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Source: General Motors

1971 Chevrolet Vega
The 1971 Vega was an all-new Chevrolet 4-cylinder powered sub compact available in four 2 door models: sedan, hatchback coupe, Kammback station wagon and panel express truck. This "perky" little car was intended to replace the Corvair. It was the first automobile that GM produced that offered front wheel disc brakes as standard equipment. This particular Vega is VIN number 001.

Introduced in September 1970 as the Vega 2300, the new Vega's standard equipment included a 2.3 L "2300" SOHC 14. This engine used either a single-barrel carburetor which produced about 70 hp, or a 2-barrel option which boosted output up to 85 hp. Available transmissions included, 3 and 4 speed manual, Torque Drive - a one shift, no clutch semi-automatic and the 2-speed automatic Powerglide. A GT package that included a stronger 11OHP engine, a gauge dash with woodgrain accents, a four spoke sport steering wheel and a special ride and handling package was also available. The Vega competed against other domestic and imported economy cars, achieving notability for its innovative aluminum engine, first-rate handling, and progressive manufacture. The car's name derives from the star of Lyra. Motor Trend awarded the Vega 1971 Car of the Year.

Engine: SOHC 140CID 4 cyl inline; alum. Block; [email protected] rpm; 138 ft. lbs.; 2 bbl carb.; single exhaust; Bore/Stroke: 3.501x3.625; Comp. Ratio 8:1
Price: $2,196

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Lyra constellation lies in the northern sky. It represents the lyre, a musical instrument with strings used in antiquity and later times. ... Lyra contains Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky and second brightest star in the northern hemisphere. Source: wikipedia.com









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The car's name derives from the star of Lyra. Motor Trend awarded the Vega 1971 Car of the Year.

This nightmare 50 years ago almost put General Motors (and Motor Trend) out of business.

Lots to speak about here...more to come.














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My brother had a Vega station wagon as his daily driver. It was actually really reliable until someone stole it. I loved that car.
My brother had a 71 just like this example. I had a 75 Kammback - fun, but under powered. I still think they were great looking compacts!
 

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Motor Trend referenced Chevy Vega in its 2022 COTY article for Lucid Air:

Motor Trend said:
Many judges expressed dire concern that if Lucid fails to rectify the many wonky quirks our prototype suffered, the brand and car could go down in history as a 21st century Tucker or Chevy Vega
Is Motor Trend tacitly implying that their pick for 1971 COTY was a mistake?
 

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My brother had a 71 just like this example. I had a 75 Kammback - fun, but under powered. I still think they were great looking compacts!
I always thought they were nice looking little cars myself too.
Motor Trend referenced Chevy Vega in its 2022 COTY article for Lucid Air:



Is Motor Trend tacitly implying that their pick for 1971 COTY was a mistake?
I think it kind of sounds that way doesn't it.
 

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The car's name derives from the star of Lyra. Motor Trend awarded the Vega 1971 Car of the Year.

This nightmare 50 years ago almost put General Motors (and Motor Trend) out of business.

Lots to speak about here...more to come.
I have to disagree. The Chevy Vega had issues, but the assertion that it almost put General Motors out of business is pure fantasy. The Vega was one model produced by the largest automobile manufacturer on Earth. One can argue that Motor Trend gave its Car of the Year award to a car that almost put its manufacturer out of business. It was not one car, it was two. Those cars were the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volaré. Actually, these cars were the culmination of problems at Chrysler that began back in the late 1940s when it company lost a strike with the UAW. It went into the strike as America's No. 2 car manufacturer. It emerged as No. 3 and never recovered. If you want to get deeper into the weeds, then you may argue that Aspen and Volaré precipitated events that resulted in the demise of Chrysler. "Oh, but Jeep!", you say? When Chrysler went into the 1949 strike, the part of Stellantis that produces Jeep was Willys-Overland. But, I digress....

For the members here who don't remember what the issue with the Vega, it was the revolutionary sleeveless aluminum 2.3 liter I-4 engine. There had been aluminum automobile engines before the Vega, but they featured iron sleeves. The Vega engine block was was cast of Reynolds 390 aluminum-silicon alloy. At the time, I was aware that the Vega engine suffered scoring of the cylinder walls. I understand that it also suffered cooling and vibration issues. After fours years into its run, the Dura-Built 2.3 liter engine feature hundreds of improvements. Chevrolet also higher performance 2.0 L version developed in partnership with Cosworth. However, the Vega was put to rest after MY1977.

Although the Vega is with us no more, Reynolds 390 lived on as an engine block material. Mercedes-Benz picked it up immediately. Aluminum blocks with iron sleeves remain more popular than solid aluminum blocks. However, many engine blocks from numerous manufacturers including GM and Mercedes-Benz are not solid aluminum casts. Some racing engines are milled from aluminum billet. The takeaway message is that the Vega's solid Reynolds 390 aluminum-alloy engine block was literally ahead of its time.
 

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For the members here who don't remember what the issue with the Vega, it was the revolutionary sleeveless aluminum 2.3 liter I-4 engine. There had been aluminum automobile engines before the Vega, but they featured iron sleeves. The Vega engine block was was cast of Reynolds 390 aluminum-silicon alloy. At the time, I was aware that the Vega engine suffered scoring of the cylinder walls. I understand that it also suffered cooling and vibration issues. After fours years into its run, the Dura-Built 2.3 liter engine feature hundreds of improvements. Chevrolet also higher performance 2.0 L version developed in partnership with Cosworth. However, the Vega was put to rest after MY1977.
The Vega chassis spanned some spin-off models for 1975 with the Chevy Monza, Buick Skyhawk, Pontiac Sunbird and Olds Starfire (not sold in Canada) and the Vega kammback wagon soldiered 2 more years as a Monza model.

The Vega didn't put GM out of business but it harmed its credibility until the Citation arrived and said "hold my beer". ;)
 

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The Vega chassis spanned some spin-off models for 1975 with the Chevy Monza, Buick Skyhawk, Pontiac Sunbird and Olds Starfire (not sold in Canada) and the Vega kammback wagon soldiered 2 more years as a Monza model.

The Vega didn't put GM out of business but it harmed its credibility until the Citation arrived and said "hold my beer". ;)
And the Citation once again revived that tarnished image and downward spiral..... :(
 

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The Vega chassis spanned some spin-off models for 1975 with the Chevy Monza, Buick Skyhawk, Pontiac Sunbird and Olds Starfire (not sold in Canada) and the Vega kammback wagon soldiered 2 more years as a Monza model.

The Vega didn't put GM out of business but it harmed its credibility until the Citation arrived and said "hold my beer". ;)
Remember these cars as a kid. Even back then they didn't seem like very good cars but I could say the same about many cars in that period.

My dad almost bought a Citation, ended up with a Plymouth Volare that wasn't likely any better.
 

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Remember these cars as a kid. Even back then they didn't seem like very good cars but I could say the same about many cars in that period.

My dad almost bought a Citation, ended up with a Plymouth Volare that wasn't likely any better.
And to think they spanned some derivatives more successeful like the A-body Century/Ciera/6000/Celebrity for GM and the M-body 1978-81 LeBaron/Fifth Avenue/Diplomat/Gran Fury for Chrysler.
 

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Chevy Citation? You mean the 1980 Motor Trend Car of The Year winner?




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Exactly. Just as mentioned in my post above, #3. I can recall various publications and internet sites panning these maligned X Cars as time went on and some of their "issues" became better known.
 

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Chevy Citation? You mean the 1980 Motor Trend Car of The Year winner?
The Renault-AMC Alliance comes to mind....
Here's what Motor Trend had to say about those two cars:

1980 Chevrolet Citation:
The obvious reason for the selection of the Chevrolet Citation as the 1980 Motor Trend Car of the Year is that its score at the conclusion of our testing was the highest of all the cars nominated. It won on merit.
Underlying the facts and figures, however, was the realization that this car represents a clean break with the past and clearly points to the future of the American automobile. This can also be said of the other X-body cars that we evaluated. But the Citation proved to be first among its equals because it outperformed them in enough categories -- fuel economy and braking to name two -- to take the top spot.

1983 AMC/Renault Alliance:
It's always good to see a winner thoroughly dominate the Car of the Year competition. Besides scotching any doubts we may have harbored, a unanimous result is usually a sign of a completely engineered automobile. The Alliance is the first new product to come from the AMC-Renault product to come from the car's performance; the two partners seem to work well with each other.


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