HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1976 Chevrolet Vega

Pick of the Day: 1976 Chevrolet Vega


Few people would expect a subcompact Chevy Vega to have a performance-built motor under the hood, but we found one that does.

The Pick of the Day is a 1976 Chevrolet Vega listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in North Logan, Utah. (Click the link to view the listing)

The Vega was originally launched in model year 1971 on the Chevrolet H-body platform. It was available in various body styles including two-door hatchback, notchback, station wagon, and sedan delivery. It was quickly named Motor Trend Car of the Year, but its popularity waned after a few years of production and eventually the car was discontinued after the 1977 model year.

All 1976 Vega models came stock with a “Dura Built” 140cid two-barrel inline-four. At only 84 horsepower, that motor was hardly a powerhouse, but Chevrolet tried hard to market the Vega as a reliable and economical car. They event sent three pre-production Vegas through the desert southwest for 60,000 miles each within a 60-day timeframe, logging fuel and oil consumption along the way.

Thanks to some creative engineering, today’s car has received a much more potent source of momentum: A small-block 327cid Chevrolet V8 has been shoehorned into the engine bay along with lots of chrome dress-up bits, and if that wasn’t good enough, some additional enhancements were added.

Some of those upgrades include a Holley Sniper carburetor, a roller cam and rockers, Sanderson headers, and a four-speed manual transmission. This Vega might qualify as a “sleeper,” but that eye-catching orange paint and the chrome wheels are pretty good hints that something special is going on under the hood.

The interior received refurbishment, too, courtesy of black cloth bucket seats, an aftermarket tachometer, and a Retro Sound audio system. Custom speaker boxes are positioned on the back seat. We can only imagine how this Vega sounds going down the road – from its motor, and from its radio.

“Lots of goodies,” the listing states about this sporty subcompact. With a small-block drivetrain under the hood, no doubt this car would surprise a few people on the street or the track.

The seller is asking $16,500 or best offer for this souped-up Vega.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine, KSLCars.com, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


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