When I first glimpsed this Malaise Era compact wagon in my local wrecking yard, I thought “Wow, I haven’t seen a Vega in a junkyard for years!” Then I saw the grille and realized that I was looking at an example of the very rare Monza wagon, which was a Monza snout grafted onto the discontinued-after-1977 Vega wagon. At the risk of enraging the small but very devoted Vega Jihad, I’m going to pronounce this thing The Most Terrible Station Wagon Detroit Ever Made.
This one has the 3.2 liter version of the venerable Buick V6 engine, which made a pretty-good-for-1979 105 horsepower. You could also get a ’79 Monza with a 130-horse, 305-cubic-inch V8, and one can only hope that a few of these were made with the V8 and the four-speed manual transmission.
The automatic transmission siphoned off much of that V6 power, unfortunately.
The Monza wagon listed at $3974, only 60 bucks more than the ’79 Chevette four-door. The Pinto Pony wagon could be had for $3,633. Meanwhile, the ’79 Honda Civic wagon was priced at $4,759.
I’m trying to dredge up some sadness that this car, which somehow managed to stay on the street for 32 years, is going to be eaten by The Crusher… but I just can’t do it. Next stop, Chinese steel factory!
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