9k Miles? 1973 Chevrolet Vega GT

A lot better, and a lot worse. That’s how you might describe this 1973 Chevrolet Vega GT. It’s up for auction here on eBay with the price of about $4,200 and the auction is set to close on Saturday. It’s got no reserve, and 25 bids have already been registered. Whoever prevails in this dogfight will have to find a way to Bowling Green, Kentucky to pick up this prize.

The Vega came out in 1970 and was offered until 1977. At its most extreme, Chevy offered a Cosworth edition (1975 and 1976), a performance package that wore a head designed in England and lettering that said “Cosworth Twin Cam” on the fenders and tail panel. This one is not such a special car, but it’s not a plain vanilla car either, being a GT. That means that it came with goodies like special instrumentation and a sport steering wheel, a black-finished grille and lower body sill, and GT callouts. This package also featured a Vega 140-CID 2-bbl engine, which upped the standard 72 horsepower to 85. Few will remember that this model came in a variety of body configurations for 1973, including Hatchback and Notchback Coupes, a “Kammback” and a Panel Express, and unlike today’s cars, the Vega had six interior color offerings, even with the standard interior.

So back to my first line: Better than what? Better than its reputation from back in the day, when Vegas were said to start rusting before they even left the dealer’s lot. This one somehow survived with original paint, though not unscarred. Better looking than I remember these things being. There’s more than a passing resemblance to a mini-Camaro here.

Worse than what? Than one that might have had better care. Look at the rust on the roof and surrounding the windshield. Check out the driver’s seat (sure, it’s got less than 10,000 miles). Look underneath—awfully unkempt. Worse than one that was not so wildly modified. But then again, there’s a period piece feel to this Vega, which has a 355-CID V8 mated to TH350 transmission. In the 70s, there were always rumors about people putting monster V8s into Pintos and Vegas and surprising unsuspecting stoplight GP challengers. Somebody did that to this car, going so far as to stuff a Chevy 12-bolt rear with a Positraction limited slip differential under there, amongst other mods named. If that’s your thing, you’ll appreciate that the ad calls this car the “perfect starting point for an enthusiast project car.” Most of you will read that and think, sure, if it was about 1981. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, though. Just ask the bidders, who have raised this monster-motored Vega GT from a $500 starting point.

Comments

  1. KC John Member

    Wow, kind of a negative review on what seems like a not bad hot rod. I’ve owned a few of these V8 swapped Vega. They’re a blast to drive and a big improvement over how born. This looks to have been put together with good parts. IMHO. Good luck to seller and future owner. Go smoke some tires and have fun.

    Like 36
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    Looks like a load of fun.

    Like 18
  3. Holly Birge Member

    My parents had a 73 Vega GT Kammback. Red with white stripes and a cream interior. Ours was rusted by 1976 but my parents kept it going until around 1981.

    Like 5
  4. Vegaman Dan

    The only strikes against this vehicle are the rust spots and seats being ripped. Both of these conditions are very fixable. The V8 install looks clean, and the Trans and rear end are well matched. This vehicle will scoot.

    Shame it isn’t a wagon, but it sure checks a lot of boxes for me.

    Like 18
  5. Emel

    Somebody bid another $1 on this heap….since the bidding opened.

    That’s a disgrace something with so tiny a HP could be called a GT.

    Like 2
    • Vegaman Dan

      Apparently you never drove a Vega GT before. With 1″ antisway bars front and back, some wide radials, the two barrel Holley in place, give it some RPM’s and these things could handle tight curves, corners, braking- autocross wasn’t a thing back then, but they would do well today.

      My 94 Honda Acty has 40 hp, and can easily beat most cars in cones, curves, slalom. Weight, geometry, gearing, you can do a lot if you know how and where to apply your efforts.

      Like 13
      • vernon-

        Hada Buick Skyhawk-(Monza relabel) had frt and rr sway bars and a Panhard rod from factory–on handling would eat a lot of things for lunch..

      • Emel

        No i haven’t. But a go-cart would be good around cones, curves. etc as well. But I wouldn’t call it a GT.

        Like 2
  6. Cadmanls Member

    Na be nice, this isn’t any silver slipper, not even close. Looks to have bigger brakes out back than up front and that’s just part of a bad combination. Yeah might rotate the rear tires but myself don’t want to reach and speed in it. This ain’t Grumpy Jenkins Vega boys. Doubtful it will pass tech at a drag strip. Pass on by.

    Like 1
  7. Steve Weiman

    Most of these things were put together by broke $$ Young kids like me with junkyard parts and a swap kit. Very sketchy but highly entertaining :) there were so many with bad engines and good bodies you could easily pick one up for free or close to it. Nobody could afford a strong rear axle so you just welded up the spider gears and blew one up once a month. Every junkyard had two dozen of these at any given time, cheap parts, zero issue. this one was put together by someone who actually had a few bucks and possibly even a garage. If someone is after a barn full of 70/80s icons A V-8 Vega is a must!

    Like 18
  8. Brian Pinkey

    I remember car magazines of this period having ads from Motion Performance to stuff a 427 engine into a Vega! I guess a few people did, prolly mostly for drag racing clown cars. Never saw one.

  9. Howard A Member

    Aw, shut up, can you do a better job writing? The staff needs to remove this person from the comments, they are calling your employee an axxhole. That wouldn’t fly if this was my site.

    Like 14
  10. Howard A Member

    I will say, it’s probably 9,000 miles, 1/2 mile at a time( 1/4 mile down, 1/4 mile back) V8 Vegas were quite popular, fun stuff, and they could be made cheap. ANY SBC would be fun, and turned these into a mini-Camaro. It was clear by the sound, these were no ordinary Vegas, and the 2 strips of rubber bolstered that fact.

    Once again, I have nothing but praise for “our” writers. If this “Rw” was a member, perhaps they’d feel differently, but the writers are NOT axxholes! They are our friends, “Rw”, and please, go somewhere else with your attitude, this isn’t that kind of site. I suggest a site called Old Motor.

    Like 9
    • Rw

      So it’s okay for the writer to call this man’s car junk? Get over it.

      Like 5
  11. GlennR Member

    I think Brian was just comparing the SBC to the original engine. Try not to be so critical, you’ll make more friends.

    Like 5
  12. bone

    And I’m positive that 99% of the readers on this site know exactly what body configurations Vegas came in , in face I’m sure many of the readers on this site have owned a Vega in one of those ‘configurations”

  13. Jack Quantrill

    Yes, Brian was a little snarky in his write up. Maybe, he was constipated at the time!

    Like 4
  14. butchb

    Up to $6100 now. I think the nostalgia factor is driving the price because there’s a lot of questionable things there. Weeds wrapped around the driveshaft means its likely been sitting a long time. Colorado tags & cars in KY?
    It has the old practice of mismatched width 5 lug re with the original stock 4 lug front discs. Slapper bars and double stack upper rear trailing arm mounts ( to prevent wheel hop no doubt, Vegas are bad about that) Sketchy exhaust. After fuel tank & radiator cleaning, hose’s brakes tires, pulling front and rear windows for rust repair etc. Better off buying a fresher built V8 Vega. One recently sold around here for $3500 after rotting on Craigslist for weeks with a steadily dropping price.

    Like 1
  15. Troy

    Those cars would rust sitting on the show room floor looks like this one has its own rust going on. Hope it doesn’t wind up killing the winning bidder

    Like 1
  16. GitterDunn

    I once owned a Pontiac Astre (same car as the Vega, different grille and badging), with the “Iron Duke” engine. Nice serviceable little kammback wagon, white with a red interior. But I lived one door up from the ocean at the time, and the hood, roof, and any upward-facing surfaces of the car soon started to break out in rust from the salt spray drifting over it. I polished it up as well as I could and traded it in. Too bad – I really liked the car.

    Like 2
  17. Steve

    At some point during the 80’s, my buddy built a couple vegas. He split the front bumper and dropped in an aluminum Buick 215. His green model looked a lot like the seller’s car, and man was it fun. Any car ahead of us was meant to be passed. He didn’t get to race it much, cause it sounded so good nobody would try. Great memories of grabbing the camera and hittin the road for a day of excitement. I’d buy this one if it was closer.

  18. scottymac

    In my imagination, Brian is a gen Z who grew up on Hondas, had to look up who made Vegas. Truth is, Hondas would do most things better than a stock or modified Vega. I had to face facts when I brought a ’76 Mercury Capri back from California in 2006. My first was bought when I got orders for West Germany in 1978 (look that one up, too, Brian) and got to drive unlimited speeds on the autobahns while the States were still restricted to the national 55mph speed limit. (Wiki, again Brian.) When I finally got the second Capri back on the road, I had to admit my ’90 Ford Escort was more fun to drive than the Capri. Time does march on, memories are sometimes best left undisturbed.

    Like 3
  19. Rw

    I’m sooo sorry feelings got hurt.

    Like 1
  20. Brian K Staff

    This was not meant to be a negative review. Just a realistic one. But I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who defended me on this. I appreciate the community of Barn Finders and value their support. In these reviews, I’m sometimes funny, sometimes ironic, hopefully always truthful.

    Like 7
    • GitterDunn

      Great write-up! Enjoyed it! You called it like you seen it: one man’s junk is another man’s money pit.

      Like 3
  21. Brian K Staff

    And no, I’m not a Gen Z who grew up on Hondas, but it’s fun to see various people try to figure out my social position.

    Like 2
  22. Sam

    Posi Traction Limited Slip Differential?

  23. KC John Member

    Hey Brian, hope you didn’t take my comment as a slam on you. I appreciate you bringing car.to our attention. One of the things I like is sharing opinions about these cars. It can be done respectfully. If my thoughts inspired disrespect I apologize.

    Like 1
  24. Cadmanls Member

    Not too sure what’s going on but I happened to have agreed with the author and this ain’t no silver slipper folks. Have seen so many cleaner well built cars come out of backyard garages. Yeah might light the tires up but you got to stop it! Brake bias on this car looks off. Small 4 cylinder stuff up front an big drums on the rear. Bottom looks like it may have some off road time intentional or maybe not. Those weeds wrapped around the driveshaft? Interior is a mess and the tin worm is alive. Na

    Like 1
  25. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $7,601.

    Like 1

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