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Dzus at the wheel, circa 1975 at Westhampton—10.70s

Prior to the purpose-built drag race iteration, Dzus terrorized the southern shore of Long Island in his Pro Street, quick-release Vega. Look who wrote the story!

nce upon a time (back in the day), Ted Dzus built a street car. The basis for it was a Vega, a very popular candidate, both for the drag strip and for the street. Although the crafty engineers at Chevrolet were undoubtedly the instigators when they pieced together a one-off all-aluminum small-block in the very early ‘70s and shoveled it into a Vega coupe as an “engineering exercise.” 

There were no aluminum V8s at the time of course, but there were plenty of Vegas and plenty of small-blocks awaiting the call. Enter Don Hard Race Cars, Inc., hands-down pioneer of these potential bottle rockets. Hardy developed a complete V8 Vega swap kit and sold thousands of them, and at least one of them to Dzus. Even now, Hardy gets orders for the same kit—and he continues to supply them. Unfortunately, rust and time have seriously gobbled up hordes of likely engine swap candidates.

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