Goodguys and Goolsby Customs Team Up on a Sleek Street Machine for the 2024/2025 Grand Prize Giveaway Build – a 1987 Monte Carlo Aerocoupe!
Get ready for more Goodguys giveaway goodness, g-machine style! Goodguys is getting streamlined for its next Grand Prize Giveaway vehicle – an ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo Aerocoupe! That’s right, we’re going back to our ’80s playbook for our 2024/2025 giveaway vehicle and teaming up with Goolsby Customs to assemble a g-machine G-body – a pro-touring version of Chevrolet’s last full-frame mid-size muscle car.
You probably don’t need us to remind you that the dawn of the 1980s was not particularly promising for American performance cars. Horsepower figures were low, inflation was high, and the Big Three increasingly relied on graphics and spoilers to provide an image of performance that could not always be backed up under the hood. There was light on the horizon, though, as electronic fuel injection and other technological advancements would lead to a performance turnaround later in the decade.
For Chevrolet, cars like the completely redesigned third-generation Camaro introduced in 1982 and the fourth-generation Corvette introduced in 1984 helped boost the performance revival and became the focal points for higher-horsepower engines as the decade progressed. But there was another proven platform that more quietly benefitted from some of the same advancements – the stately and sturdy G-body.
The ’80s-era G-body platform actually dated back to 1978, when GM’s midsize lineup was redesigned with a shorter wheelbase, smaller overall size, and crisp styling. The platform included the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Buick Regal, Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Chevy El Camino, and these were some of the last American-made midsize cars to follow the traditional full-frame, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive formula.
G-body cars were strong sellers, offering a good balance of size, comfort, interior room, and ride quality. Racing fans became especially familiar with the platform, as the cars were popular and competitive in NASCAR racing. Performance versions began to emerge in the mid-1980s, namely the Buick Grand National with turbocharged V6 power, and the Monte Carlo SS with a 305c.i. small-block V8 that steadily increased its power output through the decade.
The Aerocoupe option was introduced in 1986 to make the Monte Carlo SS (and companion Pontiac Grand Prix) more competitive in NASCAR competition. A fastback-style rear window improved the aerodynamics of the otherwise square-backed roofline. The package also included suspension upgrades, sport wheels, a deck lid spoiler, and other options to deliver better performance and more distinctive style. With limited numbers built in 1986 and ’87, Aerocoupes have historically been some of the most sought-after Monte Carlos from the 1980s, which is exactly why we sought one out for a Grand Prize Giveaway car.
Goodguys was fortunate to find a clean ’87 Aerocoupe for sale earlier this year in Texas – a one-owner, garage-kept cruiser that will make the perfect platform for our build. When Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs heard our plans for a Monte Carlo project, he quickly expressed an interest in taking on the build – it’s a “bucket-list” car for him.
“I grew up with those cars in the high school parking lots and racing them on the local short tracks,” Jonathan says, adding that his shop’s location in Hueytown, Alabama – the heart of NASCAR country – increased the allure of these midsize machines. He’s always wanted to build a cool street machine version of a G-body Monte Carlo for himself and says that building a giveaway car is almost better.
“It gets it out of my system,” Jonathan says. “It gives me the opportunity to build it, enjoy it, and then pass it along for someone else to enjoy.”
We enlisted artist Eric Brockmeyer to create renderings for the project, giving Jonathan and his team a roadmap for the build. The goal was to keep the body mostly stock and use color, stance, and detail to give it the character we wanted. “We did four or five color and wheel combos,” Eric says, “but the consensus was that the white really showed the crisp lines of the Monte Carlo, and the gold accents add to the ’80s flavor.” Leaving the lower front spoiler black will help it to be more pronounced and aggressive.
As of early autumn, the car was at Goolsby Customs and getting ready for teardown (while Jonathan enjoys cruising it back and forth to work). As you’ve come to expect from Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway builds, this Monte is slated to receive some seriously cool upgrades from the industry’s top companies. This will start with an all-new Roadster Shop SPEC chassis with coil-over front and rear suspensions, rack-and-pinion steering, and big Baer disc brakes. The chassis will roll on Forgeline wheels and will support a Chevrolet Performance E-Rod crate engine from our friends at Gandrud Chevrolet (still working details on LS3, LT1 or LT4).
Besides the all-new suspension and powertrain, other upgrades currently confirmed include a Vintage Air climate control system, new wiring from Painless Performance, and a fresh set of Dakota Digital gauges to highlight the dashboard. Refinish supplies from BASF will help renew the body, and Speedway Motors has pledged its support for many of the crucial small pieces needed to complete the build.
Simply put, this is going to be the sort of first-rate build you’ve come to expect from Goodguys giveaway vehicles – one with clean and crisp ’80s styling and enough modern performance to make you want to hop in and take a long road trip. We think you’re going to like it, and we can’t wait to show you updates as the Goolsby team gets started. Stay tuned for more in the coming months!