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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 11:46 am
Otis
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Default A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
and the Vega
is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
times. I feel I should
put in a good word for the little car.

My sister got a new Vega in early 1973 (a stripped-down one at that,
about as basic
as was available). I then inherited it in late '74 and drove it
merrily for another full
year. That little car was never ONE ounce of trouble. It cruised at
75 mph like
a charm, never burped or coughed, and I actually don't know that the
oil was
ever changed!!!! Maybe the car was serviced when my sister had it,
but I know
it wasn't during the time I had it (young and car stupid I guess).
When
I traded it in for my dream car at the time (the dreamy '75 Toyota
Celica GT),
it had about 42k miles on it and still performed like a trooper.
Maybe it
was a rare gem off the assembly line I don't know, but I had three
friends
who also had Vegas and I don't remember any of them being lemons; one
did have notoriously squeally brakes though IIRC.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 12:09 pm
CEG
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Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

On Sep 30, 12:46*pm, Otis <rev_otis_mcn...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
> and the Vega
> is always at or near the top of the list. *I've seen it a hundred
> times. * I feel I should
> put in a good word for the little car.
>
> My sister got a new Vega in early 1973 (a stripped-down one at that,
> about as basic
> as was available). *I then inherited it in late '74 and drove it
> merrily for another full
> year. * That little car was never ONE ounce of trouble. *It cruised at
> 75 mph like
> a charm, never burped or coughed, and I actually don't know that the
> oil was
> ever changed!!!! *Maybe the car was serviced when my sister had it,
> but I know
> it wasn't during the time I had it (young and car stupid I guess).
> When
> I traded it in for my dream car at the time (the dreamy '75 Toyota
> Celica GT),
> it had about 42k miles on it and still performed like a trooper.
> Maybe it
> was a rare gem off the assembly line I don't know, but I had three
> friends
> who also had Vegas and I don't remember any of them being lemons; one
> did have notoriously squeally brakes though IIRC.


I never had a Vega, but I've owned several Corvair which is also on
that list. I drove one everyday for 6 years until 2003 when I sold it.
A very good car.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 12:40 pm
dsi1
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

Otis wrote:
> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
> and the Vega
> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
> times. I feel I should
> put in a good word for the little car.
>
> My sister got a new Vega in early 1973 (a stripped-down one at that,
> about as basic
> as was available). I then inherited it in late '74 and drove it
> merrily for another full
> year. That little car was never ONE ounce of trouble. It cruised at
> 75 mph like
> a charm, never burped or coughed, and I actually don't know that the
> oil was
> ever changed!!!! Maybe the car was serviced when my sister had it,
> but I know
> it wasn't during the time I had it (young and car stupid I guess).
> When
> I traded it in for my dream car at the time (the dreamy '75 Toyota
> Celica GT),
> it had about 42k miles on it and still performed like a trooper.
> Maybe it
> was a rare gem off the assembly line I don't know, but I had three
> friends
> who also had Vegas and I don't remember any of them being lemons; one
> did have notoriously squeally brakes though IIRC.
>


A bit of trivia: the Vega was based on the Fiat 124 Sports Coupe. GM
bought a few examples to take apart and tried to copy it's design. I
think they succeeded all too well. As far as the 124 Sports Coupe goes,
I owned 3 of those and loved those things.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 01:05 pm
hls
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..


"Otis" <rev_otis_mcnatt@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1f20ce7d-cd39-4208-920c-08032814acbb@37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
> and the Vega
> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
> times. I feel I should
> put in a good word for the little car.



That is, I believe, the car with the silicon/aluminum alloy engine...That
thing
went out for most people very quickly.

Now, believe it or not, I have seen Yugos still on the road. Even the worst
automaker allows a good one to slip out occasionally.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 01:30 pm
dsi1
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

hls wrote:
>
> "Otis" <rev_otis_mcnatt@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1f20ce7d-cd39-4208-920c-08032814acbb@37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
>> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
>> and the Vega
>> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
>> times. I feel I should
>> put in a good word for the little car.

>
>
> That is, I believe, the car with the silicon/aluminum alloy
> engine...That thing
> went out for most people very quickly.
>
> Now, believe it or not, I have seen Yugos still on the road. Even the
> worst
> automaker allows a good one to slip out occasionally.


Yugo = Fiat 128
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 02:25 pm
hls
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..


"dsi1" <dsi1@spamnet.com> wrote in message
news:jtNwm.221416$cf6.208145@newsfe16.iad...
> hls wrote:
>>
>> "Otis" <rev_otis_mcnatt@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> news:1f20ce7d-cd39-4208-920c-08032814acbb@37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
>>> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
>>> and the Vega
>>> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
>>> times. I feel I should
>>> put in a good word for the little car.

>>
>>
>> That is, I believe, the car with the silicon/aluminum alloy engine...That
>> thing
>> went out for most people very quickly.
>>
>> Now, believe it or not, I have seen Yugos still on the road. Even the
>> worst
>> automaker allows a good one to slip out occasionally.

>
> Yugo = Fiat 128


Maybe the equality is not quite right, but similar.
Fiat also put Russia into the car business, IIRC.

We have owned three Fiats...a 131 Mirafiore, a 128, and another I cant
remember. The engines were okay, but the bodies tended to rust out
very badly on some of them.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 04:21 pm
dsi1
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

hls wrote:
>
> "dsi1" <dsi1@spamnet.com> wrote in message
> news:jtNwm.221416$cf6.208145@newsfe16.iad...
>> hls wrote:
>>>
>>> "Otis" <rev_otis_mcnatt@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>>> news:1f20ce7d-cd39-4208-920c-08032814acbb@37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
>>>> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
>>>> and the Vega
>>>> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
>>>> times. I feel I should
>>>> put in a good word for the little car.
>>>
>>>
>>> That is, I believe, the car with the silicon/aluminum alloy
>>> engine...That thing
>>> went out for most people very quickly.
>>>
>>> Now, believe it or not, I have seen Yugos still on the road. Even
>>> the worst
>>> automaker allows a good one to slip out occasionally.

>>
>> Yugo = Fiat 128

>
> Maybe the equality is not quite right, but similar.
> Fiat also put Russia into the car business, IIRC.


My guess is that they were pretty similar. I was thinking at the time
that it might be possible to bolt-on a Yugo engine and maybe the entire
drivetrain of a Yugo into a Fiat X1/9 although I've not heard of anybody
doing this.

>
> We have owned three Fiats...a 131 Mirafiore, a 128, and another I cant
> remember. The engines were okay, but the bodies tended to rust out
> very badly on some of them.


The engine on the 124 sports models were fine. It was the first
belt-driven double overhead cam design engine used in a mass production
car. Rust was a big problem in the states. I'm guessing that it doesn't
rain or snow in Italy and Europe. :-)
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 05:42 pm
Nate Nagel
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Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

hls wrote:
>
> "Otis" <rev_otis_mcnatt@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1f20ce7d-cd39-4208-920c-08032814acbb@37g2000yqm.googlegroups.com...
>> Over the years, the inevitable subject of worst cars ever comes up,
>> and the Vega
>> is always at or near the top of the list. I've seen it a hundred
>> times. I feel I should
>> put in a good word for the little car.

>
>
> That is, I believe, the car with the silicon/aluminum alloy
> engine...That thing
> went out for most people very quickly.
>
> Now, believe it or not, I have seen Yugos still on the road. Even the
> worst
> automaker allows a good one to slip out occasionally.


Well, seeing as a Yugo is basically a reheated FIAT, they theoretically
can be made more reliable by replacing all the broken mechanical bits
with FIAT bits.

Now whether they figured out rustproofing or not, I don't know - I
haven't seen a Yugo in years. I don't remember seeing one old enough to
have rust on it.

It's a shame that FIAT didn't fine tune their cars a little better. I
remember a neighbor having one as a little kid and it was a neat little
car and darn near indestructable - I think he eventually passed it on to
his daughter when she went to college (a few years older than I.) Owner
was a car guy though, so undoubtedly salt wasn't allowed to linger on
the body, explaining its unusual longevity.

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 06:22 pm
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..

Nate Nagel <njnagel@roosters.net> wrote:
>
>Well, seeing as a Yugo is basically a reheated FIAT, they theoretically
>can be made more reliable by replacing all the broken mechanical bits
>with FIAT bits.


Wait... wait.... say that again...
you replace parts _with_ Fiat parts and it becomes more reliable.

This implies that the original parts are actually _less_ reliable than
Fiat parts. Is such a thing actually possible?

>Now whether they figured out rustproofing or not, I don't know - I
>haven't seen a Yugo in years. I don't remember seeing one old enough to
>have rust on it.


I see one every once in a while on Rt. 64. It's tiny and yellow, and has
a huge man with a walrus moustache driving it.

>It's a shame that FIAT didn't fine tune their cars a little better. I
>remember a neighbor having one as a little kid and it was a neat little
>car and darn near indestructable - I think he eventually passed it on to
>his daughter when she went to college (a few years older than I.) Owner
>was a car guy though, so undoubtedly salt wasn't allowed to linger on
>the body, explaining its unusual longevity.


Okay.... I have to understand this. You're saying somehow that someone
has made a car which is _less reliable than a Fiat_?
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 30 Sep 2009, 07:09 pm
hls
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: A little spare time to think. Remembering my Chevy Vega..


"dsi1" <dsi1@humuhumunukunukuapuapa.org> wrote in message
>
> The engine on the 124 sports models were fine. It was the first
> belt-driven double overhead cam design engine used in a mass production
> car. Rust was a big problem in the states. I'm guessing that it doesn't
> rain or snow in Italy and Europe. :-)


Somewhat wrong. Rust was a problem with all Fiats made in Italia.

Fiat is a bit of a joke, even in Europe. I lived there for many many years.
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