In the early 1970s, fuel supply and emissions concerns caused a great interest in new, smaller, more efficient cars. GM's entry in this market was the Chevrolet Vega in 1971, along with its corporate twin, the Pontiac Astre. The car sold well and was awarded Motor Trend's Car Of The Year. Unfortunately, the design of the 2300 four-cylinder engine gave it a predisposition to overheating, and the block was not easily rebuilt--thus a lot of Vegas ended up scrapped and its reputation was ruined.
In 1975, Chevrolet introduced the Monza, heavily based on the Vega, but also available with 6- and 8-cylinder engines along with the good ol' 2300 (later replaced with the Pontiac "Iron Duke"). Its corporate siblings were the Pontiac Sunbird, Oldsmobile Starfire, and Buick Skyhawk. Again, it won Motor Trend's Car Of The Year.
Although the H-Bodies were designed as economy cars, they used the same drivetrain and suspension design as many of GM's cars (front engine, RWD, IFS, rear live-axle) but were much lighter! Some of GM's own performance models include the twin-cam Cosworth Vega and the IMSA-inspired Monza Mirage. The ill-fated 2300 became a blessing in disguise for the Vega enthusiast who could pick up a dead Vega for pocket change and drop in a big Chevy V8.
Today, a dedicated group of car nuts still race, modify, and restore these cars. This site is for them!