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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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