1976 Chevrolet Brochure-'76 Vega Dura-built engine. [52], GM Vice President John Z. DeLorean, appointed Chevrolet's general manager a year before the Vega's introduction, was tasked with overseeing the Vega launch and directing operations at the Lordstown Assembly plant. In 2013, Frank Markus of Motor Trend Classic said, "Overblown—The China Syndrome might have over hyped the TMI (Three-Mile Island) incident as bad press might have exaggerated the Vega's woes. 2.3L ENGINE. How’s her last name spelled, anyway? It almost killed me when the hinges on the hatchback broke and the hatch knocked me down and pinned me to the driveway. Width is 65.4 inches (1,660 mm). [12], Lordstown workers had 36 seconds to perform their tasks instead of the customary minute. A revised rear panel on notchback and hatchback models had larger single-unit taillights, with ventilation grills eliminated from trunk and hatch lids. A 4 speed GT in beautiful beige. The 1978 to 1979 Chevrolet Monza and Pontiac Sunbird wagons used the Vega Kammback wagon body with engines by Pontiac and Buick. Chevrolet and Pontiac divisions were working separately on small cars in the early and mid 1960s. It has many other good qualities, but the road holding impressed and surprised me most of all. Nos 1974-75 Chevelle Vega Station Wagon Estate Emblem 1738524. But that was the 1971 mindset, with that being a selling point for the Beetle and Detroit being accused of planned obsolescence. I see what I want to see… "[63], Other quality issues plagued the engine. Robert Freeland's 2005 book The Struggle for Control of the Modern Corporation said "poor planning and perfunctory implementation ... led to an extremely poor quality automobile beset by mechanical problems,"[90] That explains the seat covers; need to protect the proof of those memorie. So, when the ’74 Vega came out, it looked more futuristic and modern, even if it had the junky ‘everything’ underneath. Nope. Right. It also points out how even a genius like Ed Cole can lose his way once you get too far removed from “street level”…as he headed up the “XP-887” project. And with stripes too. Even after all that I would like to have another one. Just think, those young women in the ads are grandmothers by now, if not great-grandmothers. The chief vehicle engineer had overall charge of the program. [35][page needed] A high energy ignition was introduced on 1975 engines. And, they aren’t messing around with offers, this one is $7,500 FIRM! and the 1971 award for "excellence in design in transportation equipment" from American Iron and Steel Institute. "[65], With its small 6 US quarts (5.7 l) capacity and tiny two-tube 1 sq ft (0.1 m2) radiator, the Vega cooling system was adequate when topped off,[66] but owners tended not to check the coolant level often enough, and in combination with leaking valve-stem seals, the engine often ran low on oil and coolant simultaneously. Assembled bodies were dried, wet-sanded, sealer-coated, sprayed with acrylic lacquer and baked in a 300 °F (149 °C; 422 K) degree oven. This Vega has been in my collection for several years and I … Quite rapidly. In July 1972, Hot Rod tested a prototype Vega fitted with an all-aluminum V8, the last of several 283 cu in. The 1973 models are 3 inches (76 mm) longer due to the front 5 mph bumper. [94] In 2010, John Pearley Huffman of Popular Mechanics summed up the Vega as "the car that nearly destroyed GM. Them being so damn cheap and easy to fix – that I miss. One of them has a great-grandson who is 7 years old so she was a great-grandmother by the time she was 60. The panel express has steel panels in place of the wagon's rear side glass, an enclosed storage area under the load floor, and a low-back driver's seat. Our neighbors bought a brand-new 1974 Vega hatchback in a pale, somewhat sickly yellow color. We had it for a couple of years, and he liked it enough to trade it in for a ‘74 Vega GT wagon, green with the white GT stripes on the hood. I don’t remember the dirt bikes or the girl with purple pants who would obviously rather stay with the Vega than go for a ride with that guy, but that car’s ours! It lasted until ’77 as our family car and was replaced by a ’77 Buick Custom. That, and preferably be of small stature, because it does get a bit crowded, especially in a hatchback. But just not with much enthusiasm. It was sold for scrap that winter, having lost all structural integrity by that time. The 1973 models are 3 inches (76 mm) longer due to the front 5 mph bumper. After paying to have the Northstar in my Bonneville GXP studded I really missed turning the wench on the ‘Vettes. The engineers had to add twenty pounds of structural reinforcements to pass durability. Under normal driving conditions, this allowed moist debris and salt to build up and rust the untreated steel on early Vegas because they had no protective liners. Exterior is nice with one minor rust spot that I'm aware of and it's just surface rust. What I remember are acres of bikinis, kegger parties along the boardwalk, and bonfires into the night. Ed Cole, involved with the 1955 small-block V8 as chief engineer at Chevrolet and now equally involved with the Vega engine as GM president, often visited the engineering staff engine drafting room on Saturdays, reviewing the design and directing changes, to the consternation of Chevrolet engineers and manufacturing personnel, who knew he wanted a rush job. The custom interior's wood-trimmed molded door panels were replaced by vinyl door panels matching the seat trim. 1974 Chevrolet Vega Hatchback, awesome 327 SBC 750 cfm holley double pumper, New aluminum radiator, 9 Ford 4:11 350 Auto tranny. Fisher Body and lacquer paint supplier DuPont, over one weekend, developed new paint chemistry and application specifics: Non-Aqueous Dispersion Lacquer (NAD). Steam started pouring out of the front. Oh yeah there’s a car there too isn’t there? But that open field was just so inviting…. After the national GM strike (September to November 1970), bright roof drip moldings were added to the base "11" notchback, with moldings sent to dealers to update units already in the field. A pre-test engine was installed in a Fiat 124 sedan for development of the aluminum block, while several 1968 Opel sedans were used for drive train development[14][page needed], Chevrolet instituted a new management program, the car line management technique, to produce the all-new car in two years. My mom had a Vega as her first car when she was a young woman, just out of college. I did not. (4.6 L) units used in the CERV I research and development vehicle. (first posted 3/25/2011)     A found Vega is a terrible thing to waste, so even though we’ve done one already, let’s indulge in a little Take Two. . [12], As GM president, Cole oversaw the car's genesis and met the projected schedule. It will take a Kammback for that, and here it is. That is if they aren’t taking a dirt nap. FAST 'N FREE. "[15], The wheelbase on all models is 97.0 inches (2,460 mm). A 16-US-gallon (61 l; 13 imp gal) fuel tank replaced the 11-US-gallon (42 l; 9.2 imp gal) tank. The Vega Kammback (especially the panel version) was a cooler Vega to use as the basis for the ubiquitous (for a while, anyway) small-block V8 conversion. Lateral acceleration capacities are 0.90 g (standard suspension) and 0.93 g (RPO F-41 suspension). It sometimes seized the front suspension cam bolts, preventing alignment work, necessitating removal with a cutting torch and replacement by all-new parts. Sunbathing on the campus lawn, drinking Coors, listening to Fleetwood Mac, sharing a doobie. About a year ago I was having lunch at a small diner, and the waitress had a small infant with her who she was caring for in between serving customers. Best to stay away from that rough and tumble motorcycle crowd; they’re like cavemen. and "1973 car of the year in the economy class";[68] The Vega had many flaws, most of which could have and should have been addressed before going on sale, but they were entertaining vehicles to drive. I drove it to take my drivers license road test. Under a revised 50,000-mile (80,000 km) engine warranty for 1971 to 1975 Vegas, the owner of a damaged engine could choose replacement with a new short block or a rebuilt steel-sleeved unit, which proved costly for Chevrolet. Marketed as the Dura-Built 140, the new engine had improved coolant pathways, redesigned cylinder head with quieter hydraulic valve lifters, longer-life valve stem seals that reduced oil consumption by 50%, and redesigned water pump, head gasket, and thermostat. Cole wanted a world-beater in showrooms in 24 months. I had over 200,000 on it when I traded it in on a Samauri (of all things). But it had its own problems, the 383 had a blown head gasket between two cylinders, and had been run long enough to cause an arc to develop in both head and block. Loved her in the pool scene in “Magnum Force”, before the shooting of course. A GM design team was set up, headed by James G. Musser Jr., who had helped develop the Chevy II, the Camaro, the Chevrolet small-block V8 engines, and the Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. Don Hardy kit car. Engine mad of Aluminum. from Motor Trend; "best economy sedan" in 1971, 1972 and 1973 from Car and Driver;[69] It had 35-40,000 miles on it, and I didn’t think anything with that few miles on it could be that bad. Don’t recall any hot babes in Vegas but I did have the occasional young female in my car that looked cute! [44] RC2-206 Wankels were installed in 1973 Vegas for cold weather testing in Canada. Granted she did marry at a young age and then so did her daughter and her grand-daughter but this is hardly unheard of. Gasoline FUEL. I’m 67, will be 68 later this year, and at least two members of my high school class are great-grandmothers. So many problems. mini tubs and subframe connecters. The fourth was a parts car, natch. Sharp little car looks-wise, before the giant bumpers. [citation needed], For 1972, models had a revised exhaust system and driveline to reduce vibration and noise; also revised shock absorbers. The two squirters picture just made my day. That girl in the last brochure pic who’s fending off the advances of the guys with flowers in his face, is that Suzanne Somers? Whereabouts on 422? Bored out to 302 cu in (4.9 L), it had high-compression pistons, "097 Duntov" mechanical-lifter camshaft, cast-iron four-barrel intake manifold, and a Quadrajet carburetor. Wow, hard to believe that at one time driving a 20 foot-long two-door car was considered normal. If you’d bought the hatchback, you too would have a snapshot of your two well-dressed honeys figuring out where the hell the highway is. It would have given higher performance than the iron-head engine, without its differential expansion head gasket problems. Driving expenses averaged 2.17 cents per mile. New options included BR70-13 white-stripe steel-belted radial tires, full wheel covers, and body side molding with black rubber insert. Too bad that’s about as many as will fit comfortably in an orange striped Vega hatchback. Paul, it’s indeed a great story. [3] Subsequently, the car became widely known for a range of problems related to its engineering,[4] reliability,[5] safety,[6][7] propensity to rust, and engine durability. With rally wheels and white lettered tires they looked like a littler Camaro. Despite a series of recalls and design upgrades, the Vega's problems tarnished both its own as well as General Motors' reputation. Which it did. Exactly the wrong vehicle to parallel park for a nervouse kid, but I passed. The RPO L11 engine had a new Holley 5210C progressive two-barrel carburetor. Problem was that within two years it was showing signs of serious rust. This legacy would prove far more important than any direct impact the Vega would have on GM's profits. It was sold to me from the original owner. The young lady in the driver’s seat in the first brochure photo almost looks as though she is topless. The wheelbase on all models is 97.0 inches (2,460 mm). 1971 Chevrolet Trucks full-line brochure. Front and rear 5 mph bumpers on 1974 to 1977 models add another 5.7 inches (140 mm). Wow Paul, that’s our Vega right there, the white one with the orange stripe! A simple overhead valvetrain has three components activating each valve instead of a typical pushrod system's seven. [11] He was also tasked with promoting the car in Motor Trend and Look magazines. Comoptions:description:this is a 1974 rally vega with just under 35,000 original miles. 1975 was a "rolling model change" at 100 cars per hour with no downtime. Back to the the Sports Decor Package: lots of tough choices. An external belt from the crankshaft drives the five-bearing camshaft plus the water pump and fan. An auxiliary passenger seat was optional. fit and finish, was acceptable. As problems with the vehicle became apparent, he put additional inspectors and workers on the line and introduced a computerized quality control program in which each car was inspected as it came off the line and, if necessary, repaired. I think they reused those flimsy Vega door handles too. This 1974 Chevy Vega Kammback Wagon was pulled from the behind a barn in western Colorado. You have to admire a car like that. [15][page needed], The Vega's suspension, live rear axle, 53.2% front/46.8% rear weight distribution, low center of mass and neutral steering give good handling. Front and rear 5 mph bumpers on 1974 to 1977 models add another 5.7 inches (140 mm). This was lighter and about 4 in (100 mm) lower than the Vega production head. Vega's achilles heal is the shift gate for the automatic, it works great for changing gears but it gets confusing on initial engagement. A punch and 6 big metal screws per side and all was good . [40][41], notes: Instead of prattling on about all of its ills, how about its thrills? Does someone want to decipher the VIN to make sure this is really a ’74? 1974 Vega owner I just had to chime in a cushioned two-piece shaft to 85 in,... 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