Confidential, Youngstown, Ohio
The Vindicator would like to talk to owners of the GM Lordstown-built Chevrolet Vega.
Please contact us if you own one, or if you have recollections to share about owning one in the past.
Email reporter Ed Runyan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vega. I worked at Lordstown when those were being built. It took thirty-two weeks to change over the plant before we could build them.
Ah the Vega. I fell in love with a canary yellow notch back parked on the front line of a non reputable used car dealer. The year was 1979. I was a senior in high school. This would be my first car. There were at least 3 under dash fires. Numerous late nite tow ins, and countless days in the shop. This car ate through my parents bank account like a black hole on a planet devouring rampage. I installed a moonroof, C.B. and under seat cassette player. When she ran she was a chick magnet. The motor miraculously never ran hot, but the battery died regularly in winter. R.I.P. "Sweet Canary".
I had a 1972 Vega that I bought new on a 90 day note. It was a basic model, but had an automatic transmission, was a great little car and I loved running around in it. We drove it to Virginia Beach for our Honeymoon. Two years later, I traded it up for a 1974 Vega with more options, but it turned out to be a lemon from the day I first picked it up. After a year of many arguments with the dealer, I finally settled-up for a 1975 Pontiac Lemans. That 350 engine in the Pontiac was a gas hog compared to the Vega engine and it came at a very bad time during the gas shortages of the mid '70's. I still miss that first Vega...or is it the price of gas from that time period that I miss more?
My husband had a Vega back in the late 70's. I remember it well. If anyone still has one, we have the original dealers' brochures for the Vega, it would look nice laying on the front seat. We also have brochures from other GM 76 models.
I had a Vega GT - Bronze with black racing stripe and tinted windows. It was the cutest and sportiest car ever! It was my first 'new' car. The only problem was if I used the AC, the car over heated. Then it was one problem after another, including an alternator which was a serious job to replace since it was tucked far away..I lived in an area which required emissions testing and 5 minutes before inspection, I had to use STP. The smoke looked like a mosquito control truck. It died a painful death with hardly any mileage. But it sure was cute!
Yeah, I would have to say what I remember the most about the Vega was the lack of mosquitoes.
Remember my Vega fondly as my first car. Bought it used in 1976. Unusual that it had A/C, but I ususally had to turn it off if I wanted to make it up a steep hill. Burned sooo much oil. Kept cardboard on the grill because the heater didn't work if it went below 32 degrees, and I went through our worst winter ever with it. Snow would blow out of the A/C vents in the winter. Driver door started bending the hinges. One day I slammed it shut and the muffler fell off. Not a car GM should be proud of.
I had a yellow Vega station wagon back in 1980. I bought it used and I don't remember the year of the car. It got a young, divorced mother and her baby daughter to work and day care every day and it was a reliable car for some time. My problem was that it would take up to a half hour to start in the morning. I think we found the issue was with the solenoid. I imagine this was fixable but probably too expensive at the time for a young mother trying to make ends meet. I just got up and left for work a half hour earlier to allow myself time to start the car 100 times! :P
1972 Motor Trend "Car of the Year" lol... I remember the front fenders rusted within the first year.To take care of the many customer complaints, any Vega owner could get free black primered front fenders at any dealership.Most never painted them, so.... yellow Vega, one black fender, green Vega,two black front fenders....ect. Hardly ever see a Vega anymore.. even here on the West Coast.
The Vega has played a part in my life since I was 10. -When it came out I asked my grandfather to buy one. He did a year later, trading in his 1968 Chevelle Malibu. He drove that '72 Kammback wagon 100k in a few years. He replaced it with a year-old 1974 Vega GT Coupe. He passed away in '76. My Mom inherited the car-she needed it more than I did.
-In 1977 I bought my first car-a 1973 Vega GT-Millionth Vega for 1200.-A year later I bought a second car - a 1973 Vega Estate (Woody) wagon for 600.-In 1983, I bought a 1976 Cosworth Vega with 23k miles for 3000.-In 1985 I bought a 1973 Vega GT with 22k miles for 400. in need of an engine - installed the rebuilt engine from my first Vega I still owned.-In 1986, a bought a 1973 Vega GT-Millionth Vega with 25k miles for 2800. after the selling the 22k miles GT. for 1200-In 1995, I bought a 1973 Vega Kammback with 53k miles for 500,-In 2001, I bought a 1973 Vega Notchback with 50k miles for 500.
currently owned--In 2002, I bought a 1973 Vega GT-Millionth Vega with 3,500 miles for 9000. This car currently has 7,800 miles. In 2010 it was in the Motor Trend Classic Fall issue. -In 2003 I bought a 1971 Vega Panel Express for 4500. This car has 50k. I just bought a brand new GM NOS partial engine for it as a spare.-In 2010 I bought a 1976 Cosworth Vega with 1,592 miles for 11,500. The car is from the same dealer as the 7k miles Millionth Vega.
I've listed most of them but there were more!See them all in my Motortopia garagehttp://www.motortopia.com/vegavairbob
Warrior75-The Vega was Motor Trend's 1971 Car of the Year.
DonninFL-Only the Vega sold 1.7 million.
GM's first U.S. mini-car cost $200 million to design and bring to production. In today's money that's over a billion dollars - it wasn't by chance the Vega out-handled more expensive european sport sedans.At $2090. when introduced, it was a bargain. No other car company in the world was able to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on a vehicle to sell in that price range, and GM made little or no profit on the Vega which was usually ordered with few options (GM's profits came from expensive options).AMC in contrast, spent all of 5 million to convert an existing Hornet compact into the Gremlin, selling it for about the same price as the Vega which was new from the ground up, sharing nothing with existing vehicles. But in a rush to bring the car to market, numerous piecemeal "fixes" were performed by dealers and Chevrolet's "bright star", received an enduring black eye despite a continuing development program which eventually alleviated most of these initial shortcomings. The final models, having the benefit of six years of refinements, were fine automobiles.The liner-less aluminum/silicon engine technology that GM and Reynolds Metals developed turned out to be sound. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche use sleeveless aluminum engines today, the basic principles of which were developed for the Vega engine.
Go to Chevy Vega Wiki for a complete history of these cars. I wrote the articles, edited over two years.
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