I owned a 72 Vega which was by far the best car I have owned.
Unfortunately, the car was totaled in an auto accident in the early 80's. At the time of the accident, the car had 135,000 miles and never needed a thing besides routine maintenance. Kudos to GM! Perhaps they should reintroduce this fine little car.
Regarding the comment from 4th Mar 2005... if the Vega was the best car you ever owned, what the hell have you been buying since? Ladas? Austin Marinas? Yugos?
I also concur, my 1976 Vega was a decent vehicle, fun to drive, great gas mileage. Got a great deal on it in '78 as a two year old vehicle. My mechanic / uncle encouraged me to buy it saying that the Vega's problems from previous years were fixed in '76 and that the car would last and last. He was right... It got me through 4 years of college and grad school as well, it always started, even on the coldest of Minnesota winter mornings. I felt bad when I traded it in for my first brand new car, a 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. There was no reason to trade it, I just wanted a new car. At 9 years and 137,000 miles it still delivered 25 MPG and used less than a quart of oil between oil changes. Yeah, it did need a timing belt at 102,000 miles & a clutch replacement at 113,000 but that was it. It would still run all day at 75 mph on the interstate. Those iron sleeves made all the difference in the engine; it was a great little vehicle.
Well, I'm amazed at the Vega owners who had no trouble with this car. My engine started burning oil big time after 50,000 miles! As it turned out, the cylinder walls were of soft aluminum and very scarred up. The aluminum engine was a great idea, but they should have lined the cylinder walls with something else. I did think the design was decent, but plenty of cut corners in manufacturing quality.
Looks like it's been a while since anyone left a comment here, so I will leave one of my own...
The Chevy Vega was my very first car, cobbled together in my uncle's barn from a '71 body-shell and a '74 GT's seats and drive-train. At that time... 1985... I had just recently started college, and this car carried me for three years. Not without its problems, among them a gas leak and starter glitch (and rust and oil consumption), but I still miss that car. So many adventures! Including a trip from Lincoln, California to Sandpoint, Idaho, to visit my sister... and a trip down to the LA area (and back), with the back-end loaded down with books, magazines, and other stuff I'd left behind when I'd moved up north to college. If not for a piston-head separation, I would have most likely driven the car for a number of years after college, but that was not to be.
Anyway, it's good to ramble over memories, even after all this time...
Wow, my first car also. A silver, (custom black stripe down the middle of hood and trunk) GT. There was a recall on the motor and when I received it as a 'Birthday' present, it had about 6000 miles on the replacement motor that GM installed at absolutely no cost to my brother, (the original owner). I drove the crap out of it for a couple of years and still sold it for three times what I paid for it. The car was fast for it's style and looked and drove just like a 'miniture Camaro'. Plenty of spunk and a four speed to boot. I started driving the car in 1977 so the car was already six years old and when I received it was like Brand New. A great little car and for the time, really something special. I had one of the baddest cars in high school. My senior year I got a Camaro and honestly couldn't say that I liked it any better than my Vega. I guess the base model with the puny engine and lack of doo dads may have truly been a 'piece of junk'. But my GT was 'bad to the bone'.
Still have my 1971 GT Kammback. Original engine and trans never out of the car. No rust. A header helped the 140 breath better. Four speed Opel transmission is perfect. Fully loaded except A/C. Original paint and carpet. It really flies, gets good mileage, and yes, it smokes and uses oil. Just like it's supposed to.
My family bought a beautiful silver Vega GT in 1974 because of GM's 100,000 mile warranty, which was unheard of in those days. The car also had the black striping down the middle. The Vega was one of the most beautifully styled small cars GM ever built. Even today its styling would be fairly current. Our Vega made well over 100,000 miles with no problems at all. I don't really understand why I don't see more Vegas on the road here. There are a lot of 70's Pintos, but virtually no Vegas outside of car shows and the drag races.