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I saw this interesting theory from Hemmings blogs about a rumor then the Vega could be born from origins of former plans for a 3rd-gen Corvair?

Despite a few commonalities (Ed Cole, aluminum-intensive engines, and maybe a nut and bolt here and there), the Chevrolet Corvair and the Chevrolet Vega were two separate and distinct vehicles. Even though GM employed both in its efforts to push back the tide of imports and to compete in the compact class and one followed more or less right after the other, it's even difficult to say the two shared a predecessor-successor relationship. But could the development of the latter have actually stemmed from the last vestiges of the former?

It's an interesting question, apparently one that H-body fans have often pondered, as David Kelly recently posited in a comment:
 

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I saw this interesting theory from Hemmings blogs about a rumor then the Vega could be born from origins of former plans for a 3rd-gen Corvair?
If you actually read the article in your link, then you would have little confidence that the answer to the title question is "Yes?" To the contrary, author Daniel Strohl makes it fairly clear that the only thing that the Vega and Corvair had in common was the Chevy badge. For Chevy fan who had a drivers license when the Vega hit the showroom, I was aware of virtually every model car sold in US showrooms. Nowhere did I read or hear anything other than the fact that the Vega was GM's answer to the growing impact of Japanese imports. The Vega's claim to fame was its revolutionary sleeveless aluminum engine block cast in Reynolds 390 aluminum-silicon alloy. Unfortunately, the Vega's 2.3 L in-line four was much less reliable than it was revolutionary. It would be left to Mercedes-Benz to develop reliable Reynolds 390 sleeveless engines.

According to Wikipedia, GM originally planned to end Corvair production following the 1966 model year. If those plans had gone through, then the Corvair would have died after only two years into its 2nd Generation. It was kept in production through the 1969 model year. There a proposal for a third generation. The 3rd Generation Corvair would have been a reskin of the 2nd Generation Corvair.

If Wikipedia is correct, then it pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin of the notion that the Vega was ever considered to be a replacement for the Corvair.
 

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All I heard bout the Vega was that it was thrusted upon Chevrolet engineers from above, and they were very pissed about that. It was not their baby, they did not develop it from within Chevrolet Motor Division. So this new story is surprising and interesting.
 

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Well.. some truth and mistruth here.

As the webmaster over at H-Body.org, I know a decent amount. But there are a few guys that could write a book from what they know about the car. To simplify..
1. The Vega was designed to combat the import invasion
2. The engine, booed by people, was actually the culmination of almost 2 decades worth of research investment by GM. The technology was released too early...as now EVERY CAR uses the same technology in their cylinder liners to harden the cylinders.
3. The engine wasn't nearly as bad as people say. Keep in mind, GM made almost a million of these cars a year. The car was released in 1971 and by 1972 they already were production the Millionth Vega Edition.
4. The cars had, at that time, the largest gasoline powered 4 cylinder automotive engine in the world.
5. The measuring stick for GM was actually the Beetle. The goal was to have a similar size, more interior room, more cargo capacity, more power, and similar fuel economy.
6. The Vega can get 40+ mpg when driven softly. Unbelievable, even today.
7. The cars were extremely lightweight. My '72 was about 2,200 pounds when stock. With the v8 it is around 2,600 pounds.
8. The Vega was the first mass-produced GM vehicle that had the doors installed and jams welded in place by robots.
9. The Vega handled better than most cars on the road at that time. It was actually marketed as Son of Z(28).

If you'd like more info, I can provide some articles. The Vega is a really interesting car. I am in love with mine.

It is a '72 Vega Hatch. I have upgraded the suspension front and rear. The rear suspension is tubular and it is a narrowed 12 bolt with c-clip eliminators. The engine is a '95 LT1 with a few performance parts. The transmission is a T-56 six speed manual. It will lay rubber at any speed below 70, and chirps the tires at 70 with ease. Sideways rubber through second and rubber into third. Have surprised quite a few people.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Land vehicle
 

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I have a soft spot for the Vega. My brother's first car was a used 71 Vega hatchback. I had a 75 Kammback for a while! Fun little cars - if a bit underpowered.
 
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Is it true the 82 Camaro/Firebird was loosely based on the Vega platform?
It absolutely is… check this out… a Monza Mirage vs an IROC-Z

Similar gauges, black headlight pockets, 4 seat, 2 door, hatchback, 305, front chin spoiler, 4 headlights, hood bulge (less pronounced on the third Gen), and the kicker.. 10 bolt rear axle with torque arm suspension.

The Monza is the third gen’s daddy LoL.

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9. The Vega handled better than most cars on the road at that time. It was actually marketed as Son of Z(28).

Very true. The Cosworth version was pretty dominant in Scca SSS racing for several years.
I had a 75 Cosworth Vega for 5 years as my daily driver and put 120k miles on it. It was a fun car but not as fast as it should have been. As I recall the stock linkage was terrible.
 

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I had a 75 Cosworth Vega for 5 years as my daily driver and put 120k miles on it. It was a fun car but not as fast as it should have been. As I recall the stock linkage was terrible.
One of my good friends owns about 25 cosworths
 

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All I heard bout the Vega was that it was thrusted upon Chevrolet engineers from above, and they were very pissed about that. It was not their baby, they did not develop it from within Chevrolet Motor Division. So this new story is surprising and interesting.
Pretty sure it was built at the Lordstown, Ohio plant, which had notoriously bad labor relations problems. That did not help.
 

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Interesting...
 
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