The '65-'72 BranCo Le Montica
Design for the le montica began in August of 1962, the first prototype ( above )
poses for a photo shoot out in front of the factory where production would take place.
In February 1965 the le montica entered limited production with a 250 ci L-6 and a
292 ci V-8, available with 3 and 4 speed manuals respectively.
The car was our biggest project at the time, armed only with knowledge of building
cargo vehicles and industrial oriented engines. Sportiness was unheard of and
it showed on the 1965 model weighing in at 1 1/2 tons unladen, a tall 11.5 inch ride
height and 2000 lbs of cargo capacity on just the base six seater.
Sales were not substantial for '65 but customers from rural and suburb areas adored it because of
those traits. By mid November a face lift and modification of the suspension were
underway, as well as a new line of V-8 power. In April of 1967 the improved montica
hit dealership floors with the base model now the 2 door coupe. The base L-6 was
dropped in favor of the new M/E - 480 V8, with the optional 560 and 700 v8s.
The 1967 le montica sat lower at 9 inches and the ride had been smoothed out
thanks to the redesigned suspension. Disc brakes were now standard in the front
and a 3 speed automatic was now available only with the 700 v8. Then in December
of 1969, everything changed. Enter the 1970 Le Montica RS/428 & 700
Finally for the first time people could have a ( straight line ) performance oriented version
of the the two door coupe, along side the normal 2 & 4 door cars. Available with the
700 & 428 M/E engines producing 175/360* - 348/430* HP and TQ respectively, HD 4 speed
manual and a 3 speed automatic. The car also featured a new front end with dual headlights,
an experimental composite hood and an air dam in the front bumper.
Finally we reach the end of an era for the 1st gen montica. The year is 1971, muscle is more
or less at its height and declining, branco realizing this and does what it thought was best.
CS-1. An all out muscle filled version of the RS built for the drag strip ( or looking cool ). It
features the M/E 428 Special dishing out 390/460* HP & TQ @ 4700/4000 rpm, an SD-A
4 speed manual, posi-traction rear end and completely unique to the year styling and
over sized air vents in the hood that individually fed fresh atmosphere to the dual 4 barrels sitting
atop the 750 pound power plant. Aluminum instead of steel were used for the wheels and the
driveshaft was also aluminum to reduce rotational inertia, the grille was actually functional.
the antenna is for show, it didnt come with a radio.
Equipped with special 275/50/r15 rear slicks from the factory, 0-60 in 5.47 and 1/4
mile in 13.62. It retailed for $3,895.
( * net ratings )