Car and Driver apologizes for the VegaPosted: January 26, 2009
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.