Chevrolet Vega
Now it is time to discuss the Chevrolet Vega.

Herb Goldman, a financial adviser from Hollywood, Fla., remembers his 1974 Vega fondly.

"It had a four-speed transmission and a big, sporty stripe running the full length from hood to trunk," he writes. "I managed to drive it cross-country from New York to San Francisco -- I hit 95 on the Bonneville Salt Flats -- and I won't blame the car for me burning out the clutch on the hills."

"It was a lot of fun to drive," he writes, "until the three-year warranty ran out and it started falling apart around me."

Bill Hennelly, an editor at TheStreet, thinks the Vega was "true to its make ... The Vega actually had a nice design," he says. "You could tell it was a Chevy."

Allan Kautz, a physicist and engineer in Naperville, Ill., once owned a 1971 Vega, and writes that "when I tried to repair rust spots by removing the rusted areas, new rusted areas appeared. My conclusion was that the steel from which the car was made was rusted to begin with." Additionally, the engine's soft aluminum cylinders were not lined with metal and had problems -- another reader also mentioned this -- but Kautz's were fixed under warranty.

On the positive side, Kautz said, the Vega was well-designed from a do-it-yourself point of view. "It was very simple to work on, and I learned basic maintenance from this car," Kautz writes.

"It was pretty much a rust bucket when I traded it in on a BMW in 2002," he says. "The dealer gave me credit for a stereo radio." That's as funny as our joke about the Yugo -- worth as much as a set of wiper blades.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. P/>>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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