The failure of Chevy's Vega was possibly not just due to its reputation for horrific durability, but also - with only two-door sedan, hatchback coupe, and wagon offerings - for its dearth of body style choice. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Vegamino, with it's mid-mounted V8 fixes that problem, but is its price still full of fail?
Sorry about the image issues yesterday - for both those who initially couldn't see them, and then for those of you who eventually could. Maybe instead I should have linked to those nekkid pictures of Scar Jo that are floating around? Still, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and once everyone was able to behold yesterday's dragon-sporting Bradley GT II, the consensus was that its $7,500 price tag was ugly- like 88% Crack Pipe ugly. Pretty eff'n ugly.
But enough of that, yesterday it was all about the dragons, today, it's the dragsters.
Vegas weren't ugly, in fact the mini-Camaro style of the first iteration contrasted significantly with the turtle-like looks of Ford's competing Pinto. Sadly, early Vega owners suffered far too many issues for the styling to overcome, and the car to this day maintains an unfortunate reputation.
And that's why it's okay to do whackadoodle stuff to them like turning a wagon into a long wheelbase mid-engine dragster mini El Camino.
This isn't this 1971 Vegamino's first taste of the Jalopnik commentariat - having been sent to that saucy minx, Murilee Martin by Junkman back in ‘07. It is however, its first appearance on NPOCP. Back then it was on eBay and as I'm too lazy to use the Internet Way-Back Machine to find the cache of the ad, I don't know what it went for.
From the looks of it however, there hasn't been much change since then, save for its number plates. The Vega still is a wagon converted into a open-bed El Camino and which has had its wheelbase extended to accommodate a bed-mounted 350-CID V8. Behind that is a 4-speed Saginaw (not the easily mistaken for a pharma brand name, Saginol of the original ad) and a Corvair final drive.
The conversion is said to have been accomplished by George Baldwin, and if he's half as good at car building as Alec Baldwin is at comedy, then this thing is gold. Added changes from stock are an SS badge in the cut bumper nose and some extra wheelbase to accomodate the bed-mounted SBC. Paint is guards red and is said to have minor chipping here and there.
Inside it's mostly stock Vega, aside from the steering wheel which has lost the lower arc of its rim - or perhaps this being a Vega, it has rusted off. There's also a slew of extra gauges mounted in the dash - and prove this car's age by not being stuck on the A-pillar.
The engine, as you can see, sits directly behind you, and potentially offers a reach-around in the form of gobs of torque. Visible out of the custom cab firewall is a mullet-sucking trumpet intake which sits atop what looks like a 4BBL double-pumper carb. On the other side of the heads, exhaust is handled by evil-looking headers, and the whole thing is a rolling Pick-A-Part as it sits in the elongated bed without so much as a protective coat of grease.
Up front, the original aluminum 2.3 is thankfully no longer home, giving the car a lockable storage compartment in its place, making for the perfect family grocery getter. As I noted, this Vegamino has been around for about as long as George Lucas' urge to screw up Star Wars, although this transmorphigation isn't hair-rippingly annoying in the least. In fact, it's kinda' cool.
But what about that $16,500 price? Sure, the seller appears to be willing to trade the car for damn near anything short of a Whopper and fries, but of course that's not how we roll. We're all about the cash, and whether or not this dragster's worth $16,500 of it. What do you think, does this mid-engine Vegaminio's price make it something worth getting in bed with? Or, is that vulgermino?
H/T for the hookup, and welcome to Jones_JT! Pics via Carpictures.com
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.