Every journey begins with a single step and Mondays are our first figurative step in completing our Week To Wicked projects where we have just one week to transform stock Chevys into something quite a bit cooler. This time around Jegs brought us a 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe. What’s an Aerocoupe you ask? Well, G-body fans already know, but for the uninitiated this car first appeared in 1986 when just 200 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, back then NASCAR was actually tied to real cars and 200 was the magic number required by NASCAR for a model to be considered a true production car. Based on the Super Sport it had an extremely sloped (25-degree angle) rear window and a shorter trunk lid with a flatter-than-normal rear spoiler. With these changes the shape was much more conducive to slicing through the air at a NASCAR race. Dale Earnhardt went on to successfully race this Chevy for years. Aside from the 200 examples built in 1986 GM also churned out just over 6,000 examples in 1987. After that the Aerocoupe was discontinued.
Our ’87 version from Jegs was in pretty nice shape and while it had the NASCAR look it wasn’t even close to NASCAR performance. In fact, the wheezy 180 hp 305 V-8 was yawn inspiring, even downhill, and the suspension was like autocrossing a couch. The brakes were meh, but since the car was so underpowered it hardly mattered. Add in vague over-assisted steering and it made for a package that, by today’s standards, needed a lot of help.
And that’s where Jegs comes in. They wanted to transform the performance of the Monte using their huge catalog of performance parts. Our plan is to completely replace the drivetrain, brakes, suspension, and steering with some of the best parts the aftermarket can produce. We will also update the rolling stock to something that will accommodate performance rubber and give the Chevy an updated, yet vintage, look.
Monday we spent the morning stripping all the old parts from the Monte Carlo, which is actually pretty fun to do. After lunch though the real work began. Starting with the Currie 9-inch rearend we tackled the rear QA1 Level 3 rear suspension. Adjustable upper control arms, double-adjustable coilover shocks, and a performance sway bar will be a huge improvement over the stamped steel stuff we removed. Up front the we installed the other half of the QA1 Level 3 suspension kit which included their race-ready upper control arms, tubular lower arms (with high-durometer bushings), and a much stiffer hollow swap bar in addition to another pair of coilover double-adjustable shocks. For brakes Jegs sent a complete, ready to install, system from Baer which included 13-inch two-piece rotors and their 6P calipers in a clear black finish. The 6P calipers, front and rear, utilize a 6-piston arrangement and can run easy-to-source Corvette C6 brake pads. The brakes came pre-assembled complete with a G-body spindles, which saved us a ton of work.
Lastly we were able to start installing the rack-and-pinion steering kit from Unisteer. This system ditched the recirculating ball steering box in favor or a modern-style rack. The kit was surprisingly easy to install since it used the mounting points where the old steering box and the idler arm bolted to the frame.
So, at the end of Monday we were in a pretty good place and right in line with our schedule of “things to do” if we want this ride on road by the end of the day on Friday. Tuesday’s big challenge will be to get the new 383 V-8 in place and finish up the brakes, suspension, and steering. We’re sure there will be speedbumps along the way, but if we’re missing any parts they’re only a phone call, and overnight shipping, away from Jegs. Look for updates all week long as well as live video on our Facebook channel and, of course, Instagram postings.
More on our Week to Wicked 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe Build!
Photography by Steven Rupp