Reader Rocco B. sent us this 1974 Vega, and while the engine in this car is not exactly a mystery, it is a mystery to the person selling the car. The Cosworth Twin-Cam, a limited production, performance model was introduced in March 1975 featuring a 122 CID (121.7 cu in) all-aluminum inline-4, the 16-valve, DOHC cylinder head design by Cosworth Engineering in England. A single-barrel carburetor version produces 90 hp. Brockstein said: "Chevrolet was trying to build this car as cheaply as possible and wanted us to take a lot of money out of it. Free shipping on many items ... For Chevy Vega 71-76 Dorman H78088 Front Driver Side Brake Hydraulic Hose. Bodies received extensive anti-rust improvements including galvanized fenders and rocker panels. White-wall tires and full wheel covers were standard as were bumper rub strips. The engineers in charge of chassis development were seeking a package that would provide full-size domestic car ride qualities with handling equal to that of European cars. Not as violent as the coupe, but disconcerting." Several pre-prototype cars were built this way at his insistence, and all of them were dismal failures from a cooling perspective. Vega production at Lordstown was projected at 100 cars an hour from the beginning: one vehicle every 36 seconds. Email alerts available. View cart for details. With a machined weight of 36 pounds, the block weighed 51 pounds less than the cast-iron block in the Chevy II 153 CID inline-4. Darian added. And let's face it, the car looked hot. ", Car and Driver readers voted the Vega Best Economy Sedan in 1971, 1972 and 1973 in C&D's Annual Reader's Choice Poll.C&D: "In 1971, the Vega's first year on the market, it managed to unseat the incumbent import, breaking its eight year winning streak.". By 1974 Chevrolet had begun addressing a number of issues with the car, and the Vega of 1976-77 was actually quite a reliable little car. In addition, there was also a rotor tip-seal problem in the cast-iron configuration, especially after 15,000 miles. " It has a high degree of craftsmanship...I think the ride and handling of some of the imports is quite mediocre. Not only did corporate management make the decision to enter the mini-car market, it also decided to develop the car itself. It was a corporate car, not a divisional one. Vega cutaways show space utilzation, safety door beams & double paneled roof. 4. Translated into actual driving expenses, the three Vegas averaged a per-mile cost of 2.17 cents. One morning John DeLorean (GM Vice President and Chevrolet General Manager at the time) brought Zollie Frank, the owner of the world’s largest Chevrolet dealership (Z. Frank Chevrolet in Chicago) into the styling studio to show him the clay and get his thoughts on the design. The overhead valvetrain is a direct acting design of extreme simplicity. The engine develops its maximum power at 5,600 rpm and is redlined at 6,500 rpm where the SOHC Vega engine peaks at 4,400 rpm and all is done at 5,000 rpm. Chevrolet has earned its reputation by offering consumers durable and affordable vehicles within its vast and complete lineup from sub-compacts to heavy-duty trucks. They won't be turning them off much during the next 58 days except for rest and food stops, refueling and maintenance. Other refinements improved mileage to 20 mpg, but with the fuel breakthrough came related side-effect problems —apex seal failures, as well as a rotor tip-seal problem.By December 1973, it was clear the Wankel, now planned for the Monza 2+2, would not be ready for either production or emissions certification in time for the start of the 1975 model year, and after paying another $10 million against its rotary licence fees, the company announced the first postponement. Economy would be achieved through the use of low numerical gear ratios, which would keep engine rpm low. As the engine development progressed at Chevrolet, it became known (in closed offices) as "The world's tallest, smallest engine" due to the tall cylinder head. The 1974 engines had a touch more power than '73, Torque was up noticeably but valve timing, camshaft lift and compression ratio were unchanged. carburetor, The linerless aluminum block has been blamed for a large share of the Vega's poor reputation. The Chevrolet Monza Wagon produced for the 1978–1979 model years used the Vega wagon body style. Comfort and ride are all tied up together, consequently much of the comfort is a reflection of superb ride qualities." Kneisler feels Chevrolet could have anticipated some of the Vega's problems had there been time to run what he call's "granny tests",  more formally known as failure mode analysis — involves ignoring coolant and oil levels, and rarely servicing anything. The Elpo process  pioneered by Fisher followed a seven stage zinc phosphate initial treatment and itself involved submerging the assembled Vega body in a vat containing reddish-brown paint-primer particles in 65,000 galllons of water. 2. Watch. In January, a "Sky-Roof" with tinted reflectorized sliding glass and 8-track tape player options were added. July, 1969 – Electrically-heated backlite option added; ran at 10% production, "GT" package option added at $325.00; ran at 35% production, bright window-frame and roof drip moldings added to the Hatchback and Wagon. Plating the piston skirts was necessary to put a hard iron skirt surface opposite the silicon of the block to prevent scuffing. The system is balanced to give braking distribution of 70/30 front and rear with no proportioning valve, and exhibiting nearly linear pedal effort. Vegas were also built in 1973-'74 at the GM of Canada plant, Sainte-Thérèse Assembly, Quebec. 3 vehicles matched optional performance engine ("L-11" two-barrel) added; predicted production rate was 20%; actually ran at 75%. The computer was also utilized in making the hundreds of necessary engineering calculations including vision angle, field of view, rear compartment lid and door counterbalance geometries, structural stresses, deflection calculations and tolerance studies. The Vega engine is a 140 CID (139.6 cu in) aluminum-block OHC inline-4.The Vega competed directly with its domestic rivals from Ford and AMC and imports from Toyota and Datsun as well as the rear-engined VW Beetle. The 1972 Rochester DualJet two-barrel carburetor required an air pump for emission certification and was replaced in 1973 with a Holley-built 5210C staged two-barrel carb. Starting in 1976, extensive anti-rust improvements on the Vega's body included galvanized steel fenders and rocker panels and "four layer" fender protection with zinc coated and primed inner fenders and wheelwell protective mastic, zinc-rich pre-prime coating on inner doors, expandable sealer installed between rear quarter panel and wheel housing panel, and corrosion resistant header panel, grill and headlamp housings. Ed Cole was the chief engineer and Bill Mitchell, the vice-president of the design staff, was the chief stylist. A relatively large displacement engine with good low speed torque was chosen. We have automatic inspection of virtually every single engine part and so we know it's going to be right." Five years later, after GM had spent millions to replace thousands of sets of rusted-out Vega fenders in the field, the plastic fender liners were reinstated as a mid-model change during the 1974 model year. A custom interior option for all models (except delivery) added upgraded upholstery, cargo area load floor carpeting in the hatchback and wagon, a two-postion reclining driver's seat, passenger grab handle and woodgrain accents. Jerry L Brockstein, assistant to Henry Haga, head of the Camaro/Corvette studio where the Vega prototype was restyled, recalls finalizing the Vega bodies. The shaft is a cushioned two-piece unit. 383 Stroker engine.Turbo 350 tranny with shiftkit (3200 stall converter). ClassicCars.com has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, successfully making the Inc. 5000 list in both 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. ignition was introduced on 1975 engines. In his statement Mr. Roche said, The power plant for the new General Motors passenger car will be a new and different engine, made possible only through important advances in technology. "In normal driving, with curves of the type you'll find on mountain highways, the car has a refreshing neutral steering that escapes beautifully from the normal understeer rut found in many compacts. Cole wanted a world-beater, and he wanted it in showrooms in twenty-four months. Each engine was hand-built and includes a cam cover sticker with the engine builder's signature.The Cosworth Vega engine is some 60 pounds lighter than the SOHC Vega engine. Pre-Owned. GTs were now offered in two appearence variations - the new one featured a blacked-out theme to exterior moldings (lower moldings deleted), black sport mirrors and wheels, bold Vega GT lettered side striping and rear Vega GT transfer id. The two-barrel version (RPO L11) produces 110 hp. The certification process requires a 50,000-mile test. Vega coupe has roof, window, and deck forms extremely-and not accidentally-similar to those of the Italian luxury car. GM's German subsidiary Opel was commissioned to tool up a new three-speed derivative of their production four-speed manual transmission. The deluxe seats in the GT car are extraordinarily comfortable. The hone-pressure problem was solved before engines actually went out the door, affecting only pre-production engines. The Torque-Drive transmission was discontinued. ", The Hatchback Coupe, first and foremost, is a styled subcompact. The Vega program, code-named XP-887, was announced to the public in October 1968 by James M. Roche, General Motors Chairman of the Board. He requested provisions for V8 engine, a full-line of body styles and consideration of a two-passenger coupe version. The first plate was a flash of zinc followed by a very thin flash of copper. The A-390 alloy was suitable for faster production diecasting which made the Vega block less expensive to manufacture than other aluminum engines. GM RC2-206 Wankels were installed in 1973 Vegas for cold weather testing performed in Canada,Motor Trend, in a 1973 article "The '75 Vega Rotary" said: "GM saw the rotary engine's future as probably much greater than they do today...mileage will be in the 16-18 mpg range. This page was last updated: 22-Dec 19:50. 19721972 models were essentially carried over from 1971 with a few refinements and additions. It replaced the discontinued Pontiac Astre Safari wagon which was essentially carried over with Sunbird badging. Motor Trend nominated the 1971 Chevrolet Vega to the "Motor Trend Hall of Fame" announced in 1973. The granny test would have taken time, which the Vega's development engineers didn't really have. The GT coupe is sporty, something most American compacts that have ever existed weren't.". The GT sport stripes option was changed — side stripping replaced the painted hood/deck stripes. This was a brutally short time to design and engineer a new car, especially one that borrowed almost nothing from any other. Eudell Jackobson from GM engineering confirmed the problem involving the engine's valve-stem seals: "After the engine had been in production for a while, customers would go back to the dealer complaining about oil consumption... the mechanic would peer down the bore scope and observe cylinder scuffing. DeLorean mentioned to the studio chief as they were leaving that “Zollie sells more Chevrolets than anyone else on earth – he knows what the customers like.” The car went to production exactly as it was revised that afternoon. Chevrolet paid a price in its rush to introduce the Vega with the other 1971 models. 1977 models featured a new vertical design grill and aluminum wheels were a new option. Sales peaked for the 1974 model year with 460,374 produced. With the outer skin panels placed in a foaming mold, liquid urethane was injected between the panels where it expanded and bonded the body into a single, rigid sandwich structure. The final layer was a flash of tin. The one-barrel version of the engine was dropped, as was the three-speed manual transmission. Strong consideration to minimum number of pieces for high reliability and low cost. The four-link rear suspension copied that of the 1970 Chevelle, and coil springs are used throughout. The engineering team at Zirgo SoundLab's has specifically designed this kit for 71-77 Vega doors, roof, floor, firewall, and more. Home. There are 3 1974 Chevrolet Vegas for sale today on ClassicCars.com. The four-speed manual was standard with all engines. The cylinder block is an open deck design with siamesed free-standing linerless cylinder bores. 1974 Chevrolet Vega Ive owned my Vega for a couple of years now. The energy absorption characteristics of the vehicle enabled engineers to simulate crash conditions for the vehicle at speeds up to 50 mph without catastrophic failure to the structure. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche both use sleeveless aluminum engines today, the basic principles of which were developed for the Vega engine. If a test driver at the proving grounds didn't ever check one of those engines and let it run out of coolant...if it burned up, he'd get fired. ", The Sedan, later named Notchback is the only Vega model with an enclosed trunk, has more rear seat headroom than the hatchback, and offered the lowest base price. Vega: 1974-76: g1248: Front Spoiler -3 piece: N/A. The four-speed manual was standard with all engines. New options included power brakes, tilt steering wheel, BR78-13B GM-spec steel belted radial tires and a special custom cloth interior option for the Hatchback and Kammback. Silicon cylinder bore magnified 680 times. The front bucket seats accommodate two adults very graciously with little difficulty getting in or out...Back seat room in the wagon is restricted but livable." The Yenko Stinger II was marketed by Yenko Chevrolet of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania through 1973 — based on the Vega GT hatchback, Yenko added front and rear spoilers and side striping with "Yenko Stinger II" identification. "Under normal driving conditions, the wagon is well behaved and takes you where you want to go with a minimum of fuss and maximum comfort." It has far and away the best handling of anything in its class. Motor Trend in April 1974 predicted the final outcome – on September 24, 1974, Ed Cole postponed the Wankel engine ostensibly due to emissions difficulties. The coupe has hints of everything from Camaro to Ferrari in its styling. Air Conditioning option added; predicted production was 10%, actually ran at 45%. Number of bids and bid amounts may be slightly out of date. The aluminum block inline-four engine was a joint effort from General Motors, Reynolds Metals, and Sealed Power Corp. The 140 engine was named Dura-Built 140 in 1976. And since all other cars suffered the same inflationary rise, less expensive cars were in greater demand than those with higher prices which helped Vegas sell. By us, it's a 2-place square-back Vega coupe, with room for just about everything and anything that two people would want to go anywhere with. Both models included the custom interior and 4-spoke sport steering wheel with bowtie center insert. Chevrolet and Pontiac divisions were working separately on small cars in the early and mid 1960s. It was as GM president that Cole oversaw the genesis of the Chevrolet Vega. Fisher Body engineers and draftsmen were also moved in with the Vega personnel. At first the metal was so thin on the Kammback wagon that in the test facilty it kept buckling under its own weight. The camshafts are held in a removable cam-carrier which also serves as a guide for the valve lifters. 6,500 were built May to July. Below the cam carrier is a 16-valve cylinder head constructed of an aluminum alloy using sintered iron valve seats. 1971 Vega Panel ExpressPanels were only 2% of production.1973 Vega GT-Millionth Vega special edition 6,500 built May thru July 1973, Total Vega production was 2,010,547 including 3,508 Cosworth Vegas. In November 1970, GM paid $50 million for initial licenses to produce the Wankel rotary engine, and GM President Ed Cole projected its release in three years, initially targeted for an October 1973 introduction as a 1974 Vega option.Popular Science magazine in a May 1972 article stated, according to GM, the Wankel had so far proven more reliable than four, six, and eight-cylinder engines — GM-rotary engines were run up to 500,000 miles showing only minimal wear, and the engine's fewer moving parts assured its reliability. From 1972 on, ratings were listed as SAE net - 80 & 90 bhp respectively for 1972.The relatively large (for an inline-4) engine is naturally prone to vibration and is subdued by large rubber engine mounts. XP-887 Hatchback Coupe clay modelGM studio, September 1968, XP-887 Hatchback Coupe clay modelGM studio, late September 1968, XP-887 Hatchback Coupe clay modelChevy studio final design, 1969. Nos Gm 1971-1975 Chevrolet Vega Cosworth Wiper Arm Transmissions 4960374 4960376. I am only selling her because the place I am moving to doesn't have enough parking for me to bring it. 19771977 models were carried over from 1976 with a few revisions. On this car over 80 percent are automated so you eliminate the worker carrying a heavy welding gun around. One Vega for the price of two" as it was advertised, was priced out of the market, and fell well short of its projected sales goal. Browse interior and exterior photos for 1974 Chevrolet Vega. Fisher Body had to come back and put stiffing ribs in the roof. With its lower roof line and useful fold-down rear seat, it accounted for nearly half of all Vegas sold.Road & Track, September 1970 said, "Will the real Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 please stand up? Exhaust from muffler with ruptured end cover could subject fuel tank to sufficient heat to expand fuel and create fuel spillage. Musser said, "This was the first vehicle where one person was in charge and, under him — that is me — a group of guys did the entire vehicle." The structure and appearance of the car were designed so that the body could be assembled using four lightweight molded outer skin sections. It would make a great surf wagon! The two overhead camshafts are driven, along with the water pump and fan, by a fiberglass cord reinforced neoprene rubber belt, much like the Vega 140 cubic inch engine. Modular Construction Design reduced the number of joints and sealing operations resulting in stronger, tighter bodies, effectively contributed to vehicle quality and made possible a very high rate of production. August, 1968 – XP-887 Dummy clay models complete, Surface scans and digital tapes released to Fisher Body R&D Department for purpose of building prototype bodies for coupe, sedan and station wagon. A key consideration in the engineering design of the XP-898 was the advantage of improved crash worthiness of the sandwich construction technique. Chevrolet model Vega belongs to compact / small family car class. Numerous prototypes were built, and manufacturing tooling was started in anticipation of approval for production. And the pressure becomes very, very great when that happens. ", The Vega was popular with the automotive press, winning awards and praise for its innovative engineering, timeless styling, and sports car-like handling. The two-speed Torque-Drive required a manual upshift but had no clutch pedal. However, a part of the penalty was caused by the decision to use 35 lb of underbody compound on the top side of the floor stamping. Axle shaft and wheel could then move outboard of quarter panel and allow vehicle to dropdown onto rear suspension. A new 2-postion door check added an intermediate door hold-open postion. Production began on June 26, 1970. Chevrolet and Pontiac divisions were working separately on small cars in the early and mid 1960s. Understeer is much more pronounced negotiating 90 degree turns under maximum conditions." 1973The 1973 Vega had over 300 changes, including eight new exterior colors, four of them exclusive to Vega, new interior colors and new standard interior seat trim. Bill Jenkin's Grumpy's Toy XI 1974 Vega. 1975The 1975 Vega had 264 changes including H.E.I. Chevrolet ads also emphasized this continuity, but most of them mentioned five years. But at a cost review meeting the finance department cancelled the liners, as they would have added $1.14 per side, or $2.28 per car to the product cost. Styling is well-balanced with some very distinct traces of the Camaro, including the grill." Dura-built 140 CID (2.3 L) 2bbl. Equip your speedy beast with this top-of-the-line Harwood bumper to get the ultimate in style and performance. The front end was redesigned three years later to cosmetically accommodate the larger (aluminum) 5-mph bumpers required for the revised 1974 pendulum bumper impact standard. The Cosworth was offered in eight additional exterior and two additional interior colors mid-year, but was canceled in July after only 1,446 were built for the 1976 model year. 1976-'77 Dura-Built 140 engines had improved engine block coolant pathways, longer life valve stem seals, redesigned head gasket, water pump, and thermostat, and a five-year/60,000 mi warranty.Despite its lack of success with the Vega, the liner-less aluminum/silicon engine technology that GM and Reynolds developed turned out to be sound. 2,200-Pound range that rides like a car weighing twice as much adrenaline as of! The majority were built, and three-speed automatic transmissions optional Syndrome might have overhyped the TMI Three-Mile. Constructed of an aluminum alloy using sintered iron valve seats said: `` we were impressed the. 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