The Barn Find. We all read about them, dream about them but never actually experience them. Well, almost never. In this case, I stumbled in to this bicentennial barn find in North Texas earlier this year and had to bring it home. It is a throwback to my childhood and a rare example of a part of history that I lived through.
This is THE best preserved Vega that I have ever seen. This 1976 Vega is all original, one-owner, Texas car, having been bought in Amarillo originally and has stayed in that dry, humidity-free area up until a few weeks ago when I brought it back to Houston.
I have the original dealership-paper work and title, along with some historical paperwork as well. I believe it has every option that could be had in 1976, except maybe a tape player (8-track?). It has the upgraded 4-cylinder engine that solved the issues the early Vega’s were known for and an overdrive 5-speed manual transmission. Yes, it has a clutch and it feels great, adding to the fun factor. I am willing to bet that there is still 1976 air inside the original bias-plus spare tire that is still in the tire well in the rear of the cargo area!
The only changes that I know of are things I have changed myself, such as:
- New Tires (radial, not bias ply)
- Wheels powder coated original matte silver
- Trim rings and center caps polished (stainless steel)
- Tune up (spark plugs & wires, oil & filter change, wiper blades, OEM new-in-box Holley carburetor)
- New Ride Tech adjustable shocks
- Front wheel alignment
Otherwise, the car is completely original. This includes but is not limited to:
- Lacquer Paint (polished & waxed to a high shine)
- Roof Rack (stainless steel, removed, cleaned and polished)
- Wood grain vinyl
- Power brakes
- Spare tire & bumper jack
Things that need attention:
- Speakers (radio powers up and tunes, but no sound, the original speakers are most likely dry-rotted and do not work)
- Heater core replacement (I get a slight antifreeze odor and see a little vapor when the AC is running)
- Flush brake fluid (just because, for safety)
If you want something unique, historical, original and reliable - this is it. The Vega was America’s entry in to the sub-compact world back during the oil embargo, when gasoline was more valuable than gold. If you are wanting to do a cool, patina hot rod, then this could be the best starting point you will ever find.
Most of these either went to the scrapper or ended up on a drag strip. This one is too cool and rare to let slip away. I have my eye on a new project so its time to let someone else have fun with this one. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.