Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega Barn Find

Update 9/3/20 – This Cosworth Vega has resurfaced here on eBay.

From 8/22/20 – Over the years, we have covered many advertisements for Cosworth Vegas. There’s no denying that this one is a real barn find. You can see more information here at Facebook Marketplace. This car is a 1976 Cosworth that is numbered #3470 and has only 32,000 miles on the odometer. The car is located in Arlington, Texas which is in the Dallas Fort Worth area and is one of the last few Cosworth Vegas produced.

This is a true barn find that has no rust and is still equipped with the original GM belts and OEM hoses. The fuel tank and fuel injectors have been rebuilt along with new BF Goodrich tires. The car was originally sold in Garden Grove, California, and is equipped with California emissions.

The seller shows some pictures of the car in the barn/shed and then in the light with years of dust still on the car. Based on the “after” pictures, the car seems to have cleaned up nicely although there is some corrosion on the aluminum parts.

The tiny 122 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder engine generated 110 horsepower from the factory and was built with a twin-cam cylinder head designed by Cosworth of England. Approximately, 3,500 Cosworth Vegas were built in 1975 and 1976. The interior of the car looks very nice with the engine turned dash bezel and the manual transmission shifter sticking up between the black vinyl bucket seats.

While these cars seem timid by today’s standards, it was exciting to see Chevrolet try something new in 1975 and continue to offer it in 1976. They had just dropped the Z28 package from the Camaro line and the horsepower options in the Corvette were disappointing. Usually, we see Cosworth Vegas listed in the $3,000 to $8,000 range. Is this one nice enough to justify the premium?


  1. alphasud Member

    Don’t try to get this one smogged in California or Denver until you replace the secondary air injection system. It is a rare site to see factory headers on a mid 70’s domestic.

    Like 6
    • Bear

      Yep! The air injection system hardware is normally pretty obvious (& ugly) in the engine bay of this year/model. It is good to see it absent on this nice example, but it would be difficult to pass a visual smog check without it. :-O

      Like 1
  2. Mark

    But but but but….. It’s still a Vega!

    They were certainly the best Vegas ever built by Chevrolet but if they taken the same technology and put it in a different car it would’ve been a much better vehicle.

    Like 5
    • Bmac777

      You said it perfect Mark, It’s still a Vega
      They were what they were supposed to be, cheap transportation.
      One of my friends had one and sometimes it wouldn’t start, just cranking over but nothing, he throws a qt of oil in and vroom. just needed something to fill the gaps in the aluminum engine.
      I knew of a couple V8 conversion’s and just wondered why?
      A lot of work for a car that rode crappy ,handled worse and couldn’t brake, and the worst part was it became an oven inside
      But like the Maverick’s they were fun little beaters and everyone’s got a Vega story

      Like 8
      • Mountainwoodie

        Beat me to it. It still a Vega. lol.

        A Vega is a Vega is a Vega.

        My best boyhood pal had a first year Vega wagon..we did some very bad things in that wagon……..but it was still humiliating back then to drive a Vega. Like BMAC said.everyone has a Vega story,

        Like 4
      • Bob K

        There was a low oil pressure engine shutoff that would kill the electric fuel pump if oil level got low. And they did burn oil. Mine burned a quart every 50 miles or less with only 29,000 miles. Loved the car but rust was a big problem. Best thing that happened was it got rear ended at 56,000.

        Like 3
  3. MoragaPulsar


    Here is a 20K+ one on BAT now (8/22/20).


    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      I saw that one last week. I was going to submit it to be featured here. If I’m spending this money for a Vega I’m getting that orange one. 32,000 miles really isn’t low mileage for one of these.

      Like 1
    • Bear

      39 miles? Orange? Cloth seats?
      THAT is one rare Cosworth Vega combo!! :-O
      Should set the bar for max $$ that these cars can sell for!

      Like 4
      • Superdessucke

        Correct. BaT buyers tend to be very well-heeled and prices on that site usually substantially exceed that what you’d see in the “real” world. I’d argue it’s right up there with Barrett-Jackson.

        So that auction should tell us the high bar for one of these indeed, just like that 1990 61 mile ZR1 Corvette is going to tell us the maximum price for a C4.

        Like 0
      • CJinSD

        Adjusted for inflation, that orange Vega cost $29,155.01 in 1976, so its rate of return for 34 years of storage and insurance didn’t make it a lucrative investment.

        Like 0
  4. Arby

    “Aluminum corrosion” but no rust?
    On a Vega?

    Wanna bet?

    Like 5

    Another ho hum Cosworth Vega. It is funny that when you see them 98% of the time they are always NON running. There is a reason. It is also funny that everyone that sees them has a perceived value that they are actually worth money.

    The last local one I saw for sale had 70,000 miles. The standard non running. Broken timing belt 30 years ago (my guess) but was only $750. The best thing about it was the window sticker.

    Thought for a min that it would be cool to use the driveline from my wrecked Honda S2000 and revive it. The benefit would have been not only would it start and run. But it would run. Really run.

    Then reality set in that it was still a Vega. It’s great if you are into them. They were a lot of hype when new and not a good product. Sad but true.

    Like 5
  6. TimM

    Could be a fun build if the cars not a rusted hulk!! Get it running and doing everything it’s supposed to and drive the tires off it at a price that doesn’t break the bank!!

    Like 1
    • AMCFAN

      Get it running and not break the bank. Never ever going to happen. I am sure every example of Cosworth Vega that survives as a whole ran when parked. NOT.

      These were never a high mileage vehicle. The people who did buy new as drivers crapped out around 70-80,000 or less Which is a plus as the initial run of standard production Vegas were 20-35,000 miles.

      Its sad GM didn’t perfect a simple 4 cylinder engine in the 1970’s and it wasn’t because they never had the resources. The Japanese were already building them. It’s ironic with the failure of the Vega that they had the balls to made such a creation that cost double the price for a head scratching 26 more horsepower than a GT. I mean for a few dollars more you could have bought a new Corvette…….Not that it would be worth more but chances are good it’s still running.

      Like 3
  7. Lynn Dockey Member

    this car was always on my radar when they were new, local dealer had one in the showroom. once I drove one i wasnt nearly as impressed. like the old story, its not the kill its the thrill of the chase

    Like 1
  8. John

    Vegas were built by disgruntled hippies and were POSs from day 1. Cosworth means a more expensive POS. Save your money.

    Like 4
  9. Goatsnvairs

    Seller is dreaming on price. Nice ones of these go regularly for $7-8000. As noted, there is one on BAT right now with just 39 ORIGINAL MILES and it has only bid to $21,500.

    Like 1
  10. Dave Mathers

    I ordered THREE 73 Cosworth Vegas. Dumb, dumb, dumb!! Due to the crazy pricing we couldn’t sell them. Finally had one guy buy two of them and then finally we sold the last one. The problem is that the prices had not been established when we ordered them. In my opinion this car is overpriced. But that is the beauty of the free market. It’s only worth as much as somebody will pay for it.

    Like 4
  11. Karl

    Exactly HOW FUN COULD IT BE? It’s still a vega with a tiny splash of lipstick. I am not sure the word “FUN” applies!

    Like 2
  12. Charlie Smallman

    Y’all are hilarious. I had two Vegas, a ’72 GT and a ’75 Cosworth. Both went over 100k miles, and oil consumption was around a quart every 2000 miles for each. I drove the crap out of both of them, autocrossing the Cosworth many times. I replaced the EFI with a brace of Weber 45DCOE’s; they really woke it up. It may have been a Vega, but the heart and soul was a lot more. It never broke, it never let me down. I sold it to another Cosworth owner looking for a parts car for his much sharper ’76. After driving mine, he changed his mind about parting it out…

    Like 1
  13. andrew smith

    I had three Vega’s, all used, and had few problems other than one had a rear rusted out frame that made braking fun, but I drove it anyway. I thought they looked great and regret selling them. One I bought with 35K on it and that one ran flawlessly, even in Michigan winters. I am bewildered by these disappointing story’s.

    Like 0
  14. James myer

    Had a yellow 77 (not that puke yellow of Chevy fame but banana freaking yellow) kammback wagon. Loved it!! Had 4 spoke cragers on it with matching 50’s on back and 70’s up front (a real feat for teenagers in the 70’s) airshocks and power steering of all things, manual of course. By then they had sleeved the motors so they lasted longer w/out burning more oil than gas, standard Chevy 4 speed tranny and rear end problems solved. Good car for what it was but name was too damaged by then so it was reintroduced in 78 as the monza station wagon. Lost that car to a drunk got rolled….wish I had a pic of it.

    Like 2
  15. Lynn Member

    I had a 76 orange Vega. Cragars air shocks a Holley 4 bl 4 spd. Broke the rear doing a burnout. I beat that car to death. For 2 yrs.

    Like 2
  16. Mark

    They actually never sleeved the cylinders in the Vega. The technology was new and innovative, but now Mercedes and Lrsche use linerless cylinders. They did improve on the engine and by 76, the Durabuilt engine was out with a 50,000 mile warranty. Oil consumption was not due to the linerlesss cylinders, but bad valve guide seals. They would get dry, brittle and crack. Once replaced, oil burning was eliminated. As for those denouncing the Vega’s handling, it was nearly perfectly balanced front to rear and would outperform most cars of the time on the skid pad. Early models had their fair share of problems, but once they were resolved, the Vega was a great looking, decent performing, sporty car that’s styling still holds up today. As for the 39 mile Cosworth referenced, the hammer fell at $48,000.00.

    Like 3
  17. Dave Suton

    My next door neighbor bought a new one in 76. It wasn’t a Cosworth, but always ran for him. Other neighbor bought a new Honda civic at the same time. Honda rotted out in 2 1/2 years and he junked it. Vega made it to 87 when I moved out.

    Like 1
  18. JoeMac JoeMac

    Exterior cleaned up nice but seller stayed away from undercarriage pics. Interior shot looks like it was taken using a vaselined lens. Reserve not met? Where is the seller going here?? GLWS.

    Like 0
  19. john hugh

    chrush it

    Like 0
  20. Stephen Coe

    I had a 76 Cosworth Vega sold after daughter was born, fun to drive, faster than my brothers 914. He hated it,😎😎😎. I now own a 76 Corvette, I like the Vette better.only ticket my wife ever got was driving the Cosworth.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.