Auto Daily

Junkyard Gem: 1972 Chevrolet Vega Sedan

The Chevrolet Vega story makes for an interesting chapter of American automotive historical past, and the looks of six Vegas in a Denver automotive graveyard lately signifies that we are able to proceed our exploration of that story after admiring a discarded 1974 Vega GT hatchback awhile again. At this time’s Junkyard Gem is an instance of probably the most reasonably priced of the 4 Vega physique types supplied by GM: the notchback two-door sedan.

Of these six Vegas within the Denver U-Pull-&-Pay, there are two sedans, one wagon and three hatchback coupes (together with a real Millionth Version GT, constructed to have fun one million Vegas constructed at the Lordstown plant). The one selection lacking from this group is the Panel Supply.

The hatchback was by far the best-selling kind of Vega; for the 1972 mannequin 12 months, 262,700 hatches have been bought versus simply 55,800 of those notchbacks. Distinction that to the Vega’s Ford Pinto rival of that period, for which gross sales numbers of the sedan and hatchback variations have been pretty comparable to one another.

The Vega hatchback simply appeared sportier than its in any other case comparable notchback sibling, which in all probability accounted for the lopsided gross sales cut up.

The Vega was one of many best-looking vehicles in its class on the time, with a nostril resembling that of its Camaro massive brother.

The Vega ought to have crushed its competitors and put GM in place to dominate the worldwide automotive trade by the daybreak of the Nineteen Eighties, however design flaws, intra-corporate infighting and closely publicized remembers ruined that plan. After 1977, the Vega was gone (although Vega-based automobiles remained in manufacturing for a couple of extra years). Nonetheless, the Vega bought like loopy throughout its first few years in showrooms, particularly after OPEC shut off the oil faucet within the wake of the Yom Kippur Warfare in late 1973. Greater than 2 million have been constructed, with 1974 because the 12 months of Peak Vega.

The Vega had a contemporary overhead-cam straight-four engine, with an uncommon mixture of cast-iron cylinder head sitting atop an aluminum engine block with unlined cylinder bores. It displaced 2.3 liters and was rated at 80 horsepower for the 1972 mannequin 12 months (this was down from a claimed 90 horsepower on the time of the Vega’s launch for the 1971 mannequin 12 months, however the downgrade was due solely to the change from gross to web energy scores that befell later in ’71). Drag racers and hot-rod hooligans quickly discovered tips on how to stuff V8s into Vegas, naturally.

The bottom transmission for the 1972 Vega was a three-speed handbook with flooring shift. This automotive has the non-compulsory four-on-the-floor handbook (which appears to have been the most well-liked transmission selection within the early Vega), which price simply 41 further bucks. That is about $306 in 2023 {dollars}.

A Powerglide two-speed automated was out there by the 1973 mannequin 12 months as properly, making for a genuinely depressing driving expertise. After that, the slushbox possibility for the Vega was a three-speed.

This automotive has the entrance fender rust typical of the early Vega and its not-so-effective rustproofing, however is pretty strong in any other case.

This 1980 Colorado registration sticker means that it spent most or all of its profession within the Centennial State.

These historic studded snow tires point out that it was parked for good a few years in the past.

Critical towing would not have been an amazing thought with a Vega, however this one has a hitch.

One other Colorado Vega heads to the crusher quickly.

The completely happy little Vega enjoys its work. It enjoys being pushed.

All the things a household wants.


I was born on March 15, 1980, in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the heart of Motor City, surrounded by the culture of automobiles. I had a close-knit family, including my parents, two older siblings, and a younger brother. I attended Roosevelt High School in Detroit, where my love for cars began to flourish. From a young age, I showed an early interest in automobiles. I would spend hours tinkering with my bicycle and helping my father fix up our family car. It was clear that I had a natural affinity for all things mechanical. This passion for cars led me to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button