1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega - SOLD
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We can’t remember seeing a nicer one.

Rare color combination. Desirable 5-speed manual transmission. Upgraded with twin Weber carburetors, custom cams, and more. Factory alloy wheels. Beautiful interior and excellent paint. Nimble, fun, and underrated, the Cosworth Vega is worth a second look!

There are plenty of places to read about the Cosworth Vega on the internet, and I’d encourage you to learn more about this cool piece of GM performance from the ‘70s. When American cars were getting bigger and heavier, the Vega bucked the trend. Tapping Cosworth in England to add a little excitement to their lightweight compact was not quite the home-run that GM hoped it would be, but the end result is a pretty cool car that is one of the best Anglo-American hybrids of the era. Of course, emissions regulations had their way with the formerly potent 2.0 liter DOHC engine, but with a few choice modifications, that can all be erased. And that’s where this awesome Medium Orange Cosworth Vega comes in—nicely refinished and outfitted with the hardware upgrades recommended by Cosworth themselves, making it into a delightfully tossable rear-wheel-drive compact that’s a ton of fun to drive. The paint job is well done and nails the ‘70s look perfect, and while the Cosworth upgrades were all under the skin, they added a few COSWORTH TWIN CAM decals on the flanks to set it apart. And yes, the black centers of the Os is correct—that’s how they came from the factory. Panel fit is quite good and despite what you’ve heard about the Vega’s propensity to rust, this one clearly lived someplace warm and dry because the original sheetmetal is in excellent condition with no signs of patchwork or other mischief under the skin. We can’t remember seeing a nicer one.

The tan vinyl interior is an uncommon choice and it works pretty well with the Medium Orange bodywork—the standard black interior tends to make it look like a Halloween pumpkin. The bucket seats are comfortable and supportive enough for the spirited driving for which this car was designed, and the instrument panel’s engine-turned surface looks suitably racy. You get a full array of gauges, including a tachometer with a sky-high 6500 RPM redline, and the aftermarket 3-spoke steering wheel is the right choice. There’s a special plaque on the center of the dash indicating that this is Cosworth Vega number 3338 (out of 3508 total and only 1446 1976 models). The radio has been upgraded to a modern digital AM/FM unit that sounds decent, but you’ll probably prefer listening to the bark of the large-bore exhaust out back. The 5-speed has decent throws, although the dogleg first gear will take some acclimation. Other control efforts are light and the Cosworth Vega is even a bit practical with a large hatchback cargo bay and fold-down rear seat. Plenty of sound-deadening materials have been added during the refresh so it’s a bit more comfortable and a full-sized spare is stashed under the carpets in back.

Chevy’s aluminum block 2.0-liter inline-4 was growing in popularity with racers, so it was a natural choice to call in the experts at Cosworth to build something a little more potent. A custom DOHC cylinder head improved airflow and with mechanical fuel injection, Cosworth prototypes were putting out as much as 270 horsepower. Of course, by the time it reached US showrooms, the fuel injection was switched to a Bosch setup for emissions reasons and power was way down. Today, enthusiasts understand Cosworth’s vision and the standard recipe is to install some slightly hotter camshafts and a pair of Weber side-draft carburetors, which really wake up the engine. Set the manual choke and this one fires right up and idles nicely, and once it’s warm it’s a joy to run it through the gears. That big exhaust header is actually factory equipment, although it has been ceramic coated so it’ll look great forever. There’s also a big aluminum radiator up front and electronic guts in the distributor. Manual steering and brakes plug you into the mechanicals pretty directly and the lightweight Vega enjoys changing direction more than you’d expect. 4.10 gears on a Posi limited slip keep the rev-happy engine in its powerband and the live axle on leaf springs adds a distinctly American feel to the handling—it doesn’t mind a little tail-out cornering now and then. There’s a big bore stainless exhaust system that sounds heroic, and you can see just how clean and solid the floors really are—that’s factory paint on the bottom of the car. Factory alloy wheels look fantastic and carry reasonably-priced 185/70/13 blackwall radials that have plenty of grip.

Documentation includes the original owner’s manual.

Maybe you’re already a Cosworth fan or perhaps you’re looking for an alternative to the usual sports cars of the period. Either way, this Vega deserves a closer look, as we’ve seldom seen a better one. It’s super solid, has the right upgrades, and delivers the kind of driving experience designed to put a grin on your face. With a passionate owner base and club support, it’s also a very easy car to own and maintain. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 120129
Odometer Reading: 76,285
VIN: 1V7706U224143
Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 4.0999999999999996
Wheelbase: 97 inches
Wheels: 13-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 185/70/13 blackwall radials
Exterior Color: Medium Orange
Interior Color: Buckskin vinyl
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