Car and Driver apologizes for the Vega

My two fondest memories of the Vega are:
1> Keith and I laying down on our backs looking up through the hatchback at the clouds. We didn’t need no stinkin’ seat belts.
 2.>Pulling over on the LIE every few miles while my father dumped water into the radiator. Good Times.


From Car and Driver: 1971 Chevrolet Vega: Motor Trend Car of the Year The Chevy Vega is on everyone’s short list for Worst Car of All Time. It was so unreliable that it seemed the only time anyone saw a Vega on the road not puking out oily smoke was when it was being towed. That’s not to say the choice of the Vega as 1971 Car of the Year doesn’t make sense in context. This was the year Ford and Chevy introduced new small cars and compared to Ford’s Pinto, the Vega at least seemed better. The Vega handled more precisely, was available in more body styles, and, with styling cribbed straight off the Camaro, looked more attractive. The Vega’s aluminum engine block even seemed like a technological leap forward. However, the aluminum block’s unlined cylinder bores scored easily and the (usually misaligned) iron cylinder head let oil pour into them. Every element of the Vega’s chassis was built about as flimsily as possible and the unibody structure’s metal was usually attacked by rust mere moments after being exposed to, well, air. It’s been 38 years since the Vega appeared, and the stink still won’t wash off.

The last one seen on Earth was being used as a lawn ornament in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.


5 Comments on “Car and Driver apologizes for the Vega”

  1. oshea12566 says:

    G. O’Shea: YES! I do ‘member the VEGA


  2. J. O'Shea says:

    I remember the 74’vega in quite a different way. I was thrilled to buy it in dec. of 74 brand new for 3,100. It was the 1st car I ever bought. I felt it was a great car for the $, also mechanically & in every other way it gave me no problems and was stylish with the hatchback. I had it for so many yrs. & to rejuvenate it I brought it to the car salon “maaco” changed color from canary yellow to a beautiful metallic blue! Dad took it over in ’87 when the escort came along. All in all no problems, How Sweet Life Can Be !!!!!!! Love Grandma Josie


  3. P.Pooler says:

    I too remember the vega, George and I purchased a canary yellow one in 1971. Pop-Pop had to co-sign the loan, since we were not 21.

    Head gasket blew on the 495, on the way to Bob and Doris’s wedding. Fun times


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