4/13/12

1975 Vega - Smokin!

Who wants a big two-page ad for a 1975 Chevy Vega? That's right, YOU do! Get ready for some graphic gifts at the bottom of the post, because you gots an honest face an' it's Friday.
Let's celebrate Friday the 13th with a much-criticized Chevy Vega ad. It appears in a few "Crap Cars" - type books which is kind of a shame because I kind of like the way it looks. But then again, I tend to like small hatchbacks.

The aluminum engine block in the Vega had problems. Since aluminum is so soft, engineers usually lined the cylinders with steel sleeves to prevent excessive wear from the pistons as they went up and down. Not in the Vega. The Vega's cylinder walls were bare aluminum, somehow "impregnated with silicone" to act as a lubricant. This cost-cutting, combined with lackadaisical maintenance on the part of many owners, led to chronic problems with burning oil. Recalls and redesigns eventually fixed the problems, but the Vega had already been branded a lemon in many people's minds.

Anyway, I painted out the groin of the magazine so I could have the Vega without a crease going through it. here are some stages of that process, for those who are interested in the stages of that process. Click for the biggers.

The patient, before surgery. Gonna say "no" to some crack.
Stealing a piece of door to hide the crack.
The shut line of the door was drawn back in by hand, like in the old days.
Stealing a section of door to hide the wavy edge of that highlight, created by the lighting and body contour.
Stolen door piece, pasted and warped into place. I had to do this a few times , as the "good area" was pretty small.
Dots connected, ready to make the world go away.

This window presented a weird problem. You can see the building behind the car. Since I intended to make the window semi-transparent, I needed to make the window full of uniform color so the car wouldn't look funny over a different background. I copied the gray stuff around the seat belt and filled the window with that, before partially erasing it all.

Here's a treat for you Vega fans out there... both of you! It's the star of today's picture on a transparent background, stored in glamorous PNG format. Fun to paste into emails or send to former victims owners of Vegas. Get your rude finger ready to right click these beauties onto your hard drive. Left and right, big and small.

Big version, left. I even flipped the text on the tires, the GT decal,  and the badge on the hood. Who's your buddy?

Small version, left.

Big version, right.

Small version, right, or, as my seemingly Italian fingers like to type, "versino".





4 comments:

Steve Miller said...

Always loved this burnt orange and I do agree with you this was a good looking car regardless of color. Which oft times was rust. (Know what else was a good looking car? the original iteration of the Camaro, but it had its own problems -- like staying on the road when it was wet.)

Worst damn car I ever owned was a Volvo wagon this color, but it sure looked great. Shed parts all over the place. So maybe it's not the mechanicals, but the color that's problematic.

Ermott said...

When i was in high school, one of my friends had a Pontiac Astre, which was a Chevy Vega by another name. This friend of mine was bit of a terror on wheels. One of his favourite pastimes was driving over lawns and knocking over garbage cans. There was in particular one garbage can he simply went out of his way to run over. It was always a bit further out in the street than the others, an easy target on the way to high-school. This was in the days of metal cans, mind you so running over a garbage can meant that a new can had to be bought the next day. Every week, the home owner would put a new shiny can out, and every week my friend would mow the thing down. This went on for about a month. Then one morning, my buddy came in to the school parking lot, with half the front end simply wiped off his car. Anti-freeze dripped from the shattered innards, the light hung down from it's wire. Plastic bits were all that was left of the passenger's side.

What happened? we asked.

The guy had set his garbage can out as usual, except this time he'd filled it with wet sand.

Believe it or not, my buddy went on to buy a pinto wagon. Orange with fake wood siding. Really.

Linnea said...

"Silicone" in the engine block? NO! It was "siliCON", the element that was alloyed in the aluminum and then ETCHED to provide on the surface of the cylinder a more resistant bore. Keep the siliCONE for Carol Doda!

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Yes, I was throwing the linked article's use of "silicone" into question by putting it in quotes. It seems the author of that article was confused regarding silicone and silicon. It's a pretty common confusion. Silicone burns at somewhere around 430 degrees celcius, and wouldn't last long anywhere near a combustion chamber.

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