The final day of our weeklong transformation of Jegs’ 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe was a long one, as is typical with our Week To Wicked builds. After all, when you’re replacing just about every mechanical part on a car there are bound to be setbacks and things you need to figure out. There are also far more little things that need to be handled than it seems. It’s the automotive equivalent of “death by a thousand cuts” where dozens of small tasks, none requiring much time, pile up into a very long 18-hour final day.
For those that might be just joining this build we started with a bone stock 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.
Nothing on the car helped with performance, but the biggest culprit was the anemic 180-hp carbureted 305-inch engine. And that 180 number was pretty optimistic in terms of our 30-year-old g-body. The mushy suspension, vague steering, and meh brakes, took a lot of fun out of driving the Monte. So, on day one we removed all the worn, tired, and underperforming parts from the SS and started with a clean sheet of Chevy.
By Friday most of the performance parts, such as the QA1 Level 3 suspension, Baer 6P brakes, Champion cooling system, Unisteer rack-and-pinion, Canton reservoir, Currie 9-inch, and the ATK 383 stroker fitted with an All American Billet serpentine drive system and a FiTech EFI system were in place. And that doesn’t even cover the metric ton of Jegs branded parts that went onto the SS.
Friday was filled with dozens of small tasks. We bled the Baer brakes, finished installing the FiTech EFI kit, and chased a few leaks after adding oil, water, and other fluids to the various systems. We also installed the FAST Transmission Control Unit (TCU) to the mix to control our Jegs 4L60 overdrive transmission. Late in the afternoon the SS fired up for the first time, but we still had a ton things to get one. We also realized that our g-body’s tank was filled with old, likely low-octane, gas that smelled a bit sketchy. So we drained what was in there and filled with the finest 91 octane that passes for premium here in California. The guys from ATK were here to help set the timing and make sure all was well with their badass sounding 500 hp mill.
We also had to snug up the suspension and use our toe plates to get some sort of alignment in the car. One of the last things we did was to install a beautiful QA1 carbon fiber drive shaft between the Jegs transmission and the Currie 9-inch. With the Jegs Old School wheels, wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber, on the car we set the Monte Carlo back on the ground for the first time in 5 days and continued working through small tasks to get it ready for a drive. The work continued until just before midnight when the Jegs SS was ready to venture into the night.
It was a long build process, but once we heard that V-8 rumble to life and the car move under its own power the long days were completely worth it. So, follow along and look for updates all week at superchevy.com 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!
Week To Wicked: 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe: Introduction
Week To Wicked: 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe – Day One Build Recap
Week To Wicked: 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe – Day Two Build Recap – Engine Install
Week To Wicked: 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe – Day Three Build Recap – Wiring, Plumbing, and EFI
Week To Wicked: Jegs 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe – Day Four Build Recap
Week To Wicked: Jegs 1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe – Day Five Build Recap – It Lives!!
Photography by Steven Rupp