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?