Chevrolet Vega 4-cyl autotran '70?

This was one of the world's great cars -- NOT. Purchased in 1979, almost ten years old, from the omnipresent used-car Miami dealer Abraham, we found that the heater had been plugged off (which was no great problem locally), that the A/C was temperamental, that the rear window leaked copiously in the rain. It required the highest of gas octanes. Nonetheless, it served as our runabout until being passed on to Llew and Hillary who, in a notable odyssey, drove it up to NYC [Hillary ever urging me on to speedlimit + 20 rates. She named its bleached metallic color "Fly-Eye Green".] I have a sort of memory that it bottomed a little too much in one of the city's many potholes, and wiped off the oil pan. [Correct. Twice, actually. First on 181st and second on 88th. I became intimate friends with the junk yard administrators behind Shea Stadium in Queens who had a special section devoted to Vega aluminum oil pans--$25.] That car was full of innovative ideas which, Llew tells me, were the gifts of John DeLorean, and none of which worked. [e.g. the oil filler cap made from solid black rubber which was supposed to "snap" on or off. In New York winters, it became an inflexible brick. Bits of its lip, the only part you could grip, were chipped off from failed attempts. Due to aluminum cylinder walls and leaky sumps, oil checks and fills were almost daily events. My body's only tattoo shines from the knuckle of my right forefinger. . .In this one episode, where I had mustered utmost effort, only to finally have it come free unexpectedly and send my hand against the sharp edge of the camshaft cover. It sliced deeply into my finger, leaving a dark motor oil telltale visible to this day.

The only thing I can give credit for was the low-oil engine cutout, featured, supposedly, only on the Cadillac and Vega. I found this useful as I made my way across Manhattan to the Bear Service Center, with yet another hole in my oil pan, leaving a black drip trail along 96th Street. When the engine would stop every block or so triggered by the low-oil switch, I'd coast to the side, lift the hood, and pour in another quart or two of Wolf's Head 10W-30.]

Another failed effort on the part of General Motors.