The Car From Training Day - Alonzo Harris' Chevrolet Monte Carlo

The excellent 2001 film Training Day stars Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and a very tasty 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
A Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen in Training Day
A Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen in Training Day

Anything Denzel Washington says or does is cool. It’s an undisputed fact. So if Denzel Washington drives a car, then it’s a cool car.

All of which brings us to the 2001 film Training Day, which has Denz playing Alonzo Harris, a brash cop schooling a rookie, Jake Hoyt (played by Ethan Hawke), and driving a 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

“This car is not from the motor pool,” says Jake when he first sees the Chevy.

“No it’s not,” replies Big D with a grin. “Sexy though, isn’t it?”

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This particular Monte Carlo has a few tweaks, notably a blarty Flowmaster exhaust, Dayton wire wheels, and bouncing hydraulics to jack or slam it as required. And a non-factory sunroof for some reason.

It’s also got a Dr Dre soundtrack when it’s first introduced in the movie. Cool. So cool, in fact, that thieves stole it during production of the movie. However, the crew had it back within 24 hours, thanks to the help of local gang members in Los Angeles. Yes, really.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen in Training Day
Chevrolet Monte Carlo seen in Training Day

In the pantheon of classic American muscle cars, the Monte Carlo isn’t usually one of the first that springs to mind, so what’s it all about? The first Monte Carlo was launched in 1969, and the third-generation car featured in Training Day was introduced back in 1978.

While you could eventually get the car with a V8, this particular model had the 200 CID (3.3-litre) Chevy V6 under the bonnet, which sounds impressive (on paper and in the movie thanks to that exhaust). But then you realise that old American engines made naff all power by modern standards – the 300 CID in 1979 made a grand total of 94bhp, and even though the tweaked movie car had torque upped from 154lb ft to 235lb ft according to Hot Cars, it still took 11 seconds to lumber from 0-60mph.

Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington aboard a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in Training Day
Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington aboard a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in…

But hey, don’t it look good? Edges galore, the aerodynamics of a wall and a boot big enough to store as much illicit evidence as you can kill, sell or snort. And when it’s dropped to the ground, it’s got presence that most modern cars would kill for.

So, is it the ultimate muscle car? Without wanting to spoil Training Day too much, Alonzo Harris’s opinions aren’t always ones you want to follow. So… no. It’s not powerful, or fast, but it does look badass and goes well with a bit of Dr Drizzle. And that goes a long way.


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