I have a theory. After 40 years, any car gets interesting. The then mundane Mavericks and Hornets back in 1971 today have enthusiasts and collectors who love their cars as much as prewar Packard and Duesenberg enthusiasts love their cars. Few American cars are as widely denigrated as the Chevy Vega but indeed there are Vega enthusiasts. Intended to be GM’s answer to the VW Beetle and Japanese compacts, with some clever design features, the Vega instead was hamstrung by terrible quality control and today is usually the punchline to a joke. It had sheet metal that started to rust seemingly before the car was assembled, and an engine using an innovative aluminum technology that was not quite ready for prime time so it burned oil. Because of the rust issue, there are very few surviving examples. Many that have survived, like these two Vegas that were at the Cruisin’ Hines event, have done so because they are light rear wheel drive cars with engine bays that can accommodate a small block Chevy V8. In other words, they are perfect for the drag strip. Both the sedan that was cruising and the wagon parked at the side of Hines Drive are set up for the strip.
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