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Anybody on here ever own a Vega?


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I never did but, I remember a kid in High School back in the 80's that had a '76 Vega. He drove it pretty much all through High School. Aren't they supposed to be junk? His apparently wasn't. I'd like to have one and put a LS in it. 

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I had a boss back in the 70s that had one. The engine gave a lot of problems because of the process they used to put steel liners in an aluminum block. The car rusted badly almost from day one. So I guess if you plan to swap the engine and drivetrain and  it came from an area that it hasn't already rusted away you might be ok.

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My friend runs one in the 1/8 minute brackets. He runs the wheels of it. I know he had to put a ladder frame under it before putting that much power to it to keep from breaking the windows out. He loves it. 

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My Brother had one back in 74. It was a green fast back 4 speed with tan interior. It was actualy pretty snappy for a 4 banger. His blew a hole in one of the cylinders and didn't have the cash to fix it. He bought a Gremlin after the Vega. I think GM was hard chroming the aluminum cylinders at first but they didnt last and then started steel sleeve lining them like they should have in the first place. But by then, you couldn't give them away. I could be wrong about that but thats how I remember it.

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Had access to a buddy's Vega Wagon. Drove the **** out of it! Very fun little car to drive. I wanted to buy it, but a late night party saw him run it into a ditch and pretty well mess it up beyond repair.

Also had a girlfriend that had a Pinto Sportabout. A little hatchback thing.

A 4 cyclinder 4-speed. It was a quick little toy. I really enjoyed running light-to-light with it. Actually think I liked the Pinto more the the girl. But that might have been because she dumped after finding out I had a wild makeout session with her roomie at a party one night.

Good memories. lol! 

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My brother got on a '72 for his 18th bday, he did not take care of it, blew a cyclinder and put steel liners in.  He kept it thru college then got rid of it.  I also got one ('73) for my 18th BD, and was able to order it like I wanted since I knew I was getting a car for my 18th BD.  I had to pay the difference between the base model and the GT level, which included a a 2 barrel carb, a big wide racing stripe down the center of the card, sport wheels and short throw 4 spd.  I was "hot stuff".  LOL

Mine was Medium Bronze Metallic, white stipe, beige interior.  Drove it all thru college and several years afterwards for my first job.  NO AC, and had a tenacity to overheat, so I put an oversized radiator in it from a Vega with AC, and then had a bit of a problem with it running warm enough to get heat during the winter.  A piece of cardboard behind the grill solved that for me.  LOL  Some moroon tried to turn left in front me and totalled the car in '79 IIRC.  Loved that car, and still wish I had it.  Don't see 'em on the roads anymore, just a few on the drag strips in pics.

You could order a panel wagon with a 350 & 4 spd IIRC, some guy had one in my town, it would haul azz for sure.  I had mine up to 110mph on the interstate one day, front end got so light I lost steering control and let off the gas.  Front end came back down and I never did that again.  LOL  I've got one picture of mine sitting in the yard, and would love to have it back.  LOL.

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12 hours ago, Quavodus said:

I never did but, I remember a kid in High School back in the 80's that had a '76 Vega. He drove it pretty much all through High School. Aren't they supposed to be junk? His apparently wasn't. I'd like to have one and put a LS in it. 

The Vega was Chevy's attempt to make a worse piece of junk than Ford's Pinto.  They wound up tied ...

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1 hour ago, No_0ne said:

The Vega was Chevy's attempt to make a worse piece of junk than Ford's Pinto.  They wound up tied ...

But like the Corsair, both of these vehicles were produced at a time when the big push was for cheap, economical, small cars to compete with the imports.

Were they high quality? No. Were they dependable? Somewhat. Did they compare favorably price-wise? IIRC...I think they did.

They were the first efforts of the US Auto makers to compete with the massive number of imports. As such, these cars had a market and a following for years. US attempts did get better. It just took many models and years to get there.

Sadly for us, I think still that goal hasn't been fully realized.

 

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First wife had a late 70's Toyota Corona/Corolla, with AT, sucked big time.  Turning around 3K rpm's on the interstate did NOT make it an econo car by any definition, and the hum from that 4cyl  engine was bad as well.  I would take my Vega over that POS  any day of the week.  The Vega was part of my growing up, and as I age, I would love to go back to that time, BUT retain the knowledge I have earned/learned from the school of hard knocks.  LOL  😉

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Chevy made a Cosworth model but, I've never seen one. I had another friend that built one around 1990 and put a 350 in with a Powerglide. It had 1.94 heads and high lift cam (can't remember cam specs) a set of Hooker headers, and high rise intake with 650 Holley. It was geared a little high though for drag racing.

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12 hours ago, hipower said:

But like the Corsair, both of these vehicles were produced at a time when the big push was for cheap, economical, small cars to compete with the imports.

Were they high quality? No. Were they dependable? Somewhat. Did they compare favorably price-wise? IIRC...I think they did.

They were the first efforts of the US Auto makers to compete with the massive number of imports. As such, these cars had a market and a following for years. US attempts did get better. It just took many models and years to get there.

Sadly for us, I think still that goal hasn't been fully realized.

 

The Corvair, along with Ford's Falcon and Chrysler's Dart and Valiant, were early efforts at building small, economical cars to compete with imports that were selling increasingly better in the late 50's and early 60's.  By the time the Pinto and the Vega came along, this trend was over 10 years old.  Neither of these cars were even as good as the ones the domestic manufacturers built a decade before them, let alone the crop of imports available by the 70's.  Both the Vega and the Pinto were complete pieces of crap, with no redeeming features and among the worst cars made in their day.  That's saying a lot, considering how poorly made most of the cars produced by the domestic manufacturers were during that era ...

Edited by No_0ne
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I saw something online Yesterday I didn't know. The 63 Pontiac Tempest (maybe other model years too) could be had with a 196 ci. 4 cylinder. I didn't know Pontiac was building a 4 banger then.

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I've seen a couple Cosworth Vega's, even test drove a used one.  That was some fun, more power than that little car needed but it marked it's spot on the car lot with an oil leak, so I passed.  Never drove a V8 version but would have loved to.  

I wonder if anyone has a Vega at the local car shows or anything.  Haven't seen one on the road in years.  LOL

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5 hours ago, jpx2rk said:

Haven't seen one on the road in years. 

There's a reason for that ...

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19 hours ago, No_0ne said:

The Corvair, along with Ford's Falcon and Chrysler's Dart and Valiant, were early efforts at building small, economical cars to compete with imports that were selling increasingly better in the late 50's and early 60's.  By the time the Pinto and the Vega came along, this trend was over 10 years old.  Neither of these cars were even as good as the ones the domestic manufacturers built a decade before them, let alone the crop of imports available by the 70's.  Both the Vega and the Pinto were complete pieces of crap, with no redeeming features and among the worst cars made in their day.  That's saying a lot, considering how poorly made most of the cars produced by the domestic manufacturers were during that era ...

Mea culpa.  

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On 2/22/2021 at 7:08 PM, Quavodus said:

I saw something online Yesterday I didn't know. The 63 Pontiac Tempest (maybe other model years too) could be had with a 196 ci. 4 cylinder. I didn't know Pontiac was building a 4 banger then.

I had a 62 1/2 Tempest which was the same car as the 63. The engine was a 389 with the left bank lopped off. Exactly 1/2 of a 389. I spent a lot of time working on it during the 6 months I owned it. Traded it for a brand new 1972 Nova SS. Huge upgrade for an 18 year old for sure.

 

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Tuffus, I read that a lot of the 196 4 cylinders had balance problems. I'm sure a good machine shop that specialized in motors could've cured that though. Sounds pretty cool though, with cylinders the same size as a 389 and a 389 head. Some they said even had 4 barrels.

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2 hours ago, Quavodus said:

Tuffus, I read that a lot of the 196 4 cylinders had balance problems. I'm sure a good machine shop that specialized in motors could've cured that though. Sounds pretty cool though, with cylinders the same size as a 389 and a 389 head. Some they said even had 4 barrels.

Mine was not a 4 barrel and not too big on power. It got me where I wanted to go most of the time though. In the short time I had it I replaced the fuel pump, rear wheel bearings and all 4 wheel brakes and wheel cylinders. I paid $150 for it and six months later got $400 for it but still lost money. LOL. It was a Pontiac Tempest Lemans, I called it my Pontiac lemons.

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