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 Dark Blue Metallic 35

Unique Features of the Cosworth Vega


This is a heck of a car. 

In the 21st Century the Cosworth Vega today remains RELEVANT to every car that comes down the road.

Electronic fuel injection, stainless steel headers, production cast aluminum wheels, 16 valves in hemispherical combustion chambers, dual overhead belt driven camshafts, and pistons sliding directly on die-cast aluminum cylinder bores, were all pioneered by the Cosworth Vega.  

These elements are shared with a host of MODERN automobiles. 

Rare, with but 3508 manufactured, you may never encounter one driving on the street.  That is one of its many charms and attractions.

A quick glance is enough to tell you that this is not your ordinary Vega.   The differences are more than flash and sizzle; beneath the Cosworth Vega's distinctive exterior lies a heart and soul completely different from every other 25 year old car out there.

As Car and Driver marveled and predicted in 1973:

Cosworth Vega-16 Valve. More than an engine. A taut muscled GT coupe to devastate the smugness of BMW 2002tii's and 5-speed Alfa GTV's. A limited run of 4000 machines, each one built away from the tumult of the assembly line to precision tolerances, as a show of technical force by Chevrolet. All of them will be collector's items. ----Car and Driver, August 1973

According to a February 7, 1975 letter to all Chevrolet dealers, "the Vega Cosworth (RPO Z09) will include the following option content.:

  • 122 CID Twin Cam Electronic Fuel Injection L-4 Engine                           

  • Clear Lens Parking Lamp With Amber Bulb

  • "Cosworth Twin Cam" Body Side and Rear End Decals

  •  Black Outside Door Handle Inserts

  • Special Instr. Cluster Incl. 7000 RPM Tach, Clock, Temp. Gauge, Voltmeter, Fuel Gauge

  • Header Panel Molding

  • Dual Sport MirrorsEngine Turned Aluminum Cluster Trim Gold Color

  • Torque Arm Rear Suspension

  • Custom Interior (RPO ZJ1)Standard in cloth or Vinyl

  • 7-1/2" Ring Gear Axle, 3.73 :1 Ratio

  • Sport Steering Wheel w/Cosworth Insert

  • 4-sp. Manual Transmission Std.

  • 6" Wide Cast Aluminum Wheels-Gold Color

  • Heavy Duty Radiator

  • Front and Rear Stabilizers

  • BR70-13 Blackwall Radial Tires

  • Provisions for "Fast Steer" Option

  • Black Exterior Paint

  • Gold Pin Striping Front

  • Black Painted headlamp Bezels

  • Black Painted Wipers

  • Deluxe Bumpers Front & Rear

  • Air Conditioning Is Not Available

By the time the 1975 Cosworths were rolling off the Lordstown assembly line at a pace of about one every thirty units, only one of the original six to ten "waitees" had stuck it out. What that lucky buyer got was "One Vega for the price of two," a guaranteed rarity with a series number on the dash to prove it. Each Cosworth Vega came with gold stripes, cast-aluminum wheels, wide radial tires, full instrumentation, an engine-turned gold dash panel, a uniquely tuned suspension with higher spring rates, specific shock absorbers, and a larger rear anti-roll bar than the Vega GT, a four-speed gearbox, and the Cosworth Vega twin overhead cam engine with Bendix Electronic fuel injection and a stainless steel header.

Cosworth Vega Quick Facts

  • 3508 Cosworth Vegas were assembled at Chevrolet's Lordstown Assembly Plant from February 1975 to July 1976; 2061  1975 models and 1447 1976 models.  The first five 1975 models were pilot line cars.

    • 190,321 Vega hatchback coupes were produced in this same time period.

  • Cosworth Vegas have a unique engine identification code (fifth character in the VIN) to identify the 122 cubic inch (2.0 liter)  DOHC EFI engine.  The 1975 engine code is "E".  The 1976 engine code is the letter "O".  The digit (5 or 6) after  the engine code identifies the model year.  Each model year's sequence number began with 100001 and all Vegas, including Cosworth Vegas, were assigned consecutive numbers as each job (a car on the line) was started.

  • All 1975 Cosworth Vega models were finished in black acrylic lacquer.

    • No regular Vegas were offered in black for 1975. They were in 1976, sans the distinctive gold stripes of the Cosworth model.

  • Most 1975 Cosworth Vegas have black interiors, but approximately 16 percent were  equipped with white vinyl interiors.  A perforated vinyl seat material was standard; black cloth seat inserts were available at an additional charge of $50 on black interiors only. 
    The interior trim was essentially the Custom Interior (RPO ZJ1) available on the standard Vega


  • All 1975 models have a four-speed gearbox with the standard Vega ratios (3.11, 2.20, 1.47, and 1.00:1) coupled to a 3.73:1 axle ratio. Positraction (RPO G81) was an option.

  • The last 1975 dash plaque number is believed to be 2069.

  • A pilot line 1976 model was built in September 1975, but volume production did not begin until December 1975.

  • A new option for 1976  (RPO M75) was the Borg-Warner T-50 five-speed gearbox (3.41, 2.08, 1.40, 1.00, 0.80:1) coupled to a 4.10:1 axle.  The four-speed with a 3.73:1 rear axle continued as standard equipment. Positraction continued as an option for both drivetrain combinations.

  • The seat material changed to a grained vinyl for 1976, and the optional cloth seat was made from a "houndstooth" type material.

  • Beginning in approximately February 1976, Lordstown began building Cosworth Vegas in eight additional acrylic lacquer exterior colors from the Vega model line's 14 available choices   - Antique White, Dark Blue Metallic, Firethorn Metallic, Mahogany Metallic,   Dark Green Metallic, Buckskin, Medium Saddle Metallic, and Medium Orange.

  • In addition, two additional interior colors became available to complement the new exterior colors - Firethorn, and Buckskin.  These colors were available in either  grained vinyl or "sport-cloth" for an additional $18 charge.

  • The highest known factory installed dash plaque is #3525, which is believed  to have been installed on the third from last Cosworth Vega produced on July 23, 1976.  The last car produced that day was a Medium Saddle Metallic and  carried dash plaque #3522.  The higher dash plaque number than total production number is accounted for by "loss and damage" on the production line.

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