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Another One, Slightly Nicer! 1975 Cosworth Vega


So you say you didn’t like the project Cosworth Vega we featured recently? Well, this one had already been submitted by reader Chris M., but a comment by Healeydays also called it out as a nice example. This one is for sale both here on eBay where it hasn’t met reserve and here on craigslist for $10,950. It’s located in Monrovia, Maryland.


The seller rates the paint as an 8.5 on a 1-10 scale. Based on this picture, I think he may grade tougher than I do! I’m seeing clear reflections across a yard in black paint. Black paint that is 41 years old shouldn’t look this good! I’ve always liked the wheels and although I generally don’t go for gold trim, I’d like to see this parked next to a John Player Special Europa! (I like them both). I can honestly say that I’d probably fit better in the Cosworth, though.


Apart from the large bumpers, this has to be one of the cleanest mid-1970’s designs GM put out. I remember fondly a Vega GT my best friend drove in high school, and I’ve thought for years the Cosworth version would be even better. You can see more of that 8.5 black paint here. I’m glad the seller doesn’t look at the paint jobs I’ve painted.


As you might expect, with 13,000 original miles (highly documented, according to the seller) the interior looks almost new. It does make me wonder why folks don’t clean floor mats when they are taking pictures to sell a car, though. Everything here appears original to me, and I prefer the black interior to the white one in the other Cosworth.


No surprise that the underhood looks nice as well. Like the other car, this one is a four speed rather than the later five speed, but it does have the original fuel injection setup. In this case, because I don’t know a lot about the details of these cars, I’d be inclined to pay the extra for the survivor car that needs nothing. Of course, that’s assuming I could. Most of my projects over the years have been “bargains” at the beginning. Some of them have stayed that way. However, every one of the “nice” cars I’ve bought have actually been as represented. I’m interested in whether your experiences have been similar–let us hear about them in the comments.




  1. Mike

    nice, but to small for the size I am, beside where would I park it, my garage is full!!!!

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  2. Fred

    That deep paint gloss is much easier to get on a GM car. They were painted with lacquer, vs Ford’s which were painted with enamel. Lacquer is meant to be buffed and polished and responds well to it.

    Any Vega that survived without rust has my respect. I remember seeing them in the parking lots two or three years after release with large holes around the windshield and tops of the fenders. My friend’s Fiat 124 Sport Coupe is the only other car I remember that rusted as fast. I’m sure the rust was accelerated because we lived on the Florida coast at the time.

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  3. Scotty G Staff

    That’s a beauty!

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  4. Dolphin Member

    Two rare Cosworth Vegas within 24 hrs, and both in pretty good condition. I remember that every road test said that these handled well, but with an unsleeved aluminum block they didn’t last long before they began to burn oil, as someone said yesterday when commenting on the first car.

    John DeLorean was responsible for getting the Cosworth head developed by the famous British race engineering firm, but with an aluminum block that didn’t last, a lack of refinement, and a tendency to rust out I don’t think these did GM or Cosworth Engineering much good, unfortunately.

    As scarce as good examples are I don’t see this well kept, low mile car being worth $11K. That price will buy any number of other fun cars, but if you drive this car much the aluminum block will wear and things will start to go downhill. According to the Ebay listing it’s well documented, but there is no mention of the engine block being sleeved.

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    • Paul

      Most of the Cosworths and regular Vega’s that smoked were from bad valve seals unless they were overheated. Having owned 8 over the years I only had one that smoked. The 2.0 Cosworth also revs to 7000 rpm and is way better than the stock 2.3 Vega.

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  5. Larry Collins

    I had great luck buying one of these 4 years ago with less than 8K original miles on it. I picked it up from the seller and drove it 1,000 home with absolutely no problems. After looking through the paperwork when I got home I found that it had been driven less than 500 TOTAL miles in the previous 27 years! I guess I got a little lucky on that one, but I just turned it over 10K recently and it still runs great. The photo is one that I took on the way home from picking it up.

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  6. RoughDiamond

    It’s a shame GM was shaving corners in the manufacturing process at the time these cars with beautiful body lines were conceived. GM apparently had some dimwitted engineers that in spite of all their book knowledge did not have the common sense to know that an aluminum block would not hold up to the repeated up and down travel of engine pistons.

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  7. Pablo

    I put over 90,000 miles on mine before I traded it in for a “family” car. Still had great compression, and seemed like it had a lot of life left. Other than having to replace the clutch cable and tightening the head bolts a couple times, it was trouble free.

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    This Vagrant is simple and beautiful. Here’s the awful truth

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  9. Cassidy

    And once the engine fails, there are plenty of engine/transmission choices to replace it with. It is a fine looking body if you can keep it rust free, having garage space would be nice.

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  10. DB

    Sold for $10,194.94

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  11. Dan McNally

    The Cosworth and later Vegas don’t have any need to have the block sleeved. Most run well over 100,000 miles before needing rebuilt. The main need for rebuilding is to replace the valve seals. Many just have the rings replaced and don’t touch the bores. The main problem with the early engines was lack of a coolant recovery tank and small radiator. People ran them out of water over heating them. This is what caused most of the issues. Not aluminum bores.

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    • Larry Hansen

      Dan, another reason the Cosworth didn’t suffer the oil burning and bore sealing problems of the regular 2.3 Vega is because the Cosworth had forged aluminum pistons (with copper or brass plating on the skirts), whereas the regular Vega had cast pistons. If you run a cast piston engine hot the piston will deform and the skirts will rub on the cylinder bore and eventually oil will blow by the rings because they no longer fit the pistons and the piston skirt material builds up on the cylinders adding even more problems with oil sealing.

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