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From Clunker to Classy: The Chevy Vega

There are many car enthusiasts around the world who enjoy the challenge of turning a historically maligned vehicle into a studly and race-able work of art. Today we get a glimpse of a lowly Chevy Vega that has been transformed into a patriotic bad ass.

When I first conceived this week's blog theme starring some of the biggest "clunkers" of all time, I envisioned it as a week long series of potshots and cheap guffaws at images of cars you couldn't pay modern folk to drive. But as I've gone along with this concept and researched related video for this topic, I've unearthed clip upon clip of car enthusiasts who take some of the most historically laughable cars and transforming them into cars that not only run, but run like champs and look damn good at the same time. Yesterday I presented a video of a Ford Pinto station wagon that was turned into a fierce piece of eye candy, and today's video is another red-headed bastard stepchild of American 1970s automotive disasters, the Chevrolet Vega, in a way you may not have seen before.

In case you need a short history lesson, the Chevy Vega was a subcompact car introduced to the American public in 1970 and finally fizzled out of existence in 1977. The car's bad rap stems from a variety of early issues including excessive burning of oil and general engine malfunction, and the Vega never shook its poor reputation much like its contemporary competitor clunker, the Ford Pinto. However, in recent years both the Pinto and the Vega have found new life in the hands of car garage geeks who have sought to turn these cars from jokes to flashy, classy, race track ready automobiles. Check out this 1977 Vega in the video: the engine looks pretty and ready to roar, and the amazing patriotic paint job deserves applause. Finally toward the end of the video, the car revs up and speeds to the gate in such a short time that you'll want to rewind the video to make sure you saw it. Like the tail of the car says, God Bless America for the art of clunker car restoration.