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Originally listed for sale in November 2019 on Craiglist in Fredricksburg, Virginia is a subtly customized 1976 Chevrolet Vega Kammback Wagon featuring a 383 cubic inch V8 conversion and other go-fast goodies for the asking price of $6,900 or best offer. The NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool currently lists their “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail values for these wagons at $4,725, $6,475, and $11,200 for stock four-cylinder examples, so this street machine has a lot of potential for the money.
A nicely style small car, Motor Trend named the Chevrolet Vega its Car of the Year in 1971. However, 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.
We really like the subtleness of this V8-converted wagon. Starting with the faint flames on the hood of what appears to be a very presentable paint job and going all the way out back to find a Dana five-lug rear end equipped with 4:10 gears. However, we love the builder showed restraint in narrowing the axle just enough to still allow street width tires in the stock wheel wells.
This wagon has the makings of a fun and realistic winter project: upgrade the interior with better seats and aftermarket shifter and then perhaps look at upgrading the rear brakes and the manual steering rack before spring hits. Good luck with the purchase!
We’d love to hear what you would do with this Vega to make it your own. Comment below and let us know!