Mexican-market 1971 Dodge Monaco: A puzzle?

ayilar

Old Man with a Hat
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This morning, I happened upon a video of a dark teal (not an original color, but beautiful IMHO) 2dr 1971 Monaco in Mexico on YouTube. It had been posted on July 27, i.e., a good week ago:



The owner is called Manix ("Muchas gracias al buen Manix por mostrarme su coche"), and is seen at 0:24 in the video:

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I searched more about the car and found a bunch of 2023 high-res pics on a public FB post by the YT video poster, AutoArqueologia:

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Ignore what is likely a non-OEM outside rear-view mirror on the driver's door. What struck me when reviewing the photos, is that the front door panels (and the re-upholstered front bench) look like those of a 1970 US-market Monaco (not those of a 1971 US Monaco):

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To check, I looked up the always helpful Hamtrack Registry Library for pics of the 1970 and 1971 Monaco interiors. Sure enough, while the Mexican car's a 1971 model, its front door panels and front bench look like 1970 US-market H3 codes:

1970:
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1971:
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The rear seat (reupholstered but showing the original shape and buttons) of this neat car are also in line with the H3 interior (though the button placement and number seems different):

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I thought that maybe someone had replaced the panels and the seats, but the color match of the panels with the dash is spot-on. Funny thing is, the interior of this car is brown ("tan") but there was no tan interior choice for the US Monaco in 1970 (see Hamtramck) -- but there was in 1971 (T7 as per Hamtramck, which matches the interior of the specimen we are now discussing).

Unfortunately, the fender tag is missing from her radiator support: the only information that I gathered from the two folks talking in the video is that the motor is a 360.

While casually researching the matter on this lazy Sunday, I happened upon the photos of a 4dr 1971 sedan that was for sale back in 2016 (the ad for that silver car was posted on FCBO by @fc7_plumcrazy and is still available from the original site). Lo and behold, it has the same front panel pattern as the black 2-dr!

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Again, the front end and dash of that (EA4 ?) Monaco sedan are clearly of the 1971 vintage -- but both front door panels and the front sbench (also reupholstered) look like those of a 1970 US Monaco 4dr (in this case, H4):

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The likelihood that two 1971 Dodge Monaco survivors in Mexico have had their seats and door panels similarly replaced by 1970-vintage ones is, if not zero, very (VERY) small.

--> We know that some Canadian-market fuselage senior Dodges have different interiors than US-market ones (@marko @kmccabe56 and others have commented on cars in Canada). We also know that Chrysler Corp. produced between 1969 and 1974 a Chrysler 383 model that was essentially a local-market version of the same-year Dodge Monaco -- see the thread that @Walter Joy created on this topic).

--> question for our best and brightest members (especially @Strangelo, a member from Puebla Mexico who inherited a 1971 Monaco wagon from his father and posted about it here): was there be a Mexican-market Monaco?
 
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Outside of the US market, Mopar was always mixing parts from the corporate bin, in order to produce what seemed to be the best idea at the time for a specific market.

Consider the case of Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg). In the '50s, you could buy 3 (yes, three) versions of the same car, basically. You could buy a:
- Plymouth Belvedere (same as US model)
- Dodge Kingsway (Plymouth WITH Dodge front clip AND specific interior)
- De Soto Diplomat (Plymouth WITH De Soto front clip AND specific interior)
For Benelux, I know this for a fact from brochures of that era, but it was probably the same case across Europe.

So it does not surprise me that Mexico got specific models too.
 
Outside of the US market, Mopar was always mixing parts from the corporate bin, in order to produce what seemed to be the best idea at the time for a specific market.

Consider the case of Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg). In the '50s, you could buy 3 (yes, three) versions of the same car, basically. (...) For Benelux, I know this for a fact from brochures of that era, but it was probably the same case across Europe.

So it does not surprise me that Mexico got specific models too.
Thank you for the info.

This said, what surprises me in this case is not the mix-and-match of same-year parts, given that we have seen that very practice for Canadian-market cars (@marko @kmccabe and @cbarge have posted on this topic, with for example some Canada-bound or -made senior Dodge models having Plymouth US-spec interiors).

What I find surprising is the use of 1970 same-brand, same-line door panels and seats with a 1971 interior color in a 1971 car. I would like to learn more about Mexico-market cars: where they were built, how they were equipped, etc..
 
Via Google, I found some pictures on Flickr of Chrysler Mexico print ads and the front page of a 1970 Dodge Monaco brochure 2dr ht. Plus a looonnnggg page of Chrysler Corp vehicle ads for the Mexican market.

Facebook marketplace also yielded soem pictures of a "used" 1970 Monaco 2dr ht, also. Including some interior shots of the front seat and door panels. A red LA engine in it. The LA would have been in USA Polaras, not Monacos, OEM. No data plate images.

In one search result, it mentioned that Chrysler Australia was in charge of the brochures for the Mexican Market (termed "AutoMex" in 1970?).

Possibly between Google, YouTube, prior postings in here, and Wikipedia, some mysteries can be solved?

CBODY67
 
I have a better-than-average understanding of historical US trade policy (I plan on offering a 500 level college course, lol) and I can almost guarantee this relates to home-market-sourced soft trim part requirements. You see, back when nations would at least pay lip-service to creating some level of employment for their citizens, there were locally-sourced dollar (peso) value requirements to sell "foreign" engineered products in a particular market. Since a market like Mexico didn't have the volume to justify something like a duplicate transmission plant, manufacturers would find dollar-values however they could. Interior trim is a relatively low tooling-cost discipline with high-finished product value. That's why foreign market American vehicles usually have entirely different (often nicer) seats, door panels, etc.

In this case, it would appear that Chrysler simply further amortized some 1970 door panel heat transfer dies by shipping them south of the border to create a finished product for the Mexican market. Similar things were done in Australia, which had its own industry, but not the large car volume to support C-Body stamping, full assembly, etc. So they turned to home-market soft trim. Look at the thickness of the bolstering (and lack of headrests) in this car, far nicer than anything you would have found in a 1970 Plymouth Fury.

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This continued on for quite a while, even past the 1992 NAFTA-era in Mexico. My own '99 Mexican Ramcharger has leather/cloth seats unlike anything offered in the US. Seatbelts are "hencho en Mexico" Unfortunately no photos on hand to post. The RC also uses a Mexican-sourced rear axle that was never offered in the USA among other parts.
 
Mexico certainly had some unique Mopars. For example the 1967 Coronets built in Mexico all featured the 66-67 Charger's hidden headlight grille. The top line 1965 Valiant Acapulco featured the 65 Barracuda grille. And while Valiants in the US were only available as post sedans after 1966, in Mexico, pillarless Valiant hardtops continued through 69. Starting in 70, there were Mexican Darts with the C-pillar extensions normally associated with only the Brazilian Chargers.
Meanwhile, interior and exterior trim and standard and optional equipment often differed from their US counterparts.

Thinking the Monaco limo used in the movie, Slaughter, on the set in Mexico, was also unique to the Mexican market. But I could be wrong.

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Mexico certainly had some unique Mopars. For example the 1967 Coronets built in Mexico all featured the 66-67 Charger's hidden headlight grille. The top line 1965 Valiant Acapulco featured the 65 Barracuda grille. And while Valiants in the US were only available as post sedans after 1966, in Mexico, pillarless Valiant hardtops continued through 69. Starting in 70, there were Mexican Darts with the C-pillar extensions normally associated with only the Brazilian Chargers.
Meanwhile, interior and exterior trim and standard and optional equipment often differed from their US counterparts.

Thinking the Monaco limo used in the movie, Slaughter, on the set in Mexico, was also unique to the Mexican market. But I could be wrong.

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Bad *** limo.
 
I have a better-than-average understanding of historical US trade policy (I plan on offering a 500 level college course, lol) and I can almost guarantee this relates to home-market-sourced soft trim part requirements. You see, back when nations would at least pay lip-service to creating some level of employment for their citizens, there were locally-sourced dollar (peso) value requirements to sell "foreign" engineered products in a particular market. Since a market like Mexico didn't have the volume to justify something like a duplicate transmission plant, manufacturers would find dollar-values however they could. Interior trim is a relatively low tooling-cost discipline with high-finished product value. That's why foreign market American vehicles usually have entirely different (often nicer) seats, door panels, etc.

Indeed, the local content for US cars assembled overseas was dictated by economical common sense: for some parts it cost more to import them than to source them locally.

It was also a asset to sales, as it could be used in advertisements, to induce the feeling of buying locally (at least partially) and using local companies. To get back to the Benelux example, according to the brochures I have, those '50s Plymouth contained up to 60% of local content (glass, tires, batteries, bulbs, seats, ...).
 
Mexico certainly had some unique Mopars. (...) Meanwhile, interior and exterior trim and standard and optional equipment often differed from their US counterparts.

Thinking the Monaco limo used in the movie, Slaughter, on the set in Mexico, was also unique to the Mexican market. But I could be wrong. (...)
View attachment 609941
Thanks! I found more info about AutoMex, the Mexican affiliate of Chrysler Corp., here and about its demolished 1953 plant here and here.
Bad *** limo.
The actor with the striped tie walking next to this 1970 Monaco limo looks about the age of the owner of the teal 1971 Monaco that I posted. I hope Manix posts here!
 
I have a huge bunch of mexican Mopar brochurches.
There are gfull line brochures as well as separat model brochures.
Unfortunatly I do not have the time to pull them out (stored away well)

Carsten
 
I have a huge bunch of mexican Mopar brochurches.
There are gfull line brochures as well as separat model brochures.
Unfortunatly I do not have the time to pull them out (stored away well)

Carsten
You mean, you do not have time now to pull them out, but you will at some point soon(ish) find the time to do so. Right? Right?? :poke:

And then, hopefully, the Monaco brochures could be scanned and be uploaded on @ceebuddy 's fantastic www.fuselage.de site for everyone to enjoy? :thumbsup:
 
Just to add further fuel to the 'added local content/value' argument, look at the difference in starters between the OE Mexican-market and what was "normal" for the USA in 1999. As soon as I removed it, I knew it was something I'd never seen... And I've laid hands on a lot Mopar mini starters. Note that it' stamped "Henco en Mexico".

I applaud this level of local content because it gives opportunity for people in smaller markets to hone (pun intended) machining, automation, casting, etc. skills and obviously provides local employment. Of course the politicians will tell you its better to just get everything off of an Asian container ship... Teach your kids to 'code' and 'engineer' video games.

The last picture is just so you'll feel better tracing circuits on your C bodies. I had to translate this first to rule out the relay.

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