Cosworth Vega Overview

I was reading through the overview of the Cosworth Vega in your valuation section and have some questions and concerns. I see the part that says…"In lieu of steel sleeves, the block was cast from a high-silicon-content alloy, which initially seemed to wear at the same rate as steel, but deteriorated sharply after 40,000 miles. "

I have owned 5 Vega’s over the past 40 years and read a lot about them but I do not recall having seen the 40,000 mile number mentioned before. Can you tell me where that figure comes from ? It does not match my experience with the original blocks that were properly cared for. For instance the block in my '71 Vega was replaced by GM in 1973. That block ran for 10 years and well over 100,000 miles before I replaced it with a short block from an engine re-builder. Even at that point they gave me a 100% core charge and told me there was not really anything wrong with that block. Turns out all I really needed was a valve job but as a naive kid was ripped off by a machine shop where I had taken the head for a valve job the year before.

Both Porsche and Mercedes adopted this same high silicone content alloy technology that the Vega pioneered and used it successfully for a long time.

I take exception to the “feeble performance” your overview assigns to the Cosworth Vega. We all know this was a bad time for HP in cars in the USA. The 110 HP rating compares favorably to most other 1975 4 cyl engines. Cars like the BMW 2002 and Alfa’s that I was familiar with in the USA back then had similar HP ratings. Do they also get get a feeble connotation in their overviews ? The downfall of the Cosworth Vega was the very high price coupled with the sagging Vega reliability reputation at that time. I wanted one when I first started reading about them but could not afford one until 1983. I bought the first one I could afford and chose it over cars like the BMW and Alfa since I knew the handling was fantastic and maintenance costs were likely to be much less. Here is a video to help illustrate the feeble performance.

J. David Barnes

Houston TX