Last September, I announced the Great Vega Hunt: Find and document a running Vega with its original 2300 engine. The hunt turned up nothing except a few links to cars for sale, but with no absolute proof that they were original and running. But long-time CC reader and contributor Amazonray finally did it: he heard about this 1974 Vega, which is located in….Curbsidelandia, no less (Corvallis, OR, specifically). It’s had a rather interesting history, and it’s also for sale. Here’s your chance to own and drive one of the finest GM Deadly Sins anywhere.
Obviously this Vega has had some love and attention lavished on it, including a non-stock paint job, which is shown to best effect in these nice sunset shots in a rural Oregon setting.
Before we pop the hood, let’s take in the interior, which has also gotten a bit of attention. Blue paint has found it’s way on the dash pad.
There’s even a tachometer mounted on the steering column, a device of dubious value in an automatic Vega. Both engines available, the base 75 hp one-barrel and the optional 85 hp two-barrel both developed their power peak at a diesel-like 4,400rpm. Its vibrations were also rather diesel-like. As well as its performance, especially with an automatic. But the great news for 1974 was that the automatic was now a three-speed THM, the two-speed Powerglide having finally been given the heave-ho.
I don’t know which version this one has, but I doubt it makes a whole lot of difference. By modern standards, this is going to be a leisurely ride. But a mighty clean one. By the looks of the four mounting studs for the air cleaner, I’m guessing there’s a two-barrel under it.
Now there’s a bit of a qualifier in this winner of the Great Vega Hunt: its aluminum block has been lined with steel sleeves. Finding an un-sleeved 2300 engine still running would really be a miracle. I’m told that this Vega has had two previous owners, both of whom were Service Writers at Lee Johnson Chevrolet in Kirkland, WA. so you know this baby has led a pampered existence. Who else but a Chevy Service Writer would keep one running, and lavish such love on it? The car has some 100k miles on it.
That steel plate on the side of the cast-iron cylinder head is not original, and I’m stumped as to why it’s there. But there it is, a well running 2300 engine.
So this incredibly rare piece of history can now be yours, as it’s for sale. Brad is handling the sale for its owner, and his number is 541-619-5957. The asking price is…$5995. That’s about twice what it cost new (not adjusted inflation); who says Vegas don’t hold their value?
Related reading: 1971 Vega CC GM’s DS #2 1974 Vega Kammback CC Cosworth Vega CC
Nice looking Vega. I have a friend who had one when I was a boy. It wasn’t as nice as this car, nor did it have any mods to speak of, but for her, it was reliable.
Step aside, everyone – here comes Ed Stembridge with a fistfull of hundred dollar bills!
It has been eons since I have looked closely at a Vega. I love the huge strip speedometer in this cute, sporty little car. I guess all the better to make the many former Impala owners more at home.
Might I suggest the subject of our next search – a Vega with a transplanted Cadillac HT 4100. So, get to work PN and find us a Vegallac!
IIRC, it’s about the same color as his former Vega too.
Yes, the HT4100 would have been a great fit, so light and all. Actually, the 4,5 or 4.9 really would be the ideal V8 swap in a Vega, keeping its front end light. Wonder if anyone has ever done that?
The 215 aluminium V8 from the F-85/Tempest remains a very desirable swap for the Vega (weight is nearly identical to the 2300).
From a post on a Vega forum:
“I think the best V8 Vega variation is the one Chevy built in 1972 (featured in Hot Rod in ’72). The Vega prototype featured an all-aluminum 283, bored out to 302 (leftover from 1959 Corvette experimental testing) The Vega prototype did the quarter mile in 14 sec. with a Turbo Hydra Matic, stock rear axle and street tires. And the car’s handling remained intact with little weight added to the front end. It was test driven at the GM proving grounds with a Cosworth by GM Pres and Vega father Ed Cole. Only the Cosworth got the green light.
An aluminum V8, the 61-63 Buick/Olds 215 V8 (155 hp) is the best and most practical (but obviously not the popular) way to go for the Vega, nearly duplicating the Chevy prototype in execution, if not hardware. D&D Fabrications has been selling these engines and Vega swap kits for nearly 40 years. And no need to change the rear end, tranny or driveshaft, (Saginaw manual equipped-car needed to retain stock driveshaft) just relocate a larger radiator in front of rad support and she fits right in and bolts right up to the stock tranny and driveshaft. (with the mounts, bellhousing and other parts from D&D) 0-60 in 8 seconds, and 40 pounds LESS weight on the front end than the Vega alum/iron 4 so the car’s inherent design strengths (neutral handling/steering) aren’t compromised. This inexpensive,aluminum V8 Vega conversion would make a cool daily driver, and at 20-25 mpg, still a practical one.”
I know; it’s perfect for the Vega. I just wondered if anyone had ever dropped in the Caddy aluminum V8.
I couldn’t find any pics by searching. The H Body Forum has a page with detail on different V8 swaps, and does list some info for the Northstar, tho.
Well, maybe not quite so much, but it’s neat to see anyway. I have a permanent saved search in my eBay app for Vegas, and if I ever find a “barn find” ’71 notch with the 2300, 4speed and no rust, it will be *very* hard to resist. I never really warmed up to the +74 models with the redesigned nose and taillights – Cosworth excepted.
Paul, my car was ‘Mediterranean Blue.’ This appears to be lighter, and as mentioned in the article, is probably not a stock color.
I agree – the originals looked like mini-Camaros to me in a good way. The latter just look like economy cars.
Perhaps this is an obvious question–and one which has been discussed in earlier posts–but was the HT V8 an outgrowth of the Vega four-cyl project? Both are aluminum block, iron head luggers. Though their eventual deaths are apparently due to different causes.
Also, fitting steel sleeves into an aluminum block seems like quite a major undertaking.
There was a healthy cottage industry back in the mid-70s doing Vega block sleeving. No biggie – just bore the block and insert the sleeves. No different from most tractor engines.
The 74 hatchback I bought in April 74 went 170,000 mi. and 11 years with no sleeves. Still ran like new. 34.0 MPG @ 60 MPH.
At 80,000 did valve job. No ridge in the cyl wall.
Not directly. Here’s the thing: GM invested a huge amount in aluminum casting facilities for the Corvair. So it made sense to utilize that for another volume car, like the Vega. I strongly suspect that was a significant reason for the aluminum block in it, as well as the inherent weight savings. But they wouldn’t have gone down that road if it weren’t for the aluminum casting machinery thta was going to be unused with the Corvair’s demise in 1969, just two years before the Vega.
Cast iron/steel cylinder liners were ubiquitous for aluminum engines until the Vega. Aluminum blocks were used fairly commonly going back to the early years of the automobile, and liners were necessary, as the technology to harden the aluminum didn’t exist yet.
And cylinder sleeves were common anyway, not just in aluminum engines. Renault and Peugeot used wet cylinder sleeves in their engines for decades. Big truck engines used them extensively (all the DD diesels). They just pop in; not a big deal. Actually made a rebuild easier than re-boring. The Vega’s sleeves were dry ones. The price was pretty reasonable.
Re: the HT4100: I assume that GM (again) wanted to use its existing aluminum foundry facilities for it, as well as the benefits of the light weight. But other than that possibility, they don’t really have anything in common with the Vega engine.
You make an excellent point about the engine foundry facilities. I hadn’t considered that before, but it makes a lot of sense. That would have been another argument against doing a U.S. version of the Opel CIH, which was cast iron.
It’s not that bad, my friend had to have the clean 76 Pontiac Astre he pulled out of a garage re-sleeved, it was one of the common ways to keep one of these on the road, he did do it in about 2003, so it was a less common thing by that point tough….
Pretty car, but $6k is a little rich for a plebeian Vega with so many miles. Ebay has several Cosworths–THEY are the unsung heros of Vega-dom.
Or maybe many Cosworth owners are selling them. It’s fascinating that on E-Bay I can find several Cosworth Vegas, whose sales were very low (in 1976, before I could even drive, they went for $6,000 new–about double a new Vega–but I was impressed. They seemed quick AND fuel-efficient–just like a Lotus or BMW 2002 or Audi Fox, and I also considered Vegas pretty cars. I didn’t know then what lemons they were–but I digress–again), yet I am hard pressed to find a Rabbit GTI or 85-87 Golf GTI. They sold a lot more Rabbit GTIs in 83-84 than Cosworths in 75-76.
The high surviving number of Cosworth Vegas is like high surviving numbers of 76 Eldo convertibles or 80 Corvette Indy Pace Cars. Everyone thought they were going to be instant collectors items so a comparatively high proportion never made it into the cycle of ordinary used cars. Also, the Cosworths were the only Vegas that would keep running.
At the Carlisle All-GM Show, there is always a large section of Cosworth Vegas on display. Many are in pristine condition, and quite a few were owned for years by the selling dealership. Either the dealer thought it would be a classic, or the dealer simply couldn’t sell it.
Those Cosworth Vegas were quite expensive for the day. If I recall correctly, the price was up in Corvette territory, or at least Camaro LT territory.
The ad says it all…..
The Cosworth Vega is not very fuel effecient considering it is a 4cyl Vega. Their cam grinds were very radical to the point that the idle speed is 1300 rpm IIRC and they had to idle pretty rich to get that low of an idle. Back when I worked at an WA state authorized emissions repair facility one got referred to it when it wouldn’t pass. The state said that the idle rpm had to be under 1200 rpm which of course was lower than the actual spec for this engine. The state rep actually came to our shop and we and the owner showed him all the factory service materials and yet he insisted on trying to get it to idle that low. After a couple of hours of messing around the guy from the state finally issued a wavier.
At 100K that’s probably a good 40K more than most Vegas lasted.
Sleeving the engine actually made it quite reliable. My next youngest brother put my sleeved engine in his Kammback when I did the Buick 3.8l upgrade, and I think the engine went well over 100,000 miles (from the time it was rebuilt with the sleeves).
Is that engine Stock? I see the DOBI logo, haven’t seen that since ads in the back of (IIRC) Car and Driver in the 1970’s, never got one of their catalogs, however.
It’s been rebuilt with cylinder sleeves and such. A (non Cosworth) Vega with its original engine unopened would be the automotive unicorn.
That’s an aftermarket valve cover… lot of “dress up” parts under that hood, which, although not my cup of tea, is pretty neat to see on this particular car.
I was wondering what that logo was, I remember seeing it in old Road & Tracks, it gets my vote for most unintelligible logo of the 1970’s, and that says a lot.
This one looks to be in better shape now, 40 years on, than the 1973 Vega I had in the mid-seventies. Mine had the two barrel carb and a four speed and it was not exactly quick, although it did handle fairly well. I can only imagine how it would drive with the THM; maybe its better for all I know. The four speed had a huge gap between 1st and 2nd, even if you took it to the red line, it still felt like it bogged down when you shifted to second. This particular Vega has apparently been well taken care of; not only has the engine been sleeved, it also has after-market wheels and an after-market stereo. I can’t see myself spending six grand on this car but maybe someone will. Good luck to whoever ends up with it.
My ’71 notchback had the 1bbl and Saginaw 4-speed, and I could chirp second gear every time. It was a base car, and pretty light compared to later models. Most folks who rode with me commented on how quick it was compared to other Vegas they had ridden in.
Once I upgraded to the 3.8l / THM350, they were too busy hanging on for dear life to make any comments…
In ’71 the Vega had a very nice little Opel sourced 4 speed. The Saginaw didn’t come along until ’73. The Opel unit was much nicer to shift than the Saginaw, but even the little 2.3 was taxing it’s torque limit. The Saginaw was the same unit used in Camaros and Novas etc. with small V-8s. It was pretty clunky to shift with the stock linkage.
The 3.8 was a nice engine for a swap with these cars, and didn’t create many of the problems that a V-8 swap did.
Ah – consider me enlightened. And actually, you woke up an old brain cell with the Opel comment – I do seem to remember that now.
I actually had purchased a 4-bolt main 350 for the Vega, but my best friend’s Dad talked me out of using it due to the weight and poor handling it would cause (he had run dirt track with Junior Johnson back in the day, so I figured he knew something).
As I’ve mentioned before, I had a little side business with a buddy building V-8 Vegas. They were good for exactly one thing-straight line acceleration.
The ones we built for sale were just straight engine swaps with TH-350s, enlarged radiator and not much else. 500 bucks for a solid Vega or Astre, 3 or 4 hundred for a small block with trans, a couple hundred for the Hooker conversion kit and headers (we bought a dozen kits from a speed shop that was going under), another 2 hundred for the rad, 2 hundred for the exhaust and a weekend’s work.
We’d sell them through the auto trader paper, clear maybe 1200 bucks and start again. It was basically a way to finance a drag racing hobby.
The ones I built for myself were 4 speed cars, because that’s what I liked. Using a stick added a number of problems to an already marginal proposition, and the last one I built cost me as much as a Camaro or Nova would have. It did run in the low 13s at Spokane and held together pretty well. It was absolutely useless for any other purpose though. Your best friend’s Dad gave you good advice.
I knew a few guys who did V-6 swaps and ended up with a pretty decent handling and performing car that you could actually use, but in those days I had the “low ET bug” pretty bad.
If you think the ’73 was bad, the later cars were even worse. The ’73 used a 3.36 rear end ratio and a Saginaw 4 speed with about 2.7:1 first gear. The spacing between gears was pretty even. In ’74 or ’75 they went to a 2.93 rear end ratio with about a 3.2: 1 first gear, a reasonable spacing to second and then a huge gap to 3rd. The idea was to try and preserve reasonable acceleration away from a stop and pick up a few mpg at cruising speeds. It made for a wretched combination in the real world.
A few years later the same trick was used with most other GM cars equipped with 4 speeds such as the Z-28. Why GM didn’t just come up with a decent 5 speed I don’t know.
Still beats the standard three-speed. It was like a six-speed, with 2nd, 4th and 5th gears missing. 🙂 Or a two-speed with an overdrive.
Nice car, but it’ll take a lot of money to get it Lordstown Gold Certified! Do they deduct for pebbles in the tire treads? 😀
Gotta admit that would be fun. A car show with Bloomington Gold’s insane judging standards open only to matching numbers original examples of GM’s Deadly Sins. I can just imagine the H-Body Rules Subcommittee debating how much rust is considered “factory correct”!
Given that they rusted right in the dealer showroom, you’re not far off base there.
Points off for lack of antifreeze residue in the exhaust pipe! 🙂
The sad part is that the basic design is very attractive – probably one of the best-looking subcompacts of the 1970s.
If only GM had handed over the design to Toyota for production finalization, and let Toyota slip in a new drivetrain, and used the resulting savings to upgrade the interior and rust-proofing. Then we’d have quite a car.
Things were bad enough in Lordstown in those days. The last thing GM needed was a strike and a riot!
Seven years after the Vega’s debut GM was facing lawsuits and bad press because Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles were getting “Chevrolet” engines. Imagine the public uproar circa 1970 had GM put a Japanese engine (never mind how reliable they were) in one of its products.
“If only GM had handed over the design to Toyota for production finalization”
I could go further and say if only GM had handed the design over to Chevrolet. That was one of the car’s biggest problems in development – it was a project of GM Central Engineering (and a pet project of GM president Ed Cole)). Chevrolet Engineering did not have a seat at the table through almost the entire development process. In fact, Chevrolet had done some development work on another small car that would probably have been a much better car, and Chevy Engineering had a bad, bad attitude towards the Vega. According to DeLorean’s book (who was running Chevrolet at the time), it was during the final run-up to production that he sat down with Chevy Engineering people and said something like “Look, our name is going on this thing whether we like it or not, so let’s try to fix as many problems with it as we can.” The Vega was the first car developed outside of one of the regular car Divisions up to that time.
If GM had looked at its various divisions for a powertrain the OHC four used in the FD Victor and CF Bedford van would have been better, Lotus pounced on it and ditched the Ford Kent in favour of it.
Those Vauxhall slant fours never seemed to amount to much over here. Our CFs wound up with the Holden 173 six.
That’s a very nicely preserved example. Even in the late ’70s it was tough to find one without at least the inner fenders rotted out. It’s been a long time since I saw one with the original engine, I do recall sleeved engines being a fairly common fix back in the day. Most people just gave up and flogged them for a few hundred bucks to hot rodders like me though.
The best thing about these engines was the fact you could pull one in an hour without an engine hoist. You just pulled the cylinder head, then unbolted the block from the trans and mounts and 2 guys could easily lift it out using a 2×4 and a chain. Then you tossed the whole works into the back of a pickup and hauled it the dump.
If GM had paid just a little more attention to rust proofing and come up with a decent engine the Vega would have been a pretty good car instead of the joke it ended up as.
A shame really.
Chevrolet Division did have an all-aluminum 4-cylinder engine in the works (nearing production tooling), but were told by corporate to use the cast iron head nearly at the last moment. One of the prototype engines was used in the XP-898 concept car:
Perhaps it has been discussed here before, but given that the Vega’s manual transmissions were Opel-sourced (or at least Opel-designed), was any consideration given to using the Opel 1.9L for the Vega? Had it been marketed right (“best of Europe and America” sort of thing) it may have worked.
I have no provenance for this, but I did run across a blurb elsewhere that the Vega was actually originally intended to use the Opel engine until the GM Rotary was ready for production. That doesn’t jive well with other histories I’ve read, so YMMV and a grain of salt, etc.
Everything I’ve ever read has it that the Vega was to get a new engine, Chevy was working up a design, but when the Vega development was given to the corporate Engineering Staff, they developed their own new engine, the one used in the end. DeLorean clearly said in his book that Chevy had a new engine design close to ready for production.
The Opel engine wouldn’t have been used for a number of reasons.One is just the “not invented here” syndrome. The Opel high-cam engine wasn’t all that fresh anymore, and was at or near its displacement limit. GM wanted a high-torque engine for American driving style and power accessories, and the Vega was heavier than the Opel.
The Vega used an Opel-sourced four speed the first two years, because there wasn’t a ready source from the US. But that’s the only part that made it into the Vega. It was a clean-sheet car otherwise.
Yep, that matches what I’ve read as well.
Also, using the Opel CIH would have presented Chevrolet with two not-very-happy possibilities: (1) spending the money to convert the CIH to English dimensions from metric and tooling a U.S. plant to build an engine that wasn’t really what Chevrolet wanted anyway or (2) essentially purchasing the engines from Opel, which I assume would have been pricey because it would have meant transportation costs and import duties on top of the actual price of the engines.
Man there is some seriously long linkage to the master cyl.
Back in the mid 80’s when I was about 6 years old, the father of a friend of mine had a black Vega Kammback. One with this style of slanted nose so it was a later model but, as it wasn’t an uncommon car at the time, I never asked what year. I always thought it looked good, though, and as it still existed in the 80’s, it may have been one of the better ones. Rode in it on several occasions but the interior didn’t make any sort of impression.
Here is a dobi catalog for the Vega.
The catalog brings back memories. As a high school student cheap and good looking were the big appeal. The early Vegas looked a little like a baby Camaro.
I bought one with a good body and a ruined engine. After a short block and adding steel sleeves and I had a dependable car for a price I could afford and I learned a lot about working on cars.
I always dreamed of doing things to the car to get more power so I spent a lot of time looking at aftermarket parts catalogs.
My experience with the Vegas I owned was positive. To put that in perspective if zero is the worst and ten is the best the Vega GT with a steel sleeve engine was probably a six.
+1 on the catalog. Brought back a lot of memories for me, too. I lusted after many of those components – headers was about all I ever could afford until I did the V6 swap. Mated to an 18″ Cherry Bomb glasspack, the 2300 actually sounded pretty hot.
I have always thought these were good looking cars, even when I would see them abandoned in people’s yards after the engine went.
Mere mention of the word Vega can still cause me to wince.
Oh, Oh, pick me, pick me!!!
Oh wait, it’s an automatic. How I remember that growth upon the transmission hump from my own Vega driving days.
I see the standard Vega “dissolving goo” steering wheel has been replaced, as have the “chalk-o-matic” door panels.
The deal breaker for me is they painted all the trim. Pass. Although, I would like to drive a Vega just one more time in my life.
GM really did mail it in on the gear shift housing. It would have been so easy to make a little console. It looked so bare and cheap.
Had a puke green with green interior 71 fastback with 4 speed and 2bbl engine I bought for $500.00 around 1979. Got a set of like new take off radial tires for a Scirocco off the Recycler (remember that?) for $100.00. Drove it for about a year, water pump went out, replaced that and t-belt. Had a electrical problem that caused the starter to engage while engine was running, but after I pulled the battery cable off to stop it, it never happened again. Burned my fingers pretty badly, however. Sold it for $600.00 after I got the engine rebuilt on the 66 fastback I bought to replace it. It used some oil but ran pretty good, as long as you kept rpm’s down it was not too rough running. It did handle well on Angels Crest Hwy. I noticed the transmission had a big weight hanging off it, I guess for vibration control. Transmission did seem to make a lot of noise but shifted ok. For a cheap car when I was low on funds, it served me well. I never noticed any rust on it, but this was in Southern California.
Funny, you can write 66 fastback and we all instantly know the make and model.
Dodge Charger? AMC Marlin? Plymouth Barracuda? VW Type 3?
Volkswagen Type 3. Forgot that part. Never get older, it does your memory no favors.
Now, of course this brings back memories of my orange ’76 hatchback. It also had an automatic, and I called it the Vegamatic. Back when I sold it 12 years ago, it still had the original (unopened) engine, with about 143K miles on it. I sold it because I had nowhere to park it and it had an automatic. It was still running great when I sold it, and I’ll always wonder what became of it, but you can’t look up a car that old using Carfax. I sold it to a guy named Doug. He was the sort of person who would frequent this website. Doug, if you’re out there, what did you do with my Vega?
BTW, I can’t believe they’re asking for $6000; that’s a bit much for a Vega, even a nice one. I gave Doug a much better deal… too good!
A car like this for $5,995 is certainly attractive but I would be afraid to drive it anywhere. You would be worried constantly about door dings and theft. But screw it these were meant to be driven and not squirreled away in some garage.
I’ve always thought this cars were just the right design for the time – smaller, sleek. So unfortunate that they botched the engine. Imagine if they hadn’t – I think this would have been one of their better sellers of the decade. It was one of a handful of times where they actually built exactly what people were looking for, a smaller but American car – but they just couldn’t follow through.
Such a nice looking car, but shame GM screwed up so badly.
Attractive and unfortunate. I wonder if anyone at GM had any idea in ’74 how much damage this car had done with a younger generation that was starting on a Japanese car binge while this was rolling down the assembly line.
Well, the exterior color is beautiful, any car in that shade of baby blue makes me want to own it at least a little.
The Vega is definitely “cute”. It reminds me oddly of a puppy or small spaniel that wants to be petted. It doesn’t seem like something that was meant to be driven, rather, just waxed gently and fussed over by passing groups of pretty girls.
I always liked the looks of the Vega, especially the 1st-gen, small bumper ones…
Speaking of engine swaps in these…..
Mildly breathed on Miata 4-banger and 5-speed stick???
If it were…
-and had a turbo Ecotec hooked to a 5 or 6-speed manual…I’d be interested.
Anyone notice that it has a glovebox? It must have come with the new 1974 styling.
If your car doesn’t have a glovebox, you might be a cheapskate!
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy…
My ’71 had a cubby hole where this car has a blank-off plate. If you got A/C, the vents went there. Not sure about ’74-up, but ’71-73 did not have a glove compartment (i.e. a door you could open in front of the passenger seat). The pic shows the GT dash I put in my car – it originally had the strip speedo dash (also with the same cubby).
Yet everyone derides the Maverick for not having a glove box when it was introduced.
Surprised no one has mentioned a 4.3 Chev V6 and 6 speed swap yet…
My mom saw this one recently, assumed to have a V8
A Deadly Sin question- the Vega was handed over to Corporate Engineering for development. Was it about this time that the divisions lost their engineering autonomy? To me it seems that once that autonomy was gone, the number of engineering problems seem to increase, particulary with engines. Were the disastrous diesel V8s and Cadillac V8 Corporate Engineering jobs, or still handled by the divisions?
Can’t speak for the V-8-6-4, but the diesels were definitely Oldsmobile’s baby. Historically, Olds Engineering was a “Skunk Works” for GM where the latest technological advancements were developed. Hydramatic, GM’s OHV V8s, integrated air conditioning and the FWD Unitized Power Package were all developed at least in part by Olds.
Not everything new and different that came out of the lab in Lansing was a winner. The Jetfire turbo V-8 (which required a steady dose of methanol to keep it from pinging itself to death) and the diesel were the most dubious examples.
I always thought the Vega was corporate payback against Delorean for the GTO. Although it was a success, there was a lot of animosity and jealousy towards him because of his end-run around corporate policy to put that big of an engine in the Lemans. It was like, “Here, smart guy. Make this work…”.
Beautiful example of this car. Not sure about the paint scheme, but it beats gaping rust holes any day. And those slot mags…nice choice! Just too bad this has a slusher on a 4 banger…
This car is such a tragedy. Easily one of the better looking bodies ever penned by GM. Just such a shame it turned out to be such a poorly made POS.
I do remember one of these in the area where I grew up. White with midnite blue rally stripes, skinnies up front, fatties out back and a mildly worked over 350 under the hood. Such a sweet looking ride, and the power to weight ratio had to be insane!
I will not soon forget seeing a white over turquiose ’71 Vega coupe at Barrett Jackson a few years back. It had, literally, 35 miles on the odometer.
And the easily visible quality flaws were something. Parts barely aligned, visible thin spots in the paint. Just appalling.
Paul/Perry, here’s a suggestion for GM’s Deadly Sin #22……
Little did anybody know nor care that today’s Chevrolet Cruze as shown on this photo montage compilation was the spiritual successor to both the Chevrolet Vega and Monza.
How is that possible? After the Vega, which was rear-wheel drive, cars after it were front-wheel drive.
Being Front Wheel nor Rear Wheel Drive had nothing to do with it. Remember after 1979, the RWD Chevrolet Nova (1975-79) was replaced by the FWD Chevrolet Citation (1980-85) then the Corsica and Beretta (1988-1996) duos and from 1997 through ultimately up to the present day the FWD Chevrolet Malibu. Same can be said with the 1978-83 RWD Malibu. It was eventually replaced by the 1982-90 Celebrity in 1984, Lumina from 1989-01 and 2000 through the present day Impala. I can go on and on and the driving wheels once again had nothing to to with it and I concur. The only Chevrolets which strictly remained RWD through today would be the Corvette, Camaro, SS and the Caprice PPV – only available for the Law Enforcement Fleets (an actual spiritual successor to the larger Caprice from 1996.)
My very first New car was a 74 Vega. My dad said he would sign for me if I saved up 1/3 for the down payment so I finally saved the $900 and I had my very first new car (my first old car was a 64 Chevy Biscayne). The Vega was a great car. At least for 24,000 miles. Then it was all downhill. The engine blew up not long after that. I don’t miss it at all.