DEKON built street Monzas

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DEKON built street Monzas

Postby monzaaddict » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:14 pm

Over the years there have been a few IMSA bodied but otherwise stock Monza's that owners claimed came new from the dealer with panels installed. Shawn Grimm https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id ... oup_dialog , however had a much more detailed (albeit unproven) history of his car having known one of the previous owners for approximately 25 years and having heard stories retold of his cars special history. I also noted the similarities between his car and the car pictured on Stacy Scharch's page about DeKon Monza's http://www.scharch.org/Cars/Monza_Racec ... hassis.htm where under the "unknown" heading there is a picture of a IMSA paneled street car in the paddock of Brainerd International Raceway 1977. The car has the DeKon logo inside the door scoop. (and Jay Kline Chevrolet windshield Banner)
Monza-streetcar_BIR-IMSA_1977 (Small).jpg
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underneath the heading is the following text: Street Monza (not known if actually built by DeKon) IMSA Camel GT - BIR Pepsi Grand Prix Brainerd, MN - June 19, 1977 (Photo by Jerry Winker) "A Dekon Monza for the street roams the paddock area."Possibly 1 of 2 DeKon street versions said to exist. A DeKon logo is inside door scoop. Windshield banner reads Jay Kline Chevrolet, which was also a sponsor for Jerry Hansen's Monza DeKon c/n 1010. Note: Jerry Hanson raced his Dekon Monza and Tuck Thomas raced his Ron Fournier built Monza this same day at BIR
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Jerry Hansen owned Brainerd International Raceway. He is also Courtney Hansen's dad. (. On his wikipedia page there is mention of his friendship with Lee Dykstra (of DeKon - see where this is going). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Hansen
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Steve Kline was best friends with and also sponsored Tuck Thomas' Ron Fournier built IMSA Monza
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Back in 2014 I remembered that Shawn Grimm (strokercutlass) said that his 75 IMSA was from Minnesota.
shawn grimm imsa.jpg
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Note that both these cars have the earliest version of the GM IMSA panels. A distinguishing feature is the front of the rear flares is rounded at the bottom. (Later Flares have a sharp edge). Only the first two race DeKon Monza's have this.
Brainerd International Raceway is in MN. The car has a windshield banner that says Jay Kline Chevrolet. I googled and found they are out of business. But they have a Facebook page for former employees. I asked if anyone knew about this car. One woman said she drove it and directed me to Steve Kline for more info. Steve Kline confirmed it was built by DeKon for him. He was in the hospital at the time just having undergone aortic heart surgery. He sounded terrible so I figured I would talk to him after he recovered.
I bought a house around this time. Also, I though I read on Facebook that Steve Kline had died - He is in fact very much alive. I also had some doubts it was the same car because there are differences between the car ( Shawn's car has hood scoop, hood pins, door scoop is cut to allow air flow, mirrors, etc.).
Everyone is on Facebook now. I recently found a some posts by Shawn Grimm. He tells a story of how his car (not IMSA) broke down and two guys stopped to help. One guys father had the IMSA that he now owns. He mentions a Gerald Anderson from Northfield MN as another previous owner and some other names. The car as he (Shawn) bought it had its original 262 and interior reinstalled but at some point had a 400, and a bolt in rollbar. He says thinks car was used as a trainer / practice car). Also the car was originally owned by a guy who raced Corvettes.
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Jay Kline Chevrolet was a performance oriented dealer that sold something like 34 YENKO cars. Steve Kline is the son and was President of company. He raced Corvettes and he has had some life! ( Here is Steve Kline's linkedin and facebook pages). https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-kline-179aa030/ https://www.facebook.com/steven.kline.967
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In 2014 when I first emailed Steve Kline he acknowledged the car pictured at BIR was his. This was one of the emails he sent. ( remember he was in hospital having just undergone heart surgery and suffering complications when he wrote this).
Hi David It was my personal car built by Decon Engineering and chief designer, LEE Dykstra. I believe the owner of Decon was a mane named Horrest Queck,(spelled wrong) and driven by him. I don't have time to discuss this now but the car was very expensive and did not take well to consumers simply because the cost was high with NO change to the engine or power of the car. I have no pictures I know of. No paperwork. It is a REAL DECON made car. Guaranteed, and built for me. It was built during the time that Decon made the 1st Monza IMSA race cars that did so well in the early years. My best friend, Tuck Thomas, raced one for Lancer stores and there are many pictures on the net showing that car. Tuck died this year and I am still recovering from my loss while recovering from serious heart surgery. I'm 67. Tuck was my very best friend.I raced B-P Corvette, GT1- and Trans AM. Held all BP & GT1 Track records at BIR Raceway for 10 years.
I'll try to give more info later.
Steve Kline, President
Jay Kline Chevrolet co.
1221 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Steve Kline says car was built early which explains early style IMSA body panels. I would love to know the vin or body tag info on Shawns car to confirm it is an early production car. Found this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HBodyCa ... 615183483/ 1975 Monza
VIN: 1R07G52127489

BODY TAG:
ROW 1: ST75 1HR07 ST027559
ROW 2: TR 26C 26L 26U
ROW 3:1A100061
assuming 100 cars per hour and 8 hour shift 5 days week is roughly 4000 cars per week. Car would have been produced 7th week of production.
Anyone know if George Zappos is still with vintage vehicle services at GM, I think my "resto pak" came with the name of dealer car was delivered to. https://www.vintagevehicleservices.com/
[I found this online Gerald Anderson(952) 891-1374 29 Jefferson Dr, Northfield, MN, 55057-3101 (and he is same age a Steve Kline -wonder if they were friends)]. 3rd owner was Shawns friends father and Shawn is 4th owner.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------BINGO!:10/15/18 I just found this post by Shawn: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1499443 ... 238463020/ He talks about the 3rd owner making the exact modifications to the car that led me to believe it may not be the same car - front air dam, extractors, etc.

Shawn Grimm Ok...ok...lol...after too long of a nite, I'm ready to tell the story on this car....it's a pretty neat story if you'll indulge me....

The car itself is a 1975 Chevy Monza, factory 262 v8, 4 speed car. The car originally came from out east to Minnesota, where it was used in the mid 70's as a trainer car for a guy who raced Corvettes in the IMSA race series.

I found the car in an odd way, I guess.....I had a 71 Z28 Camaro years ago, and when I came into town, I blew a transmission line....I was sitting at the gas station, and these 2 guys came pulling up in a 1976 Lemans sport coupe...the driver asked what happened, and I told him. He said we'd try to limp the car down to his house and fix it.....I'd never met either before, but little did I know I was soon to start a great friendship that would later take a tragic turn....

Ben was a great guy....always had all the cars we wanted to have, the stereo stuff, cool parts etc.....his dad owned the IMSA, and when we got my Camaro to his house, I saw the car for the first time in the garage. Eric, Ben's dad, had bought the car out of Minnesota....at that time it had a built 400 chevy in it from its stint as a trainer car, and it MOVED.......there was more than one night it got pushed out of the garage and down the driveway to sneak out for a ride.....

Fast forward a few years......Eric's health began getting worse.......I received a call asking if I was interested in the car....I went down and looked at it, sitting under the cover in the same spot in the garage that it always had.....I went down, paid for the car, hooked onto it with my wrecker, and towed it back to work to get it running, as it had been sitting for some time.....the 400 was now gone, replaced by the original 262. It still has the Hooker SuperComp headers, Holley carb, edelbrock intake.....At that time, the car had 2500 miles put on it in 25 years. I replaced the battery, fuel lines, and some other misc, and got it running. At that time it was still 4 bolt wheels, so I updated the car to 5 bolt wheels, added custom backspace Billet Specialties Street Lite wheels and new tires, installed 3.42 gears in the rear to compensate for the tire height change, and started driving it. During this Eric's wife, and Bens mom, Julie passed away........ One day some time later,I got another call.....Ben was dead. He unfortunately got into some bad habits and died from a drug overdose :-( . Eric moved and left the older brother, Scott, with the house and workshop.........Scott lost the house to the bank and called me......I contacted the realtor and ended up buying the house. The Monza now sits back in the same spot in the original garage that I pulled it out of years ago......I also own Ben's '89 Trans Am- I bought it from the family when he passed away, and it sits out in the other shop where it always did......the car right now has just over 20,000 original miles.....the car wears the original GM body kit, modified in certain areas by Eric to his taste......he was in the maufacturing and fabrication field.......the front air dam, extractor vents in the rear fenders to cool the brakes, and some other pieces were built and modified by Eric to fit the car.....I have 2 different engine upgrades I'm currently pondering......either the 450hp aluminum headed 350 I originally built for the car, or the 500hp LS1 that was originally planned for my '01 Trans Am.....still haven't decided yet. I'm waiting for Justin or someone to do suspension parts again, so I can do the front and rear suspension, then I hope to take it to Elkhart Lake here in Wisconsin someday for the vintage races. I'm trying to finish the car in the way Eric had planned, low, fast, good handling......a Corvette killer, really.......

Sorry if this is kind of a book, but I always feel that the entire story needs to be told, so everyone can understand how this came full circle, so to speak......this car means the world to me, and I will die with it.......here's a pic from when I first brought it back, before the 5 bolt and wheel and tire upgrade....
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I found this thread where Shawn discusses his IMSA's past. viewtopic.php?t=33658 Here is an excerpt of relevant info: Hi to everyone...new member here! Looking for info regarding the IMSA Monzas.......I understand that the tube chassis cars were built outside of the manufacturer, BUT my question is, were any of the OEM chassis cars with the IMSA body packages production built, or converted by a GM sanctioned outside party (similar to Yenko, Baldwin Motion,etc), or were they all converted by owners after purchase? If they WERE converted before being sold, is there any way to document them (i.e Chevrolet Historical Division by VIN number or body plate)

I've seen pictures of various versions....race and street both, but I'm wondering, since from what I've read is somewhat inconcise, is if these were done later in life, or if the possibility is there that some were done for the race track, then converted BACK to street duty, and if so, how would one tell?

I've seen pictures of race versions using 4 lug wheels, so I'm gathering that many or most didn't get a 5 lug conversion......would evidence be supported by any suspension work, rollbar mounting holes evident,etc? Would there have been a possibility that GM produced a few as promo cars, and sold them off later, or offered them as sponsored cars?

Theres a reason I'm asking all this, but I'll leave that till I get a bit of feedback regarding this if noone minds....

BTW..great looking site! I'm sure I'll be asking for and offering more info in the future......

Ok..back on topic...perhaps I should word this a little differently...

Were any IMSA Monzas built off production based chassis', or were all the street chassis based IMSAs originally sold as standard Monzas, then had the body package added later, either by private parties or by racers?

Let me get to the gist of this.....

I'm buying an IMSA Monza...I believe it's a '75. My friends father has owned the car about 25 years...it was last registered Oct of 2001, and shows 18,873 original miles on the odometer.It has sat in a garage with a car cover over it most all of this time, never driven in snow or winter. When I first saw the car it was blue with white racing stripes, but has since been repainted white with blue racing stripes, with an original blue interior. If I remember right when I first saw this car about 20 years ago, it had right around 18,000 miles on it....

Factory 4 speed, factory v8 car, full gauges. I'm not sure what V8 is in it now, but it also has Hooker Supercomp headers, custom Y pipe dual into large single back into duals with rear mount resonator/mufflers, which I found to be an odd setup for something garage built or cobbled together. Does not have factory style teardrop mirrors...more of a flat backed racing style...has the more common style wraparound rear spoiler, and not the whaletail...13" aluminum lace Appliance wheels with BFG tires..the hood uses hinges and countersunk bolts thru the hood to attach it..no pin on hood, rear window louvers. Car sits awful low to be a production height car....I remember that with two of us in it, it would sometimes scrape the exhaust going down their gravel driveway if there was a heave in it...

Now..heres why I asked the previous questions...

The story the father told me, whether true or not, is as follows, and includes alot of supposedlys and I was tolds...at the same time the owner is about the most honest guy I know, was formerly an aeronautical engineer, has built several modified cars, has machined and built his own guns, etc....this gentleman I would consider to be a design and fabrication genius, and definetly NOT a liar....if the story is false, it was most defintely the guy selling the car who fabricated the story, as I've heard the EXACT same story for all these years...

He purchased the car out of Minnesota from a person who owned a construction business back in the early to mid '80's (Steve Kline's resume includes construction and property management).....apparently this guy ( I believe Shawn is talking about 2nd owner at this point) raced both Corvettes and Monzas on the track, I'm assuming in IMSA. From what he said, they got the car, gutted the interior but saved it, and raced it...when done, they reinstalled the interior back into the car....I have personally seen the rollbar mounting holes behind the front seats where it once was...the seller had told him that it was one of 4 cars (2 4 speeds and 2 automatics) that were built......apparently one 4 speed car was destroyed, and the auto equipped cars history is unknown....

I have to believe that the seller told this gentleman a good story, but yet knowing this person I have a difficult time believing that the story is completely untrue, as he's very meticulous about history and details on his cars....

Regardless, I should be picking it up this weekend hopefully, and regardless of the history, when I got the call I wasn't about to pass it up....I've drooled over this car for YEARS, and appreciated the opportunity to be able to buy it and restore it, as I've never seen another in person, although I have heard that there is another one floating around here locally that needs completely redone and hasn't been on the streets since the mid to late 80's....

I'll get some pictures when I get it back to the shop, and post them up so you guys can see it.....

Well...the car is back at the shop. Got some more history last night from the owner, as well as some more info on the car...

The car was formerly owned by a guy named Gerald Anderson out of Northfield,Minn.....I have a copy of the Minnesota title dated 6/25/80 with 9300 miles on the odometer....currently the car has 18,378 miles. Apparently Gerald raced Baja cars as well as in the SCCA circuit. (Playboy sponsored SCCA 84-85 https://corvetteregistry.smugmug.com/Ra ... /i-Dt3snZD ).This Monza came out of Massachucetts (sp) ( did Shawn mean Minnesota) and was raced in the SCCA Playboy series, then converted to a trainer car before Gerald went into Corvette racing....the owner told me when they first found the car for sale, that Gerald apparently had a shop where they were building SCCA cars, and had crates of new rods, pistons,etc that he said they went through to come up with matching weighted sets for rotating assemblies. They also were receiving fiberglass Corvette monoleafs from GM to test in their race cars.

This car did have a rollbar, and at one time a well built 400 that was built to run 8,000 rpm consistently. It currently has the 265 back in it, with just over 1,000 miles on the engine and some mild modifications. The stock electric pump is still in the tank, along with a booster pump under the car. The former owner told me he thought the additional rear suspension mounts are still under the car...I have yet to check and see what suspension and such is under it, other than I see there are KYB adjustable shocks under the rear.....120mph speedo, 7000 rpm tach...

This weekends project....try to get it fired up and running, then start cleaning!

Found more paperwork Sat. while working on the car, so ill break it down.....

Mid 1980- 9300 miles
Mid 1986- 16400 miles
(Now)Early 2011- 18378 miles, so about 2000 miles in 25 years....

Had it up on the hoist, and can definetly say it was raced in some fashion, as you can see the second set of bolt holes where they unbolted the stock drivers and passenger seat and had a different seat bolted in, as well as a secondary Holley black fuel pump up in front of the fuel tank, KYB shocks, hooker supercomp 3 pc headers,and some other miscellaneous.........surprisingly it now has a stock open rearend with 2.56 gears.......got it running too! A new battery, new plugs, a few feet of fuel line, and a prayer, and even with old gas it fired up and ran......Needs a water pump badly, which will be here Weds, along with new belt and hoses to be safe, fresh antifreeze, and other maintenance... Exhaust is dual off the headers with dual cats, crossing over into one larger single past the rear axle, then splitting back into two mufflers and dual exit. Can still see the shiny steel fuel tank on the upper 1/2" of the tank, as well as the original blue on the lower body....Superior laced aluminum 13" wheels with 235/50R13 tires that have no dryrot and still have the nubs on them, with a date code of the 11th week of 1990....prior owner said he had to trace clear to California to find them...

I see I need to drop the fuel tank and check out the sending unit, as the gas gauge currently isn't working (are there any common problems to look for on these cars? Previous owner said it worked intermittently) as well as no tach (key on, tach drops below zero, when engine is fired tach just sits there...any common issues there? All fuses are good)
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In 1984, scca started a playboy sponsored manufacturers championship for showroom stock cars , with secondary sponsorship form escort police radar detector company. Playboy's sponsorship continued in 1985. If this Gerald Anderson was involved it was likely in 84-85.

While searching Gerald Anderson I found a possible nickname "Jerry". I googled [uJ]erry Anderson[/u] and found a driver who raced corvettes in SCCA during'80s when Playboy was a sponsor along with Escort radar detectors. His fellow drivers were Doug Rippie and Tuck Thomas (Steve Kline's best friend). http://www.ultimateracinghistory.com/ra ... ceid=12304
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This should be a different thread I will move it
Ok now remember that red IMSA that was the 63rd 75 Monza produced (first hour of production).
Monza02.jpg
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viewtopic.php?f=19&t=35294 I am pretty sure that was the car that was on the front of the old registry newsletters. The article mentioned speculation about possibly being a Banshee ( Banshee was the name Briggs Chevrolet was using for its modified Monza's. I believe at the time car was yellow and was for sale. I believe the car was then sold to Ken Grey the congressman who had a car museum. At that time it was red with yellow visible. I believe that car was the 2nd DeKon street Monza (actually the first as far as order in which they were built). This car has also has the earliest style IMSA body panels. It has the door locks accessible from outside. The rear flares were cut so to allow the rear turn signal portion of taillights to be visible. This is a styling que that was present on the GM styling exercise IMSA paneled showcar and in addition to the extremely low vin # the reason I think it was likely built first. This car is now owned by IMSA75AL.
Now, read the first post by Bryan McCready where he talked to the owner of the car after it was sold by the Ken Grey museum after his death. He Mentions panels being drop shipped to Illinois. DeKon was located in Libertyville, Illinois.
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This is another car that owner swears was bought new at dealer with panels installed. car has 2400 miles.
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(gotta go will post more info at another time).
Last edited by monzaaddict on Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:59 am, edited 25 times in total.
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Re: DEKON built street Monzas

Postby hammerdown7 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:40 am

More great detective work. In roughly 1990 I bought an IMSA bodied Monza that was a stripped roller without an engine or transmission. It had a Dana 44 rear end built for the torque arm suspension and re-drilled front stock rotors for the 5 on 4 3/4 bolt circle. The interior was bare except for the steering column. The car was gray premiered. I drove from the Detroit area to MN(!!!) to pick it up. I auto crossed it for a couple of years with a highly modified Cosworth Vega engine. Fortunately and unfortunately about that time, 1992(?), I purchased an SCCA Cosworth Vega and decided to dismantle the Monza, the glass panels were removed and sold, drive train stripped and saved and chassis to the dumpster. About three weeks later I started kicking myself for doing that and haven't stopped since. I'll try and find some pictures and add them to this posting.

Dick

Well, I only found two shots.

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Monza AC 001 copy.jpg
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1976 Chevrolet Vega Cosworth

Re: DEKON built street Monzas

Postby monzaaddict » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:49 pm

1st post updated.
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Re: DEKON built street Monzas

Postby mldeolde » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:59 am

the last pictured car really looks to me what a dealer special car would look like. the tasefull graffix and paint. the inset wheels tell me that there was no motifacations to the diferential or front suspension. not like a Yenko more like a over the top monza,i forget, the ones with the small flares. a real head turner but without the performance mods beautifull car though. :th:
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Re: DEKON built street Monzas

Postby monzaaddict » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:11 pm

THE PLOT THICKENS!
I found these newspaper ads that note 2 cars were built by Dekon. I believe Steve Kline needed to find a higher end customer for the cars and used the Porsche dealer. The car pictured at Brainerd Raceway is a 77.

These cars share early style imsa panels, vega front turn signals (and their placement), lower lip of front spoiler, blacked out faux grill openings and headlight openings, uncut door vents, door locks, rear bumperettes, and stance. I believe the 4 lug bbs rims were changed when brakes were upgraded.

Zoom in on the black and white photo from BIR. I see a rounded drivers seat back and a roolbar hoop. Anyone else see this?

Here are more pictures viewtopic.php?f=5&t=41858&p=246883&hilit=imsa#p246883

I still believe Shawn Grimm's also was commissioned by Steve Kline.
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Re: DEKON built street Monzas

Postby monzaaddict » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:50 am

another ad for car
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