'72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

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'72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

Postby fud2468 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:39 pm

This has the air-cooled Powerglide and was shipped to the West Coast via vertitilt.
It has the original metal air cleaner and the canted coolant recovery bottle, though of course the original battery with offset filler caps is gone(in fact there's now just a large hole where the battery tray once was, which I'd have a hard time to replace).
It has a straight body. Engine has steel sleeves but needs a valve job and I know I'd need to get a camshaft removal tool to get that fixed. If it had a manual tranny I'd definitely try to restore to as original as possible
My feeling is that down the road it will have more collectable value if kept as original as possible given that so many have been modified to drag cars. It's a real dog with the Powerglide and I would go as far as a 4-speed auto if there's one that would bolt to the engine, but that's it.
My son wants to put a V6 and auto into it. In that case te battery would wind in in the rear and the missing battery tray would not be as much of a problem. Whichever way we go, it will remain a street car.
What's your advice?
Thanks in advance,
Ray Mac.
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Re: '72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

Postby sgancarz » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:06 pm

8) Pic's. Share pic's.
1973 Vega GT
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Re: '72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

Postby kgroombr » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:32 pm

Unless you have the original built sheets or window stickers to go with it, you can change transmissions and such and still be original. The VIN has a A or B code to indicated 1 barrel or 2 barrel, and the body tag is just that, paint, trim, seats, etc. I am pretty sure that you can swap the tranny and still be original (you would know but nobody else would be the wiser), but the rear may have to be changed as certain tranny's only came with certain rear differentials.

I am pretty sure I am correct on this one, unless I am missing something. If so, please fill me in as knowledge is power.

Also the 72 Vega used the Opel manual transmission. A lot of folks have dumped them, but I still have them in my 72's and I find they are a good solid transmission. Just don't expect to find parts for them. It uses the same pressure plate as later Vega's, but the clutch is 14 spline I believe. If you go for the Opel tranny, let me know as I can give you info on using a clutch disc meant for a Saturn that fits and works well.

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1972 Chevrolet Vega Kammback GT

Re: '72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

Postby cjbiagi » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:32 pm

It's the old "modified vs restored" question. There are pro's and con's on each side and as always it boils down to what YOU really want to do with the car and what you want the car to be. In terms of "value down the road", these cars are not ever going to set the world on fire in terms of value so I wouldn't let that sway me either way. If you are a purist and want to go that direction then go for it, however realize the car will only be as good as it was when it was built. On the other hand there are a lot of improvements you can do to the car to improve its' performance, looks, handling etc. There's also a budget consideration as well as determining your own abilities to perform the work on the car. How's that for a straight answer? :lol:
Clyde.........75 Monza 2+2
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Re: '72 GT hatchback, how best to restore ?

Postby vegastre » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:00 pm

How's that for a straight answer?

That 's a great answer. I'm going to copy and just post that when someone asks the question again. Let me say the Buick 231 is not a horsepower motor if that is what you're looking for. Yes, its better than the 4cyl. The 3.8 is very torque-ee at the low end and will push the car around quite nicely with a TH350 but in the quarter mile your looking at a 16-18 second car. A tuned 2300 would probably come close to that with a five speed.
Phil Kennedy~
72 Chevrolet Vega GT Hatchback
75 Pontiac Astre SJ Safari Wagon
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