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1976 Cosworth Vega - 91 Original Miles!

In 1974, there were precious few bright spots on the GM performance horizon. The Super Duty 455 was drawing its last breath, and the L-82 Corvette was a weak imitation of it's LT-1 ancestor. When GM announced plans to build a Cosworth motored Vega in 1974, the world took notice. Rather than employing the traditional "parts bin" engineering approach, GM took an extremely ambitious and comprehensive path to engineering the Cosworth. The engine was destroked to 122 cubic inches to promote high RPM operation, and outfitted with a Cosworth designed 16 valve DOHC cylinder head. Pistons were forged and a transistorized ignition was fitted. Fuel delivery was achieved through Bendix pulse-time port fuel injection. Underneath, the Cosworth came standard with GM's outstanding F-41 suspension, a Cosworth unique Dana 30 differential with 3.73 gears, and a Muncie 4 speed transmission with a 3.50 first gear and closer ratios. This promised to be a new breed of performance car - with balanced performance, excellent fuel economy and reasonable insurance premiums.

Initial plans called for nearly 200 SAE net horsepower, but difficulty meeting EPA emission regulations delayed introduction until 1975. Sadly, the production car could only muster 111 horsepower. Still, these cars had trim, handsome lines, tasteful graphics, fantastic handling and plenty of upside tuning potential.

Recently, our good friend Bill Rolik - MoPar Guru, rare musclecar broker, and owner of Bill Rolik Enterprises (201) 385-1616 discovered this 91 mile `76 Cosworth in the showroom of a long closed MoPar dealer in Sussex, New Jersey. Ninety-one original and documented miles! Recognizing the significance of this find, Bill got the word out and soon this one-of-a-kind Cosworth was headed to an appreciative owner in Canada.

The car was purchased new by the owner of a MoPar dealership, and stored for nearly 30 years in his dry dealership building. It had never been titled, and was still on the original MSO.  Apparently the original owner believed that the Cosworth was a car worth preserving for the future.

In 1976 fuel injection was a mystery to most enthusiasts, so many of these Cosworths were ultimately converted to carburetors and precious few retained the Bendix injection system. Aside from a non-original battery and a thin layer of dust, this is EXACTLY the way these cars looked in 1976. Considering the time in which the Cosworth was developed - GM is to be commended for such an ambitious development program.

With a sticker price of over $6,500 this wasn't a cheap car by any means! While the value of the Cosworth hasn't risen in step with the rest of the collector car market, we predict it's just a matter of time until these great cars are discovered by the market. We hope that you enjoyed the story of this car. It's not every day we get to lay eyes upon a 91 mile original car, and sincere thanks to Bill for sharing these photos.

© Gyrhead & Sons Restoration Parts 2010.  If you like it, share this articlewith your friends. We worked hard on it so please cite the source.

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