The H-body was GM's subcompact car for the seventies, sold in six different models: Chevrolet Vega and Monza, Pontiac Astre and Sunbird, Buick Skyhawk, and Oldsmobile Starfire.
Each model has a 4, 6, or 8-cylinder engine in the front and a solid rear axle to move the car. All bodies are of unit-body construction (no separate frame). All styles have four seats, two doors, and are available in notchback, hatchback, or wagon forms (depending on brand). There are economy- and performace-tuned models.
The line was replaced in the early eighties by the transverse front-engined front wheel drive GM J-Body (Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunbird, etc.).
??? The H-Bodies were developed by GM Lead Engineer Ed Cole, who also developed the Corvair and Fiero. The Vega was designed with a Chevy Small Block V8 in mind, but the Corvette group protested enough to kill that option.
H is the internal code GM used to identify the car platform. For example, some other codes are F for the Camaro and Firebird, P for the Fiero, Y for the Corvette, G for the RWD Monte Carlo and Grand Prix, and so on. Letter codes change and get reused. Most recently, H was used for the large FWD platform used by the Pontiac Bonneville and Buick LeSabre.1.2 What are the different H-body models?
There are two major variations of the H-body, one based on the Chevrolet Vega and one based on the Chevrolet Monza.
Vega sales began in 1971. The Pontiac Astre, almost a clone of the Vega except for minor cosmetic changes, was sold in Canada, then introduced to the US in 1975. The Vega was sold in hatchback, notchback, wagon, and panel wagon versions. All Vegas were sold with 1bbl or 2bbl 2.3L four cylinder aluminum-block OHC engines, except the DOHC Cosworth Vega sold in 1975 and 1976. The Vega 2300 won Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" for 1971. Vega sales ended with the 1977 model year.
The Monza was introduced in 1975. GM's other brands also introduced their versions of the Monza: the Oldsmobile Starfire, the Buick Skyhawk, and the Pontiac Sunbird. The Monza, based on concept cars designed by Pininfarina (1971/1972 Ferrari GTC+4), was designed to use a two rotor Wankel engine, but that engine never reached production. Instead, the Monza appeared with either the Vega's 4-cylinder or a 262ci small block V8 (350ci in California). Later engines include the Pontiac Iron Duke 2.5l inline four, a 3.2l V6, the Buick 3.8l V6, and the Chevy 305 V8. The Monza 2+2 hatch won Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" for 1975. All H-body production ended for the 1980 model year.1.3 What are the special or rare factory H-bodies?
Al (Astreformula) writes:
"After seeing the pictures of the Astre Formula on George's (VegaGT76) website, I stumbled across such a car. It took me 3 months of convincing to acquire the car. What information I obtained about the car came from 2 sources: 1977 sales brochure and the Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1986 book. The Formula option was only offered in 1977 for the Astre. It was also the only year that Pontiac offered the 2.5L motor. The Formula option would get you special decals, handling package, chrome valve cover, Formula TA steering wheel and a 3 piece rear spoiler. Out of the 12,120 HB's built, there are no production numbers for the Formula option."
See Vega GT.
The centerpiece of the Cosworth Vega is the Cosworth-designed Dual Overhead Cam 16 valve engine. Based on the 2.3l block in the other Vegas, the DOHC engine is 2.0l and uses Bendix electronic fuel injection controlled by a Motorola computer. The engine has an aluminum block and head and uses a stainless steel exhaust header and HEI ignition. The engines were built in Tonawanda NY and installed in Vega bodies produced off the regular assembly line in the Lordstown OH plant. The engine produces 120hp @ 5200RPM (an experimental engine using an 11.5:1 compression ratio produced 270hp @ 8750RPM!). In addition to the engine, Cosworth Vegas received a heavy-duty front suspension, the torque-arm rear suspension introduced in the Monza, miscellaneous interior enhancements, and a "Twin Cam" nameplate on the instrument panel engraved with the car's number. 2061 were built in 1975 and 1446 were built in 1976. The price was around $6000.
Robert Spinello (vegabob) contributed:
In May 1973, Chevrolet produced the one millionth Vega. A million buiilt in three years! Chevrolet chose a GT Hatchback coupe featuring a bright orange exterior with white sport stripes, a neutral custom vinyl interior featuring exclusive vinyl door panels, orange accent color carpeting, power steering and Millionth Vega door handle accents.
Chevrolet produced a special limited edition Millonth Vega replicating the milestone car. 6500 were built at the rate of 10 cars per hour from May through July 1973.(10% of total production for 3 months)
Millionth Vega - ZM5 option $497.00 included:
Hot Rod magazine, in December 1973 said: "...They'll probably sell a million of 'em."
Regular production options were available not in conflict with the ZM5 package - (any transmission, a/c, etc.)
Bright Orange Exterior color was offered as a regular production Vega color (code 69) in 1974 (only).
Vinyl Door Panels became part of the Custom Interior option from 1974 on.
By 1973, total Vega production was up to over 100 cars per hour at the Lordstown, Ohio Assembly Plant - it was by far, the fastest auto production rate in the world. Still, a GM of Canada plant was also utilised to keep up with the demand in 1973-74.
(same options as Vega Cabriolet)
Brian Melka (Bacchus_101573) writes:
"The California Monza was alive for the 1975 and 1976 years. The 1975 cars had anemic 125hp 350 2-barrel engines and only came with automatic transmissions (more on that in a minute). The 1976 cars had a 305 2-barrel engine. The 350 was only offered in 1975 California Monzas and the 305 that was offered in 1976 was only offered in California Monzas. The 305 became an option on all-states cars in 1977. There are still a handful of these cars left. All of the cars that are currently documented are notchbacks.
There was a special option K-code car as well. This 1975 California Monza included a 350 4-barrel engine. There are currently only two known to exist. One is owned by Tony Underwood in Ohio and the other is in Southern California. The car located in Southern California is a demo car only. Tony's car is especially rare in that it had 4-speed (rumored to not be available on California cars) and an Astro roof and no Air Conditioning (rare on a California car). Only two Monzas are documented to have had the Astro roof conversion. It is rumored that Tony's car was a special order executive or dealer car that was not available to the general public. It is likely one of the rarest publicly-held Monzas in existence."
Sean (spkorb) says GM told him 3400 5.7l Monzas were built.
Don (mrdonjeffers) adds:
"Confirmation of the number 3400 75 350 Monza's. I too called GM, but back in 1982. I was switched around to mutiple numbers of people until finally someone was able to verify the correct numbers. His exact words were "there were 3366 5.7litre Monza's made and given vin tags/paper work". I would venture to say that given the cars rarity and the fact that many people hacked on, or hot rodded so many of these cars that there are probably only a few hundred correct, stock ones out there."
The Monza Mirage wears body cladding that resembles the Monzas racing in the IMSA Camel GT series, only toned down for the street. This includes a front wraparound air dam, wider front fenders, wider rear fenders, a matching wraparound rear spoiler, badges, and stripes. The package was only available on hatchback Monzas (without the Spyder package) with any engine, but the V8 was "recommended." When the package was first made available in 1977, white was the only exterior color offered.
For the 1978 model year, these colors were to be offered:
The package was designed by BORT, Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Michigan Automotive Techniques Corporation. The Mirage could be ordered from any Chevrolet dealer; the car would then be built on the regular assembly line and drop-shipped to Michigan Automotive Techniques Corp., who would add the Mirage options and ship the car to the dealer where the order was placed. The MSRP of the option package was under $700.
Ken Mahoy supplied this info from the M.A.T. order form:
"It is recommended (but not mandatory) to maximize the distinctive visual appearance and ride characteristics of the package and car that the following options be ordered: D35 - Sport Mirrors QKZ - BR70-13/C White Lettered Radial Tires U14 - Special Instrumentation N31 - Sport Steering Wheel F41 - Sport Suspension LG3 - 5.0 Litre 2-bbl. V-8 Engine CAUTION: The following Chevrolet options are not compatible and must not be ordered: B84 - Body Side Moldings B93 - Door Edge Guards B96 - Wheel Opening Moldings Z01 - Spyder Equipment Package Z02 - Spyder Appearance Package...."
This package includes a black-out treatment for the B pillar, a front stabilizer bar, and high-back bucket seats.
Available on hatchback and notchback body styles in 1976, this package includes special "Spyder" body decals, 2bbl 2.3l engine, floor console, F41 suspension package, special instrumentation and instrument panel, BR70 or BR78 tires, and the five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission (this is the Z01 RPO). In 1977 the package added Rally II wheels, front and rear spoilers, and black accents on headlamps, taillamps, and many other pieces that are chrome on non-Spyder cars (Z02 RPO). Note that Z01 and Z02 could be ordered independently.
Ken Mahoy provides this information: Prototype Monza 2+2 that was orginally developed by Jerry Palmer at the GM Design Center as a "lighting concept", with a Corvette-looking front nose, rounded-off one-piece rear tail section with a fixed rear spoiler, reminiscent of the GTO Judge, and louvered taillights (like the '66 GTO). GM lighting engineers developed a long fluorescent tube buried in the car's nose behind a plexiglass shield that provided low-beam illumination for urban night driving, while twin high-powered Cibie driving lights were faired into the under-side of the nose for high-speed travel. Powertrain was the 16-valve Cosworth engine, except with twin (45mm) Weber carbs, and a Borg Warner 5-speed coupled with a 4.10 rear axle. It was painted a unique "palomino, platinum gold" color. The hood had nice visual effects, such as extensive pinstriping and clearance blisters which were intentionally asymmetrical to simulate an aircraft fuselage. One blister was a functional passenger-side air intake, and the driver's side blister housed a digital speedometer! Under the flaired fenders resided FR60-14 Goodrich Radial T/A's on German BBS lightweight racing wheels (14X7 front, 14X8 rear). Visually, it was one of the most pleasing Monza prototypes ever built.
Built only in 1978, these cars had the body of a Vega (was GM using up leftover parts after Vega production ended in 1977?) with the nose and bumpers of a Monza. 2,326 were built.
Brian Harpst writes:
"There was another Monza 'S' model which appeared, briefly, in 1975 (see the May, 1975 revison of brochure #3018). It was an H07 body-style stripped down to the "bare bones" in terms of equipment. That Monza 'S' was intended to combat the public's reaction to the original, high-priced '2+2' edition - which was almost the same or higher price than a Camaro, as I recall."
This package has bright red or yellow paint, black accents, hawk hood decal, rear spoiler, and a "sporty tone exhaust system."
The Road Hawk package includes Rallye suspension (larger stabilizer bars, BR70x13 blackwall tires), "Road Hawk" decals, white bucket seats, special steering wheel, front air dam, and a wide rear spoiler on pillars. The cars are light silver over dark silver.
Ken Mahoy sends: A Nighthawk was black Skyhawk with special gold painted wheels, and a unique gold "reflective" stripe and bird decal down the entire side of the car. During the day it was supposedly invisible, but at night it reflected to reveal the decal. [an ad states:] "The Nighthawk. Every once in awhile, you come across a car that does it to you. You don't just like it. You don't just want it. You've GOT to have it. And if your heart is not made of stone, we predict that this will be one such car. It's the Nighthawk. And it comes with a very special package of available options. Like other Skyhawks, it has things like Buick's gutsy 3.8 liter V-6. Steel-belted, radial tires. A 4-speed, console-mounted, manual transmission. A hatchback rear end. A rallye steering wheel. Ah, but there the similarity comes to a screeching halt. Because outside, there are those gold-painted wheel covers. And that beautiful, shimmering coal black skin. With, wonder of wonders, special stripes that only come out at night. They're virtually invisible during the day. But they shine like the moon when the light hits them at night. The Nighthawk. From Buick. See it. And drive it. Soon. At your Buick dealers. Then call your family, and tell them not to wait up for you."
The Firenza package includes a special front air dam, rear spoiler, fender flares about 3" wide, sport mirrors, star-spoke wheels, rally suspension, and large "Firenza" decals.
This package includes hood and side stripes, Rallye wheels, white letter tires, tachometer, clock, "Starfire GT" decals, and the 231 V6 the years it isn't standard.
This package has a padded vinyl roof and opera windows.
The GT package is not particulary rare. It includes, for most years: 2bbl engine, 13x6 steel wheels with A70x13 white letter tires, F41 sport suspension, gauge package, remote mirrors, and blacked-out trim. Originally available only for the hatchback coupe in 1971 and 1972, the package was made available for the wagon in 1973. In 1977 the GT Wagon was dropped, and the GT package could have optional huge bodyside stripes with the "vega gt" logo.
Robert Spinello (vegabob) contributed:
HOT ROD MAGAZINE circa '72 featured a '72 Vega GT built by CHEVROLET featuring a 302 c.i. ALL ALUMINUM V8--one of a kind. Of all V8 conversions, this one was (is) the best simply because motor weighs only 375 lbs, dressed. That's 160 lbs less than a cast iron small block. This motor was designed by Chevy in 1959 for Corvette research. They existed in limited quantity in '72, and were never offered on a production car or through a parts program. One of the remaining motors (283 c.i.) was bored to 302 c.i. for this Vega. The quarter mile time listed was 13.97! with stock (early) Vega rear end and street tires, Turbo 350 automatic, and 2,500 lbs total weight!
Specs: The h.p. and axle ratio are not listed. 4" bore, 3" stroke. 11:1 compression pistons, mech. camshaft. Alcoa aluminum block with steel liners, aluminum heads, cast iron manifold, Rochester 4BBL The motor, shown in color, was aluminum with black valve covers, oil pan and pullies, yellow manifolds and timing pully and red wires--Awesome!
The one of a kind Vega's exterior was electric blue with white GT wheels and side stripes (similar to Yenko Turbo Stinger), white pinstripped hood bulge, spoilers (front and rear), body colored (blue) bumpers, black grill, and side decals similar to the Spirit of America edition from '74.
This car was considered for production by Chevy executives for 1974, according to Hot Rod. GM probably killed the idea because of pending projects including the Cosworth Vega and Wankel (rotary) engine. Cosworth took 3 more years to appear for just 3,500 cars and the rotary was cancelled.
George (VEGAGT76) writes:
"Well, saw the Nomad here in Seattle last week and it is such a shame that so few existed. Don't know how many, but they were only made in 76 as far as I know. Some GT's and some regular Vega Kammbacks were made up. There is no record from the GM restoration information I just got from Chevrolet on my 76 GT. It shows all trims but the Nomad. I do know of a running Nomad in Las Vegas but it has a V8, is missing the vinyl top and has been painted a non stock color. All the Nomads I have ever seen since the 70's were the red metallic color, white interior and white vinyl top. Though I have seen photos of other colors."
Robert Spinello (vegabob) contributed:
Produced 1971-1975. Production: 1971 7,800; 1972-1974 approx. 4,000 per year; 1975 1,200. Note: 1975 Pontiac Astre Panel was produced (unknown amount).
These are the lowest production Vegas excluding Cosworth 1975-76 (approx. 3,500 total). Vega Panels were bought usually for commercial use so they have been all but consumed by hard use many years ago (or by time and neglect).
Many Wagon owners have fitted their cars with the side Panels in exchange for the wagons rear side glass--either from a "parted" or junked Vega Panel Express or custom fabricated from new sheet metal. Clearly, some Wagon owners like the outside look of the Panel Express and the rear-seat-finished interior of the Kammback Wagon. Of course, wagons were produced in much higher numbers-- around 100,000 per year, although today even these are fairly rare.
The Vega Panel Express was produced until the Vega's reputation had become less than desirable for it to be marketed with other Chevy Trucks. Although it was featured in the 1971 Chevy trucks full line brochure, it wouldn't be long until it would fade from Chevy's marketing plans--two years before all Vegas were discontinued, to be exact.
The first Chevy Panel (based on a car) since 1960, the Vega was like a baby brother to the 1960 "final full size" Panel. Early Full Size Sedan Deliveries had 2 doors, not 4. Vegas, of course, only made in 2 doors, replicated the the original Panel Sedans, only much smaller. Mid-sized Chevelles & Novas would not offer a Sedan Delivery in the 60's. Although the Vega Panel (like all sedan deliveries)is based on a car, it is considered a truck. Proof of this is the GVWR metal riveted plate on the driver's inside door (by GM build sticker). The plate says "this truck should not be overloaded." Payload and gross vehicle weight are provided.
The Vega Panel was basic a Vega as you could buy. Limited option avalability assured all would be just that--with rubber floor covering (no carpet option), no insulation anywhere (hatchbacks & wagons had hundreds of pounds of it), ONE low back driver's seat-- passenger side was an option. Of course, it had no rear seat. Instead it had a raised metal enclosed storage compartment with a steel lid (aluminum on 73-75's) that, when closed gave a 5+ foot-long flat floor(like wagon) but with no view out and no interior trim save the plastic door panels and headliner. Anything behind the seat including floor panels was body colored like a Chevy Van. Interior colors were limited to Black or Green. Seat(s) were Sandlewood Beige only! In 1971 only, you had a choice of seat color--black, in addition to the beige.
The outside was equally bare with minimal trim--no chrome trim around side windows and no drip moldings, like early base sedan. The sedan, however, offered a Decor Group Option, which included the chrome trim outside & carpeting inside. Panel Express didn't offer these trim items. Wheel Trim Rings & Rear Deflector were the only trim options available. A/C, Power Steering, AM & AM/FM Radios were some of the limited options available for the ordering. The Seat(s) was right out of Chevy Van--square, low-back and firm, for work. Original '71 Vega had no glove box, only pockets in door panels. The 3-speed manual transmission came on most, or powerglide automatic. The 4-speed was not usually specified but was avalaible.
In all its basicness, it still looked good because the Vega design (wagon/panel included) is one the cleanest looking small car designs from any era. It has aged well. Only the slightly long hood (by today's standards) and 13" wheels date it in any way. The Vega body was "perfected by computer" which is how GM explained its purity of line!
This is the rarest of all H bodies regardless of production numbers simply because these were work or delivery vehicles; in most cases used for several years then death by crusher. Precious few have survived, usually found sitting neglected in junkyards only because of their rarity and "extra space" at some yards, or found at a drag strip sporting a small or big block, huge slicks, and usually the fastest speeds! Low value in stock restored condition ($5,000-$6,000) makes it a poor investment for a restoration candidate with the price of a paint job alone now going for 2,000-5,000! Only low milage 1 or 2 owner trucks exist today in Fine stock condition.
How to tell a "real" Panel Express from a Wagon in disguise: See the Fisher Body Tag under the hood. The Panel Express body code is 05; the wagon body code is 77.
Vega Panel Express was the first Sedan Delivery offered from General Motors since 1960, and in 1975, the last.
7 to 9 were made, all small block V8s except one 454 big block V8. Motion also sold kits, so differentiating a true Motion-built Vega from a V8 Vega built using a Motion kit can be tough, in fact, one rumor is that Motion charges $1000 to determine if a particular Vega is a true Motion car. Owners could specify many different options on the cars, such as forced induction, color combinations, etc. The small block cars used 375hp LT-1 engines and 12-bolt rears.
11 1976 Monzas were prepped for the IMSA Camel GT road racing series. They are tube-frame cars (2400lbs) with 600 HP and all of the necessary suspension and bodywork modifications. They beat out the previously-dominant Porsches that year.
5 hatchbacks and 2 wagons with turbos
Britt (kiva75) says:
"As far as I know, The flairs and the f+r spoilers were options on the Stinger Vega as was the turbo. The wagon that was recently for sale in Florida was likely a non-turbo car(evidence leans that way) as well as this hatchback. The absence of the Turbo lettering is an indicator for this, the engine compartment was the indicator for the wagon. The turbo lettering came with a different part # than the rest of the stripe kit and was available for purchase with the turbo kit. From the rust on the rear hatch, it does look like it had one of the two rear spoilers available throughout "production". The original was a one piece affair made by GM (or by BORT, they made the flares and the louvers), and can also be seen on the prototype v-8 71 that GM built (same with the front). I have one on my Cosworth race car. The other three peice went on to become the Astre design. I'm not sure when they made the switch. Remember that anybody could go into Yenko dealerships and buy all the options over the counter. These (as far as any documented proof goes that I've seen) were not factory copo cars. Yenko also offered the Stinger package on the original Honda 1600's at the same time and later than the Vega. Same stripe style, same turbo kit. If a turbo car was built at the dealer, I believe the sticker would have been included in the package. I suppose someone could have gone sleeper, but the cars weren't screamers, best ET I know about(with the complete dealer installed Yenko package) is 15.1. So what would've been the point? Also, I think that the black stripe treament was a late 71 GT thing, and the early Yenko cars were not GT's. All the Yenko Stinger stuff I have shows only cars with standard dashes with added SW tachs. Several have GT emblems and GT steering wheels, but I think these were promotional 1971 cars with the GT added to prep sales for the increase of GT production for 1972, because they still have the standard dash."
Ken (mahoy78spyder) adds:
You're right, the turbo car "did" have the phrase "Turbo Stinger" as the lettering within the stripe, as opposed to just "Stinger". Also, I always assumed that these cars where more or less a package deal, not quite like a COPO, but if you ordered a Stinger, you got the whole shebang (with a few minor options to include or exclude) But looking into it close, you could as much or as "little" as you wanted - even it meant that all you had was the decal kit. In fact, here are some interesting tidbits. If you wanted to buy each option seperately for the Yenko Stinger, here is what they cost:
BORT Trans Am air dam - $21.95
BORT Mini Z ducktail (rear spoiler) - $34.95
Stinger stripes - $32.95
Window CV louvres - $26.95/pr
Wheel flares - $35.00/pr
Yenko Turbo Charger - $575.00 complete
Also, between the different pictures of Yenko Stinger Vegas I've seen, the trim/stripes and even wheel combinations varied quite a bit. Basically, it seems you could order any Vega base package you wanted and add the Stinger options as you pleased. One thing I couldn't answer, though, was that there were custom mag wheels available on the prototype Stinger, and they look like Cosworth wheels but with the inside painted black instead of gold, but this article that shows them if from 1971! (long before the Cosworth)
Also, in Car Craft, April '71 the best 1/4mile time they could get from a Turbo Stinger w/ a 3.36:1 rear axle was 15.5 seconds. Another ad I have of a Vega Stinger advertizes high 14's, but does not give any specifics. *shrug*
Designed by BORT (British Overseas Racing Team) and produced by Motortown Corp. BORT went on to do the Monza Mirage design.
V8 Vegas built and sold by these dealerships.
Al (alfred_howe) gives some Scuncio specs: LT1 360 HP v8 4 speed with narrowed Impala posi rear end with 4:11 gears--starting price without 12 bolt posi (stock rear end) was $3995.00 ($1300.00 for posi rear end)-- ran a 13.32 at over 100 mph.
NOTE: Questions 1.5-1.10 aren't meant to be complete lists of changes, but enough to help you spot different models. Complete details are in the book "Standard Catalog of American Cars" (see Sources).
Chevrolet Vega is introduced. Body styles are notchback sedan, hatchback coupe, and kammback station wagon. The front end has single headlights, round parking lamps, egg-crate grille, and a wraparound bumper. The rear is concave with two lamps on each side. The nameplate reads "Chevrolet Vega 2300." The sedans and wagons get front manual discs. Also standard are a three-speed manual transmission with floor shifter and 6.00x13 tires. The standard engine is a 140ci (2.3l) 1bbl inline four, OHC, 3.501" x 3.625" bore and stroke, 8:1 compression ratio, producing 90hp @ 4700 RPM. An optional 2bbl carb gives the engine 110hp. Horsepower figures are pre-SAE. Options: four-speed manual transmission, automatic transmission, power steering, A/C, and Vega GT package for the coupe.
Vega's grille changed slightly. There is a new emblem on side of cowl. Tires are now A78x13. No substantial engine changes were made.
The Vega gets a new front bumper. The emblem reads "Vega by Chevrolet." A four-speed manual transmission is now standard. Under the new SAE system, the 1bbl engine is 72hp @ 4400 RPM, and the 2bbl is 85hp @ 4400 RPM. The new bumper makes the car 3" longer (173" total). New options: Estate Wagon, custom interior, and a GT package for wagon.
The Vega gets a new slanted nose with a horizontally slotted grille. The bumpers were made larger and have rubber guards, lengthing the car another 3" to 176" total. The taillamps are a single-unit style. New option: vinyl top.
Vega gets a catalytic convertor and improvements to the engine and front suspension. The 1bbl 2300 engine makes 78hp @ 4200RPM; the 2bbl makes 87 @ 4400 RPM. New options: power brakes, tilt steering, and a luggage rack. LX model gets 2bbl engine.
The Cosworth Vega is introduced. See "special or rare H-bodies."
The 7.5" rear is a new option (6.5" standard).
The 2300 engine gets new hydraulic valve lifters and other engine improvements. The Monza's torque arm rear suspension replaces the old four-link rear suspension. The Vega's grille is changed so that the parking lights are hidden behind the grille slats which run from headlight to headlight. The taillights were changed to have three sections on each side top-to-bottom. The rear drum brakes are larger (9.5" x 2").
Standard equipment: 1bbl 2300 engine (70 hp), 13x5 steel wheels with A78x13 blackwall tires, three speed manual transmission, electric fuel pump, heater/defroster, and front bucket seats.
Options: Five-speed manual transmission, automatic transmission, GT package, Freedom battery, Cabriolet appearance option.
This is the final year for the Cosworth Vega.
The four-speed manual transmission and 2bbl engine are standard with the five-speed manual or three-speed automatic optional. Slight changes are made to emissions equipment. This is the final year for the Vega.
Most changes shadow the Vega, but here are some Astre-specific notes:
Pontiac Astre is introduced in Canada only. Like other Pontiacs, the wagon model is called the "Safari." The Astre is almost identical to the Vega, except for unique taillights and a Pontiac badge on the grille. The SJ model mirrors the Vega GT.
Astre is introduced to the US.
This is the final year for the Astre. The front end is redesigned, with four holes on either side of a center Pontiac emblem, the outer holes used for parking lights. The 2.5l engine and four-speed manual transmission are standard in the hatchback and Safari (wagon) models. Aluminum wheels (13") and a luxury trim package are optional.
1975 -- Monza 2+2 hatchback is introduced. It has four rectangular headlights set into a soft urethane front fascia. The grille is two rows of long rectangular holes. The rear taillights wrap around into the rear quarter panels. Parking lamps sit below the front bumper where fog lights would sit. Emblems list the engine id at the front of the fenders and "Monza 2+2" at the cowl.
Later the same model year, the Towne Coupe is introduced, with a trunk instead of a hatch and different headlights and taillights. There is one round headlight per side in a hard fiberglass nose panel. The parking lamps are hidden behind an egg-crate grille that runs between the headlights. The taillamps are three-segment pieces. The bumpers are large and chrome plated. The 'S' model (the H07-based one, not the rebadged Vega) is also introduced.
The base engine is the 1bbl 2.3l OHC four from the Vega, with 2bbl optional. Also available are two V8 engines: 262ci (49 states) and 350ci (California).
Standard equipment: 1bbl 2.3l engine, three-speed manual transmission, bucket seats, front disc brakes, A78x13 tires.
Options: 2bbl 2.3l engine, 262ci V8 engine, 350ci V8 engine, four- and five-speed manual transmissions, three-speed automatic transmission, aluminum wheels, AM/FM cassette radio.
New front rotors and larger rear drums (9.5" x 2") improved the Monza's braking. The transmission tunnel was redesigned to be 2" shorter (the original was designed to hold the rotary engine, which was never put into production). A 305ci V8 replaced the 350, but was available in all states and made more power anyway. The Spyder option package is introduced. Cabriolet package is available on the Towne Coupe. The 262ci V8 is dropped.
The Spyder package is split into a separate appearance package (bold decals, black-out trim) and performance package (F41 suspension, sport steering wheel and mirrors, BR70x13 tires). A digital clock option over the glove box is added. The Cabriolet package is dropped but the individual pieces are still available.
A Monza 'S' hatchback and a wagon replace the Vega hatchback and Vega wagon (using mostly the same body panels, except for the front nose and rear bumper). The Monza 2+2 and Towne Coupe are also still available. Both the quad-headlamp and round-headlamp front ends received a minor restyling. The 2.3l engine is replaced by the 2.5l Pontiac Iron Duke. Two new Buick V6s are available: 196ci for 49 states and 231ci for California. The V8 is not available on the 'S' models. The front brake rotors are vented. A GT package is available with "GT" stripes and BR70x13 tires. An Estate package is available for wagons.
The 2.5l four receives some improvements and the V8 gets a new carburetor. There are new front seats and steering wheel. No other major changes were made.
Bumper guards are standard. 2+2 gets a restyled air dam that integrates with the wheel openings and bodyside moldings that are angled to allow for new stripes. The 'S' models (including the wagon) are dropped. The V8 is no longer available.
Skyhawk is introduced as the "smallest Buick in 60 years." The hatchback model appears first, looking much like the Monza 2+2, and halfway through the model year, a cheaper 'S' version appears. The only engine choice is the 3.8l V6, which will remain the only choice through the car's production. A four-speed manual transmission is standard. Instruments include a 7000 RPM tachometer and clock, except on the 'S' model. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard, again except on the 'S' model (front only).
The Astroroof, a tinted glass roof, was available with a brushed aluminum strap that went over the rear of the roof. Five-speed manual transmission and three-speed automatic transmission are available.
No changes except to the grille, which is completely different with a checkerboard pattern.
No major changes.
A new hood is added along with a new grille that has single rectangular headlamps and horizontal strips in a grid. The hood has a V-shaped bulge coming to a point in the front. The Road Hawk and "Designers' Accent Edition" packages are available.
No major changes. Road Hawk is still available. Production is suspended early in the model year.
Starfire is introduced. The front end is almost identical to the Monza 2+2 (soft fascia, quad headlamps) except there are only two side-by-side rectangular grille openings. The standard engine is the 231 V6 with four-speed manual transmission (five-speed manual and three-speed automatic transmissions are optional). The SX model offered some trim upgrades including wheel opening moldings, steel-belted radials, and a sport steering wheel. The GT package is also available starting mid-1975 (see "special models").
No major changes.
The grille is now two sets of many vertical slots between the same quad-headlamp setup. The 2.3l L4 is the new base engine with the 3.8l V6 still available.
The 2.3l L4 is replaced by the 2.5l L4 Iron Duke. The 3.8l V6 is still available. The 305 V8 is added. The GT package is still available on base and SX models. The Firenza package is added.
The Starfire looks much like the Monza sport hatch--it has the same large chrome bumpers, single front headlights, and the same hood (it previously used the 2+2-style hood). The soft fascia is replaced by a hard fiberglass panel with four sets of many vertical slots. The GT and Firenza options are still available. The same engines are available.
The Starfire was only produced until 1979. The 1980 model year car loses the V8 and has a slightly different grille (two sets of many horizontal slits, otherwise same as 1979).
The Sunbird is introduced a year later than its Monza/Starfire/ Skyhawk siblings. The front has quad-headlamps like the Monza 2+2, but the overall style of the car is like the Monza sport hatch with the large chome bumpers. The grille has an egg-crate pattern interrupted in the middle by a body-colored V section containing the Pontiac emblem. The Sunbird is available only as a coupe this year. Engines are the 2.3l L4 and 3.8l V6. Transmissions are a three-speed manual (std) and five-speed manual (opt). Other standard equipment includes heater/defroster, bucket seats, and wheel covers, drip moldings, and A78x13 tires.
The hatchback body style is added as the "Sport-Hatch," with special paint and stripes. The front end gets a minor restyle with a more recessed grille with vertical strips. The base engine is the 2.5l L4. The 3.8l V6 and aluminum wheels are optional.
A Sport Coupe, with styling similar to the Hatch, as well as a Safari Wagon model are added. No other major changes.
The grille gets horizontal strips. The 305 V8 is now optional. No other major changes.
The Safari Wagon model is dropped. Another new grille with an egg-crate pattern is introduced. The 305 V8 and the five-speed manual transmission are dropped.
Note: Around 4 million H-bodies were produced!
1971: 277,700 (58,800 V11 Sedan, 168,300 V77 Hatch coupe, 42,800 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 7,800 panel wagons 1972: 394,614 (55,800 V11 Sedan, 262,700 V77 Hatch coupe, 72,000 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 4,114 panel wagons 1973: 395,792 (no model breakdown available) 1974: 452,886 (63,591 V11 Coupe, 271,682 V77 Hatch, 113,326 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 4,287 panel wagons 1975: 204,178 (35,133 V11 Coupe, 112,912 V77 Hatch, 56,133 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 1,525 panel wagons 1976: 159,077 (27,619 V11 Coupe, 77,409 V77 Hatch, 46,114 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 7,935 Estate wagons 1977: 78,402 (12,365 V11 Coupe, 37,395 V77 Hatch, 25,181 V15 Wagon) Included in total: 3,461 Estate wagons
1975: 2061 1976: 1446
1971: 1972: 1973: 1974: 1975: 64,601 (8,339 C11 Coupe, 40,809 C77 Hatch, 15,322 C15 Safari) Included in total: 131 Panel wagons 1976: 50,384 (18,143 C11 Coupe, 19,116 C77 Hatch, 13,125 C15 Safari) 1977: 32,788 (10,327 C11 Coupe, 12,120 C77 Hatch, 10,341 C15 Safari)
1975: 66,615 (41,658 with L4, 24,957 with V8) 1976: 80,905 (46,735 M27 Coupe, 34,170 R07 Hatch) Included in total: 2339 Spyders, 7,277 V8 Coupes, and 10,085 V8 Hatches 1977: 73,348 (34,133 M27 Coupe, 39,215 R07 Hatch) Included in total: 7089 Spyders 1978: 177,385 (36,227 M07 Hatch, 2,326 M77 'S' Hatch, 37,878 M27 Coupe, 24,255 M15 Wagon, 2,478 M15/YC6 Estate Wagon, 6,823 R27 Coupe, 28,845 R07 Hatch) Included in total: 6391 Z01/Z02 Spyders and 990 Z01-only Spyders 1979: 163,833 (56,871 M07 Hatch, 61,110 M27 Coupe, 15,190 M15 Wagon, 30,662 R07 Hatch) Included in total: 8670 Z01/Z02 Spyders, 1009 Z01-only Spyders 1980: 169,418 (53,415 M07 Hatch, 95,469 M27 Coupe, 20,534 R07 Hatch) Included in total: 7589 Spyders
1975: 31,081 (no modelbreakdown available) 1976: 29,159 (8,305 T07 Coupe, 20,854 D07 SX Coupe) 1977: 19,091 (4,910 T07 Coupe, 14,181 D07 SX Coupe) 1978: 17,321 (9,265 T07 Coupe, 8,056 D07 SX Coupe) 1979: 20,299 (13,144 T07 Coupe, 7,155 D07 SX Coupe) 1980: 8,237 (no model breakdown available)
1975: 29,448 (no model breakdown available) 1976: 15,769 (no model breakdown available) 1977: 24,044 (no model breakdown available) 1978: 24,589 (no model breakdown available) 1979: 23,139 (4,766 T07 'S' Hatch, 18,373 S07 Hatch) 1980: 8,322 (no model breakdown available)
1976: 52,031 (all M27 Coupe) 1977: 55,398 (41,708 M27 Coupe, 13,690 M07 Hatch) 1978: 86,789 (20,413 E27 Coupe, 25,380 M07 Hatch, 32,572 M27 Sport Coupe, 8,424 M15 Wagon) 1979: 97,770 (40,560 E27 Coupe, 24,221 M07 Hatch, 30,087 M27 Sport Coupe, 2,902 M15 Wagon) 1980: 187,979 (105,847 E27 Coupe, 52,952 M07 and E07 Hatch, 29180 M27 Sport Coupe)
The Monza was intended to showcase GM's new 206ci 2-rotor Wankel engine. For example, the transmission tunnel was made larger to house the engine and its transmission. However, the engine never reached production. In 1976, the transmission tunnel was reduced in size to make more interior room.
Ken (mahoy78spyder) expands on this:
"A rotary in an Hbody is a 25-year-old idea, and to some extent, I'm sorry it didn't come to fruition. After researching the Wankel some time ago, I discovered some real advantages it had over the other engine choices offered in '73-'74. Here are some stats on the 206-cu.in. Wankel as compared to the 307-cu.in. V8 engine offered those same years:
Weight: only 255lbs, compared to 465lbs for the V8
Number of parts: 698 in Wankel; 1,103 in V8
Moving parts: 154 in Wankel; 388 in V8
Space requirement (cubic feet): 5.5 Wankel; 23 V8!
Net HP @ rpm: 150 @ 6,000 for Wankel; 130 @ 4,000 307 V8 (NOTE: 145hp was the highest factory Hbody HP
attained, in the '78 305-cu.in. V8!)
Net torque @ rpm: 125 @ 4,000 for Wankel; 230 @ 2,400 307 V8
Hp per lb.: 0.59 for Wankel; 0.28 for V8
Cost per hp: $1.80-$2.20 Wankel; $3.00 for V8
With that said, the Wankel beat the V8 on size and weight, and it was also cheaper than the V8 to manufacturer and assemble. It also had 100,000-mile-plus seal life, 24,000 miles or more between oil changes, and only needed cheaper low-grade motor oil. It was also vibrationless when running, had very low noise levels, a wide speed range, and a high RPM range (up to 8,000 rpm!).
It was supposed to be introduced in October of '73 as an option in the '74 Vega. GM President, Ed Cole, was so confident of his rotary project that even though GM had plopped down $50,000,000 to obtain rights to the Wankel only 3 years earlier in November of 1970, he projected the October 1973 release. I'm not sure how long you've been an employee of GM, Paul, but you may know the name of Bob Templin. Bob was the chief executive officer in charge of all rotary-engine research at GM. Ed Cole was so involved in this project that he would leave from his office in Detroit twice a week for the Tech Center in Warren MI where Templin was. Once there it was said he would personally take charge of the program.
What killed the Wankel project? You're right in saying gas mileage, reliability, and meeting emissions did it in, however, that's only partly true.
The "emissions" problem was mentioned in a few articles I have on the engine, however, no specific cause was mentioned. Conversely, other data I have shows that GM planned on introducing the Electronic-ignition system in the 74 Rotary Vega so that they could have a cleaner burning system and also meet the 50,000 mile emissions compliance. The Wankel was indeed an internal combustion engine, and could be cleaned up just like a V8, but the Wankel was "easier" to purify.
As for "reliability", the Wankel had so far proven much more reliable than any of the 4,6, or 8cyl engines offered for that time period. GM had tested some rotary engines that lasted 400,000 to 500,000 miles with minimal wear. Also, the rotary had a much fewer number of parts, and even fewer "moving" parts, so the chances of something breaking were reduced.
The "mileage" problem was what really killed the Wankel in my humble opinion. The ill-timed Arab oil embargo is what I think took the wind out of the Wankel project. No one seemed to care anymore if the exhaust could be easily cleaned, but rather, they wanted to know how the car was for fuel economy. GM admitted fuel economy for the rotary was sub-standard and postponed production in favor of "further development". Another little-known fact that hurt the GM Wankel rotary was the EPA's misleading fuel economy data that crucified Mazda's rotary for that year. So a rotary engine in general was not looked upon favorably. When did GM finally call it quits? I don't know... maybe it was when Ed Cole retired as you mentioned Paul. What an expensive loss!
I don't have any photos of the Wankel installed in an Hbody, but I do however have a very interesting drawing (illustration) of the Wankel installed in the '74 Vega. Items of interest in the picture are a completely different grille; a lower, more sloped hood line; a center hood "hump" shaped like a "V" (straight lines, not curved like a normal Vega); and the "GM Rotary" badge on the rear quarter panel with also what appears to be the Wankel "crest" following the text. I would be extremely interested in seeing any pics of your friend's rotary Vega body. It was published that the GM Rotary Vega would have its own grille, and would be sold as a package with performance items, such as mag wheels, radial tires, and rally stripes. Also, you might want to check for these other unique identifying items on his Vega. The taller trans tunnel is an obvious difference, which you already mentioned, because of the Wankel's output shaft position. But it should also should have a softer suspension, which included redesigned front control arms to accept longer coil springs (same as CV and Monza maybe?); a torque-arm suspension (yep, no kidding); and for some reason, GM was to add plenty of sound isolation. Not sure why this was offered, except to maybe squelch the critics of the noisy 71-73 Vega, because the rotary was already extremely quiet.1.13 What's up with the 1999 Chevrolet Monza and other reincarnations?
The 1999 Chevrolet Monza is sold in Mexico. It looks a lot like a Chevy (Geo) Metro sedan but it's not the same car. It has a 1.6l 4 cylinder TBI engine putting out 78 hp and 91 lb*ft of torque. Don't expect to see it in the U.S. See http://www.chevrolet.com.mx/genuino/monza/monza.html
The 1984 Opel (a GM make) Monza was only sold overseas and looks a lot like the 1984 Chevy Cavalier with a longer hood. However it has a 180hp 3.0l SOHC I6 engine, rear wheel drive, and independent rear suspension. It was built to compete with the BMW 5-series and mid-sized Mercedes. A 3.9l engine with 210hp and much more torque was optional in the Bitter SC, a tuner-version of the car by Erich Bitter.
In 1984, GM planned to introduce a new H-body in 1988. It was meant to be a FWD replacement for the B-body (Chevrolet Caprice and clones). It came out as the 1986 Buick LeSabre, 1986 Oldsmobile Delta 88, and 1987 Pontiac Bonneville. Note that it did not replace the B-body and has nothing to do with the original H-body.
And, finally, many older people who hear "Monza" think of the Corvair Monza, 1961-1969. The Monza Sport Coupe version of the Corvair was the best-selling model, so many people think of the Corvair when they hear "Monza."
So, there was no H-body like "ours" before or since the real thing!1.14 How do I decode the VIN on my H-body?
For 1971 Cars:
1 4 1 1 1 1 U 1 0 0 0 0 1 | \_/ \_/ | | \_________/ | | | | | | | | | | | +-------- Production Sequence | | | | | | | | | +--------------- Assembly Plant | | | | U = Lordstown, Ohio, USA | | | | 2 = St Therese, Quebec, Canada | | | | | | | +----------------- Model Year | | | 1 = 1971 | | | | | +-------------------- Body Style | | 11 = 2D Sedan | | 77 = 2D Coupe | | 15 = 2D Station Wagon | | | +------------------------ Carline Series | 41 = Vega | ??? = Astre | +--------------------------- Make 1 = Chevrolet 2 = Pontiac
For 1972-1980 Cars:
1 M 2 7 V A 7 1 0 0 0 0 1 | | \_/ | | | \_________/ | | | | | | | | | | | | | +------ Production Sequence | | | | | | | | | | | +------------- Assembly Plant | | | | | N = Norwood, Ohio, USA | | | | | U = Lordstown, Ohio, USA | | | | | 1 = Oshhawa, Ontario, Canada | | | | | 2 = St Therese, Quebec, Canada | | | | | 4 = Scarborough, Ontario, Canada | | | | | 7 = Lordstown, Ohio, USA ??? | | | | | | | | | +--------------- Model Year | | | | 2 = 1972 | | | | 3 = 1973 | | | | 4 = 1974 | | | | 5 = 1975 | | | | 6 = 1976 | | | | 7 = 1977 | | | | 8 = 1978 | | | | 9 = 1979 | | | | A = 1980 | | | | | | | +----------------- Engine Code | | | A = 140ci (2.3l) Chevrolet L4 1bbl (1971-1976) | | | A = 231ci (3.8l) Buick V6 2bbl (1978-1980) | | | B = 140ci (2.3l) Chevrolet L4 2bbl | | | C = 231ci (3.8l) Buick V6 2bbl (1975-1977) | | | C = 196ci (3.2l) Buick V6 2bbl (1978-1980) | | | F = 260ci (4.3l) Oldsmobile V8 2bbl | | | G = 262ci (4.3l) Chevrolet V8 2bbl (1975-1976) | | | G = 305ci (5.0l) Chevrolet V8 2bbl (1979) | | | H = 350ci (5.7l) Chevrolet V8 2bbl (1975/California) | | | I = 151ci (2.5l) Pontiac L4 2bbl | | | K = 350ci (5.7l) Chevrolet V8 4bbl | | | O = 122ci (2.0l) Cosworth/Chevrolet L4 EFI | | | Q = 305ci (5.0l) Chevrolet V8 2bbl | | | U = 305ci (5.0l) Chevrolet V8 2bbl | | | V = 151ci (2.5l) Pontiac L4 2bbl | | | | | +-------------------- Body Type | | 11 = 2D Sedan/Notchback (Vega & Astre) | | 77 = 2D Coupe/Hatchback (Vega & Astre) | | 15 = 2D Station Wagon (Vega, Astre, & Monza) | | V5 = 2D Panel Wagon (Vega & Astre) | | 07 = 2D 2+2 Hatchback (Monza etc.) | | 27 = 2D Coupe/Notchback (Monza etc.) | | | +----------------------- Carline Series | C = Astre | D = Starfire SX | H = Vega Panel Wagon \ | H = Astre |---- Depends on make | H = Skyhawk / | M = Monza 'S' Coupe or Hatch (round lights) | M = Sunbird | R = Monza 2+2 Hatchback (quad lights) | T = Starfire | V = Vega | +------------------------- Make 1 = Chevrolet 2 = Pontiac 3 = Oldsmobile 4 = Buick1.15 How do I decode the trim tag on my H-body?
There are two styles based on the plant. However, Brian Melka (Bacchus_101573) notes that his '75 Canadian-built car has a tag like that shown below for the Ohio cars. So, check both...
Examine this sample tag (found on or near firewall on most cars):
______________________________________ / \ | ST 78 1HR07 U 344361 BDY | | TR 19V A51 77L 77U PNT | | 05B 19X 69-3681 | | 191601 02BLK | \______________________________________/ Top line, left to right: * ST = printed on all tags, probably means "style" * 78 = Year of production * 1HR07 = Make, carline series, and bodystyle (see VIN decoding) * U = Assembly plant (see VIN decoding) * 344361 = Production Sequence * BODY = printed on all tags Second line, left to right: * TR = printed on all tags, probably means "trim" * 19V = Trim Combination Number (see option codes) * A51 = Modular Seat Code (see option codes) * 77L = Lower Body Color (see option codes) * 77U = Upper Body or Fabric Top Color (see option codes) * PAINT = printed on all tags Third line, left to right: * 05B = Time Built Code--produced in week B (second week) of month 05 (May) * 19X = Option Designation for plant use; probably means Black carpet (see option codes for more) * 69-3681 = Option Designation for plant use; 69th day of production for this model year (or possibly 169th or 269th) + a scheduling number of 3681 Fourth line, left to right: * 191601 = Option Designation for plant use; 91,601st car for that model and model year * 02BLK = Option Designation for plant use; option code Z02 (Spyder appearance package) in Black ???
Examine this sample tag (found on or near firewall on most cars):
_______________ / \ | 01C 106 449 | | 1HR07 025393 | | 11L 11U 71V | \_______________/ Top line, left to right: * 01C = Time Built Code--produced in week C (third week) of month 01 (Jan) * 106 = Day of production for this model year * 449 = Option Designation for plant use (???) Second line, left to right: * 1HR07 = Make, carline series, and bodystyle (see VIN decoding) * 025393 = Production Sequence Third line, left to right: * 11L = Lower Body Color (see option codes) * 11U = Upper Body or Fabric Top Color (see option codes) * 71V = Trim Combination Number (see option codes)
Many are the same as Monza codes (below), but these are probably unique to Vegas:
BX3 Woodgrain D88 GT Stripes Y10 Door and Quarter Custom Buildup Z10 Spirit of America appearance package Z29 GT package ?1.17 What are some Monza/Sunbird/Starfire/Skyhawk option codes?
11L White paint (lower body) 11U White paint (upper body) 11V Black Vinyl interior 15L Silver Metallic paint (lower body) 15U Silver Metallic paint (upper body) 16L Medium Gray Metallic paint (lower body) 16U Medium Gray Metallic paint (upper body) 19X Black carpet floor 19V Black Vinyl interior 21L Silver Blue Metallic paint (lower body) 21U Silver Blue Metallic paint (upper body) 24L Medium Blue Metallic paint (lower body) 24U Medium Blue Metallic paint (upper body) 26L Bright Blue Metallic paint (lower body) 26U Bright Blue Metallic paint (upper body) 44L Medium Green Metallic paint (lower body) 44U Medium Green Metallic paint (upper body) 49L Dark Green Metallic paint (lower body) 49U Dark Green Metallic paint (upper body) 50L Yellow paint (lower body) 50U Yellow paint (upper body) 51L Bright Yellow paint (lower body) 51U Bright Yellow paint (upper body) 59L Beige paint (lower body) 59U Beige paint (upper body) 61L Light Buckskin paint (lower body) 61U Light Buckskin paint (upper body) 62C Tan Cloth interior 62N Tan Vinyl interior 63L Tan paint (lower body) 63U Tan paint (upper body) 64W Buckskin Vinyl Interior ??? 65L Buckskin paint (lower body) 65U Buckskin paint (upper body) 69L Dark Brown Metallic paint (lower body) 69U Dark Brown Metallic paint (upper body) 71V Firethorn Vinyl interior 72L Medium Red paint (lower body) 72U Medium Red paint (upper body) 74J Red Durham Cloth interior 75L Light Red paint (lower body) 75U Light Red paint (upper body) 77L Carmine Metallic paint (lower body) 77U Carmine Metallic paint (upper body) 78L Medium Orange paint (lower body) 78U Medium Orange paint (upper body) 79L Dark Carmine paint (lower body) 79U Dark Carmine paint (upper body) 80L Orange Metallic paint (lower body) 80U Orange Metallic paint (upper body) 85L Gray paint (lower body) 85U Gray paint (upper body) A01 Glass, Soft-Ray Tinted A44 Adj pass seat A51 St supp ctr bkt AB8 RR quarter window AD1 Tinted Glass AD3 Vista-Vent sunroof with removable top AK1 Deluxe Seat Belts AN6 Adjustable Seat Back B37 Mat, Front and Rear Floor B80 Roof Drip Molding B84 Body Side Molding B85 Moulding, Belt Reveal B90 Side Window Reveal Molding B93 Moulding, Door Edge B94 Body Emblem B96 Wheel Opening Molding BS1 Acoustical Insulation Package BS2 Acoustical Insulation Package BY1 Body Emblem C06 Astroroof (Skyhawk only; like a fixed glass Targa top) C09 S/T Toof Padded C18 Black Windshield Wiper C60 Air Conditioning C80 Front Door Jam Switch C49 Rear Window Defroster CD4 Intermittent Wipers CF4 Sky Roof with sliding glass panel D31 Mirror, Inside Day/Night Rear View D35 Sport Mirrors D55 Sport Console D80 Front and rear spoilers, body color D92 f dh tp decor E1Y Adaptor E6F Sleeve F41 Heavy duty suspension F59 Front stabilizer bar, 1.25" diameter G80 Positraction rear axle GH2 Axle, 2.29 Ratio GM8 Axle, 2.56 Ratio GU2 Axle, 2.73 Ratio GU4 Axle, 3.08 Ratio GW9 Axle, 2.93 Ratio GX9 Axle, 2.92 Ratio J50 Power Brakes JL2 Power Brakes K19 Air Injection Reactor K81 Generator, 63 Amp L11 2.3l 4-cyl engine, 2 BBL L65 350ci (5.7l) V8 engine LC9 3.2l V6 engine LD5 3.8l evenfire V6 engine LD7 3.8l oddfire V6 engine LG3 305ci (5.0l) V8 engine LX8 2.5l Iron Duke L4 engine LV1 262ci (4.3l) V8 engine M16 TH200 automatic transmission M20 4 speed manual transmission M29 TH200 automatic transmission M38 THM 350 automatic transmission M40 THM 350 automatic transmission M75 Borg-Warner T-50 5-speed manual transmission N31 Sport steering wheel N33 Tilt steering wheel N41 Power Steering N65 Wheel, Space Saver Spare N66 Wheel, rally (Starfire GT only - chrome) N73 Wheel, cast aluminum (Sunbird, Skyhawk) N77 Wheel, forged aluminum (Monza, Skyhawk) N98 Rally II wheels with trim rings NB2 California Emissions Systems NK3 Sport steering wheel P06 Wheel Trim Ring PA3 Cover, Deluxe Wheel Trim QAG A78 whitewall tires QKX BR70-13" blackwall radials QRA Wide oval radial tires with raised white letters R07 Sport hatchback T63 Buzzer, Headlamp On U14 Tachometer and gauge package U26 Lamp, Engine Compartment U35 Clock, Electric (non-digital - in guage cluster) U58 Radio, AM/FM Stereo U63 AM Radio U69 Radio, AM/FM U76 Antenna, Windshield U80 Speaker, Rear Seat UA1 Heavy Duty Battery UE8 Clock, Electric Digital (above glove box) UM1 Radio, AM w/Stereo Tape UM2 Radio, AM/FM Stereo w/Tape V01 HD Radiator V19 Calif. Emissions Compliance V30 Bumper guards V55 Rooftop Luggage Carrier VE5 Bumper pad VK3 Front license plate VK5 Vert-a-pact W66 Sunbird Formula package W84 Additional ga ??? WJ3 Leather interior, Starfire Y02 Front Custom Seat Y03 Rear Custom Seat Y64 Starfire GT option package (LD5, N66, QRA, U14, U35) Y65 Starfire Firenza option package (D35, QKX) Y92 Lamp Group YA7 Calif. Asm. Emissions YC6 Estate Wagon YF5 Calif. Emissions Certification YJ8 Wheels, Cast Aluminum (Sunbird) YR2 Deluxe Front Seat YS1 Custom Rear Seat Z01 Monza Spyder equipment package (D55, F41, N31) Z02 Monza Spyder appearance package (D35, D80, N98) Z05 Leather interior, Monza Z29 Monza Spyder option package (D35, D80, F41, F59, N98) Z49 Canadian preparation Z60 Sport Equipment option Z87 Facia, flexible front end (quad headlamp) Z87 Sport Cabriolet option ??? ZJ9 Lighting Group, Auxiliary ZM5 Exterior Decor ZX1 Monza Mirage package (IMSA AAGT-like body panels)1.18 What's a restoration pack?
It's a stack of information GM may send you about your car. Call GM at (800) 222-1020 and give them your make and model (some people were asked for a VIN).
[Author's note: I called once and got someone who didn't know what I was talking about and said to call Chevrolet's restoration department at (517) 485-6229. I called back later and got someone who knew what I was talking about.]
About two weeks later you should get two booklets: One is a generic list of car clubs, parts suppliers, etc., for all Chevrolets. The second is specific to your make and model and gives information about the body, options, etc. It was sent at no charge.
Some alternate info from Denis (calgary_spyder): If you're in Canada, try (888) 467-6853.
Some of the information included: when and where you car was built, where it was sold, production numbers, decoding of information on the build sheet, a 16-page booklet on the car for that year, and how to paint the car. The package came from GM but was billed by Vintage Vehicle Services of Oshawa, Ontario. This may not be the "official restoration pack."1.19 Where can I find magazine articles about the H-bodies?
Most of this information was contributed by Al Howe (alfred_howe).
All Chevy: 01/92 ??? 04/92 ??? 10/92 ??? 12/92 ??? Automotive News: 03/02/81 "Vega, Pinto called 'damn jokes' (no answer to Japanese imports)" Autoweek: 08/74 ??? Car Craft: 01/71 Dick Harrel V8 Vega 04/72 Grumpy's Pro Stock Vega beats Hemi 11/72 Blown 72 Panel Wagon 06/73 Scuncio Vega (from Scuncio Chevrolet in Rhode Island) 01/74 Road test of 454 V8 4-speed Motion Performance Vega, IECO 190 HP 4 cylinder vega 02/74 Radici & Wise Vega Funny Car story. Story about David Cowan and his Pro Stock vega 03/74 Marshall Gardner's Motion 350 Vega (p.100) 04/74 Cosworth Vega road test, U.S.A.F. sponsored Vega Funny Car 06/74 74 Vega GT ad. Vega Funny car photo shoot. Story about Steve Norris and his 74 V8 Vega. 09/74 "Chevy V8 Monza" (Factory info and Pro Stock buildup) pg. 44 03/75 Mini Car shoppers guide including all H-Bodies, Bud Shelton and his street/strip Astre, Starfire ad 06/75 Jerry Gwynn's Monza Funny Car, Motion ad 08/75 Gary Wilson and his Pro Street Vega, Ted Dzus and his 71 Street/Strip Vega Panel Wagon 12/75 ??? 02/76 Gary Bryson, build up of Buick Skyhawk V6 03/76 Bill Shanks Vega panel funny car, Don Prudhomme's Monza Funny Car 05/76 Starfire ad, Motion ad, Vega GT ad, Mark & Bill Yuill and their Pro Stock Monza 07/76 Vega ad 10/76 Monza Spyder and Pontiac Sunburd road test, H-Bodies at drag strip 11/76 Monza Spyder ad, Bob Mann's 402 V8 Vega 04/77 Bill Meyer and his Vega funny car, Sunbird ad, Dick Callagy and his Monza funny car, John Lingenfelter and his Pro Stock Monza 05/77 Pro Stock Monza crash photos 07/77 Albert Clark and his Pro Stock Monza, several Pro Stock H-bodies 08/77 V8 Monza road test, Warren Johnson and his big block pro stock Vega match race car, John carpenters V8 vega gt street car, Green elephant funny car vega story 09/77 Hooker V8 Vega build up 07/78 Monza Spyder V8 road test; Ray Lockes and Rick Delis and their Pro Stock V8 Monzas 12/78 "Vega Invasion" Sam Gianino's Pro Stock Monza, Starfire Ad, Grumpy Jenkins, Jack Trost's modified production Vega, Yenko turbo Vega, seven street Vegas. 08/79 Budget Vega build up 03/80 Don Hardy V8 Vega build up part one 07/80 Story about Ernie Lamoureuz and his black v8 Vega. 02/82 77 big block V8 Vega street driven 9.32 at 152 mph. How to on opening up the wheel wells on a Vega for bigger tires. 07/82 "Image Maker" Leatherwork's '75 Pro Street Monza pg. 72 12/82 Ron Didonato and his 72 V8 Vega. IMSA inspired V8 Monza by Bob Boen. 1982 Street Freaks special edition; 2 Vegas + rear-engined big block Vega 08/83 How to build a V6 Vega 09/84 Don Hardy 12-bolt on Vega, curing wheel hop 03/85 "Deliverance" Bobby Bowman's '75 Pro Street Monza pg. 52 08/86 Photo gallery blurb about Greg Tolman's 72 Vega 05/98 Engine swaps (general, not specific to H-body) 09/99 Photo gallery blurb about 454 Vega "EEK ARAT" 10/99 1975 Monza 262 is one of the 10 worst V8s 01/00 Photo gallery blurb on an '71 Vega 02/00 H Body in Readers' Rides section 05/00 Monzabudd's and Bob Gumm's websites in Readers section 06/00 Kyle Howe's 73 Vega pg. 13 Car and Driver: 09/70 Vega and Pinto road test 01/71 Small car comparison 10/72 72 Astre in a Quaker State ad 09/74 ??? 02/75 ??? 03/75 ??? 09/76 Yellow Spyder 11/77 ??? 02/78 ??? 04/78 ??? 07/78 ??? Cars: 01/75 ??? 12/75 First test of Vega/Monza 5-speed OD transmission 07/76 ??? 05/77 Andy White's Monza Pro Stock crash 07/77 Monza Spyder vs. Mustang II 08/78 ??? 1984 Chevy Yearbook: Mike Reidys and his 73 V8 Vega Chevy High Performance: 05/99 Useful transmission swap info 03/01 Club member Larry (vega_man_larry) gets into article "Forgotten Vegas" Chevy Power: 11/74 1975 Monza introduction Chevroland Nues: 10/77 Experimental Aluminum 350 V8 Monza with Mirage Panels Collectable Automobile: 02/90 "Likeable Look-Alikes," "Cheap Wheels" 04/00 Large Vega article Consumer Guide Magazine: 01/80 "General Motors Corporation" Monza and clones evaluation/description 03/80 "Chevrolet Monza" evaluation (p.30) 03/80 "Oldsmobile Starfire" evaluation (p.174) 04/80 "New cars" Monza and clones 05/80 "Buick Skyhawk: it files into the sunset next year" (p.196) 05/80 "Chevrolet Monza: space takes a back seat to styling" (p.202) 05/80 "Oldsmobile Starfire: mostly unchanged, and that's the trouble" (p.174) 05/80 "Pontiac Sunbird: on the way out--and none too soon" (p.161) 07/80 "Used cars: Rating the best 100" Monza 08/80 "Oldsmobile" comparison p.53 07/81 "Used car rating the price guide, 1971-1981" (p.64) 05/83 "Used cars: rating guide" Consumer Reports: Annual Auto issue (77, 78, or 79 ???): Application of decals to H-bodies during manufacturing 04/80 "Which cars are safest?" Monza (p.221) 04/82 "Good bets in used cars (1976-80 models)" Vega (p.208) 04/83 "Good bets in used cars (1977-82 models)" Monza (p.209) Custom Rodder: 05/82 Monza Mirage build up Consumers Digest: 01/80 "American Automobiles" Monza and clones Drag Racing USA: 06/71 First look at a Vega funny car Grassroots Motorsports: 05/97 "Monzter - Ken Mersereau's ITA Chevy Monza" High Performance Cars 08/72 Turbo 4-cyl Vega show car, story on Grumpy Jenkins 11/72 Don Hardy's first V8 Vega, how to build a Vega funny car fiberglass body, several Vega funny cars, Briggs Chevrolet's (Amboy NJ) Vega 4-cyl project 12/72 Hiner/Miller Pro Stock Vega 01/73 Motion Performance 350 V8 Vega 05/73 Atco Dragway Nationals with Jungle Jim and several other Vegas, Wonder Bread-sponsored Vega wagon funny car 08/73 Grumpy Jenkins and his shop in PA 01/74 Motion Performance 454 V8 Vega 03/74 Briggs' finished project car (see 11/72) Vega SS 10/74 Road tests of 1975 Monza 2+2, Olds Starfire, Buick Skyhawk, 1974 summer nationals with several Vegas Hot Cars: 10/73 Story about Hory's Chevrolet and their v8 vega wagon. AD: Scuncio Chevrolet V8 vega conversion cars--starting price $3995.00 Hot Rod: 11/70 Vega road test, muscle parts review 03/71 Vega and Pinto Funny Car review 07/72 GM prototype all-aluminum 302 V8 in Vega road test, buyers guide 10/73 Grumpy Jenkins Vega at NHRA Nationals 04/??? Funny car pictorial, first look at 16 valve Cosworth head 06/76 "Monza Fever"--how the IMSA body panels are added to a Monza 12/76 Monza Mirage "The Great Escape" pg. 44 07/79 ??? 03/80 "Parts Car" Camaro engine in Vega. (p.119) 05/80 "The Ultimate Street Machine" V8 Vega: Don Hardy 74 Vega, V8 Vega Swap buyers guide (p.28, 47) 08/80 "Go four it." Modified Vega (p.52) 09/80 "Backfire!" Chevrolet Vega (p.64) ???/81 Story about Phil Ferrari and his bright yellow V8 Vega. 02/81 "Randy's Dandy" Monza (p.81) 08/81 "Volksvega" VW engine in a Vega body (p.88) 09/81 "Chevys!" (p.51) 02/82 "Outlaw Vega: One of the most wanted Chevys in the West" (p.60) 02/83 "Northern Light" (p.32) Chris Fletcher's yellow Big-Block Vega 05/83 "Road Warriors" (p.69) 07/83 "Subtle Shuttle" 1976 Monza (p.62) 05/85 Buick 215 V8 into Vega 02/87 "Nitrous Bandit" 1977 Olds Starfire (p.110) 08/87 "This Pro Style '78 is One Mighty Monza" (p.97) 08/87 "Slyhawk: a 12-second Buick-powered Skyhawk" (p.73) 01/88 Chevrolet prototype Z-29 V8 Vega (picture and subprint) pg. 52, Monza Mirage (pic and subprint) pg. 55, Gary Kimball's Pro Stock NHRA Vega pg. 51 04/88 "Scared Straight" Vega hot rod (p.54) 11/99 "Popular Swapular," little info about H-bodies 01/00 Vega GT Wagon powered by a supercharged Buick 215 (4 pages) ????? Hot Rod special edition/Chevrolet No 4: Complete story The Ultimate Street Machine Don Hardy V8 Vega. Story about Larry Bradshaw and his Super Pro 71 Vega Panel van 454 V8 9.70 at over 140 MPH in the Quarter. Story on where to locate all V8 vega vendors.Story on how to build a 190HP 4 cylinder vega, built by IECO. Story about Wayne Overbeck and his rear engine V8 vega. Motor Trend: 08/70 Road test of Vega Sedan, Wagon, and GT Coupe, interview with John Delorean 01/71 Road test of Vega and Pinto 02/71 Car of the Year (Vega) road test, comparison, engineering study 12/74 1975 Vega ad 03/75 ??? 06/75 California 350 Monza 10/75 ??? 09/76 Monza Spyder Coupe 12/76 "Monza Mirage"? 01/77 Monza Super Spyder II pg.64, Racemark Monza (Road Racing Monza designed by Mark Donohue & Bob Baily) pg. 73 08/79 '79 Monza Spyder V6 review pg. 74 07/80 "Econo coupes under $4500" Monza (p.65) 11/84 "Bitter perspectives" foreign-market Opel Monza (p.46) 09/99 "Cars of the Year (cars of the past)" Brief writeup about 1971 COTY Vega--doesn't mention 1975 COTY Monza (p.79) Popular Hot Rodding: 02/73 Vega funny car review 04/73 Jungle Jim Pro Stock 72 Vega Wagon 04/74 Joel Rosen's 1974 Motion Station Wagon Super Vega (w/Turbo), Jim Nichol's Speed Equipment World Revell Vega, Warren Johnson's Big Block 1973 vega hatchback Pro Stock car. ??/74 Motion performance ads; Grumpy's Toy (Vega) center pull-out 02/77 ??? 01/78 Monza Project Car part 1/4 02/78 Monza Project Car part 2/4 03/78 Axle and gear change for Vega and Monza, V8 Monza in Centerline ad, Monza Project Car part 3/4 04/78 Send drag Vega funny cars, Monza Project Car part 4/4 06/78 Bryan Thatcher and his 77 Vega Wagon 08/78 Pro gas drag racing H-Body style, Randy Diephuis and his Pontiac V8 powered Astre drag car 10/78 Bob Stanek and his Vega drag car 12/78 Bob Zooks and his C-Gas Monza Drag Car 01/79 How to Install a Don Hardy 12-bolt into an H-Body, Motion ad 02/79 402 BB in a street/strip Vega, Skyhawk drag race car 03/79 Complete install of Don Hardy V8 kit, Hooker Headers V6 Vega with body kit 04/79 Reggie Jackson (of baseball fame) and his BBVega, Ronnie Reed and his Pro Gas Vega, Al Garcia nad his Vega drag car, Doug Nash 5 speed in a V8 Monza 05/79 Hooker-built V6 Vega story. Oakland roadster show with Randy Brockman and his D/gas Vega on the show floor. Ed Figgins and his radical custom Vega wagon. How to on tuning a tunnel ram with an automatic tranny 74 Vega. 07/79 Greg Cragg and his 71 Vega show and drag car 08/79 How to install a turbo charger in a stock 4 cylinder 72 vega, Bernie Agaman's Pro Stock Monza 10/80 Story about Robert Myers and his vega drag racing wagon. Motion Performance ad: 74 small block blown wagon 02/81 ??? 12/84 Story about Mark Runges and his blown small block Vega. 01/85 Curtis Hull's 71 Pro Street V8 Vega 06/88 Story about Mike Herbert's 74 Vega V8. 10/89 Pro Street Spyder "Monza Mania" 10/99 "Tech Letters" contains a basic rundown of how to put a V8 into a Vega 12/99 Nice picture of Scott Shafiroff's 74 Pro-Stock Vega at 1974 Winternationals (2nd to last page) 09/00 Hometown Hot Rodding: 1971 Vega V8 belonging to Mike Smith in SC Popular Mechanics: 09/70 Test of 3 pre-production Vegas (GT, sedan, wagon), info on Lordstown plant and its robotics. 09/79 Pontiac Sunbird V8 Owners Report Popular Science: ??/77 Mini Muscle Cars Test (Monza Spyder V8, Cobra II V8, AMX Hornet V8, Plymouth Volare Road Runner V8) Road & Track: 09/74 ??? 01/75 ??? 06/75 ??? 08/76 ??? 04/94 "Us vs. Them," B. Levy. Road Test: 11/74 Monza vs. Mustang II 04/75 Pontiac Astre 01/77 Monza Mirage and Mustang II 04/77 Monza Spyder Road Test (4 pages) Rod Action: Summer 1976 Special issue (street machines) David Schopp and his clean V8 Vega panel wagon. Speed and Supercar Magazine: 08/73 Motion Super Vega (4 pages, 12 photos) Street Freaks: Summer 82 Dave Russell and his V8 Vega story Street Machine: 11/75 Article on The Vegabonds (the very first H Body car club)in California 03/76 Cosworth Vega hop-up parts wiht part numbers 05/77 Story about Dave Volk and his V8 Vega Summer 78 How to build a 9-second street/strip Vega with a big block, how to clean up looks of IMSA body panels for Monza Street Racer: 03/78 How to build a big block Vega. 11/78 Story about how to build a big block Vega the right way. Story about Chuck Reeves and his 1972 Vega wagon that he transformed into a V8 powered Vega pickup(looks like a mini El Camino). Super Chevy: 04/74 Project Vega build-up 06/74 More project Vegas 08/74 Emissions-legal hop-ups 10/74 How to replace air cleaner with replaceable paper element 12/74 1975 Monza road test 02/75 Factory-built V8 Vega road test 04/75 Interview with Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins 10/75 V8 Monza road test 12/75 Motion ads 04/77 ??? 08/77 ??? 10/78 ??? 12/78 ??? 02/79 ??? 10/98 Chris Wheaton's '75 Cosworth, page 149 01/99 Motion Vega; "Bow Tie Keepers" section shows Alfred and Kyle Howe's three cars 04/99 Motion Performance cars, includes 350 LT1 Vega 12/99 "Cosworths A Plenty" (brief writeup) in Bow-Tie Briefs section "Top 10 Chevys of All Time" mentions Cosworth Vega 01/00 seven Vegas at Super Chevy Show (p.115) 11/00 History of Chevy part 11, story of Grumpy Jenkins and his Vega. V8 Vega on p.73. Page 10 Bowtie Keeper section they have a photo and story about Ernie and Dianna Nunes V8 Vega. Super Stock: 07/73 Small car comparison (9 cars), Vega funny car on fire on track 03/74 Speed Specialties of Woodbridge Va builds a 10 sec 130 mph street driveable V8 Vega. NHRA Supernationals Ontario Motor Speedway. Grumpy's Toy was runner up to a Mopar. Scott Shafiroff and his Pro stock Vega. Gainsville Nationals Wonder Wagon Vega funny car driven by Raymond Beadle won. Super Street Cars: 01/81 Marshall Gardner and his V8 Vega1.20 What are some H-body books?
Orig. Pub: 1985/10/01 Revised, Paperback ~ 1994
Publishers: Steve Smith Autosports
Avail Formats: Paperback Textbook
This book has been printed as recently as 11/99 due to increased demand!
Martyn L. Schorr editor, Performance Media/Performance Publications,
Baldwin, NY, 1979.
Martin J Gunther editor, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1983.
Basic repair information for all H-bodies except the Cosworth Vega.
Hans Tanner, Peterson, 1974. Out of print.
Contains some info on swapping a V8 into a Vega, including information about the Herbert & Meek mounts.
R M Clarke, Brookland Books, 1990.
Covers basic considerations for engine swaps compiled from Peterson's Complete Books of Engine Swapping. Has one chapter specifically about putting a 307 V8 into a Vega.
These manuals, as well as owners manuals, are published by Helm for all GM H-bodies as well as many other cars. You can search for your particular car at http://www.helminc.com.
Library of Congress Catalog Card # 75-8141
John A Gunnel editor, Krause Publications, Iola, WI, 1987.
Information on all models including production numbers, option packages, technical details, etc.
James M Flammang editor, Krause Publications, Iola, WI, 1988.
Information on all models including production numbers, option packages, technical details, etc. Has more information than the 1946-1975 book.
AMT: 2214 Monza SS (IMSA) T488 Monza 2+2 Ertl: ??? Promotional Monza hatchbacks 76-79 Johnny Lightning: ??? 1:25 scale Jungle Jim Vega die-cast ??? 1:25 scale Barry Setzer Vega ??? 1:64 scale 1977 Jungle Jim Monza funny car Mattel: ??? 1974 Vega Bomb (if light green instead of orange, worth $800-$2000!) Monogram: 7571 Vega Funny Car 1974 MPC: 1-0711 Long Shot Monza 1-0722 Street Spyder IMSA 1-0757 Monza Pro Street IMSA 1-0810 Twister Vega 1-7616 1976 3-in-1 Monza 1-7716 1977 Monza 2+2 1-7827 1978 Chevy Sportback (Vega coupe w/Monza front end) ??? 1971 Vega Mild & Wild ??? 1972 Chevy Vega ??? 1974 Chevy Vega ??? 1975 Monza PR212 1978 Monza (promotional) 1/25 Revell: H-1346 Super Spyder Chevy Monza H-1469 Jungle Jim Monza Funny Car 7356 Jungle Jim Vega ???? Don Prudhomme Army Monza Funny Car1.22 What movies have H-bodies in them?
For more info, look them up on the Internet Movie Databse (www.imdb.com):
Top speed: 119mph, V8 Monza Spyder1.25 Where can I buy H-body stuff?
In short, no.
Kevin (SoloII_74) elaborates:
"You can have a '74 production date on a '75 vehicle. My '69 GP was built in August of 1968. I have seen several cars mis-titled as the previous years model, when they were not from that previous year. If a production date is after July (from late July to late November), it will be the next years model.
In some cases significant model changes occurred half way through the model year. The '70 1/2 F bodies are an excellent example of this. These cars were produced for only half of the model year, from December 1969 to June 1970. There were minor changes which occurred in 1971, but overall the '71's were very similar to the '70 1/2's, but very different from the '69 model year cars.
So if '74 Monzas exist, they were manufactured during the '75 model production year (from late July 1974 to June of '75), and mis-titled as a '74 by the dealer. They would STILL be a '75 model year car. The same would be true for any so called '81 H bodies. They were '80 production cars not titled by the dealer until 1981, and given an incorrect model year on the title. The only way to correctly tell the model year is with the production sticker on the door (if it has not been changed), or the vin. The title is not always an accurate way to determine the year of the car. Title clerks and dealerships frequently make mistakes (big revelation there! :) ), but the factory documentation on the vehicle is the only really reliable source for model year info. My '74 was manufactured in 5/74, so it is without a doubt a '74 model year car.
Some factory oddities were produced during the '50's and '60's, and something like an air conditioned ZL1 Corvette may have been produced, or a 421 HO tri-power Pontiac Star Chief (That engine was not supposed to be available in that base level car), but the production monitoring in the factories at that time was quite limited.
By the '70's factory oddities were not happening by accident any more. Computers generated the build sheets, and the cars were built following those build sheets. They were either ordered as an oddity, or were built according to the manufacturing plan that way. Any Olds Starfires with the 260 V8 were either an engine swap, or by using factory order codes, ordered with that engine. If that engine were not available as an option, none would even exist in that manufacturing facility to allow the production of that car (with that engine). As long as the factory could create a certain combination, AND it was available in the dealers' available option listing (which indicates availability, from the logistics, accounting and engineering standpoints), they could build that car; otherwise, you would not end up with combinations that were not available to be produced in that production facility. Different noses on cars, which would not normally have that nose, would not be out of the question, since those noses would already be available in the production facility. The same would be true for interior and trim options."1.27 How can I insure my restored H-Body?
Clyde (CJBIAGI) suggests:
"It is important to have proper insurance on these old cars. Especially if it is in the type of condition that you are talking about. Book value is going to be of very little help in a situation like this. It's also going to be tough to have the car "appraised" after an accident. It is also amazing to me that even people who like these cars never seem to think that they are worth much money. If we don't think they are worth much, how are we going to convince others that they are worth decent money? I have my 75 monza insured for $10,000 (State Farm) and I am seriously considering having it profesionally appraised. When I purchased the antique/collector insurance I could have it insured for this amount without having it appraised but I am beginning to think that I low-balled it when I talk to others and find out how much their cars are insured for. Granted, this is for a show-worthy modified car but think about how many "drivers" are out there insured for more than $10,000. You don't get much of a used car for $10,000 any more."
Bill (bhrinc) says:
"What you need to MAKE SURE your car is covered is a competent agent to sell you what is called in the business as stated amount insurance..you give a value that can be substantiated by receipts or an appraisal and that is how much your policy pays in a loss. My 77, which isnt even done, is covered for 3500, even if it is my fault. I pay 135 a half... great value if you ever need it... as good as full coverage. I even have roadside service and towing for that low price. It is through American Family by the way. So everybody, please insure your h-body so no one loses out... with regular insurance your gonna be lucky to get 500 bucks out of most h-bodies in an accident."
Ken (mahoy78spyder) adds:
"I knew someone who had a completely original, low mile 71 Vega that was totaled and I spent lots of time researching and providing the owner with my proof that these cars are worth more than the $300 the insurance wanted to pay this person! Unfortunately it didn't work. Clyde has the best answer of all.... get it insured for the value you think it's worth and/or the value you have in it, taking into account any modifications. I also like the idea of getting a professional appraisor to come and document it. That's the only way we're going to get the insurance companies to take us seriously."
Dave (vegatex) had this experience:
"I was hit in my recently-restored '76 Vega wagon. I showed the adjuster every receipt I had from everything I had purchased in the past year -- paint shop, weatherstripping, parts and labor, etc. I showed him before and after pictures. I showed him all the old parts I has removed and still had-- all to substantiate the restoration. Next, I got multiple sources for value-- NADA.com, and an Oct, 2000 Old Cars Pricing Guide (any decent book store will have one in the periodical section.) I faxed these to the claim agent at the insurance company. The NADA site has three levels of vehicle quality and the Old Cars Guide uses a typical 5-1 scale. Five is a dog, One is a near-perfect show car that isn't driven. There are definitions in the front to describe specific things to look for to rate your car. In my case, I knew my car was better than a 3, but not quite a 2, so I took the average value between the two- it worked out to $2800.00 on the Old Cars scale, and that was also the average of the middle and top value on the NADA.com site. They only wanted to total the car at 1900.00 until I sent them this stuff, then they agreed to value the car at $2800.00. I settled with them for $2226.00 cash and I keep the car and original title-- $2800 plus TTL, minus 200.00 deductible, minus $560.00 salvage value (I thought that was too high, but decided to quit while I was ahead!). I found good junkyard parts to fix the car for $242.00 and the frame shop is straightening it and fixing dings in the body panels for $1200.00. Bottom line-- NEGOTIATE!! Don't let them tell you what your vehicle is worth if you can substantiate its quality and find numbers to back you up!"
Ken (kckken) writes:
"I can relate to your dilemma -- I went through the same things when my 1980 Starfire GT was hit by some little puke who decided red lights didn't apply to him. Oddly enough, the other 1980 Starfire I now own _is_ red:-) But anyway, here's what I did to get my settlement ($3300.00 and keep the car):
1) Get any info you can about the car. The H-Body FAQ is extremely valuable when it comes to production numbers, and you'll find the Starfires are much rarer than a comparable Monza. I found out that there were more Monzas made in 1980 than the total 1975 - 1980 Starfire production run!
2) Look for _any_ H-Bodies for sale. Get as many as you can, in as close to the same condition as your car was or better. If you can find Starfires, even better. I believe that if I could have found Wade's Starfire (the one I now own) before I settled for the car I could have had them buy it and ship it to me. But if I would have done that I would have missed the fun of traveling back to South Carolina, meeting Wade and his family, picking up the car, traveling back up to Charlotte and seeing all we saw there, then driving back to Kansas.
3) Compose a letter that includes the exhibits listed above. In this you'll want to show what comparable H-Bodies are going for and just how much rarer your car is, er, was. Insist that you want to be restored to the place you were (with another Starfire if possible) prior to the accident. After all, isn't that what we carry insurance for? Besides, it was _his_ fault, not yours.
Farmers Insurance actually told me when they asked about a settlement they "didn't know what the car was worth", and I reiterated this to them in the letter as well, thus my belief that I could have had them ship Wade's car to me.
My car is repairable, and will be eventually. If you have the room and time to deal with it you still might be able to salvage some parts off of it to make it worth your time to keep it and get a settlement like I did. Here's a page that I made dedicated to my Starfires: http://members.aol.com/ks7racing/bullets.htm"1.28 What Monzas came with white letter tires?
Ken (mahoy78spyder) explains:
... On that 79 "Take It To The Limit" Monza Spyder ad, you can clearly see that the tires say "Firestone - Steel Belted Radial". You can also see these same white letter tires used in another ad, the 1980 "The Anatomy of a Spyder" Monza Spyder ad. Here's the rundown on what I've seen in the "majority" of Monza publications (whether it be dealer brochures, magazine ads, or articles)
1975 - dealer brochures (two different ones offered that year) did not show any white letter tires. This was a wierd year for the white letter tire. Looking back through probably 30-40 magazine articles I found only a handful of examples of 1975 Hbodies with white-letter tires. Road & Track featured a "General Steel Radial", another article featured a "Goodyear", while the June '76 issue of Hot Rod clearly shows a California 350 Monza with "Firestone Steel Belted Radial" tires. *shrug* That blew my theory that those Firestone's didn't appear on the Hbody until '77.
1976 - Another iffy year. A '76 Monza 2+2 "A small car and then some" ad I have shows a "General" tire on the action shot of the Monza that's kicking up dust, but on the same ad, there is a closeup of a Monza tire w/ aluminum wheel that clearly shows a "Goodyear Belted Radial" (different tires on the same ad) In a 1976 "Street Machine" magazine article it featured a '76 Skyhawk with "Uniroyal Steel Belted Radial" tires. The Motor Trend Sep '76 article on the notchback Spyder shows the "Firestone Steel Belted 500." And finally, the dealer brochure for this year did not even show a white letter tire. What a weird year for tire selection.
1977 - This year things started to standardize for the Firestone tire. In the dealer brochure it shows a car fitted with the "Firestone Steel Radial 500" Other magazine articles also show the same tire. Also this is evidenced by Bob's (blbeck's) pristine original 77 Spyder. http://albums.photopoint.com/j/ViewPhoto?u=1254274&a=9476680&p=31101077
1978 - Same for this year - the dealer brochure shows the "Firestone Steel Radial 500" (to include the 2-page spread of the red '78 Spyder - yea!) and other articles from 78 too, such as the 1978 Car Craft "The Meeting of the Monzas" article.
1979 - This year we're on to the "Firestone Steel Belted Radial" white letter tires. (dropping the 500's) But oddly enough, in the dealer brochure the black Spyder has purposely "disguised" white letter text on it. (this is probably the one you were talking about Marco)
1980 - "Firestone Steel Belted Radial" tires in every ad and even on the cover car (white Monza Spyder) of the 1980 dealer brochure.
To be honest, it really depended on the availability of the tire when the car was produced. If you read the fine print of the dealer brochures, it states: "...white-lettered tires which are supplied by various manufacturers."
Another interesting note about the reputation of those Firestone tires in those days. The Sep '76 issue of Car and Driver tested the best 13" tires they could find using a 76 Olds Starfire (yea!). Of the eight different brand tires tested, Firestone was not one of them. C&D said, "We did not waste time on pretenders. Only a very small group of tires made the cut. We chose those that had reasonable credentials." Guess the Firestone was a "cost-effective" tire for GM to use but not the most favored one in the auto world. Oh well.1.29 What is the "Vert-a-pact" option (VK5)?
In short, it added parts to the cars so they could be shipped, by rail, packed vertically, to save space.
Ken (mahoy78spyder) researched this too: "...now that you know what "Vert-a-pac" is, I'll bet you're wondering why you would have an RPO for that if it only meant that it would be shipped differently. Well, the vert-a-pac rail cars required that the cars be able to be driven on and driven off with no mechanical work needed. This drive-on/drive-off requirement was difficult to meet because all liquids had to be aboard, so the VK5 RPO was created. Modifications included:
- a baffle in the oil pan to prevent flooding the forward cylinders with oil. - off-center filler caps on the battery. - a plug in the fuel-tank vent line. - an overflow hose from the float bowl to the charcoal canister. - tilting the windshield-washer bottle 45 degrees. - plastic spacers between the splash pans and the engine to reinforce the motor mounts.
Also, since you're from Oregon, your VK5 RPO would make sense as this option was only for "west coast-bound" cars in an effort to reduce shipping costs. A conventional rack rail car would hold only 18 cars (in the open), but a Vert-a-pac would hold 30 (under roof)."