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Grumpy's Toy IX 1972 Vega rebuild


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Well, it's has been a while since I looked at some of my old Pro Stock builds. Took out my Grumpy's Toy Vega and had never realized that when I build it in the early 80's that MPC had made several mistakes. The engine was a 350 ci Chevy with an auto trans and Holley 4500 carbs, all wrong. Found a nice 302 (331ci) engine with a 4 speed trans in a '68 Camaro Z/28 kit, added a correct high rise manifold with dual Holley 660 cfm carbs. Found a good set of proper headers.  I think it looks better now.  Pic shows rebuild with original kit engine next to it. I guess I need to go thru my other Pro Stocks and look for other mistakes. 

Grumpy's Toy Vega with original engine.JPG

Edited by magicmustang
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I'm not even sure the kit engine is a 350 because all Chevy Generation 1 small block engines looks pretty much the same on the outside.
This engine looks more like a 396-454 big block if you go by the evenly spaced exhaust ports and the valve covers, the intake manifold is not Chevy at all as the intake ports should be siamesed even on the big block, so it looks more like Ford or Mopar Hemi.

Your engine choice looks a lot better and more correct and you did a good job.

Edited by Force
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44 minutes ago, Force said:

I'm not even sure the kit engine is a 350 because all Chevy Generation 1 small block engines looks pretty much the same on the outside.
This engine looks more like a 396-454 big block if you go by the evenly spaced exhaust ports and the valve covers, the intake manifold is not Chevy at all as the intake ports should be siamesed even on the big block, so it looks more like Ford or Mopar Hemi.

Your engine choice looks a lot better and more correct and you did a good job.

The side of the kit box said it was a "small block Chevy 350 engine" but your right, every thing else was incorrect.

grumpy's toy vega box.jpg

Edited by magicmustang
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Well a small block has four bolts holding the valve covers, two on top and two on the bottom...the kit covers looks to have three on the bottom...even that is wrong as a big block has four on the bottom and three on top.
MPC hasn't been known to do absolutely correct kits and this one is not an exception.

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The engine in the original kits is a big-block, the first MPC Vega with it was the Street Funny in '71.  The Jenkins kit had the gutted interior but still had the stock chassis with molded-in exhaust detail and radiused rear wheel openings with no flare.  The '74 Bruce Larson kit had the modified chassis and bigger wheel tubs in the interior, same hood (incorrect for '74, the scoop didn't work with the later front end), same big-block engine and automatic transmission.

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Wow, I’ve had this kit on the back of my bench for years. I’ve always wanted a accurate Grumpy’s Vega. I’ve corrected the rear wheel openings, and recently discovered the Chevy Monza  kit has a more accurate front suspension. Yours looks great, a much needed inspiration for me.  I for one really appreciate you guys posting you projects and finished builds. It makes me want to get back to the bench. 

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30 minutes ago, Oldschool4x4 said:

This is a question and not a jab, shouldn't the engine be black?

Grumpy was well known for painting his engines black, but I don't know if he was still doing this in 1974. Will have to look in the book tonight. 

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4 hours ago, Oldschool4x4 said:

This is a question and not a jab, shouldn't the engine be black?

Yep, but I would have to disassemble it again, so I'll live with it. I believe the engine bay was white and the windshield wipers were deleted, too. Oh well, maybe on the next rebuild!

jenkins 72 vega engine.jpg

Edited by magicmustang
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/8/2019 at 3:22 PM, magicmustang said:

Yep, but I would have to disassemble it again, so I'll live with it. I believe the engine bay was white and the windshield wipers were deleted, too. Oh well, maybe on the next rebuild!

 

Okay, took it apart again and painted the firewall white, the wheel wells and radiator wall aluminum. I like the red engine so I'm gonna leave it even though Grumpy painted them black. 

 

Grumpy's Toy IX Vega engine swap Aug 2019.JPG

Edited by magicmustang
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  • 2 months later...
On 8/3/2019 at 4:06 PM, magicmustang said:

 I guess I need to go thru my other Pro Stocks and look for other mistakes. 

Well, I redid 10 of my Pro stock builds (MPC and Johan). Found a bunch of mistakes that I needed to correct. That was fun and rewarding. There is so much information available now.

Edited by magicmustang
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