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This 2002 Intimidator Edition Monte Carlo
is owned by Kathi and Craig Witkowski
Eighteen years of cheering for Chevy drivers, especially Dale Earnhardt, at hundreds of NASCAR stock car races, and a number of Chevy cars led up to my most expensive oil change ever, resulting in the ultimate Monte Carlo for us!
The first time I saw a Monte Carlo SS was in 1984, when a friend showed me his latest car – a blue 1984 SS. From that moment, I knew I had to get a Monte SS of my own! My first Monte Carlo was a white 1985 SS, but it would not be my last.
I started following the NASCAR Winston Cup races and cheered on all the Chevy drivers in their Monte Carlos, the body style used by the Chevy teams in NASCAR at that time. Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip were the ones I cheered for most, with their “never give up” approach to racing. When Chevrolet came out with the Aerocoupe and put it on the racetrack, it just looked so sweet! I traded in the ’85 for a maroon dealer demo ’87 Aerocoupe, just before Chevy ceased production of their rear-wheel drive G body cars. As Chevy changed to the Lumina for the street and the track, I also purchased a Lumina Z34 for the street. I kept the Aerocoupe though, as a “last gasp” of the Chevy rear-wheel V8 luxury coupe era. And I kept cheering even more for Dale Earnhardt.
When Chevy brought back the Monte Carlo nameplate, the ’93 Lumina Z34 was traded in for a ’96 Monte Carlo Z34. When Kathi and I were married at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s victory lane in October ’96, we took two “wedding laps” around the track with our decorated Monte. That car was then traded in for a 2000 Monte Carlo SS. We had it for less than two years when we found our latest prize – a 2002 Intimidator Edition Monte SS.
Kathi’s Silverado was in for its first oil change and routine service at our favorite dealer, Marchese Chevrolet, when we got a call from the manager that they had a car they knew was for us. When we walked in the showroom, my jaw hit the floor. Kathi and I are devout Earnhardt fans and I just drooled seeing this car in-person! But we had just bought the truck a month before. I couldn’t justify buying another vehicle so soon. The manager insisted that we take it for a test drive right then. By the time we returned from the 15-minute drive, the manager had a credit check completed and the papers drawn up for a sale! The manager worked out a deal with Kathi while I remained in the car. The ’00 that we purchased from them 19 months prior was going back to them, and we would pick up The Intimidator on my birthday. Talk about an expensive oil change – we changed a car too! But what a great birthday present!! Marchese Chevrolet decorated the car with Chevy red ribbons and even had a birthday cake for me.
The powertrain is the standard 3.8L 200HP V6 with a 4-speed automatic overdrive transaxle. The car has only the slightest of modifications – a pair of Vent Visors and the original NY license plates were also “upgraded” to Dale Earnhardt NASCAR license plates. New York is one of a handful of states that issue NASCAR plates, and we were able to find an appropriate plate for this car: “3 RCR”. The Intimidator edition is loaded with every option, and that’s the only way they were produced. It has OnStar; power sunroof; driver info center with trip computer, compass and programmable garage door openers; six-speaker stereo with CD and cassette; heated leather power seats; even an engine block heater! Racing insignia include the Dale Earnhardt signature script on the speedometer, passenger dash panel and C-post, the RCR logo and trademarked stylized number 3 made famous by Dale in various locations, the Intimidator insignia on the front floor mats and trunk, and a red bowtie stitched on each of the front headrests. This car is number 630 of 3333 made, as documented in a certificate received from Chevrolet. A portion of the purchase price of each Intimidator was donated by Chevrolet to the charity “The Foundation for the Carolinas” in Dale’s memory.
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