Twin Cam Barn Find: 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega

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There is no such thing as having too much information about a car, but there certainly is an argument for having too little information, and this 1975 Cosworth Vega is a perfect example of the latter. It shows a lot of promise, but the owner doesn’t give away a lot. Barn Finder Jack in RI spotted this one for us to look at, so a big thank you for that Jack. The owner has set a price of $7,490 for the Vega, and on the surface, it’s a car that shows some promise. Located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, you will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist.

The appearance of the Vega looks quite good. It looks like it has been sitting in its current location for some time, which means that it has been sheltered from the elements and from harmful UV rays. From what we can see under the healthy layer of dust, the body looks to be straight, and it also looks like it may have been spared the rigors of rust which can consume the ’75 models. Improved rust protection in the ’76 model reduced these issues, but as long as you kept an eye on things, a ’75 model could still remain quite solid. The paint on the car generally looks like it could be quite good, and I’m just itching to give the Vega a was to see what lies beneath. The seller doesn’t indicate how long the Vega has been sitting in storage, or whether there are any rust issues underneath the car.

The interior of the Vega continues the promising trend on vehicle condition. It doesn’t look like anything has been modified, and there are no signs of any aftermarket items being fitted. There is some visible fading of a few plastic trim items, but this is a car from the 1970s, so that sort of thing was pretty common. Apart from that, it’s pretty hard to fault the interior. The owner gives nothing away about the engine or drive-train, so it really is a case of your guess is as good as mine on that. Hopefully, the engine can be revived, because they really are quite a nice little unit. With a Cosworth twin-cam head, forged aluminum pistons, a forged steel crank and connecting rods, and electronic fuel injection, the little 122ci 4-cylinder engine was really a race engine in everything but name. As a bonus, there is a spares car included in the package, but we aren’t given any information about it apart from the fact that it has been stored outside.

As an Australian, I have wondered on a number of occasions how the Cosworth would have faired in the Australian market. We were just beginning to embrace the hatchback look, and the Cosworth would have been technologically head-and-shoulders above any other 4-cylinder car offered in the Australian mass market. Still, that’s something that we’ll never know. This one shows quite a bit of promise as a project, but how much promise will entirely depend on what things are like under the hood. If that fantastic little engine can be revived, and if the car is structurally solid, then this could be a great car to get back on the road.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. slickb

    Adam, you always have some or the best write up!!!! well done and cool car

    Like 10
  2. Bear

    Potential Buyers need to check thoroughly for rust (especially in the NE US), & also confirm that the engine is all there.
    Strip off all of the US smog & they can actually perform pretty decently (esp compared to most other US brand 1975 cars).
    Fun little cars when they are in running/driving condition! :-)

    (The POTENTIAL for these cars was HUGE when the concept was 1st penned. But the engines were severely detuned (lowered compression, & lots of added emissions controls) which really limited their performance, & their sales success. Sad really, as a TRUE Cosworth-equipped Vega might just have been what was needed to repair the damaged reputation that the Vega had earned during its early years.)

    Like 9
    • GeorgeMember

      The main limitation on the Cosworth engine’s power was the weak aluminum block

      To increase power, Cosworth wanted to reinforce the block but GM bean counters nixed that.

      The result was a car with the performance of a Vega GT, unavailable with a/c, and the price of a Corvette

      GM management screwed up this car, just like the Vega itself. They didn’t require government help.

      Like 7
    • Alan pickard


      Like 0
  3. Air Boss

    Nice, period, JPS Team Lotus decal on the rear bumper!

    Like 4
  4. Del

    Running ?

    To much info….

    Where can I buy that spray in dust ?

    Motivated seller. Offer 2 grand ?

    Like 3
  5. Bodyman68

    Well if its just dusty ill take it , yes n.e. cars rust to nothing but swiss cheese and this one is looking to be worth it . Getting it running is the easy part , looks like drive train is in it as nose isn’t pointed north. I would just clean it up and get it running and enjoy it ! Those twin cammers are fun to drive and a 5speed to boot !

    Like 4
    • Tirefriar

      ‘75 has a 4 speed. 1976 had the 5 speed. I’m not a purist, would do the swap

      Like 1
  6. Paul

    I sold a 75 in the fall. It was straight, rust free and all original. Got $10;500
    Had the fuel injection and the injectors are near impossible to find.
    Buy the way, I have 4 rebuilt and tested ones.

    Like 3
  7. CK

    I hate to say it but I’m gonna .Yank that motor and trans and swap in a 383 stroker small block crate motor and the trans of your choice and get that thing back on the road. Even if you paid the full asking price and had to throw another $7500.00 into it,for 15K you would hav yourself a pretty Sweet ride.These cars were troublesome back in the day why would you want to deal with all those problems.Make it road worthy and reliable.Cuz honestly do you really want to break down at some car show or cruise nite just so you can say but it’s all original.Or would you rather fire up that small block up and hear people say well that’s not original but it sure is BADASS.

    Like 2
  8. Butchb

    There’s a Cosworth out here on clist with surface rust and a dented front fender in only fair condition for $12,500. Originally priced at $9500.00 the seller one day jacked the price for no discernible reason. Probably Barrett-Jackson Auction. Severely overpriced in any case and getting Craigslist rot.
    Cosworth Vega’s come up for sale fairly often and if you just had to have this one probably $5500 would be all the money.

    V-8 Vega’s are fairly common & depending on upgrades the price range is all over. Unfortunately, no matter what you do to one, they’re still a Vega. For the same build cost you can have a much more salable full size street car. Build or own one for the love and fun of it, but your chance of getting your $$ back at sale time are much less than say a Nova or other full size GM car. I’ve owned 11 Vega’s just because I like them and V8 Vega’s a blast to drive, not because I expected to make a home run when I sold one.

    Like 3
    • GeorgeMember

      A perfect response. The cars are attractive, if you find one without serious rust. Have fun, don’t expect to make a profit.

      Like 1

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