before my wife said lets move on before someone we know sees us looking at it.

  • avatar

    I have to say even though I live in Jeff Gordon territory (the nearest interstate exit is Jeff Gordon Boulevard) I’ve never seen one of these.
    There are still a lot of the Earnhardt ones limping along though. 3800 forever!

  • avatar

    Still see the later metallic blue Jeff Gordon editions driving around. I’m not sure if any of the late Monte Carlos were bought by anyone who wasn’t a NASCAR fan. I always liked the looks of these and the final generation, and so did my Mom. As a Jeff Gordon fan, she would also love this.

    Got to drive a Monte of this generation for the first time last year. It was ridiculously cramped inside and I couldn’t find a comfortable position, I enjoyed driving it, since it drove the same as every 2000s FWD V6 American car I’ve driven, but wouldn’t own one, ever.

  • avatar

    God, that has to be the dorkiest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve rarely been a fan of exhaust pipes through the rear fascia, but it looks especially idiotic on this car. The only thing that saves it for me is that glorious 3800.

    The ’97-’03 Grand Prix wasn’t immune from the goofy NASCAR packages either, but those were much more tasteful, with minor stickers and badging.

  • avatar

    If this car could be a cartoon character, it would be: Ricky Spanish.

  • avatar

    That would make a nice vehicle for a certain parade.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • avatar

    Regarding the headlights on that model:

    Kermit the Frog called. He wants his eyeballs back.

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