The Vega 3-door hatchback coupe, the smallest in Chevrolet's line to date, was an immediate success when introduced as a 1971 model. In its initial year, Chevrolet sold 168,308 units with increasing year-to-year sales thereafter. Powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine with 110 horsepower in highest form, the Vega was Chevrolet's answer to growing sales of imports and to Ford's Pinto. One of those Vegas became this car with conversion for drag racing during 1975-1976.
By then, Bill Jenkins' 'Grumpy's Toy X' Pro Stock Vega had shown the way to big time wins. Whether 'copied' or 'inspired', much of the configuration in Jenkins' Vega found its way into this car, built by Tom Monaco, Jr. of C.F. Race Cars in Manchester, Connecticut. The light weight and 97-inch wheelbase, Chevrolet's shortest up to that time, proved to be an ideal match for the RPO-Z28 5-liter V8 that was capable of consistent 9-second blasts down the quarter-mile. Depending on weight configuration, this car raced many years in eight Gas class or Pro Stock class in the hands of Al Gary, and it was a favorite at Englishtown, New Jersey and other area drag strips.
In the late 1970's, this car was retired from racing and stored in the Gary garage from 1978 until sold in 2003 to the current owners. This Vegas was only refurbished to as-raced configuration and it is again making noise in Nostalgia Pro Stock racing events.