The Different Types of Vega
The Chevrolet Vega could be said was a car that refuse to go away. The car when introduced was generally loved by the public for its fuel economy and sub-compact look, which immediately inspired hot rodders to force the car into things it was not meant to be. If you are looking for one in stock condition today, you will be hard pressed to find one that has not been turned into some sort of street monster or muscle car with a 350 hp engine. The Vega look was the reason, and the early years were the forerunner of the later Camaro front end.
The standard Vega came with a four cylinder, non-fuel injected, or computerized engine system. The engine was aluminum. It had a single or dual carb. The Vega GT was similar but its trim was racier. All had a 140 cu. in engine.
The Cosworth Vega was the so called racing model and the most expensive at nearly $6K new. This car was always black with gold trim. This car had a 122 cu. in , twin overhead cam, 16 valve engine, electronic fuel injection, and an onboard computer to operate the engine, built in the UK. This car usually had a 4 or 5 spd manual tranny as standard. It came with mag wheels. This was only made in 1975-76, not many were produced.
In 1977, when Chevy killed the Vega for bad sales, the Vega reappeared in the Pontiac Astre, built in Canada. It was a blood brother in most ways except for the engine (not aluminum), the front and rear ends were redesigned and some interior cosmetic changes were made. But, it was a Vega.
The Astre is what the Chevy Vega should have been from the start. Meaning, no aluminum engine, which began to crack at 50,000 miles in many cases, which made consumers hate the car. The Astre had a short life because the Vega reputation was bad in the public's eye.