2,882 Miles? 1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega

A Chevrolet Cosworth Vega that isn’t black! It’s the little things in life for me but I never see a Cosworth Vega that isn’t black. They were all painted black in their debut year of 1975 but this 1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega is beautiful Mahogany Metallic and it’s listed here on eBay in Kingwood, West Virginia. There is a buy-it-now price of $8,500 listed and the current bid price is $3,530 with the reserve unmet and only a day left on the auction.

Beautiful, just beautiful. I know, a somewhat beat-looking Vega that’s not painted black, what’s the big deal? A first-year Cosworth Vega is probably more collectible but give me one that doesn’t look like every other one on the planet every time. The seller claims that this car has a mere 2,882 miles on it and the story goes that the car was bought in New York and then driven to western Pennsylvania. It then went to West Virginia where there were no Chevrolet shops certified to work on the Cosworth Vega so the owner parked it and there it sat, for decades.

You can see that it needs a lot of work, but being out of the elements for all of those decades has preserved it much better than if it would have been on the streets, especially decades of winter roads, not that anyone would drive a Cosworth Vega on salty winter roads, I hope. They have the rear window, by the way, it just needs to be installed. That’s good. And, there is some rust which is never good but it has much less than it could have/should have had by now. And, then there’s that color!

The interior could easily be cleaned up and would look 90% like new I bet. The seats and door panels in white are eye-catching and unusual and they look fantastic, just a little dirty. The optional houndstooth fabric inserts would have been a nice touch. It may need new carpets, they look pretty faded, especially in the cargo area. This one doesn’t have the optional 5-speed manual, unfortunately, but a 4-speed would work nicely.

The big deal with the Cosworth Vega is, of course, the Cosworth twin-cam 2.0L inline-four that ended up having around 110 horsepower, much less than the engineers were originally shooting for. The seller hasn’t tried to start it so we don’t know what condition the engine is in, but I’m guessing that it’ll need to be at least partially rebuilt or broken down to see what condition it’s in. Are there any Cosworth Vega fans out there?

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Comments

  1. Steve Bush Member

    Don’t buy seller’s story about the owner not being able to get car repaired in WV. First, other than the engine, most everything else on the car was standard Vega, so this was unlikely to happen. Second, even back then, with the 5yr/50000 warranty, in the unlikely event the local dealership encountered a problem it couldn’t fix, it probably would have brought in a trained tech from another dealership or towed the car to a dealership able to fix it, especially with less than 3K on the odometer. Third, the car looks way too beat up and dirty to believe the mileage claim. If the mileage really was this low, a few hours spent cleaning would make it look brand new. Finally, since he basically got the car for free, he should have at least tried to get it running.

    Like 27
    • Rick Huyler

      I completely agree with you !!! The car is a basket case and would take a lot of money to fix right if it is even a cosworth Vega which I doubt !

      Like 1
    • Steve

      I worked for Chevrolet as a mechanic back then. Those were few and far between and few dealerships bothered to train their mechanics to fix them. They were the first computer fuel injection available and the motors were built special in NY. I was trained by a factory mechanic from NY who was sent to our dealership here in Canal Winchester Oh. I was the only one I know of who could work on a Cosworth in this area. The ECU was very troublesome and very difficult to repair. New ECU were impossible to order and had to be programmed by a factory mechanic. They did have a rust problem as did all Vegas. I never saw one that color though. It really do does not look too bad as most I have seen.

  2. tompepper

    102,882 k.To beat to have that milage.

    Like 17
    • unclemymy Member

      Yeah, even West Virginia roads couldn’t do that to an engine in just 2900 miles.

      Like 4
  3. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    What a waste of a Cosworth Vega. Looks like the remnants of a Monroney Sticker on the drivers side rear glass. This car will need more than a deep cleaning. Best of luck to the next owner.

    Like 6
  4. Jim

    Does anyone really believe this thing only has 2882 miles on it? No way.

    Like 12
    • Vegaman Dan

      Who removes the rear hatch glass without reason? Those panels are big and strong- they very rarely break. So why was it removed?

      Driver side headlight bucket swapped from another car. This car has accident history not being disclosed.

      I love Vegas, but I’d walk away.

      Like 8
  5. Sam61

    Give me the “Bird”…

    Like 1
  6. Arby

    These things rusted as they were coming down the assembly line. Doesn’t matter where it’s been since, it’ll be rusty.

    Like 5
  7. Dave Member

    I’m always amused by the amount of money people ask for a “low mileage” car that’s rolled into a barn or garage and left to return to earth only to then ask big money when it’s dragged out. I’d rather spend that money on a car with 150k on the odometer and has been driven and maintained. That Cosworth motor can be a financial rabbit hole .

    Like 5
  8. Keith Eisenbrei

    I worked at Lordstown when these were coming down the line and a lot more fun to beat on in the parking storage yard then the regular engine cars.

    Like 3
  9. Maestro1 Member

    I’m with Steve Bush. It is a $3000.00 car maybe, and the story is nonsense.
    Very strange. Be careful on this one but don’t ignore it.

    Like 3
  10. Car39

    Saw a white one for sale a couple of years ago at a car show. The owner snarled at me it was $22,500 and not a penny less, he knew what he had. What he had was a non-running pile of rust, vaguely shaped like a Vega. You could hear it corrode. My friend asked if it was worth it. I said “If he threw in the trailer and the tow vehicle, he would still owe you money.”

    Like 12
  11. Steve R

    For the seller it’s easier to concoct a lie to justify the excessive asking price rather than spend the time to find a better car.

    Steve R

    Like 4
  12. martinsane

    As mentioned this tale feels very TALL indeed.
    Its odd to imagine that someone attempting to sell a niche car would believe the audience would buy into their Pinocchio story.

    I do like the vegas though but as mentioned proceed with extreme caution.

    Like 2
  13. frozenbird

    I have a 1976 Black Cosworth with 44K miles on the clock, all original and never been restored but in mint condition. So that would make it 15x’s more mileage then the claimed original mileage of this heap, and the worst aspect of my car is still better then the best one of this one. I did discover a antifreeze drip running down the underside of my water pump from the shaft. So this past week I changed it, these care are so unique, the water pump acts as both the water pump (obviously) and the timing belt tensioner. There are no other tensioners but the water pump pulley. The other little known fact these are actually a “hemi” designed head and they have lots of locked up potential HP that’s there for the taking. Also of note the ’76’s are the lowest production year of the two years, have galvanized body parts, 5spd and a 4:10 posi rear.

    Like 7
  14. Superdessucke

    This thing is filthy for only having three thousand miles. I don’t buy it. Also, some moisture took to the interior, probably from when the back window was smashed out wherever it was parked, my guess outside.

    I kind of like these but I would hold out for a better one than this. Even if the mileage is accurate, it is going to cost a fortune to get it back to mint condition.

    Like 3
  15. W9BAG

    I drove a friend’s ’75 in ’78 that had a touch over 2K miles. While a fun car to drive, and the under hood view was really cool, at the end of the day it was still a rust prone Vega. Given this genre, I would rather have a Pinto Cruisin’ Wagon with a 2.3 and a 4 speed.

    Like 2
  16. CJinSD

    Wasn’t a Cosworth Vega collection hit by a tornado or flood a dozen years ago? I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of them.

  17. Phlathead Phil

    Wasn’t one reason the Vega fell from the heavens of GM automotive stardom related to its aluminium head and the HIGH cost of repairs? I always though the Vega was a kinda ‘neat’ lookin’ set of wheels, but something drew me away. If one looks very close, you may get a glimmer of the front end of a ‘77 Camero. The headlight cups, front bumper and windshield slope are almost identical. Still today, a Vega has a mystical attraction. However, the cost of a ‘Redo’ could be astronomical.

    Like 2
  18. JeffD

    These cars are orphans. You don’t just buy them, you adopt them too. It pays to buy the very best one as they are expensive to buy parts for. If a Cosworth is your goal, spend more and buy a better one, as the restoration on this will have you upside down in it well before you are finished. Neat color….but pass

  19. Bill Pressler

    Did the Cosworth have the regular Vega’s longest-warranty in the industry on the engine then? I’m thinking not, but not sure. Lastly, by ’76 the Vega’s rust woes were no longer an issue, despite all the posts to the contrary above, sigh.

  20. MarcAMXnyc

    This car definitely is not #340, it’s #340something, one of the last produced Cosworth Vega’s……all the ’75 low-numbered cars were black only, and the numbers only went as far as the 2050’s in ’75, started with around #2079 in ’76, based on my amateur research, as far as I know…I’ve been tracking these for years now…. :)

    Like 1
  21. Brett

    Look wear on gas and brake peddles along with wear in the carpet in the same areas

    Like 1
  22. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Doesn’t matter how many miles it has (if you buy into the claim), the fact that it sat out in a field for a decade is what drives the value. No photos of the really rust-prone problem areas. No telling how long the hatch glass was out, but the sun fading on the carpet under where it used to be tells a story about storage.

    The car is a MESS.

    In theory, the bidding got to the lofty number of $4002, and ended there.
    The seller relisted here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264819526370?ViewItem=&vxp=mtr&item=264819526370
    With a BIN of $4500.
    At the $4K it reached before, he should have taken the money and run!

    Like 1

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