Not What It Seems: 1973 Chevrolet Vega Barn Find

As the seller quite correctly points out, the “GT” trim has been added to this base level Vega. But that doesn’t make it a bad car! As a Pinto and Vega fan, I struggle with the horrible reputation these cars have now, especially since if one has survived it must have been coddled to some extent! And the rust and reliability issues don’t apply as much to a classic, especially if it’s taken care of now. This fine example of Vegadom is located in Choctaw, Oklahoma. It’s listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding hasn’t hit $1,600 yet!

From this angle you can see how clean the design was, especially these earlier cars without the large bumpers. Even a practical hatchback was included as well. Although only 23,400 miles are showing, the seller has no documentation and is not claiming that to be the actual mileage. Score #2 for the seller’s trustworthyness! Apart from a small crack in the lower part of the windshield and a few minor rust issues (I know, some of you are saying there is no such thing as a minor Vega rust issue, but look for yourself before saying that!) the car is pretty straight and solid.

I’m guessing the jumper cables are from an attempt to start the car. The seller tells us it will run but that it needs a fuel pump. Depending on how long it’s been sitting “in the barn,” it may not be the pump, but could be the tank or feed line have gummed up. Before I bought a fuel pump, unless it’s obviously junk, I’d try running it off a bottle feeding the fuel pump first.

Here’s the plain jane interior. Apart from me really liking the GT steering wheel and gauges, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this design. Obviously, you’ll need to find some upholstery down the road, and the carpet looks pretty rough, but again, consider the price.

Here’s the Vega engine, complete with it’s much-disliked aluminum block. So we have a four cylinder, manual drive train and a pretty plain Vega. But when was the last time you saw one? I think this will be a nice car, depending on what this goes for. As the ad said at the time, “The little car that does everything well.” Want it?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Wait, yo…I seem to see THREE pedals and what appears to be a manual shift lever. So what’s this “automatic drive train” stuff, Jamie?

    I will leave discussion of the virtues and vices of Vegas to others. I had one as a rental back in ’72, and was distinctly underwhelmed. Was never so glad to get back to my Honda 600!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ray, dang it, you’re right! 😁

    • Robert Spinello

      It’s a Saginaw three-speed manual.

  2. Blyndgesser

    If the shift knob is any indication, this one is packing a Saginaw three speed manual. A deservedly rare choice given the limitations of the engine.

  3. Rock On Member

    Nothing wrong with this Vega that a small block Chevy swap couldn’t fix.

    Like 6
    • Ck

      Yep screamin for a 383 Stroka..Isn’t that what every Vega should have?That would sertainly solve all the problems these cars had.In my little under powered any car world a V8 fixes everything.

      Like 1
  4. geebee

    For me, the styling of these cars hit the mark. Always made me, and I think a lot of other folks, think of a baby Camaro. Unfortunately, the mechanicals were pure garbage, and clearly showed why American car companies were being destroyed by overseas competition in the small car segment. Detroit could have done better, but chose not to. That’s what happens when the “bean counters” run a company.

    Like 3
    • St. Ramone de V8

      Geebee, I have to agree on the styling. I had a ’72 GT in copper with black stripes. Black interior. Looked great, I thought. Ran that tin foil engine as long as I could. 30,000 miles. Ate oil like a pig, but looked great (in my opinion) doing it. There was a long downhill on my way to school (yep, it was ’75) and if I hit the throttle hard at the bottom the whole town knew it! Too much fun. Yep, car was crap, but I thought it looked sharp.

      Like 2
      • Mike McCloud

        I agree with St, Ramone; It’s the rarer Vegas that made the rest stand out, I think.And the Comment on slipping a V8 in is suiting as many have had ‘The Treatment’! Some years ago, in my home town, a guy had a perfect Vega wagon, looked like a small Nomad, was still painted in the factory colors of their Forest Green body with silver bottom panels, had an optional roof rack. But when he rolled into the donut shop’s parking lot, the low rumble exhaust made a different statement; he’d put a V6 from a Buick GSX in there. The only give-away was 2 bell tipped ends sticking out & the engine’s growl. All very well done & a nice, tidy install-like the factory should have done to save a nice little car & give it performance that backed up ‘The Look’!

    • Geebee

      Yes Sir, you absolutely nailed it!

  5. Fred W.

    RARE. May be the only running aluminum block Vega in existence. I agree with the SBC swap suggestion. No problem with new rust as long as you can garage it and don’t put it away wet.

    • Mark Scott

      I drive one every day!

      Like 1
    • Robert Spinello

      I have three and an nos fitted block in the garage…not for sale.

      Like 1
  6. Craig MacDonald

    I owned one; worst car I ever had. Needed an IV pole with a drip of 10w-40 to deal with the oil consumption. A well preserved bad car is still a bad car.

    Like 1
  7. George

    Just a couple of points. First as previously pointed out it does appear to be a manual transmission car. Second that I haven’t read anyone else mention, although this vehicle is listed as a 1973 model it has the GM rear deck louvers consistent only on GM 1971 model years.

    • Robert Spinello

      George, The Vega had the ventilation grills through 1973. Wagons kept them to the end.

  8. David

    FYI……
    All Vegas had an electric fuel pump submersed inside the fuel tank.
    Check the fuse first and you may find it doesn’t actually need a fuel pump!

    Like 1
  9. JW

    Wow I thought Pintos and Mustang IIs were the most hated cars of my youth but you guys can be hard on these cars. I agree if cheaply bought I would drop a 302 / 5 speed manual / narrowed 8″ rearend in it to PO the GM guys.

    • Bingo

      I thought it was the citation.

      Like 1
  10. bill

    “Although only 23,400 miles are showing, the seller has no documentation and is not claiming that to be the actual mileage.”
    I would say it is likely the correct mileage, as no Vega ever lasted for 123,400 miles.

    Like 2
    • Chuck

      It will need it soon. My ’72 GT got around 30K miles before the block gave out. Back in the day, I swapped out the trashed engine for a low mileage junk yard one and sold the thing.

      Like 1
    • Danny J Wadlow

      I use to own this car . I was the second owner . And when sold it all the original papers went with it .

  11. Rock On Member

    Yes JW a 302 from a 1967-1969 Z28 would certainly wake this Vega up!

    Like 2
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      If u can find one that somebody hasn’t put in a Z/28 tribute car.

      Like 2
  12. Rustytech Member

    Somebody sure thought they looked good, Chevy sold tons of them before the engine problems became well known. I too thought they looke sorta like a baby Camaro. A small block swap was a very popular remedy back it the day, I did at least three of them. The other major issue was rust, it usually took over at about 3 to 4 years. With the stick shift and a V8 this would be a fun drive. That color would have to go first!

    Like 1
    • GOPAR

      As we all know, looks are only skin deep. I remember the first one I ever saw. It was looking very sporty as it was coasting to the shoulder of the road with the drive shaft dragging the pavement.

      Like 1
  13. Mr. Bond

    This one has the single barrel carb They performed much better with the two barrel, an option in 1973, and standard I believe, in 1974. I had three, as a teenager. We lived on gravel roads, and the oil pan hung just below the main cross member. I welded that pan up on the last one, 4 or 5 times. The cross member was weak, and the only way to align it (Camber) was a frame shop.

    • Beaudog

      I had 5 or 6 of these babies when I was a younger man. Back then you could buy them for $100 or so, drive the wheels off them and leave them where they died with no hard feelings. Some lasted longer than others, but all were driven hard and put away wet.

      Still have some fond memories of good times in the Vega(s), and it’s Pontiac sister the Astre. (Yes, it was spelled like that)

  14. Jay M

    So Kevin, not a big fan of the Vega?

    Just a wild guess…

    Like 1
    • Jeffro

      So Kevin, what do you like?

  15. RicK

    Nobody wanted ’em then and nobody wants ’em now (unless its a giveaway price)

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      That’s simply not true, Rick. Chevrolet sold over 2 million Vega’s. Many of the problems came from the Lordstown plant producing 100 cars per hour,( think about that for a second, they say, some workers had 36 seconds to perform their tasks,) almost twice the rate of most other cars, there was such a demand for them.

      Like 1
  16. STEEL CRAZY

    Kevin that’s funny stuff there. im still laughing. One of my best friends had a 74 GT 4sp SW back around 78 and we always had a case of 20-50 motor oil so we didn’t have to stop every fifty miles to buy more. Almost died in the POS more than once. We used to tell people it drank oil faster than we could drink beer. Oh those were the days.

    Like 2
  17. Kevin Wernick

    Good guess Jay M. I’m not a big fan of shevrolet period. Vegas or otherwise

    • Steve Kosuda

      Bought a 72 GT brand new, green, with white stripes. Ran great until the head gasket blew at 35,000 miles and trashed the engine. Luckily I was able to get the dealer to put a new engine in it for $120. Then the rust started. The metal around the windshield rusted, making it un drivable in the rain. Then the tops of the front fenders rusted through so that you could put your fist through them. Was lucky enough to dump it for $300 and bought a Ford.

      Like 1
      • Mike McCloud

        omg &, ouch!

  18. Bear

    My very 1st car was a ’76 Vega GT. & I do have to say, it was a GREAT CAR.
    …but by ’76 GM had fixed the oil consumption issue, a BorgWarner 5-speed was available, rust issues had also been addressed, and the cars were actually decent & reliable machines! (…of course, MY ownership was in sunny CA, so I wasn’t dealing with ANY road salt. But I did put a ton of miles on that car & it never ever let me down!)
    I preferred the styling of the earlier Vegas (yes, “mini-Camaro” was a common name for them), and I was involved with dropping V8s in to many of them that were owned by my friends. But all I ever did to my silver & black ’76 GT was remove ALL of the smog, upgrade the shocks to KYBs, upgrade the springs to a stiffer set w a 1″ drop, and fit a set of 50-series BFG RadTAs. Oh, & the usual early 80s installation of a Concord stereo system & 6 speakers made that little car ROCK!
    Bought it in ’80 for about $2200.00, drove it like crazy, maintained it religiously (everything looked perfect & worked perfectly on that car, & you could eat off the engine!), & sold it in ’84 for $3500.00.
    Not bad for a 1st car experience!
    (Gotta admit, there are some days that I wish I’d just kept that car. but I needed the money to pay for tuition at Cal Poly SLO.)
    :-)

    • Tracy

      My first car,in 1984,was a 1976 Vega 4 speed. Paid $600 for it and the only thing I had to do was put a clutch in it a year later. I liked that car but I pulled out in front on a Lincoln and it was done for me.

  19. Bear

    IF THIS VEGA isn’t a “rust-bucket” then I’d have to say that it is a good candidate for a V8 swap. Small block Chevy (327 or 350), cut (or pound out) the trans tunnel to make room for a bigger turbo-350 or turbo-400 tranny, install a beefier posi rear end, reinforce the front lower a-arm mounts, headers, new paint, new interior and gauges (perhaps even just a GT interior from another Vega-GT donor car), and that car will turn heads at any local car show! All at a budget build price! (y) :-)

  20. Kevin Wernick

    “Find New Roads” LOL. That P.O.S. could very well be considered gm’s first step towards bankruptcy and bailout. LOL!!!

    Like 1
  21. mark

    23,400 miles. Just think only another 7,000 miles before it starts burning oil like there is no tomorrow.

    Like 1
  22. Shawn Fox Firth

    Much nicer looking than Fox body stangs , and the only negative can be overcome with an injection of V-8 , An all aluminum Big block stroker would be my choice ..

    Like 1
  23. daniel wright

    I remember these rusting and leaking oil when they were brand new on the dealer lots. They were junk and this is coming from someone whose father drove a pinto and a rambler.

    Like 1
  24. TikiVegas

    Learned to drive in my mom’s ’74 red, hatchback. That poor woman had to buy oil by the case–and those were the days before the easy open plastic spout. I learned to punch the tin oil spout bayonet into those old cardboard can tops. Around 1983 one of the attachment points for the axel–on the body rusted off. It was a uni-body and it was made of pressed sheet metal where it attached to the car. My mom said her car was acting funny. Repaired it with a muffler clamp through the floor. That was bad news. Beautiful cars–those early ones, but was a poor design throughout.

    Like 1
  25. Ken Nelson Member

    The Vega was a committee car – all sorts of folks worked on it, because it was a crisis car after GM dumped the Wankel license, for which they’d paid $60 Million! When they realized the engine couldn’t live, mileage was awful, etc, etc, they came up with the upside-down Porsche engine – alum silica block etched so the pistons ran on the exposed silicon crystals, but it ate oil like a deep fryer. Then they put an undersized radiator in it, and when it leaked it got hot so fast, the alum. block expanded up against the iron head held on by steel bolts, so the alum expansion crushed the head gasket. On cooldown, the head gasket leaked coolant into the cyls and you had a steam engine!
    I once drove home to W. Bloomfield from Southfield Mi. after work on a summer day, saw a huge cloud of white smoke obliterating the two N-bound lanes of Northwestern hyway. Out of curiousity I pushed ahead thru the cloud to find a Vega pumping out the whiteness like a Chattanooga choo-choo! I think DeLorean also worked on this car and you know what happened to him!
    A guy I went to grad school with in Chicago – before I went to Detroit – wrote a not nice song about the Vega after seeing his in the local dealership along with about 50 others – all with their blocks out on the garage floor! ‘Nuff said – a true committee car – no one was committed to making it work!

    Like 1
  26. milotus

    Buy it,fix it,& drive it,but keep a case of oil (& filters)
    in the trunk.When you run out of oil,switch filters,& refill it.

    Like 1
  27. Tom Cotrel

    I’d swap the 4cyl drivetrain from a late model S10 or Colorado. That by itself would be a significant power upgrade. I would be leery of any SBC swap given the packaging issues with the Monza.

    • Ck

      I don’t think you would have to be leery about a SBC swap they have been done since Day One.

  28. Friendly Joe

    Sort looks like a Chevelle ate a Maverick and, you know…

  29. Rock On Member

    Platinum or iridium spark plugs will last up to 100,000 miles. Synthetic oils and filters will get you up to 10,000 miles between oil changes. So it a lot easier now living with a V-8 Vega than in the 70’s or 80’s.

    Like 1
  30. Howard A Member

    I’m sorry, some of you people are terrible. I wish you’d leave your “My Ford is better than you’re Chevy” crap out of this. You are applying modern knowledge to 1970’s technology. These times, ( 70’s) they were a’ changin’, and it’s now obvious as heck, US was caught with their pants down. These small cars were a new venture for US automakers, and foreign car makers had years of experience building AND driving them. American’s didn’t know how to drive 4 cylinders, they were used to “Niagara Falls” down the intake, and drove these cars too hard, and didn’t maintain them properly. The Vega ( and Pinto and Gremlin) were good cars. I had a friend with a ’72 Vega GT, he changed the oil religiously ( I think, every 2,000 miles) and had great luck, it was a fun little car. Clearly, today, there are better motors to put in here, but you had to start somewhere, and I liked the Vega, it was much nicer styled than the Pinto (or Gremlin, for that matter) That’s all there was folks, for US small cars back then, Vega, Pinto, or Gremlin. I think this was the best of them all, although, they all had their merits and problems. This is a great find, regardless of what you think is the best car. It’s not what I feel BF’s should be about. It’s about finding rare cars like this, that truly made a difference in what we drive today.

    Like 1
    • BRAKTRCR

      I remember the early Honda cars had head gasket issues also. The earliest Honda’s were pretty neat looking, I think they were called N600’s Slow and unreliable, as I remember.
      Every manufacturers cars rusted terribly. Datsun 240 Z’s rusted in a year or so. Living in Chicago area, NOTHING was exempt from rust in those days. Mustangs, Gremlins, all the Mopars.
      The Pinto had its problems too. People burned to death in them.
      It’s easy to throw rocks at a vehicle, knowing all its flaws after the fact. What most … Ok , SOME, of us do, is work with what we have and make it better. Anybody remember the AMX commercial? ” It’s a great car Dad, I just made it better”. THAT is what we do.

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Hi BRAKTRCR, I sure do remember that commercial. Even Eddie Stakes from planethoustonamx can’t find it. I believe, he found the car used in the commercial, but not the commercial itself. IIRC, there were a couple of those ads, featuring the supercharged Javelin.( not sure if it was an AMX) I heard they were pulled, because it advocated street racing (duh, that’s what we did) http://www.planethoustonamx.com/press_photos/generation-gap-blown-supercharged-amc-javelin.JPG

        Like 3
    • rando

      didn’t the old Honda Civic rust just as bad as the domestics? I never saw one of these that wasn’t rusty. Same with older subarus? Possibly others as well. I think rust was always an issue. Just that some were way worse than others. I tire of reading the negativity towards cars because of the era. This is what we had to work with.

      Like 2
    • Dovi65

      Well said, Howard. We can debate/argue ad infinitum Pinto vs Vega vs Gremlin vs whatever else you want to toss into the mix. Truth is, that none were better/worse than the others.
      BF commenters need to shelve the “my brand is better than yours” crap, and appreciate that any 70s, 80s car is still around to be appreciated!

      Like 4
    • MSG Bob

      Howard, I agree with you in principle, but I still remember my test drive in a Vega. Going down the street at full throttle, I looked in the rear view mirror and could swear the kid behind me on the Schwinn was gaining! Only car that made me long for the quickness and acceleration of my ’64 Spitfire.

    • Ck

      So here is my take on the whole my Chevy is better than your Ford argument .When you are young and Dumb thats just what you do.But as I got older I realized that if a car,any car has survived this long ,thats pretty kool. You can sit here on your computer and bash cars that ya don’t like all day long,but thats not going to stop people from posting them.So put on your Big Boy pants and be thankful that these Fords,Chevys,Mopars, etc, etc,are still around .Cuz guess what nobody realy cares what You like or don’t like.Pretty much everybody that comes to this site is here to look at cars, talk about cars that they had (good or bad)and LEARN.Honestly there is really no point for the negativity.

      Like 4
      • Tim Rusling

        Great insight! Thanks.

        Like 1
    • Skibum2

      So much B.S. from people who were not there…Great cars IF you knew how to maintain them.. yep, had a 76 GT panel.. Loved it

      Like 2
  31. BRAKTRCR

    Kevin, how do you like your 78 Mustang?

  32. rando

    Carry extra spark plugs. ‘Cause the way they score the walls and bleed oil, you will be oil fouling plugs a lot. how do I know? Ask the man that had one… lol

    Mine ran fine. oil or not. Add oil and change plugs frequently. Was a fun car. Owned it in 85 or so?

    Like 1
  33. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Folks, agreed with Howard — just because you don’t like a car, there’s no reason to get nasty about it. And I’m having difficult editing the post to fix my transmission error, will fix it when I can get back into the post :-)

    Please keep the discourse civil!

    Like 3
  34. Big Mike

    When I was in my late teens early 20’s I saw these little car in their element so to speak, these little Vega was the BEST thing going, I don’t care what anybody says, they were the BEST thing Chevy every put out.

    Now that being said, these beauties of Detroit were running around on small dirt tracks, the body style was the choice of local dirt trackers including the one I worked on for 8 years. After that many went to the Chevette body as the bases of the Modified Division around here.

    Last year I went with my Grandsons and Son to I-55 raceway in Pevely, they were having a vintage night, and there was a bunch of the one Vega bodies and Chevette Bodies running around that night with some Pintos and Opals.
    Man that brought back some good memories.

    My best friend in HS had a Vega, I can’t remember the year but it was a hatchback, and it drank and burned oil, it was so bad at fouling the plugs he carried extras in a can in the back with a plug socket just in case he had to change out a plug in a hurry, that car went through oil so bad that his Dad would go to the local garage and get waste oil from them, he would pump it through a filter system he had seen used in the mines and Randy would run that in his car until the oil pressure would drop and he would get out and add oil from a gallon jug in the back. It leaked and burned oil so bad that the HS would ask him not to park it in student parking area, he always parked it down the street from the school.

    One summer Dad felt so bad for Randy that he offered him a job and gave him a car that was rebuilt by the shop, funny thing about it is Randy owes Dad’s shop now and still has the car that Dad gave him.
    Sweet Memories!!!!

    Like 1
    • rando

      I’m Randy too and my story was similar. Carried oil and plugs. I didn’t bother with putting in oil often. The car ran fine the year I had it. Sometimes the oil pressure light would stay on til about 35 mph. It may have been using oil like a crack addict, but it only quit on me once, when a fouled plug blew the ceramic out of the base. And it really didn’t quit. Kept going on 3 cylinders at a reduced rate til I get it to the side of the road. Replaced the plug and kept a motoring. Once a week I would clean a coouple sets of plugs and put them back in the glove box for the next week. Yes seems stupid now, but it was a 5 minute job to replace all 4 plugs. Add oil when I added gas usually. Car ran everytime I turned the key. Looked reasonable even though I discovered it to be full of filler. But I wasn’t in for much so no big deal.

      I eventually sold it off and “upgraded” to an Audi. That taste of german engineering will never leave me. Even though I had fun with that car as well, even though it was an unreliable money pit.

      Like 1
  35. Dovi65

    Ahhh .. another oddball. I’m with the author on the love [?] affair with the Vega, & Pinto. As a youngun, friends of my parent’s had a Vega in this color. Couldn’t have been such a bad car, as both adults weighed in at 250+ lbs each. They also had a 60s era VW Bug.
    Miss those 2 folks, may they rest in peace.

  36. Howard A Member

    I love the stories. My ex MIL had a Vega. We’d go visit once a week, and it was a standard ritual to “put some oil in Ma’s car”. She worked at Sears, and always had a case of Sears oil in the back. Don’t forget, some wonderful people drove Vega’s. My MIL was one of them.

    Like 2
    • Dovi65

      I also love the stories, & memories that these BF’s trigger. A walk down memory lane. 70s era Caprice’s get my eyes all watery, as they were my Pops ‘go to’ when replacing the one he just wore out.
      Keep the stories coming, folks! I’ve got plenty of tissue

  37. Kevin Wernick

    A Vega with a V8 is still a Vega

    Like 1
  38. Skip Farrell

    My buddy had a White w/Black stripe GT and we had way to much fun in it. Wonder how we did not kill ourselves. Also remember seeing one on the lot, same color above, in Kingsville, MD, with “1,000,000 Vega” on the door handle. Wouldn’t you know it, two years later in the local junk yard, saw the same wrecked Vega.

  39. Tim Rusling

    They were never my favorite cars, but I did drive a couple for some time – a hatchback and a panel express. A friend had a built small-block orange hatchback – crazy automatic with a shift kit, called Vegamatic. Broke the rear end loose with very light throttle shifts. I still have the nose of an Astre on my rec room wall, with wiring to make the lights work.

  40. Bruce Best

    As light as the Vega is I would think a modern V-6 would be a far better choice. Lighter, and more than enough power for the street. I think that those that were wiling to care for these had far better luck with them.

    I have mentioned this trick before but Linseed oil coating around all the welded seams will do wonders for rust prevention if you get to it before the rust starts. The person that told me that also had an early Vega and he put over 100K on his GT and had no major rust except for paint chips. Like a lot of cars of the time they were very sensitive to ownership and care far more than newer cars are. These are a shame because the basic car design is good to excellent and with a little power they drove very well.

  41. johnj

    3.8 Turbo from a GN and a T5 or a th200r4 would make a nice , balanced car. Add the torque arm rear and sway bars from the later h body cars. And a 5 lug swap can be done on the cheep with S10 front spindles and s10 rear axles. I had a small block with a TH400 in mine and had lots of fun with it, may even find time to get it back on the road some day. Was last inspected in ’93, how time flys.

  42. Paul D (SMOKEY)

    Bought one brand new in 1971 Vega GT 110hp. Drove it like mad for 3 years never had an issue except rust(Ohio) Traded it in on a 1974 3/4 ton chevy 4×4 4 speed. Wise move the way they fell apart later.

    Like 1
  43. ACZ

    Funny how some things get ignored. Anything North of Tennessee is a rust bucket within five years.

  44. Pete

    In HS my buddy had a Green one. He had 6 jensen 6X9 speakers jammed into that car it would get so loud it was just down right painful when he cranked it up. He drove it all through HS and into college. I seem to remember they had a special variation of the Vegas with a Cosworth or was it Cogsworth engine that was supposed to be the sheet compared to the stock engine. I thought they were pretty cool for what they were back in the day. But hey I was driving during the fuel embargos and a 4 cylinder made that a lot easier on your wallet. I also remember carrying a gas can around in the trunk. Not because you might run out, But because you might not be able to buy any when ya needed to.

  45. Shawn Fox Firth

    High school damn I miss it , our auto shop teach was a big ol boy with a flask in his vest pocket Mr Dennis he was a character he saw us doing burnouts so he cobbled up a set-up with remote windshield washer pump and a jug in the trunk we drilled holes in the wheel wells and would spray water on the tires while doing a burnout ! I haven’t had that memory in years , I love this Internet best thing to happen since the wheel !

    Like 1
  46. pdxmetalman

    Kudos indeed to the seller on the GT emblems not being original. I would like to point out, however, the steering wheel is not a GT wheel. That was the standard wheel. If it is a three speed trans, it was actually an Opel sourced unit from Germany. And they were prone to self destruction. A very good friend of mine had a 72 with the 3-spd. He was constantly having to put in another trans. Finally swapped in a four spd. Car ran incredibly quick for a 4 cyl.
    My mother had two of them, both 74’s. A very rusty notchback with a 4spd that I could shift beautifully without using the clutch. Pulled a 6% grade out of PDX in high gear @ 55-60. Second was a really nice GT wagon with fac. A/C that worked, P/S, and an auto. Both cars had their original engines and ran for well over 100k.
    And since my Dad was a District Sales Manager for Chevrolet Corporate, he drove about 10-12 of them new as Co. cars. I still remember having the order forms for them from 72/3 in the house as late as the mid 80″s.
    I bought a 77 for $600 in 89 and drove it till a guy wanted it for a race car. I still have the engine/trans (Auto.) combo complete. That engine had 121,000 on it when pulled, and ran like new.
    One of the biggest culprits of engine probs was the timing belt. They were not long life, and, having been driven off the water pump, would end up breaking or coming off due to the pump bolts backing off. The pumps were slotted, and a lot of guys would throw a new belt on with out a new W/P gasket. Which led to improper flow, leaks, and lack of cooling system pressure. And for the want of a $0.25 coolant overflow bottle on the early year cars, they destroyed a very popular car at the time.

  47. elevator man

    Had several back in the early eighties, still have a iron duke four cylinder and a five speed plus a bunch of other parts that I can’t bring myself to trash

  48. RS

    Total garbage. I was out with my older brother in about 1973, looking at the used cars at a dealer closed for Sunday, and put my thumb through the top of the fender of a Vega. It was only a couple years old and crunch, my thumb went right through. Read John DeLorean’s book “On A Clear Day You Can See General Motors” and find out all about one of the worst cars ever sold.

    Like 1
  49. Mike McCloud

    HAR! That’s a new one,( to me,from SoCal, originally). Maybe that title should’ve been ” On A Clear Day You Can See Right THROUGH General Motors ” ! ( And who would’ve known this but JDL?!) Guessing you & your brother were in one of the ‘Rust Belt’ states at the time? In SoCal, this happened anywhere near the ocean, but some places with ravines & valleys would ‘duct’ the salt air inland some. Best wishes for you & yours! Mike

  50. Trent Member

    As being a owner of 4 buick 215’s. Has any one ever done what we did to MGBs? You know aluminum sbb w/t56 5spd behind it. This works good for these. Classic V8 sound cruising down the road.

  51. Tony Beam

    The yellow vega listed here was my car. My first car was a 73 GT I bought in 1983 with 32,000 miles on it. Loved it, ran great and gave me no problems whatsoever. I was rear ended by a drunk driver at 50mph and that was then end of that!
    I recently purchased a 72 GT in an attempt to re-live my youth…lol! Other than areas around the windshield and the battery tray I have not rust in this Texas car. I’m rebuilding it back stock (I know??) steel sleeved block this time. I having fun with it, occasional driver etc.
    In retrospect I should have kept the yellow one, it truly was an incredibly solid Oklahoma car, garaged most of it’s life.

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