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Cars > Challenges > “71Panel” Vs “Sleeper”


vegavairbob’s Profile Photo



wvhippie’s Profile Photo


Wharncliffe, West Virginia
United States


1971 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express


1976 Chevrolet Vega GT


Photo of: 1971 Chevrolet Vega Panel Express
Photo of: 1976 Chevrolet Vega

No longer owned


Head to Head


About “71Panel”

Mediterrian Blue - Black seat trim

1 of 7,800 Panels of 277,700 1971 Vega production.
Production date - January 1971

140 CID (2.3 L) Aluminum Block Inline-4
3-Speed Manual Transmission

I searched for a stock Vega Panel Express for many years. I found the first year model in a print classified ad in 2003. It's a southern car, from Alabama. 53k miles. The previous owner stored the car indoors since the 70s and had refinished the car in its original color shortly before I bought it. I have added many GM nos parts including most recently, engine mounts, clutch, clutch cable, radiator hoses and air cleaner.
The Vega panel was awarded "Best In Show" Nov. 17, 2013 at the Autoseum Car Show, Mineola NY.

Only 2% of total Vega production, the Panel Express is a one-passenger panel delivery based on the Kammback wagon with steel panels in place of the wagon's fixed rear side glass. Classified as a truck, the panel featured a Chevy Van low-back driver's seat, a deleted rear seat - in its place an enclosed storage area under the load floor. An auxiliary front passenger seat was optional.

About “Sleeper”

I drove a 72 Vega Wagon with a SBC in it to High School. I let it get away from me while in college. I had a lot of good times in the car. When the chance came to get this one I couldnt pass it up. This one has a 69 396 and a muncie 4-speed. The workmanship on the conversion is super I wish I could take credit for it but it was all done when I got it. It is a real sleeper. Still has the roof rack. It will fly. It surprises a lot of Camaros & Mustangs.


Specs for “71Panel”

Dimensions - Capacities
Length: 169.7 in
Width: 65.4 in
Height: 52 in
Wheelbase: 97 in
Front track: 55.1 in
Rear track: 54.1 in
Ground clearance 4.8 in
Oil capacity w/filter 4 US Qt
Fuel capacity: 11.1 US Gal
Turning circle btw. curbs: 33 ft
Drag coefficient estimated by a-c: 0.47
Curb Weight - 2230 lb

Aluminum Cylinder Block / Cast-Iron Cylinder Head
Engine manufacturer: Chevrolet
Engine type: spark-ignition 4-stroke
Cylinders alignment: Line 4
Displacement: 2287 cm3 / 139.6 cui
Main bearings 5
Valves per cylinder: 2
Additional features: Rochester 25MV 1-barrel; SOHC
Bore: 88.93 mm / 3.501 in
Stroke: 2.07 mm / 3.625 in
Compression ratio: 8 : 1
Power net: 80 hp / 4400
Torque: 121 ft-lb / 2400

Traction: RWD (rear-wheel drive)
Gearbox: Opel - Germany
Transmission type: manual
Number of gears: 3
Gear ratios (overall):
I 3.14 (7.94)
II 1.68 (4.25)
III 1 (2.53)
Final drive ratio std: 2.53
Standard tires: A78 x 13

Top speed: 99 mph
0-60 (s) - 13.2
0- 1/4mile (s): 19.4
speed at 1/4mile: 73 mph
Fuel consumption: extra-urban / city / highway / average combined: 27-32 / 16-19 / 27-32 / 22.8

1971 Chevrolet Vega-
Motor Trend 1971 Car of the Year
Car and Driver 1971 Readers Choice Poll - Best Economy Sedan

Specs for “Sleeper”

No specifications listed.


Factory Options for “71Panel”

1HV05 Vega 2300 Panel Express Truck 2141.00
A01 - Glass, Soft Ray Tinted: All Windows 37.95
A61 - Seat, Auxiliary 67.15
AS5 - Belts, Shoulder 21.20
PJ6 - A78-13/B Bias Belted Ply White Stripe 49.75
U63 - AM Radio, Pushbutton 62.55
Factory Installed Options Subtotal 238.60
Destination Charge 54.00
Total Amount 2433.50

Pricing from "Vega Options And Prices" - September 10, 1970

GM Right-Hand Mirror-nos
GM Door Edge Guards-nos
GM Floor Covering, Mats - Black (2 Front)-nos
Covercraft "Noah" Car Cover - Custom-Fit, Vega Wagon

-Firestone 175/80R13 FR380 Radial, white stripe (4)
-Firestone A78x13 Deluxe Champion Bias-Belted, white stripe (1) orig equip new spare
-Firestone A78x13 Deluxe Champion Bias-Belted, white stripe (4) orig. equip.

GM parts-nos:
door weatherstrips LH/RH, front & rear bumpers, front & rear valence panels, grille, front & rear nameplates, LH mirror & bracket, taillght bezels, ignition lock cylinder, accelerator pedal, hood release cable, steering wheel & shroud, door bumpers, shift knob, shifter boot, shifter boot bezel, parking brake boot/bezel, door lock knob ferrals, door lock access plugs, shoulder belt retainers, ash tray - first design, load floor latches, cargo area plugs, master cylinder cover, radiator shroud, front shock access plugs, motor mounts, clutch, clutch cable, AC fuel pump, AC Powerbeam headlamps, AC gas cap, AC air cleaner, AC spark plugs, Delco spiral shocks - dated 1971, Delco ignition wire set, Delco dist. cap, Delco point set/condenser, fan belt, radiator hoses, Trico wiper blade refills, oil filler plug, oil dipstick, muffler & tailpipe, liftgate weatherstrip (repro), heater core (four seasons).

GM partial engine-nos:
Vega 140 CID aluminum block (fitted w/ pistons, rods, crankshaft)
purchaced Oct. 2011 (in storage).

Factory Options for “Sleeper”

No factory options listed.


Mods for “71Panel”


Mods for “Sleeper”

Big Block Chevy & Muncie 4-speed.


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Points for 71Panel Total Votes Points for Sleeper
31 13 34


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Cars > Challenges > “71Panel” Vs “Sleeper”

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