Wasteland Wheels: The Monster Carlo

Ignition kicks on a deep rumble you can feel in your chest. The ground shakes underfoot; 200 angry horses driving pistons to a fury beneath the hood. Armor plating vibrates, metal on metal adding its voice to the symphony. Dark smoke streams from the vertical exhaust stacks, as if to signal by sight what sound fails to announce. The “Monster Carlo” is merely idling.

Out on the road, the Monster makes no pretense of stealth. Its approach intimidating, and appearance in the rear view mirror unsettling. Step on the gas, and better hope your nitrous is working should you find this mean post-apocalyptic ride on your tail!

Long time Mad Max enthusiast Ron Griffith has gone all-out in his post-apocalyptic creation. No detail overlooked – right down to the brass knuckle hood ornament which also functions as a hood latch. From the chrome ram prow (which rumor has it used to belong to the mayor of California City) to the mounted rocket boosters, head to tail Ron’s Monster Carlo is a rolling, functional piece of art.

















Armed with a number of vehicular weapons, the Monster is well prepared to defend itself. . . if by defend one means to smash through blockades, ram other vehicles, or take out the baddies with a roof-mounted, saw blade thrower. Yeah, that thing really slings blades.










Not to worry, Ron’s made sure all the blades and pointy things are “Disney” sharp and he constructed the saw blade launcher with a removable firing mechanism. No accidental maiming when the Monster makes its first public appearance at Wasteland Weekend 2012. We’ll save the real weapons for the apocalypse.

















Ron Griffith, owner & operator of Phoenix Auto Body in California City, is no stranger to fixing vehicles. He and his crew spent 3 months building the Monster in their spare time, scrounging up discarded parts and bartering with the local junk yards for anything they didn’t already have. At age 53, Ron proves you’re never too old to pick up a new hobby.

“We’re so used to making vehicles look like new, it was really fun making one that looked like hell.” says Ron. “Ever since I saw the ‘The Road Warrior,’ I’ve always wanted to build something like this.”








Take your pick of apocalyptic scenarios – the Monster will probably survive all of them. The V8 350 motor hails from the day when vehicles ran without computers, when just popping the hood gave you access to everything you needed to repair. Forty years and still running.










Our featured model, Kourtney Kaos, is a long-time friend of Ron’s and had a special attraction to the Monte Carlo before it was transformed into the Monster.

“I’ve always kinda thought of that car as mine,” Kourtney confesses. “I wanted it the first time I saw it. Getting to drive it around for the photo shoot is the next best thing.”










This will be Ron’s first year attending Wasteland Weekend, but he already feels like a long time veteran. We’d like to thank him and his crew for all their efforts preparing for the event. Look for the Monster-Carlo at Wasteland Weekend 2012. You can’t miss it.






















Base Vehicle: 1972 Chevy Monte Carlo
Engine: Stock Chevy 350cid, with modified exhaust.
Horsepower: 200
Front End: Big block front springs, no shocks, disc brakes
Rear End: 3:07 gears non posi
Suspension: Overweight springs front and rear
Wheels: 15” centerline front, 17” Jaguar rear, any tires that fit.
Estimated Weight: Heavy!
Estimated Mileage: Yeah right.
Street Legal: Not currently, but could be.
Nitrous: Onboard, non functional.
Rockets: WWII solid rocket booster, converted. Not functional.
Tanks: 1950’s era flight line fire extinguishers, converted to fuel/air tanks.
Windscreen: Modified satellite dish.
Front Bumper: Distressed chrome push bar and 3/8 steel channel iron ram.
Rear Bumper: Stock
Interior: Chevy Vega front bucket seats. No back seats, just weapon racks and fuel.
Exhaust: 6 foot exhaust stacks run vertical from front fender. No Mufflers.
Doors: Welded Perforated Steel Planking (PSP) attached to stock hinges.
Armor: Rear covers (removable)
Seating: Carries 3 riders – two in the front, and one in the rear rumble seat.
Weaponry: Roof-mounted saw blade slingshot w/reload rack.

The Monster Carlo: Ron Griffith
Model: Kourtney Kaos
Costume: Karol Bartoszynski
Photography: Adam Chilson
Article: Adam Chilson