If you want a compact muscle car with some exclusive European engineering, the Cosworth Vega is an interesting and relatively affordable option. Although people generally prefer the recipe the other way around (throwing a serviceable US engine in a Euro coupe), the Cosworth Vega is an exception, considering the top end of the motor has been designed by the world renowned Cosworth engineers. These were a limited edition performance version of the Vega, and production totalled 3,508 units between 1975 and 1976 - a year before the Vega would be discontinued altogether. By this time, the Vega had been in production since 1970, and therefore many of the bugs had since been ironed out before the Cosworth editions were launched. Despite the low production numbers, good examples of the Cosworth Vega can be found under $10,000 (USD).
This example is currently available on Ebay USA, with a Buy it now price of $12,500. The car appears to need very little work, and it's not an unreasonable price considering we've seen a few others asking more in similar condition. As a limited edition model, these compact versions of the muscle car are expected to continue to attract collectors. They not only perform well and look great, but also represent a major step forward for Chevy, being their first fuel injected production car. The Cosworth enhanced DOHC engine produces 110hp (not bad for a mid-70s pollution controlled 4-cylinder), and the fuel injection and other engine modifications meant a saving of 27kg when compared to the standard SOHC Vega engine. As a result of the weight saving and power increase, the car makes a compelling performance package for a four-banger of the time.
The engine is a great piece of engineering, but what we love most about the car is the way it looks. It's sort of a compact Pontiac Trans-Am, with the gold highlights throughout contrasting nicely against the black acrylic paint. Black was the only colour available in 1975, with several other options introduced in the 1976 year, explaining why the majority seen are black. This example has the perforated vinyl trim (standard on the Cosworth - cloth inserts were optional), and each vehicle is fitted with the individually numbered Cosworth Vega plaque on the dash, within the gold dashboard trim.
We'll keep our eyes on other good examples that come up for sale, and please don't hesitate to add yours to our Register or comment below with your opinion. Follow us on Facebook and sign-up for our weekly newsletter for more reviews on the most interesting cars found for sale around the world.