1974 Chevrolet Vega

1974 Chevrolet Vega front view
The 1974 Chevrolet Vega was the first American car to
use structural aluminum in its bumpers.
This model featured the Spirit of America trim package.

The 1974 Chevrolet Vega concentrated on cosmetic extras in a period when gas shortages and high car insurance rates were spelling the end of performance as a selling point.

The 1974 Chevrolet Vega got a sloping front end, which accomplished two things. It gave the subcompact a modest resemblance to the latest Chevy Camaro. And it helped soften the styling downside of the huge front bumper needed to meet federal impact standards.

Instead of a conventional grille, the 1974 Chevrolet Vega had a die-cast metal nose with cooling slots. Vega was also the first American car to use structural aluminum for bumpers. In back, small taillights gave way to large rectangular units. Springs and shock absorbers were recalibrated, but mechanical details otherwise stood pat.

There was some change in the lineup of the 1974 Chevrolet Vega. The notchback coupe added an upscale LX trim level. And the wagon added a Kammback Estate version. Estate Wagon bodysides were dressed up with simulated woodgrain, and interiors added full floor carpeting.

Like the Chevy Nova and Impala, Vega offered a limited-edition "Spirit of America" series, painted white with red and blue accent stripes and special identification.

Available again as a $359 option group, the Vega GT included a special suspension and stabilizer bars. A tachometer was installed, too, to track whatever rpm could be coaxed from the 85-horsepower engine with its two-barrel carburetor.

1974 Chevrolet Vega Wagon rear view
The 1974 Chevrolet Vega lineup also
included this Estate Wagon model.

1974 Chevrolet Vega Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Vega
2,369-2,514
$2,505-$2,976
456,085

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