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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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Comments

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited February 2013
    Uh....not really.

    I think more people look at Vegas than Pintos and probably Gremlins. People like to drop V8's into them.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    They also tested a Celebrity with the 112 hp 2.8 (173) and I think got 0-60 in 11.2.

    The 130 hp 2.8 MFI with 3-speed automatic did 0-60 in 10 flat, at least according to the '85 Celebrity sales brochure. ;) Of course, when I went to order mine, I had to buy the optional 4-speed automatic, which a Chevy Service Manager I knew warned me about and at 37K it had lost 3rd and 4th gear. 13K out of warranty, but Chevy replaced the trans for $100.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I've heard of those "Nomads" but never saw one in person. I've got to believe that was an aftermarket deal and not available through Chevy dealers, but I don't know that for a fact.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 713
    I kinda like this one which has been modded with an earlier, smaller bumper and valance. Maybe people still like Vegas because GM started with a good idea which owners need to finish.
    Photobucket
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited February 2013
    Ugh, I detest that '77 GT side stripe! I like the '74-76 a lot better.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:74_Vega_GT.jpg
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    That's pretty tasteful all in all, although I agree that stripe is maybe a bit too 70s. But if one is really going for a retro look, that typeface works. Amazing how the small bumper fits, too.

    That car I saw could have been had for $300-400, IIRC - probably worth it, but that was before scrap prices had any old hulk worth so much.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Abut the only V8 someone will be dropping, won't be *in* that Vega, it'll be *through* it.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    As I'd said, I would've liked it new though...and the 5 yr/60K mile engine warranty would have made me feel a little better. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I dunno....it's a pretty underwhelming car to drive in the best of circumstances. You have to be tolerant of feeling surrounding by cheap 'n nasty, especially by 2013 standards I mean.

    Even the lowly VW Bug was built like a Rolls Royce compared to that thing.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I dunno, no exposed metal inside the cabin, and Camaro bucket seats. Old Beetles are charming, as long as you don't have to use the defroster or try and use the windshield washer if there's no air in the spare. ;)
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    Do the rear side vents on these Vega wagons have any functional purpose, like for cabin air circulation or something? Usually you see vents like this on old rear engined european econoboxes.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I'm thinking they're part of the flow-through ventilation...although, recall that in '71 GM's big cars, too, had extractor vents on the decklids which were revised midway through the year, then left off in '72. The first Vegas, even hatchbacks, had vents there too I'm pretty sure although I'll have to look. They may have left the vents on the wagons just because it looks kind of sporty. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    you could rip the door off a Vega with your bare hands. :P

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  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    They may have left the vents on the wagons just because it looks kind of sporty

    The vents remind me of these VeeDubs:

    image

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Those old VW wagons were great little cars. I wouldn't mind having one for garden duty...and notably, the first mass-produced car with electronic fuel injection.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    That VW looks like its trunk is full. ;)
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Although the long-term durability was bad, a lot of folks forget (I think) that the Vega was absolutely, positively the subcompact darling of all the car mags then. The Beetle wasn't. As a new car, the "experts" loved the Vega.
    I think it's interesting to read the motoring press at the time, because (and we're all guilty of this), the years and old wives' tales have a way of making us look at things differently decades later. I find that things usually weren't as great or as awful back then as we remember them now (and I'm guilty too).
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,026
    you could rip the door off a Vega with your bare hands.

    Eh, you can do that with any car. At least, I remember seeing Buford Pusser rip the door off an early 70's Camaro with his bare hands, in one of those old "Walking Tall" movies.

    And, I'm sure that's gotta be accurate because, after all, I saw it on tv. :P

    As for old VW bugs, the main reason their "build quality" if you can call it that, is so high is because they just don't have that many parts. The fenders are bolt-on, and have rubber seals separating them from the body...something that would be unacceptable on most cars after around 1952 I'd guess. And the roof panel actually overlaps the sides, rather than coming to a seam, so you don't see a gap. They also have bumpers that stick out, so if they are uneven, it's not evident.

    As far as places where you can see gaps, such as the hood, trunk, and doors, the ones I've seen are every bit as sloppy as anything else I've seen. One redeeming feature I've noticed though, is that the sheetmetal on them still seems fairly thick. Now, it could simply be that because they're so small, that sheetmetal doesn't have very far to span, unsupported, like it would on a bigger car. But another possibility...since the Bug had been in production since 1939, I wonder if they still used sheetmetal that was as thick as it was in 1939? Or, did they thin it out in later years?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    How did the mags treat the Vega as it aged and early issues became known? I can imagine none loving the Beetle - it was in many technical ways still a 1930s car being made well into the 70s.

    My mom had a 1970 Beetle, my dad blew the engine and put a Porsche 912 engine in it, she didn't care for that and sold the car, before I was born.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited February 2013
    I honestly can't remember a whole lot of press on the Vega in the '75 and later years, as it hadn't changed a whole whole lot from the original (except for mandated bumpers and increased mechanical sturdiness I think). I know in '71-72-73 it won a ton of awards (Chevy used them in their ads), and in '74, for awhile, it was the best-selling car, period, IIRC (and I think I do!). I was partial to them as the promise had been so great, and they were built near where we lived--the only place 'til in '74 some came out of St. Therese Quebec as Lordstown couldn't keep up with demand. Plus, my grandparents bought the very first one our dealer got in, although its only options were AM radio and white-stripe tires and it was the uglier 'sedan' (later 'notchback') bodystyle.

    I can remember one time looking at a new one at our hometown dealer, and something prompted me to reach up inside the front fenders and for the first time I felt a plastic inner fender liner, when I knew earlier ones didn't have it. This was mid-'74 model year. Many years later I read an online account by an engineer who was assigned to Lordstown and he mentioned remembering the night's shift where they started installing them, mid'74.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,026
    I remember catching an old episode of "Let's Make a Deal" on the Game Show Network a few years back, and a later-model Vega was one of the prizes. When the announcer was giving the description, I vaguely remember him mentioning some improvements that were made...can't remember if it was the rustproofing, engine, or what.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited February 2013
    Ads and the brochure for the '76 were full of all the improvements--primarily engine cooling and significantly improved rustproofing. The brochure was pretty detailed on the improvements, surprisingly. The tagline that year for the Vega, in ads and the brochure, was "Built to Take It".
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,800
    "I think more people look at Vegas than Pintos and probably Gremlins. People like to drop V8's into them. "

    Gremlins would not have been that much of a challenge, since AMC sold them from the factory with a V8, although I don't think it was done in all model years.

    I had a 232 in my '72 Gremlin - my first car. I could easily spin the wheels from a stop if I wasn't careful with the accelerator. Weird car in many ways though; I'll never forget that Chrysler starter!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209
    Not to belittle the 232's power, but since the Gremlin was essentially a trunkless Hornet, the light weight over the rear wheels made it easier to spin the tires.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I remember catching an old episode of "Let's Make a Deal" on the Game Show Network a few years back

    There was a game show in the '70's with Tom Kennedy as the host, and I think it was called 'Split Second', but I'll have to check. There were five cars on the stage, always Chevys or Pontiacs, and the winner that day got a key and tried to start the car. If it didn't start, the winner would be back the next day. I always had to laugh when the person won five days straight, as they'd have their choice of the five cars. Always comical is that ABC must have told them to 'ham it up' when choosing, but you knew when there was a Vega, Nova, Camaro, Impala, and Corvette, which they'd be choosing. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited February 2013
    Here's a good first-hand account of how the Vega went from Darling to Damned in the course of one year:

    http://www.autosavant.com/2009/07/20/the-cars-that-killed-gm-chevrolet-vega/

    If you don't want to read through it, here's the summary:

    "The Vega-so promising, so tragic-was a first for GM: a complete quality disaster. Up to that point, Chevy was considered a reliable brand. The public held GM vehicles in high esteem. But anyone who owned a Vega no longer could hold that opinion. It was the first nail in the coffin. Many more were to come-X-cars, Chevy-mobiles, Cimarron-each one carefully nailed in place by a complacent, arrogant corporate bureaucracy, with the steadying hand of an indifferent workforce."

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  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    One bad car after another. It's taking GM like 35+ years to recover and they're still not considered as good as most import brands.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    No doubt a long-term quality disaster, but it was still winning magazine awards and owner's survey awards in its third year and set sales records in its fourth year.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited February 2013
    The Vega was undoubtedly the first rock in the avalanche that buried GM and nearly killed them. They had rebounded mightily off the Corvair debacle, and not badly hurt from it all things considered, but only went on to design something far worse.

    How the Vega could have ever passed its shake-down cruise remains a great mystery.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    True, but it seems like import brands with quality issues get a free pass and people still beat up GM for the Vega forty years later. We hash it over constantly over on the GM forum, but I like to say, "Would you have not bought a '65 Mustang because your new Model A was lousy?". Same thing.
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