A Preserved “Day 2” V8 Vega? This Thing Is A Time Capsule!

A Preserved “Day 2” V8 Vega? This Thing Is A Time Capsule!

Lately, I’ve had a thing for the diminutive Chevrolet Vega. Bone stock, they were boring and unreliable, and let’s face it: they weren’t very good at being cars. That’s why they are such a rare sight these days. But, they looked like a mini-Camaro, and a V8 swapped example makes for a substantially hairy street machine. Every once in a while, one of them crawls out of the woodwork, having been modified by an enterprising hot rodder from years ago. While the last couple we’ve shown you have been Vega Trars, this one is a proper 1970’s Vega street machine. And when I mean 70’s street machine, I mean this was built back in the day and mothballed, only to be recently discovered. This is the kind of car you would have seen in a high school parking lot circa 1979. Let’s take a closer look!



This thing has it all: Big and littles, 70’s-tastic pin striping, a vintage Chevy front plate, and if you look on the roof, a fiberglass hood with a period correct schnozz. What’s not to like?


From this angle, a few things become apparent. First off, you get a better look at that hood. Second, it’s a Vega hatchback, which is arguably the best looking of the Vega variants.


The seller mentions that this car is “the straightest, cleanest 1973 Vega you will find”. Judging simply by the fact that the rockers exist, I’m inclined to believe him. Most of these cars have returned to the earth many years ago, but this one looks super clean and rust free. If you are going to make big power in a car like this, you want it to look like this one.


Now these are old-school. I may be wrong, but these appear to be mid-70’s Cragars, and those BF Goodrich Radial T/A “50” tires are among the earliest of the Radial T/A’s manufactured. Back then, this was one hell of a wheel and tire package, and while the tires may need to be replaced by a fresh set of modern Radial T/A’s, those wheels are sweet.


While the odometer shows a scant 28 miles, the seller claims that the Vega has traveled about 5000-8000 miles in it’s life. While that would usually be cause for concern in a classic muscle car or sports car, this is a V8-swapped Vega, and most buyers would likely care less. Also dig that sticker on that vintage Moroso tach! 


A wider view of the cockpit shows more 70’s speed shop goodies, like the previously mentioned tach, a number of auxiliary gauges, a switch panel in place of the radio, and a Hurst shifter poking out of the floor to stir the gears in the Muncie M22.


Finally, we have the most important reason why we are talking about this 70’s econobox: the 350ci Small Block Chevrolet that resides under that fiberglass schnozz. The seller claims it to be a 1970-vintage LT1, which is good for 370 horsepower. If my memory is correct, these were available in the Corvette and Camaro, and had solid lifters and other trick parts, making them one of the scrappiest engines of its day. Back when this Vega was built, this would have been one of the best choices for a power plant available, and judging by the looks of the car, it’s safe to assume that it’s been warmed up a bit. Dig the aluminum high rise intake, the giant air cleaner, and the vintage Accel coil mounted on the firewall. The seller does say that it runs and drives, but it could use some tuning, as it’s been sitting for a long time.

The seller of this vintage street machine is asking for all of the money at $18,500, but finding a V8-swapped Vega that was sprinkled with top quality aftermarket speed parts and almost immediately mothballed after it was built is nothing short of special. This is not a car you see everyday. It’s basically a time capsule; a window in time peering back to the days when cars like this ruled the streets and cruise spot parking lots every weekend. This is the kind of car you hear stories about from your buddies, dad, or crazy uncle, and it’s without a doubt BangShift Approved!

Of course, you know we want to hear what you think of this find. Is it cool, or is the seller off his rocker selling at that price? Let us know below!

Here’s the original ad from Craigslist:

Built in 1973 with 28 miles on odo. Car has between 5-8000 miles on it. All period correct parts down to tires. Many Baldwin Motion parts. 1970 lt1 370 hp version. Orig everything but paint on hood and fuel pump. Car is a true day 2 barn find. 3100 lb clutch Muncie m22 rock crusher with dana 60 rear. Car was built and parked for what ever reason(to fast maybe) Car is the straightest cleanest 1973 you will find. A true collectible. Must be seen in person to appreciate. Will need some tinkering but runs and drives as it is. I have done nothing to it as it is a time capsule. I have way to much going on to keep it but it is a blast to drive and gets a lot of looks and thumbs up when it passes.

(And yes, we hate the gratuitous use of the term “BARN FIND” as much as you do.)

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6 thoughts on “A Preserved “Day 2” V8 Vega? This Thing Is A Time Capsule!

  1. Don

    I did a 73 GT Vega wagon in the late 70s. Used the original Saginaw 4 speed out of the Vega with a 327. After I grenaded the original rear I got a posi rear from a v8 Monza. It was my daily driver for 2 years. Used a Don Hardy kit. Good memories.

  2. Rock On

    This thing would be a blast to drive with the solid lifters and rock crusher transmission. No need for a radio,

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