21,578 Miles: 1971 Chevrolet Vega

We’ve seen a few nice Vegas here over the last few months but this one is a little different. It is a one-owner, all-original, 21,578-mile car! This is a 1971 Chevrolet Vega notchback and it’s listed on eBay with heavy bidding action. The current bid is up to $1,580 and there are still six days left on the auction! This car is located in the Queen City of the West – Cincinnati, Ohio.

As you can see this car isn’t perfect, it has a lot of areas of surface rust on it but it looks pretty solid overall. This is a notchback sedan with a trunk instead of being a hatchback car. I can see this Vega being fitted with a V8 or at least a V6, these notchback sedans seem to be the coveted ones for such conversions. An interesting note on these early Vegas, those vents on the trunk lid were actually for ventilation, not to pay some sort of homage to the Corvair; just to crush one small urban legend.

More surface rust on this side, and this side has a few scrapes on it, too. But, if a person were going to modify this car they would most likely totally restore everything but the existing drivetrain so this otherwise solid body will be refinished anyway. It would really take a dedicated Vega fan to buy this car with the thought of restoring it back to original specifications.

Or, maybe they would buy it to keep it original? Just fix what needs fixing to make sure it’s as safe and reliable as a 1971 Vega can be and just drive it, surface rust and all.

The interior looks like it’s from a 21,000-mile car, no question about that. It’s in great condition overall, but I’m a little worried about the dark floors on the front floor pans, that looks like a lot of rust may be lurking under that carpet? And, bummer of bummers, this car has the optional automatic transmission! Just when you thought you had finally found an early Vega notchback in decent condition and it turns out to be an automatic. That could be changed to a 4 or 5-speed, of course, but a factory-original 4-speed would have been nice to see in there. The 3-speed manual on the floor was standard, no pun intended.

The seller says that this “car has been stored for many years, so we started it without using the stale gas in the tank, but instead, putting fresh gas in the carburetor. The engine sounds very good, the transmission shifts right into gear and the brakes stop the car well.” That’s a good sign! This engine is a 140 cubic-inch, 2.3L inline-four with either 90 hp or 110 hp, depending on whether it has a one-barrel or a two-barrel carb. One of you Chevy gurus may know from looking at this one which carburetor is under the air cleaner. This car looks pretty straight and solid, other than a lot of surface rust lurking on the cracks and crevasses, but hopefully there’s no structural rust underneath. Is this car worth restoring back to original specs, or is it going to be modified by the next owner? My money is on some fairly heavy modifications coming soon to a ’71 Vega near you!

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I haven’t got a clue on the mileage claim,,,,,,

    • Richard

      A quick title search on this one shows it had the exact same mileage back in October of 2002. Hard to believe it hasn’t accumulated any mileage since then.

    • Brent

      i actually live in Cincinnati and i stopped in the lot this was sitting on. The mechanic took my number down and told me that the owner would get back to me…i actually didn’t get out to look it over, i was in a hurry. He called back later that day and said they wanted 2000 for it.

  2. Blyndgesser

    That rust below the rear quarter window may be an indication of some really scary stuff elsewhere. But I always thought these cars were good looking, with an obvious visual connection to the second-generation Camaro (also a Bill Mitchell masterpiece.) I can’t say anything good about that aluminum block Four other than it’s lightweight.

    Chevrolet Performance Parts now offers a nice 270 hp four cylinder crate motor…. hmm.

  3. Fred W.

    All that “surface rust” is in the places where we used to see holes in the first two years, at least in the FL panhandle we did. 21K miles is how many miles some owners got out of them before engine failure, prior to the “Iron Duke”. Even as a teenager I consulted Consumer Reports repair records before buying, consequently never owned one of these despite buying and selling over 100 cars by the age of 25 (between 1973 and 1982). Bought my first car at 14.

  4. Vegaman_Dan

    Carburetor is a single barrel Rochester, 90hp. Key is the single stud mounting for the air cleaner. 2 barrel carbs used four studs.

    Notch backs are not my thing. I’ve had a couple and they just lacked the utility that the hatchback offered. They were never sporty or available as GT models ( except by special order and rare). They were intended for rental car fleets. Boring then, and boring now. To me, at least.

    • Robert Spinello

      4 studs in 73 when the Rochester was switched to a Holly-Weber. 71s and 72s both had 1 center bolt. The std. engine didn’t have cold air induction (plastic pipe from air cleaner horn to the rad. support. so this is a base 90 hp (gross) engine.

  5. Jeffro

    Good ole days

    • joel ewing

      Are you kidding? I’m a long-time muscle car freak, attending Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction annually, etc. I even used to own a ’72 Vega Wagon with a smallblock V8 swapped in. But I NEVER knew that Scuncio Chev offered a complete package like this ad shows. I certainly know about Don Yenko Chevrolet hi-perf V8 swapped vehicles, incl. Vegas. For less than $4grand, this would have been the performance buy of the decade. An LT-1/370 horse motor plus the trans, perf. suspension, et al? Amazing!! This would have been a 12-second quarter-mile car at a minimum. I wonder if any have survived….or how many were even built/sold to begin with??

  6. paul

    The front reminds me of a 71 camaro and the rear reminds me of a 74 opel manta we used to own…I like it actually!

  7. JamestownMike

    You don’t see the notch back too often, I like it! Cool looking little car! Yep, the nose looks A LOT like the camaro.

    • Robert Spinello

      It was designed in the Camaro / Corvette studio at the same time as the 70 Camaro by the same stylists.

  8. Rock On Member

    We used to call automatic equipped Vegas, vegamatics. In reference to all the K-Tel commercials in Canada, pre shopping channel era.

  9. Craig Nicol

    There’s a lot of potential in this one…potential for rust trouble. There were two automatic transmissions in 71/72; 2-speed Powerglide, which was OK but not great and a manually-shifted 2-Speed “automatic” which was universally panned. The ’73 fixed those problems with a version of the turbo 350 3-speed automatic.

    I wonder whether this one has the automatic Powerglide or the manual Powerglide?

    I bought a brand new ’76 Cosworth Vega hatchback and really liked it for the two years I had it.

    • Ed P

      The manually shifted automatic was marketed under a different name, like Torqglide. Does anybody remember the right name?

      • Blyndgesser

        Torque Drive.

      • Ed P

        Thanks Blyndgesser

      • Robert Spinello

        Torque Drive
        The Torque-Drive transmission was only available in four and six cylinder Novas and Camaros, from mid-year 1968 through 1971, and then in the 1971 Vega. According to one source, roughly 14,000 Torque-Drive transmissions were built and installed by Chevrolet,.”

    • Craig Nicol

      My comment reads “Powerglides which were OK and Manually shifted 2-speed “automatic” which was universally panned” Thanks for calling me a “dummy”.

    • Ed P

      Powerglides are used in racing but for regular driving, 3 speed automatics were preferred. 2 speed autos were usually a low cost option by the mid 60’s for low priced cars.

    • Robert Spinello

      Neither was panned.

  10. Ed P

    The vents in the rear deck were a feature on GM cars in ’71 only. Commercials would show a smoke filled car venting smoke back there.

    • BrandonP

      My 73 vega has the same vents and they’re functional too.

      • Robert Spinello

        74 Vega notchbacks and hatchbacks elimated the deck vents..was switched to the door jam like other GM cars did in ’72. wagons kept the vents til the end.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Ed. I laughed out loud when you talked about the car venting smoke from those vents. It reminds me of a girl who lived in my home town back when those Vegas were in their prime. You often saw smoke emanating from her vents, and if you followed her for long enough you would be turning off at the first convenience store to buy loads of junk food. She must have smoked a bag of grass a day. And she worked for Customs and Immigration….

      • Ed P

        That does seem ironic

      • joel ewing

        You, ummm……wouldn’t happen to maybe have her phone number, would you geomechs? She sounds like my type a gal.

  11. M/K

    paints holding the rust together

  12. Squad41

    My father had a fathom blue 1970 model. The engine self-destructed at 40K miles, and from experience, I can tell you that none of that rust is “Surface” rust. These cars were colossal pieces of crap… In a typical GM way. They were cutting edge on paper, and garbage in execution. Sad, really.

    • JMB#7

      Maybe it is surface rust from the other side. It finally made it to the side you see.

  13. Woodie Man

    You guys are kidding , aren’t you?

    • Ed P

      57 Plymouths rusted like there was no tomorrow. But some still survive. So a few known rusters will always survive

    • Bryan

      I’ve personally never seen anyone drool over a Vega at any car show, and I’ve been to lots of them!

      The Vega has a reputation as one of the absolute worst cars of all time. They built over 2 million of them, but when is the last time you saw one on the road? GM was beset with dissatisfied customers with complaints about their rusting, smoking Vegas (a sleeveless aluminum block…really). I wonder how many of them bought Japanese imports after their experience with this “economy” car?

      I personally liked the styling (especially the Cosworths), and that’s probably why they sold so many….a lot better looking than a Pinto or Gremlin. Also, there is no denying that swapping that anemic 4-banger for V8 makes for a very fast car!

  14. Richard

    Anyone else notice how the steering wheel is all cracked? Odd for a 21K mile car especially considering the rest of the interior is fairly nice….

  15. nessy

    I like this car. Don’t ask my why because it’s such a turd in everyway including the color but I still like the thing. Clean it up, touch up the rust and leave it stock. There can not be too many original Vegas like this left.

    • Ed P

      Drive very slowly over bumps, important parts may shake loose.

    • joel ewing

      Nessy, I think you’re right….you just don’t see any old Vegas on the road anymore. I think I’ve seen one within the last year or so. And I live in southern Arizona, where we don’t have rust and you see all kinds of old iron driving around. No….these things went south on people and they crushed ’em like roaches. Too bad too, because especially the hatchback model was darn attractive I thought….especially the G.T. model.

  16. B

    We used to call the “Vaguely” – as in vaguely a car….

    • Robert Spinello

      Get a life

  17. Robert Spinello

    How could a 45 year old car be perfect unless it was kept in a bubble? Brilliant observation. The car has some surface rust. Big deal. It’s solid and a survivor
    All ita strip and paint job..instant show piece.
    .

    • TJ

      Calm down, dude.

      Like 1
      • DA

        No doubt. Talk about a turd!

      • Robert Spinello

        Any other stupid remarks? If not, I’ll calm down. Anyone that thinks they know anything about this car speak up, but be prepared to back it up with facts, otherwise I will.

  18. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like this car. But I think the buyer is going to be in for some major repairs. Pull back the carpets and you won’t have to roll down the windows to toss out your empties or your spent cigarette butts; just drop them through the holes in the floor. And when you need to stop, just pretend you’re Fred Flintstone. The rust on this unit fixable, just like it is with most other cars of this vintage. Yes, the motor tends to burn oil, but I never saw one drop a valve or put a rod out the side unless you were doing something it wasn’t designed for; they soldiered (read: smoked?) on for many miles. Cast iron liners were a good fix when overhaul time came. The only thing you did NOT do was plow through a snow bank at high speed; the snow would throw the timing belt off. But the upside to that was simply put the belt back on or replace it and keep going; the motor was of the free-wheeling variety and not like those motors of today when a broken belt=a new motor. I might add that front engine/rear wheel drive allowed you to actually access the motor to repair it….

    • Robert Spinello

      Steel liners was the profitable fix. Not the right fix. That’s another story..The right fix was replace the valve seals cause that’s what caused the oil consumption (at high mileage) The silicon – aluminum block was not at fault unless it was allowed to overheat. The liners caused other problems because they were a press fit. GM only replaced the blocks with linerless blocks. The steel sleeve blocks were aftermarket.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Robert. You are right; the liners were aftermarket. When I worked in a dealership we shipped the blocks out and the machine shop fitted the liners. They seemed to work quite well; I know of a couple that are still in service some 30+ years later. I can agree with you on the valve seals; they were a problem point. We could’ve gotten away with valve seals but usually when we got into them we found cylinders worn to the point where it was practical to go through everything.

      • ACZ

        After enough engines were replaced, back then, Chevrolet started to have the warranty cores shipped back and they came up with a rebuilding program for them. This did not utilize iron liners. They came up with a process to recondition the silicon/aluminum bore.

      • Shelli Anne

        The early Vegas had woefully undersized radiators which caused them to overheat and fail early,they also used a light-weight break-in motor oil which caused the engine to run low in a few hundred miles when new. Vega used a Murphy switch style oil pressure switch which cut off power to the electric fuel pump when oil ran low. A great many new Vegas were towed back to the dealership when they ran low on oil , AAA tow truck drivers would spend many an hour towing Vegas back to the dealers. I was one of those drivers.

      • Jeff

        Amen, you nailed it there. I had 2 Vegas in my day. The ’74 eventually burned a valve. I pulled the head, took it in and had the valves done. Including new seals. Voila, like a new engine. More power, and oil consumption was virtually nil. The silicon etched cylinders were smooth as a baby’s bottom. They were ahead of their time.

  19. Robert Spinello

    That’s why it will sell for 3,000 intead of 10,000.

  20. Alan (Michigan)

    The rust on this car is not trivial, and not just of the “surface” type. There is too much of it in too many places. If all of the parts were to be stripped off, and the body dipped, it would come back with very many locations of through-and-through perforation.
    Look at the photo of the engine compartment, as taken from over the right fender. The rusty spots along the top of that fender are coming through from underneath, not from the top painted surface of the sheet metal. And across on the other side, what can be seen of the liner under the left fender is really not good. The fan shield across the top of the radiator has no paint left at all.
    The condition of the carpet, the appearance of the air plenum at the back of the engine bay, the lower front fenders (what is left of them) behind the wheels, the bottoms of the doors…. I really wonder what the underside looks like? Betting that it would be very, very rusty.
    All of that has me wondering if this car was subjected to a dunking at some time in the past couple of decades.
    5 days to go in the auction, already at $3100. I fear that there are a lot of rose-colored glasses being worn by bidders on this car.
    I really do like the style of the body. A really clean one would be fun to have. This specific one? I grew up in Dayton, just 60 miles N. of where this car is in Cincy. People think of the “Rust belt” as being a Michigan thing… Having seen plenty of cars from both, I can tell you that it is an Ohio thing too.

    Like 3
    • JMB#7

      First off, I liked the looks of these, otherwise I would not have peeked at this one. A car with zero miles could look like this if it got exposed to Cincinnati salted roads & then parked over grass or gravel for 40 years. Unfortunately, from the looks in the engine bay, I think that is not too far from this car’s life. The price is up to how bad you want one and what else is available.

  21. Pappy2d

    Rust. It’s much like an iceberg.

  22. Kerry Glenn

    ALL 1971 G-M cars used the louvers on the trunk lids for the “Astro-Ventilation” system. It supposedly was a ventilation system that replaced the vent-wing windows on the front doors.

  23. Paul Hudson

    There is no doubt this is a 21K mile car. Has any Vega ever turned over? Actually being a Ford guy I still always liked the look of the Vega. I had a coworker with on in the Mid 1970’s That car was in the body shop frequently since he was often in accidents. It was a nice looking car overall. With a non Aluminum engine and some rust proofing more would have survived.

  24. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    Just curious @barnfinds, how many comments need you need to have “Hidden due to low comment rating” to either be banned or have a stern talking to by management?

    • Idiot Boy

      Folks with opposing viewpoints should have a protected right to express them regardless of the unpopularity of those viewpoints or the emboldened way in which they’re expressed.

      It’s the American way at least until it threatens the mob’s desire to silence the opposition (then it seems all bets are off).

      • Paul

        You are correct! People with different viewpoints should be allowed to say what they want unless they are just out to instigate trouble and call people asses …..

        America was founded on freedom of speech and many other freedoms but there’s a difference between freedom of speech and just being a 3rd grader in mentality And acting like a ignorant trouble maker.

  25. John H

    Always liked the look of these little cars. I had a ’72 Vega GT wagon that really looked sharp until a run-in with a snow bank on the way to work early in the morning took out a large portion of the front end. Can’t recall what I traded it for … apparently that’s one that isn’t memorable. I also got a ’71 notchback in green when my uncle decided it was time to stop driving and signed the title over to me. He decided after he ran over a curb and took out a lot of the front suspension. I fixed that one and we drove it for a couple more years — it was very low miles when I got it. My uncle walked a whole lot more than he ever drove.

  26. Roger Carlton

    If it weren’t for the rust, I would still be driving my ’72. As you know, all ’70’s cars were rust buckets due to the poor quality steel being produced.

  27. Luke Fitzgerald

    Right I’m buyin’ it – any car that’s gets people into a froth like this has gotta be worth it

  28. slimwhitman

    These were famous for rusting in the Chevy dealership, especially the earliest ones..like this one. This will need a lot of intense work.

    I always liked these, though. My aunt had a ’71 Vega hatch, bright red with the wide white stripe. I REALLY loved her car…more than my mom’s gold ’69 Firebird. I guess my 6 year old’s eyes focused on color and stripes over style.

    My dad bought a new ’75 Astre GT (Pontiac Vega) and it was also a ruster. It caused him to abandon domestic cars for good. He has never gone back…and neither have any of us kids.

    • Idiot Boy

      Well that’s a logical import buying rationale. Thanks to your whole clan for opening your minds to 40+ years of progress and God Bless America!

      • slimwhitman

        I think it has more to do with that bad taste in your mouth that you can’t seem to shake. That’s how we all (in the family) felt after the Astre and other domestic cars of that era left us stranded and penniless. When we bought Japanese imports, that all changed. Sure…domestics have improved dramatically, but that nasty taste persists.

        Like 2
      • Craig Nicol

        It hasn’t been “40-years of progress” but I’ll give you 25. During the darkest years (say ’73-88), the few embers weren’t enough and the door was wide open. Foreign companies saw the opportunity and built factories in the Midwest and South. Those cars and their components are built by Americans so their domestic content is much higher than “domestic” cars. Profits from those sales are invested in growing their American business. It’s a shame the Big 3 didn’t recognize their error sooner.

        Like 1
      • fordfan

        So your saying that the imports didn’t rust in the 70s?

    • Ed P

      It takes a lot of work to earn a good reputation but, that can be ruined very easily. Chrysler had a reputation for durable cars until the ’57 Rust Bucket line went on sale. They have never recovered. I will say that the Big 3 did start to get the message by 1980. About that time factory rust proofing was improved and quality control became very important.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      I think that all of you in the US should be grateful that you actually have an automotive manufacturing industry. Here in Australia we used to have an unbelievably strong domestic industry that punched way above its weight. Two months ago Ford ended manufacturing in this country. GM will cease operations here in the 2nd half of this year. Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota are also gone. Our entire market supply will be imports only. Treasure your industry, because once it’s gone there is no going back.

      • Ed P

        Not enough of us look for the “Made in USA” tag. It is a shame what my fellow countrymen have done to US industry. I am not saying that American cars have not been junk, but that time is past and the quality issues have been greatly improved. For those that have abandoned the Big 3, now would be a good time to rethink that decision.

      • Adam T45 Staff

        What frustrates me about our industry is that the US market has had an opportunity to sample the Australian products, and by all accounts you loved it. The 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO was actually a LHD version of the Australian (GM) Holden Monaro. The engine is American, but everything else was developed and built in the land down under. That’s the quality of equipment we could produce, but we still couldn’t survive.

  29. Craig Nicol

    Back in that era, I worked in the parts department of a medium-sized Chevy dealer. At that time we were replacing five or so Vega engines every month. For reference, I don’t recall more than a handful of engines replaced in all the rest of the Chevy line during the five years I worked there.

    Of all things, Ford’s reman supplier the rebuilt Vega engines for GM because Ford had a nationwide network of reman factories and GM didn’t. It felt pretty weird driving out there in the company (Chevy) stake truck to pickup 20 Vega engines while surrounded by a sea of green and antique-white Ford-logo semi-trucks and trailers. (This was at Ford’s LA reman facility, Tomador engines, City of Industry, CA) The steel-sleeved reman engines were great.

    Southern California Vegas didn’t have the near-instant front fender rust issue seen in the East, but we did have windshield rust-out problems due to coastal marine air. We also suffered months-shortages of front fenders due to national back-order as they tried to keep up with production and replacement.

    The silicon-aluminum cylinder wasn’t the real problem. The Vega engine suffered from poor head gasket sealing and the gasket was prone to problems caused by air in the coolant. Once the engine got hot due to low coolant (seal erosion due to entrained air) the free-standing cylinders (attached only on the bottom) would drop into the block causing total head gasket failure. The coolant flooding the cylinders would take away the oil film and the piston’s tin plating. Soon after the unlubricated aluminum pistons and cylinders would turn to crap and that was it.

  30. angliagt

    That listing makes me cringe –
    Chevy donated one just like this,in a Copper color,
    automatic.Seems they had problems with the welds,
    so they donated some of them to High School auto shops.
    What a pile that thing was!
    One student stole the wheels/tires off of it,&
    got caught,when he was stupid enough to show up with
    them on his Mazda (RX3,I believe).

    • Michael

      LOL! 😂
      High School memories are The Best!

  31. Alan Scull

    Not that it really matters but the door opening of the notchback and the wagons was the same whereas the hatchback had a lower roofline. I really like this little car

  32. BRAKTRCR

    I had a Pontiac Astre, and a 74 Vega wagon. Both were V8’s and really that was all they were good for. I had a couple friends with stock motor Vega’s and they were fun to drive… but short lived. Just my opinion. Always loved the body style

    • joel ewing

      To BRAKTRCR: Your article doesn’t specify that the V8’s in your Pontiac Astre or your Vega Wagon were shoehorned into the engine compartment by aftermarket mechanics. I know for a fact that no factory Pontiac Astre or Chevrolet Vega came stock from the factory with an 8-cylinder engine.

      • BRAKTRCR

        That is true Joel, they were not factory V8’s On the Astre.. (I called it my Ashtray… you know Astre/ Ashtray) I installed the V8 with an aftermarket Don Hardy Race Cars crossmember. I remember in the instructions for the install it said I had to smash in the firewall with a rubber hammer, to make clearance for the distributor. It worked great, fit very well, and was really quick of course.
        On the Vega wagon, it was a race only car, and there wasn’t any Vega left suspension wise, and the doors and hood were fiberglass.
        I lived in So Calif in the mid 70’s pumping gas and turning wrenches for a living. At that time, there were an abundance of guys that had small block V8’s in Vega’s Again, yes, you are correct, there were no factory V8 Vega’s, but when the Monza came out, they did have some with low hp V8’s

  33. David Montanbeau

    Whether unfortunate or not, the Torque-Drive transmission didn’t survive a long and fruitful existence, as it was only available in four and six cylinder Novas and Camaros, from mid-year 1968 through 1971, and then in the 1971 Vega. According to one source, roughly 14,000 Torque-Drive transmissions were built and installed by Chevrolet, and then it just disappeared as an obscure footnote in automotive history.

    • Robert Spinello

      right off my website well said

  34. David Montanbeau

    wow!!

    • Ed P

      Quite a unique way to ship a car. I wonder what the railroads did with these cars after the Vega.

  35. David

    Robert Spinello is right. I still drive a 71 Notchback just like that one (except 3 speed manual) commuting every day in Houston. I put in the big radiator. Rebuilt the engine in 1983, did valve job in 1997. It is now closing in on 400,000 miles and gets 30 MPG and uses maybe a qt of oil a month. I suspect the rust is not bad depending on what you find under the carpet. Most 71’s would rust around the windshield and battery tray. Since the battery still looks upright might be a good chance rust is not too bad. Fenders are easy to repair or replace since they are bolt-on.

  36. Robert Spinello

    Let’s see what a few real car authorities have to say in retrospect

    Motor Trend’s Frank Markus said after driving my 6k mile ’73 Vega GT in 2010, “After a few gentle miles, I begin to understand how this car won its awards and comparison tests.” “Well-maintained examples are great looking, nice-driving, economical classics—like Baltic Ave. with a Hotel, the best ones can be had for $10K or less.”

    Motor Trend’s Frank Markus said after driving my 2k mile ’76 Cosworth Vega in 2013, “Stylish and historically significant but ridiculously overpriced in its day and ultimately a bit unfinished, the ultimate Vega now represents a serious collector bargain.”

    Hemmings Classic Car editor Craig Fitzgerald said, “The idea that the 1971 to 1977 Chevrolet Vega was an unpopular lemon from day one is a myth.”
    Hemmings Classic Car editor in chief Terry Shea said, “Chevrolet did save the best for last in the form of the sublime Cosworth Vega, a sports car with an exotic double-overhead-cam, 16-valve, four cylinder engine; a suspension to match and sophistication decades ahead of most other cars.”

    Cars in Depth May 26, 2013 said, “GM is not ashamed of the Vega and they have one on display at the GM Heritage Center.”

    Portraits of Automotive History “Falling Star: The Checkered History of the Chevrolet Vega” editor Aaron Severson said, “As with the Corvair, any statements about the Vega’s failure have to be carefully qualified. Chevrolet sold more than 2 million Vegas during its seven-year lifespan, which is excellent by any standards. During the difficult period of the OPEC embargo — which briefly made big cars almost unsaleable — Chevrolet sold all the Vegas they could build.”

  37. BRAKTRCR

    Sooooooooo how bout them Raiders eh?

    • M/K

      Not so good man, Derrik Carr broke his leg

      Like 1
  38. Brent

    wow, now looking at how much this thing is up to, I should have bought it and flipped it when they offered it to me for 2000…

    • Thatcarguy41

      Well Brent, you have your chance to buy it again. It is currently relisted on eBay for sale again.

  39. joel ewing

    In Dec. ’75 I got hired as a salesman for a huge and hugely successful Arizona Chev. dealership…in the used car dept. All our salesmen were allowed to sell both used and new Chevy cars and trucks. After training for 6 mos, they stuck me on the sales floor, and people were trading these Vegas in left and right. I haven’t read all the comments in here yet, but I’m sure some have mentioned the big problem with the inline 4cyl. engine in these Vegas. I live in Arizona, and the biggest complaint we heard from customers wishing to trade in their Vegas was that they overheated and blew head gaskets. I remember sitting in big weekly sales meetings (we called them sales “beatings”, lol) where the guest speakers would be official apologists from the Chevrolet Factory Division in Detroit who would get in front of the troops and try to convince them that the Vega engine was revamped as of mid-1974 and they were “fantastic” automobiles now. If memory serves me right, one meeting had 2 Vega engines on stands for us to view. There was the orig. version and also the mid-1974 “IRON DUKE” as they called it now. They explained that the reasons the head gaskets blew and subsequently overheated these engines is that the cylinders were “siamesed”…in other wrds the water jackets did NOT circle the cylinders 360 degrees, and the gaskets warped as a result. This was corrected mid-’74. Also corrected mid-’74 was the installation of cylinder sleeves, I believe. The factor really pushed how this was a really good engine now that the changes had been made. Now, at this time my wife worked at a big photo lab that had several mid-’74 Vegas or newer that ran between Tucson and Phoenix on I-10 every single day on a sales route. The temps during the summer on that highway was easily 115-120F + many months during the summer. Their Vegas all went OVER 300K miles with no problems with this newer engine. The BIG THING that the company did was change the oil and tranny fluids EVERY 3,000 miles religiously. They also kept a very close eye on coolant levels, never letting them dip below what the factory allowed. I hope this long post has helped shed a little light on these little Vegas.

  40. Ed P

    I read a story about Vegas years ago. The author said Vegas could not pass the “Grandma Test”. Meaning Grandma never checks oil, coolant, etc. These cars were designed with less excess capacity in these areas than usual. So low fluids would be more important.

  41. Alan (Michigan)

    It did not really sell. Top bidder at $3950 has zero feedback, so perhaps no surprise? I really think that once anyone got a close look at the car, they’d be running the other way, because of the significance of the rust issue.

    Relisted: http://www.ebay.com/itm/222371892912?ul_noapp=true

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