By Will Silk
The Chevrolet Vega is perhaps one of those cars that history has brushed aside for a number of reasons. The early 1970s were difficult times, with the first global fuel crisis accompanied by a recession in the United States, automakers were willing to make bold moves in designs to attempt to survive. The Chevy Vega was one of those designs, first brought to market in 1971 as a sporty coupe with an economical four cylinder engine.
John DeLorean was heading up Chevrolet in the early 1970s, and in 1971 a joint project between Chevrolet and Cosworth Engineering was started to transform the sporty looking Vega model into a sports coupe with real performance. Cosworth designed a new 2.0 liter twin cam engine for the project with a die cast aluminum cylinder head. Early production engines yielded horsepower numbers as high as 180 on the dyno.
It was estimated that Chevrolet would sell 5,000 units a year beginning in 1974, but a strike at US plants lead to production being shifted to Canada at the last minute. This postponed the arrival of the twin cam coupe until the 1975 model year. At a cost of $5,916.00, the Cosworth-Vega as it became known was not cheap. In fact, for just $900.00 more your Chevrolet dealer could put you in the seat of a base Corvette at the time. With only 2,062 units built in 1975, and a further 1,446 Cosworth-Vegas built in 1976; the Cosworth Vega was cancelled leaving some 1,500 engines left to be scrapped.
When we opened an email recently from Jack Middleton, the crew at Sports Car Digest had to take a moment and really soak in the pictures he sent of the sports racer. The sports racing machine featured here is powered by a Chevrolet Cosworth-Vega engine. Andy Schwartz is said to have built the car and provided a bit of tuning to the twin cam engine with the addition of a turbocharger. As its believed to be the most striking machine to use the Chevy Cosworth-Vega engine, Jack Middleton is seeking any information on the car as he is putting together a Cosworth-Vega display for the 2011 GM Nationals to be held at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
If you have any information on this sports racing car, please contact Jack Middleton at [email protected].
[Source: Jack Middleton]