1977 Chevy Monza Mirage
Chevy's downsized Monza coupe of 1975–1980 was based on the bones of the Vega. It was meant to be a smaller, sporty, and less-expensive alternative to the Camaro. And like just about every other "sporty" American coupe of this era, it had little performance under the hood.
In 1977 Michigan Automotive Techniques Corp offered a solution—at least a visual one. The company developed a package that included wide-body fender flares, spoilers, and striping that turned an ordinary Monza into the Monza Mirage. The Mirage looked cool, no doubt about it, aping the style of the popular IMSA Camel GT racing Monzas at the time. But performance? An anemic four-cylinder was standard. If you wanted a V-8, the only one available was the 5.0-liter you could order in any Monza. Talk about a dog—it made just 145 hp. And if you lived in California, that V-8 cranked out 135 hp—even less than the Mustang King Cobra.