1 Of 10 Bicentennial Wonder! 1976 Chevrolet Bonanza

I remember the US Bicentennial as an explosion of red, white and blue everywhere for an entire year. Evidently, Chevrolet got into the act with 500 Spirit of 76 trucks, and only 10 of them were Bonanza models (according to the seller, who apparently is a scholar regarding Bicentennial car models). It’s located in Ankeny, Iowa and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is starting at $5,000. Naturally, there’s a reserve and it’s higher than that.

This truck is a spectacular survivor, with paint, decals and interior surviving intact from the factory. There’s some question as to whether the push bar on the front was added later, but the all important trim and decals seem to be there and be in nice shape as well. The seller states it is 99% rust free, but does not go into details as to where the 1% is. I don’t see it in any of the pictures, but most of them aren’t of very high resolution.

If you’re looking at those front hubs, you’re correct; this is a four wheel drive truck. Shots of the underneath look terrific and it really does seem to be in stellar condition. Apparently this same truck (same pictures) was for sale in May of last year for $35,000 (look in the comment section for the price). I wonder if it sold, and if not, what the owner is looking for this time?

The interior of these trucks is extremely distinctive, and this one looks to be in terrific shape, even down to the carpet. It doesn’t look like 41,000 miles; they must have been careful ones. The current owner says the truck lives in his garage and hasn’t seen rain since they have owned it.

Nothing particularly special under here, although we are told that everything works and the only things non-original are the radio (but the dash wasn’t cut) and the bed liner. Sounds like a great truck, but I’m wondering about that price. What do you think it’s worth if it really is the only Bonanza survivor out of the 10 made?


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  1. Dave

    The 1% rust can be seen in the lower door seam. Picture #16

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks, Dave, I missed that one!

      • Bodey

        did you write this article?

    • Roger

      What happen to the door panels? I had one of these and the door panel was the only way you wd ever know it was a bi centennial. Door panel had a bald eagle in middle left said 1776 to the right 1976 and said bi centennial on there to

      Like 1
  2. L.M.K. Member

    There are a lot of other things I would spend that kind of money on …. Nothing really special about this truck other than the low production #’s. The corny stripes don’t compliment it at all . Strictly imo…..

  3. Texas Tea

    I would seriously doubt the grill guard, or rear bumper for that matter would have been a part of this factory package.

    Very nice looking truck, and I don’t recall ever seeing one of these as a dealership mechanic of this time period.

  4. JW

    If I were to buy it which it isn’t that far away that push bar would have to go, it IMO just ruin the looks of the truck. But IMHO it’s not worth 35K just for the marketing graphics. Nice truck otherwise.

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    Straight truck aside the dealer add-on stuff. Any and all accessories are slick my book.

  6. JW454

    I’m in agreement with ditching the grille guard. I also don’t care for spray in bed liners. They’re fine on a everyday work truck but, I’ve never cared for that option to protect the bed.
    Nice old truck otherwise.

  7. bil

    if your going to sell something as a rare model you should remove all of the JC whitney crap off of it and make it original.. the rear bumper, brush guard, tailgate cap, that ugly roof cap thing, the side step, chrome exhaust tip, receiver hitch.. someone went on a JC whitney shopping spree by the looks of it..

    • Jim

      yeah, but in 1976 in farm country, JC Whitney was the bomb!!!

  8. grant

    I’ll not impress anyone with this, but I’ve always thought these trucks were homely, anyway. I know, they’re great trucks, I’ve owned several but they just look “blah.” Add in the garish colors scheme and the Whitney add ons and this thing is just bugly!!! I am impressed that it’s still solid, you can pretty much hear these things rust.

  9. Ck

    This truck is way kool .The Bicentennial was a big deal .I was 13 in 76 and It is ingrained in my mind like it happened last year. I remember going to tha mall and seeing a Spirit of 76 Nova,back in those days all the dealers would show off the new cars at the mall.This truck is one of 10 (says this guy ) if thats true this is a RARE truck .So the bumpergaurds are ugly ,no one here owns a socket set?I dont know what its worth ,but if I had deep pockets I’d buy it.I love the paint .I love the interior.I love everything about this old girl.


    It’s a great truck. Some guys or gals don’t like the front bumper guard, take it off, don’t like the tailgate chrome cap, take it off, rear bumper hitch, take it off. These parts are only bolted on. LMC truck offers the same parts not only JC Whitney. The point here is that the truck is rare, it’s appears to be solid, interior needs nothing. Remember, it’s an old truck in beautiful condition. What parts you don’t like on the truck, take off and sell them on Ebay. Why does this seem so difficult? If you are looking at this barn find, you must know a little bit about using a screw driver, pliers and a socket set. I do not believe the vehicle is worth $35000 but it does deserve a decent offer. Still a beautiful truck, Just my opinion guys, [gals]

  11. Rock On Member

    Good solid truck, but for 35 large I would want the dashboard signed by Ben, Adam, Hoss, Little Joe, Hop Sing and Candy.

  12. Big Mike

    I have always wonder how somebody can say never seen rain, I personally have yet to see a trip in one of my classics that I have not been out and it rain, it is part of life. I have been to Iowa and it is pretty in the morning and then a rain will move in all of a sudden because a storm front moves in do to it being apart of the Great America Plains. I guess in Iowa the weather forecaster are better than in Missouri, they must be able to pin point the exact time that in will still raining, so people can move their cars into the garage. Just wondering.

    • JW

      I live in the Kansas City area and travel to Des Moines for the Good Guys Show every July 4th and no the Missouri weather forecasters are just as bad here, the Midwest during spring and summer has to be one of the hardest places in the country to predict storms, they will pop up out of nowhere at any time of the day or night.

    • Clinton

      Not to mention these were on the manufacturers lot and or transport truck/train at some point. No rain my …never mind.

      At any rate unless this truck really jams your bones and you have deep pockets it’s not worth 35k . You could buy several nice examples of gm trucks for that price and have a better investment.

  13. NMCarNut

    Interesting. This truck came standard with the NP203 full time transfer case yet it has locking hubs. And if it were ordered with a part time transfer case, which I doubt you could, it would be included on the service parts list pictured in the auction. So unless the transfer case has been modified for part time or swapped out this is not a workable combination.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Many 203 cases have been modified. For years it was a $50 kit (probably more now).

      NP205 was very common as well so I don’t see anything surprising about that option.

    • M/K

      You could order the NP(new process) 203 with a part time kit right from the factory, seen,used,and worked on many. GMC, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford all used them.

  14. Jay E.

    Why would Chevy make only 10 of anything? 500 would be a low number, 10 isn’t worth the tooling change although he doesn’t say what the Bonanza is. Is there even such a thing as a BiCentennial truck? I’d want more research than the expert owners opinion, without the rare number it isn’t worth near what he is asking. For that matter the decals are ugly on a nice truck.

    Like 1
    • Steve

      This combination, the Bonanza trim level, and the bicentennial package, wouldn’t involve any change in tooling. If in fact it is one of ten, it just happens that the combination of trim packages was ordered. The remainder of bicentennial were another trim level, such as Custom, Cheyenne or Silverado.

  15. Crazycracker

    I would have say it is almost priceless considering no others exist. But it all comes down to how bad someone wants it. Beautiful truck.

    • Brakeservo

      Rarity alone doesn’t equal priceless, some things are rare because after they built the first, they saw there was no desire for anymore!

  16. rustylink

    amazing that a ’76 Chevy pick up is 99% rust free. These were known to rust out pretty bad.

  17. D. Scott

    I would never pay this amount but I think it would go to about 16,000. I’ve seen people pay stupid prices for things though.

  18. Ken

    I would have to do some checking on this one. Most of all Spirit models were produced in 1974. The striping is a little odd but than that is want would make it a diamond in the ruff if this is truly spirit of 76 edition. The Bonanza option only came out once a year and was a limited edition, usually came out in the spring I believe. Not a bad truck.

  19. Doug Towsley

    Truck is in exceptional condition but the paint color and graphics make me gag. It would be a true moral dillema I am glad I dont have. Too nice and rare to change, but I couldnt live with it. Other than some guy who loves this oddity I dont see any kind of resale market. Will be a tough sell.
    But as to the 1976 nostalgia,,, I too remember it well. My parents took us to see the AMTRAK freedom 76 train that travelled around the US. It was a super big deal and took hours in line to shuffle thru the trains exhibits. It was rather anti-climactic really,., But at the time it was something everyone had to go see. Lots of other stuff at the time too. I remember 4th of July as the high point. Looking back It makes me wonder would people get as excited today as back then over a anniversary like this?

  20. Pappy2d

    Shriner Parade truck graphics option.

    Like 1
  21. Jubjub

    1986 called and they want their mirrors back too.

    Just noticed I don’t have any thumbs up or down options anymore.

    I remember that Freedom Train being such a big deal, we rushed out of the house to see it and I was still in my underwear and a t-shirt! Fortunately I was a cute four year old.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      We are updating the server and the rating plugin isn’t playing nicely with the changes.

  22. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Also my favorite pinball

  23. ROY

    One just sold for 700 here in Jourdanton, Texas at a police auction. It was the C10 Bonanza Model.

    Like 1
  24. Domhd

    I own a spirit of 76 bonanza k10 no where near this condition but hey 2 of 10

  25. Robert Burtner

    I have a spirit of 76 Scottsdale Bonanaz short bed, I wonder how many of those there are?

  26. Tim Tracy

    I own a 1976 “Spirit of ’76” Bonanza, in solid red. From my research it is 1 of 1 made in solid red.

  27. bick downing

    i have a spirit of 76 bananza scotsdale 3/4 ton 2wheel drive looking for ofers

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