Back in September 2013, I launched the Great CC Vega Hunt. The goal was to find a Vega 2300 with its original engine and in running condition. Now clearly the intent was to find a genuine curbside CC that met those conditions. There have been a number of comment and pictures left over the years, and we’ve even featured one, but it really wasn’t all that original.
But here—thanks to CC reader Sam who tipped me off to this ad—we have something very special indeed, even if it’s not exactly curbside in the preferred sense. It’s ’72 sedan, and very much original, with only 8433 miles on it. That means you can buy it and experience an inevitable engine failure! How’s that for reliving the early 70s? The next best thing to a genuine time capsule.
This is a base sedan, with that very base interior. Yuck. I like how the carpet has turned from green to orange. or is it the other way around?
Of course the big question is if this engine was ever opened up. As in repaired. Or did it escape that fate in its first 8433 miles?
I never tire of seeing this side of the Vega engine block and thinking to myself “WTF were they thinking?” A cast iron head (still sporting its aluminum paint) on an aluminum block, and a very strangely-shaped head at that. No one’s ever done one like that before, or since. Did it pop into an engineer’s head after one of those vaunted three-martini lunches? More likely a three beer lunch, but the same effect.
The poor little Vega; it’s so button-cute, and it deserved better in life than to end up as an icon of GM’s blunders, or a Deadly Sin, in other words.
Well, strictly speaking, that’s subject to debate, as a DS has to have materially contributed to GM’s long slide, or not done anything to help arrest it. Although GM did get a black eye from the Vega, and undoubtedly turned off many customers looking for a domestic small car, and did Toyota and other Japanese imports a huge favor, GM didn’t yet show it in terms of market share, which actually went back up to a last peak in 1978. But I’m not going to change the DS status I gave it way back, the second one to be so honored. GM would have been stronger if this had been a better car.
A somewhat older friend in Towson bought a 1971 coupe in 1971, equipped like this one with the base 90 hp (gross) engine teamed up to the Powerglide. When I came back to visit, I insisted on a drive, as the Vega was still very new at the time.
His hatchback was green outside, and the same green inside as this one. I turned the key, and couldn’t believe how rough the big four idled. I was spoiled, having steeped myself in several friends’ new Toyotas in Iowa City. This sounded more like a Model A engine.
Needless to say, it was anything but peppy with the two speed Powerglide and a low (numerical) axle. It was sad to hear it slowly churning away, like a Buick Dynaflow straight eight from the early 50s with half its plugs pulled. But it did handle quite nicely, it’s one redeeming feature, along with its looks.
Here’s the proof. At least Chevy wasn’t unrealistically optimistic about the speedometer, what with it topping out at 100. Not that it would ever get there.
Did you use to think as a little kid that cars could go as fast as their speedometers read to?
And now, to the grand finale: this gem of a Vega can be yours for a mere $9,900. Come on; one of you has to spring for it, and make it the official mascot car of CC. You know you want it. And what a story it will make when you document that first blown engine.
More Vega goodness: