Chevrolet introduced the subcompact H-Body Vega in 1970 as an import fighter that mainly competed against Ford’s Pinto and AMC’s Gremlin. Chevrolet produced the car in four different two-door body styles: hatchback, notchback, wagon, and sedan delivery.
A nicely style small car, Motor Trend named the Vega it’s Car of the Year in 1971, problems with engine durability, overall reliability, and a lack of rust prevention quickly hung a dark cloud over the brand. As a result, Chevrolet canceled the Vega at the end of the 1977 model year when it launched the Monza as its replacement.
The propensity for the Vega’s 140 cu in engine cylinder sleeves to fail provided an ample supply of parts cars just itching to be hot-rodded in some form. Hot Rodders soon figured out that the combination of a small block Chevy V8 stuffed into the engine bay of the Vega made it an awesome drag racing car, and soon an entire cottage industry of suppliers making V8 conversion kits for these kits emerged. One of the more famous of these builders was Don Hardy, the subject of the example presented here.
The seller of this provides very little detail on this classic V8-stuffed Vega other than the front end utilizes a very desirable Don Hardy front subframe/roll cage that features swing-out bars at the doors and that the car has been stored on the two-post lift shown for over ten years! He provides no description on the engine or whether it even runs. The rear end is a Dana 44 mated to a Turbohydramatic 350 but as the picture illustrates the axle has not been narrowed nor does the car appear to be “tubbed.”