Chris Cord drove the most beautiful Monza ever for five years.
|Chris Cord Racing|
|Chris Cord's Chevy Monza was a Dekon built machine. He developed his car as to make it somewhat unique. Removable fiberglass body panels would assist crews in accessing parts that required attention.|
|17inch tires were mounted, while the car was powered by a 6,0L V8 Chevrolet engine given for 570hp.|
|Chris Cord purchased the car at the end of the 1976 season. He would enter four races in 1977 and would field it until 1981. From the outset, the car was entered in GTO class, with a best result consisting of a sixth place. In 1978, the car was entered in the GTX class, fighting against Porsche 935s. The car would be re-engineered by Doane Spencer.|
|The car would stand apart, and would feature many small improvements. Things like chrome mounting brackets, or the gauges set into a NASCAR type dash. Even the gearbox had been swapped for a Ford top-loader based one. The engine was to give 625hp, which was a fairly good figure, but it was still some 200hp short of the power of the german cars running at full boost.|
|For the 1980 season, Chris Cord purchased chassis 1012, which would also be re-engineered the same way. Both cars would be entered in some selected events. The cars were strong, but the weak point was the gearbox, which sometimes failed. At Laguna Seca, both cars crashed and failed to make it to the grid. They were rebuilt and still entered in some races that year.|
The Chris Cord Racing Corporation was incorporated on December 01, 1977 with the address 136 El Camino Dr. Beverly Hills, CA. It was at the end of the 1976 season, when Chris Cord purchased an IMSA prepared Chevrolet Monza from DeKon Engineering, LTD. It was DeKon chassis no. 1011, the first of two DeKon Monzas he would own. This car was campaigned in the 1977-1981 seasons, mostly the IMSA GT series and a few SCCA Trans-Am endurance races too. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) launched a new category in 1974 called All American Grand Touring (AAGT), which included the Chevrolet Monza. From the outset, Cord entered his car in the IMSA GTO class in 1977, for cars with engines (over) 2.5 liters. In 1978, Cord entered in the new IMSA GTX class and raced along side a growing field of Porsche 935s. Cord developed his Monza to make it somewhat unique. It included fiberglass body panels with quick-release fasteners, which gave mechanics easy access to make quick adjustments, and perform maintenance and repairs. The car had 17-inch wheels and was powered by a 6.0 L 570 hp Chevrolet small-block V8. The car was re-engineered by his chief mechanic, Doane Spencer, a very talented and well regarded race car builder. It stood apart from other DeKon Monzas, and featured many improvements. It featured chrome mounting brackets, gauges set into a NASCAR type dash. Even the gearbox had been swapped for a Ford top-loader based one. Apparently, these technical improvements were actually first applied to Cord's second Monza DeKon c/n1012, purchased from Ted Field of Interscope Racing.
It was hard to tell which DeKon chassis Cord was actually driving between 1978-81, even though it displayed car no. 19. Often, it was Cord's second Monza DeKon c/n 1012, and not always c/n 1011 as commonly believed. There are small details in the cowl grille and windshield clip spacing, which are a bit of a tell. Cord's Monzas were powered with Falconer Racing Engines in the beginning. Then, he switched to engines built by Dennis Fisher around 1979. They produced about 625 hp, a fairly good figure at the time for a naturally aspirated engine. However, it was still over 200 horsepower short of a the Porsche 935 running twin turbos at full boost. By the end of the 1982 season, IMSA eliminated twin turbos. Chris Cord's 1980 season saw bodywork that was the most radically styled with the latest update phases seen. Doane Spencer cut large slotted openings in the engine hood on both sides of the scoop. These exit vents were aerodynamically designed to maximize radiator cooling and helped to create a "suction" effect under the car for better handling. The hood tunnel for the reversed scoop was very tall, and allowed clearance for the MacKay fuel injection's eight velocity stacks. The opening for the engine scoop was on the rear and matched the angle of the sloped windshield, and sat just a few inches from it. The door extensions had large scoops for side mounted oil coolers. Each rear fender had a large slotted opening on top to serve as an exit for the side-mounted radiator-cooled air. Rear wheels were 19 inches, the largest ever seen on a Monza.
In early 1980, Chris Cord purchased another DeKon built Monza, chassis no. 1012. It was barely used by Ted Field's Interscope Racing for driver Danny Ongais. This chassis was also re-engineered the same as c/n 1011. Both cars would be entered in some selected events. The cars were strong, but the weak point was the gearbox, which sometimes failed. During a practice session at the 1980 Laguna Seca IMSA 100 mile, both Cord Monzas were nearly destroyed. There was a four-car wreck involving two Porsches at the infamous "cork screw", a short downhill S-turn. Damaged beyond repair, both cars failed to make the starting grid. However, one was rebuilt within two months in time for the Watkins Glen 6 hour Trans-Am race on July 6th. To such enthusiasts, Chris Cord's red Monzas remain the most attractive and beautiful DeKons ever built. As of 2012, both cars are located in California. Ken Epsman is current owner of Cord’s second red Monza, DeKon c/n 1012 (car no. 20). It is in beautifully restored condition, as driven by Jim Adams in 1980-81 for Chris Cord Racing. Cord’s first Monza, DeKon chassis no. 1011 (car no. 19), is in the hands of an anonymous owner.