1990 Dodge Monaco

The Monaco was a clone of the Eagle Premier.

The Premier holds a special place in automotive history. It was the last car produced by American Motors Corporation before being acquired by Chrysler. The body was designed by Giugiaro (yes, Giugiaro).

When AMC realized people who bought their Wagoneer truck chose European cars for sedans, they set out to create a American car that could bring those buyers back. But with Renault parts, front-wheel drive and poor reliability, that effort failed. It was more on the level of a Camry or Accord (although it looked way cooler than both), but didn't sell nearly as many units.

The Premier was produced from 1987 to 1992. In 1990, Dodge decided to re-badge the car and sell it as the Monaco alongside the Premier. The car was identical inside and out except for some small cosmetic changes. If any examples of the Premier are hard to find today, the Monaco is even rarer. I don't have sales figures but given the brief production time and fact they get trashed then scrapped has to make them on the verge of extinction, if not so already.

The body by Giugiaro is one of his lesser known classics. Just as he set the standard with the wedge shape of the 70s, he createed the prototypical four-door family sedan shape of the 90s with the Premier/Monaco. It's a masterpiece of form over function, all clean straight lines and hard angles. No nonsense, but some people like their cars that way. I do.

The seller of this example says it has less than 94k miles on the clock, and is mercifully the V6 version. They say it was always stored in a garage, but, like a lot of craigslist ads, are scant on details. How many owners? Is there any rust? Is it even running?

Auto snobs will never accept the notion of a front-wheel drive four-door sedan as a classic, but the Monaco screams to be saved and recognized. How few examples have to be left for bells to start ringing? There's just too much history and style to be ignored.

Available here on craigslist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for "best offer takes it". First time I've seen that.

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