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Thanksgiving Weekend – A 1975 Chevrolet Vega GT Wagon on eBay

Jim Brennan November 24, 2012 For Sale, Weekend Edition 26 Comments

This is the weekend in which we celebrate the two most heavily traveled days of the year by experiencing the wagons, minivans, and SUVs of our youth. Now, if you were born in the 60s, chances are that your parents drove something malaisey (a word I just made up by the way) in the form of an overgrown, wood paneled wagon from the big-three (and 1/2) or your parents were among the more enlightened consumers of the day, and bought a fuel efficient wagon, something like this Vega…

According to the listing:

1975 Chevy Vega wagon with a 4 cylinder engine and manual transmission. We purchased this vehicle about a year ago with the plans or dropping a V8 in it. It’s the perfect car to do that with. It’s a 2 owner Texas car with a solid frame. There is a little surface rust on the car but that is it. It runs and drives fantastic. You can leave it as it is and use it as a daily driver or turn it into a street rod like we had planed to do. The interior is really clean with your normal wear. The only bad spot is the drivers carpets. Take a look at the 60 plus pictures below. The engine fires right up with no weird noises or sounds. The transmission shifts and goes into gear just like it should with a strong clutch. Please feel free to call me with any questions. Car comes is a clean and clean Texas title!

It looks like the car covered almost 70,000 miles, and it is probably original mileage, but you never know. Yes, there is certainly a lot of aged patina, but I’ve see worse on much newer cars. There seems to be something disconnected, but I don’t think that’s an A/C compressor, so I’ll leave that pronouncement up to the Hoons who occupy this little slice of Heaven. The Buy-it-Now price is $4,995, which I think is quite excessive. See the listing here: 1975 Chevrolet Vega GT Kammback Wagon, and tell me what you think about it.

  • TurboBrick

    Is that a smog pump, perhaps? I like it way more than I should.

    • gearz1

      disconnected smog pump,as most of them were.

      • Joe Dunlap

        Disconnected and SIEZED smog pump, as most of them were/are.:-)

  • calzonegolem

    What kind of mpg would you get out of this as is?

    • erikgrad

      Potential owners will probably be more focused on rpms* than mpg.

      *repairs per month

    • JayP2112

      My high school pal ran one and I think he only got about 22MPG on a good day.
      Got infinite MPG in reverse… since reverse gear was wanked and we had to push it if he didn't park smart.

      • calzonegolem

        That seems pretty good to me.

        • JayP2112

          It just wouldn't go fast and when it did, it was scary as hell.
          That's why the light foot.

    • dukeisduke

      With a four-speed, about 20 around town. My first car was a '75 base hatchback with the same RPO L11 2-barrel, but with automatic (THM250), and I got 17 around town. But, I was in high school, and drove it like a maniac.

  • Sjalabais

    Is 5k "excessive" as in expensive? What would you pay? Love the colour and the karma. But how reliable would this thing be?

    • dukeisduke

      Don't ever let one overheat, change the oil and filter every 3k, keep up with the other maintenance, and it should last a long time. Of course it helps to live here in Texas, where cars don't rust.

      And I seriously doubt this wagon is originally from Texas, since I've never see one here with an A.I.R. pump. Since it's got A.I.R., and no air conditioning, my guess is it's originally a California emissions car.

  • gearz1

    These Vega's were good reliable transportation,Easy to maintain,but do not overheat,not even once or they start a downhill slide.
    Cheap and expendable.

    • OA5599

      Overheating the car would cause a hastening of the V8 conversion, after which the drivetrain would become more durable (assuming a suitably strong rear axle).

  • gearz1

    Installing a V/8 in a shell designed as a light commuter?
    The brakes and suspension would fail.
    If you desire a fast car,buy a fast car and save half of your $$$$$$$

    • Devin

      V8 Vegas are a very common conversion, while parts upgrades are probably required people have been doing it for so long that I imagine the kinks have been worked out. It's not super crazy like a V8 Chevette, which I've also seen.

    • dukeisduke

      You can upgrade the front brakes to the ones from a Monza, or '76-'77 Vega (bigger, ventilated rotors). '76-'77 cars also had bigger drums in the rear.

  • racer139

    Didnt they offer a v-8 from the factory on later models of the vega. Im sure they did. Just source the rad, brakes, rear axel and suspension pieces and that should make it reliable.

    • dukeisduke

      No V8s in Vegas, only Monzas. They used the same axle, just added a torque arm and a Panhard rod (also used on '76-'77 Vegas).

  • Mr. Smee

    Just think how things might have been if Chevy hadn't screwed up with this car, they did sell half-a-million per year for 3 years. And then people found out what they were dealing with. As for V8 conversion, with so many excellent V6s around now, how about go that route?

    • You're singin' my tune. I was all hot to drop a 4300 V6 into my Scout. Bell housing matches, and a lot of hot rodders will pull a perfectly good Vortec V6 out of an S-10 to replace it with a SBC. Even better, the marine motors were un-smogged and had a more reliable injector setup (still a popular upgrade on street machines, BTW). Perfect for my very pre-smog truck.

      Turns out IH used a funky input shaft and all the gears had the helix going the other way. At that point scope creep reared its head and I just kept the original equipment. But on a Jeep you're golden, or a Willys.

  • Joe Dunlap

    The later Monza was built on the Vega platform. Most of the pieces are interchangeable, and yes, the Monza could be had with a V8 and associated upgrades, so, the V8 Vega is a simple and reliable conversion.
    Even if you dont do the conversion, get the big radiator if nothing else. Im pretty sure the stock one was actually an Impala heater core.

  • Joe Dunlap

    Something ominously wrong with one of the fan blades also.

    • dukeisduke

      It looks okay to me. It's a five-blade plastic flex fan, which came on a/c-equipped cars (along with the full shroud). I think it's used on here because of the air pump, which makes the engine run hotter. I experimented with switching to a Derale metal flex fan on my '76 a/c GT, but it wasn't nearly as good as the stock plastic fan. I also ran a custom-built three-row radiator.

  • Joe Dunlap

    The later Monza was built on the Vega platform. Most of the pieces are interchangeable, and yes, the Monza could be had with a V8 and associated upgrades, so, the V8 Vega is a simple and reliable conversion.

  • Peter W.

    My first new car was a 74 Vega wagon, with a sticker price around 3500 bucks!

    Overheated at 25k miles and after that, burned a quart every 200 miles. Chevy wouldn't warranty, so I eventually dropped in a V6 from an Olds Starfire, the same car as the Monza ,both using the Vega front subframe.

    A pretty easy swap, IIRC, requiring only stiffer springs, new engine mounts, and a larger radiator

    A V8 was too much for the unibody, requiring a lot of additional reinforcement to work properly, bigger brakes, rear end, etc.

    The V6 worked out fine.

  • Jethrine

    Pretty sure all the cars with a catalyst got the air pump.
    Just going by 80s-fogged memory, my two 74s had air pump and cat, my 73 had neither.
    (The air pump provides oxygen to the cat light it off faster during warmup)
    My orange 74 GT (white stripes) hatch I v-8 swapped for a 350 built for lower RPM torque to suit the factory diff gearing (2.73ish).
    It got 22-24 on highway with spread bore Holley carb if you behaved, worse with Quadrajet.
    About what the stock engine did.
    The diff is good for about three burnouts, spider gears will exploded if it wheel hops.
    Not a real problem since they are easy to swap the whole rearend out and many mobile home parks and backyards were equipped with cooked motor Vega donors.

    Funny, I remember $5k was the dreamer price for a Cosworth Vega.