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Technical Information
How to Tell Them Apart


Here is a list of known differences between the 3 years of First Generation Monte Carlos. 1970-1972. This list is constantly being updated. Please send any suggestions to add to this page to Aaron at dodsyaaron@gmail.com.

Body Differences


  • 70-Roundish Headlight Bezels
  • 71-72-Squarer Headlight Bezels


Parking Lights

  • 70-Round Park Lights on Bumper
  • 71-Rectangle Park Lights on Bumper
  • 72-Vertical Park lights on Grille



  • 70-Finest Grid Pattern on Grille
  • 71-Less Vertical Lines on Grille
  • 72-Coarse Grid Pattern


Hood Spear

  • 70-Thin Hood Spear
  • 71-Thin Hood Spear with "Chevrolet" ornament
  • 72-Wider Spear with "MC" script


Grille Emblem

  • 70-Grill Emblem featured Roman Numerals for 1970
  • 71-Grill Emblem featured Roman Numerals for 1971
  • 72-Grill Emblem featured only vertical lines where Roman Numerals once were


Front Fenders

  • 70-Fenders will not work on a 71-72 without modification
  • 71-72 Fenders will not work on a 70 without modification.


Trunk Emblem

  • 70-No trunk Keyhole Emblem
  • 71-Knight Crest Keyhole Emblem
  • 72-Knight Crest Keyhole Emblem


Backup Lenses

  • 70-Backup Light Lens did not have horizontal ridge like 71-72
  • 71-72 Backup Light lens had horizontal ridge across the middle


Tail Lights

  • 70 - Chrome only around the edge of the lens
  • 71-72 - Additional virtical chrome strip down the center of the lens
    Note: There are two horizontal bars also on the 71-72 trim that often show chrome. These were painted red from the factory.


Vinyl Roof Trim

  • Early 70-Full Halo Vinyl Top trim (stopped before windshield)
  • Late 70-72 Halo Vinyl Top trim (trim went all the way to windshield)


Tail light from 70 Monte Carlo

Tail light from 71-72 Monte Carlo

1970 Monte Carlo (optional 
bumper guards and light
monitoring system on top
of fender)

1971 Monte Carlo

1972 Monte Carlo 
(optional bumper guards)

1970 Monte Carlo

1971 Monte Carlo
(optional bumper guards)

1972 Monte Carlo


Vinyl Top Trim
from earlier production 1970
Monte Carlo

Vinyl Top Trim
from later production 1970 through
1972 Monte Carlo

Option Differences

  • 70-71 SS454 Option was Offered
  • 72-454 was Offered but not SS.  The "Custom" package was offered this year but did not include engine upgrades.  The "Custom" package was a group of convenience and appearance options, and could be ordered with any engine from the standard 350 all the way to 454.

Interior Differences

  • 70-Door panels do not feature upholstery buttons and are completely different from 71-72
  • 71-72 Door panels feature buttons are are completely different from 70
  • Glove Box doors interior for 70 is different from 71-72
  • 70-Standard Steering wheel featured 2 small horn buttons.  The center was woodgrain and the Monte Carlo script was in the center.  (no vinyl)
  • 71-72 Standard Steering wheel did not have small buttons and had a vinyl center with a small wood grain strip and Monte Carlo script on one side
  • 70-Interior Control Knobs and Lighter are black with chrome plating around the outside edges.
  • 71-72 Interior Control Knobs and Lighter are vinyl with respective logo (volume/tuner/headlamp) in the center.
  • 70-Interior Gauges, Radio, A/C or Heater Controls, light up Green
  • 71-72 Interior Gauges, Radio, A/C or heater Controls, light up White

Mechanical Differences

  • 70-Door locks work off of a vacuum system
  • 71-72 Door locks work off of electrical system

Other Differences

  • 70-71 All engines had Engine Displacement and HP rating decal on air cleaner
  • 72 Only the 454 engine had an Engine Displacement and HP rating decal on air cleaner

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