We spotted this RideTech coilover-equipped 1976 Cosworth Vega at Goodguys Del Mar Nationals and it about knocked us over. It is truly a one-of-a-kind custom. In the seventies, the International Motor Sport Association created classes for wide-body road race cars with extra wide tires and matching bodywork. IMSA’s goal was to harness ever-increasing horsepower and aero technology. Though Chevrolet campaigned Corvettes and Monzas in competition, Hooker Headers actually produced a DIY IMSA-style Vega body kit .
This car, owned by Byron Burnham, started out as an orphan project with the Hooker Headers kit. The car needed a lot of work, but it really struck a chord with Byron. He grew up inspired by Greenwood Corvettes and Dekon Monzas. Once in his possession, the body kit was largley replaced with handmade from metal. Numerous changes were made to the original shape including the front spoiler and splitter.
Underneath, the chassis consists of an Art Morrison rear clip combined with hand-fabricated front suspension. It’s safe to say that off the shelf parts simply do not exist for IMSA-style Vegas. RideTech universal adjustable coilovers are mounted at all four corners. The car has great stance with wheel arches that hug the tire sidewalls. The split-personality paint job has a retro vibe.
Hardware includes stack-style electronic fuel injection, Wilwood brakes with floor-mounted pedals, handmade 1-3/4″ headers and fat ET Minilite-style wheels. There is a lot more going on including a Tremec TKO500 transmission, on-boards fire suppression and a full roll cage with overhead switch panel. Custom fabricated touches can be found from end to end.
We took a short spin in the Vega and it feels fast. Anytime you combine a short 97 inch wheelbase with an LS3 V8, the math really works. We can’t wait to see it on an autocross.
To read an older article about this car, click HERE
For information about universal coilovers, click HERE