Curbside Classic: 1974 Vega Kammback – GM’s Deadly Sexy Sin #2, Take Two

(first posted 3/25/2011)    A found Vega is a terrible thing to waste, so even though we’ve done one already, let’s indulge in a little Take Two. But let’s do it a bit differently. Instead of prattling on about all of its ills, how about its thrills? In 1974, the Vega was a sexy little beast; it was guaranteed to attract at least two Vega Girls, sometimes three, according to its maker’s brochure. With the help of oldcarbrochure’s time capsule files, let’s intersperse my dull and dreary images with the memorable scenes that a Vega buyer inevitably found themselves in, having signed on the dotted GMAC bottom line. That is, if they bought the right model and color scheme.

Yes, every Vega buyer instantly had two beautiful Vega girls at his disposal, thanks to the irresistible appeal of its handsome interior, but you did have to fork over extra for the “Rainier” cloth upholstery. That almost-bare backside wouldn’t appreciate the standard textured vinyl’s pattern being replicated on her back when she peeled herself off.

No wonder this owner kept his Vega so long; the memories of his two babes frolicking with their flowers on the front seat of his Vega in 1974 were just too much to part with. That explains the seat covers; need to protect the proof of those memories.

Maybe there was a bit of wishful thinking involved: that girl in the brochure is fondling the four-spoke GT steering wheel. That’s what it took, my friend. You were too cheap to order the GT panel.

Perhaps the GT four spoke wheel was made of higher quality plastics too, more sensitive to the touch, unlike the biodegrading polymers on this cheap two-spoke wheel.

Possibly you just bought the wrong body style. If you’d bought the hatchback, you too would have a snapshot of your two well-dressed honeys figuring out where the hell the highway is. It’s always better to have two navigators along, especially if you’re fooling around while on the road. But that open field was just so inviting…

No, you bought the Kammback, thinking of course that ultimately it was the best one for the real act of sex, not just those dreamy images in the brochure hinting coyly at it. But first you have to attract those Vega Girls; they don’t actually come with the car. Certain legalities, it turns out, prevented Chevy from doing so, although it was seriously considered as an option.

Let’s not forget that no less than John Z. DeLorean was running Chevy at the time, and given that the Vega wasn’t exactly a GTO, something new had to be concocted to move the metal in those Monday morning marketing meetings. What else is going to be on the minds of a bunch of guys on Monday morning?


Yes, that could have been you there, gazing up at your adoring Vega Girl #1, if you’d just bought the hatchback with the Sports Decor Package. Uh oh; looks like someone is after your Vega Girl #2. Best to stay away from that rough and tumble motorcycle crowd; they’re like cavemen. They just grab em and bolt…

Back to the Sports Decor Package: lots of tough choices. I recommend the lime green with orange myself; a very sexy combination indeed. Clearly it sends out the right signals to potential Vega Girls.

I guarantee you, if you’d ordered that lime green-orange combo, the back of the come-back would have been put to much better use than transporting the passenger side door panel, which keeps falling off. No, it wasn’t because you kept squeezing two girls in the front seat.

Now there’s absolutely nothing sexy about this Vega brochure picture, but Chevrolet did want to point out that sometimes two squirters are better than one. That’s just what it takes, for a really dirty job. And she looks so appreciative of it too.

If you’re into multiples inside your Vega, it’s good for everyone to know what they’re going to get into, literally. That, and preferably be of small stature, because it does get a bit crowded, especially in a hatchback. So just to make sure everyone knows what’s they’re going to be doing, it’s best to draw up a detailed written plan, kind of like the plays the football coach drew on the blackboard. Hurry up and memorize it; those Vega Girls look so eager!

If only the Vega’s engine was half so eager as those Vega Girls. Well, it certainly knew how to grind and vibrate; when it ran, that is. But just not with much enthusiasm. Even ordering the “higher output” two barrel engine only bumped the horsepower from 75 to 85. But hey, by 1974 the Vega had a genuine three-speed THM automatic! No more Powerglide to suck away all the driving thrills.

Here’s an encouraging tidbit: every Vega comes with a 94 page Do-It-Yourself Service manual detailing how to R&R the valve guides, reline the cylinders, rebuild the carburetor, rust proof the front fenders and cowl…Chevy was thinking beyond its scant warranty!

Does someone want to decipher the VIN to make sure this is really a ’74? Otherwise I’m going to have to pull all those sexy pictures. The 1975 Vega brochure is a very dull affair; all about how Chevy had finally made the Vega truly more durable, instead of just sexy. Right. Well, sexiness is such a fleeting thing. The next time you look, there’s holes in your front fender.

Forget about 1975, we’re still in innocent 1974. And look at those Vega Girls! See how excited they get when you stick that gas nozzle into the Vega’s orifice. Fill ‘er up! Once again, you see, it’s a hatchback. And with stripes too. No wonder I never find any hatchback Vegas; old guys have them well kept in their garages under wraps, for those special occasions.

Nothing sexy about this Kammback’s el-cheapo molded door panel. That’s what you get for not paying extra for a proper up-grade interior; this is the one that started the whole tired Rubbermaid comparison, seriously.

Now that’s no Rubbermaid. Those are genuine in-the flesh Vega Girls; and now there’s three of them. More just keep wanting to hop in. Too bad that’s about as many as will fit comfortably in an orange striped Vega hatchback. Four would be a blast!

It will take a Kammback for that, and here it is. Just hustle it over to MAACO (do they still have orange?), head to an upholstery shop and ask if they have any “Rainier” fabric left over, and you too can re-live the fabulous sexy 1974 Vega lifestyle. Don’t delay; I’m not sure I’ll ever find another one again. And those Vega Girls aren’t exactly getting any younger.