1-of-319: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am 50th Anniversary

At first glance, this Pontiac Trans Am 50th Anniversary looks like a sad and tired old car, but nothing could be further from the truth. As you scroll down, you will find that the transformation of this car has commenced, and the new owner will have the opportunity to complete the work. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

Well, that certainly looks a whole lot different…and better. This car is a PHS certified 50th Anniversary vehicle, and being fitted with the 455ci HO V8 and no T-Top, that makes it 1-of-319 cars of this specification. The car underwent a full, bare-metal repaint around 4-years-ago, but there are still some details to complete. The paint looks really good, but the car needs its stripes and decals. The correct gold honeycomb wheels are fitted to the car, but they look like they either need a really good clean, or they need to be restored. The owner also says that the front and back bumpers could do with a repaint.

While the 455 engine makes this car theoretically 1-of 319 built, the engine under the hood isn’t numbers-matching. This 455 is period correct, and it has also recently been rebuilt. Backing the engine is a Muncie M22 Rock Crusher transmission. In addition, the cooling system, carburetor, and brakes have all been rebuilt, and a new battery and alternator fitted.

The vast majority of the interior has been restored, with new seat covers, a new headliner, new carpet, and other new trim installed. The original steering wheel is badly worn and will need to be restored. The dash pad is also cracked, while there is also noticeable wear in the gold aluminum instrument surround. Really though, that’s not much to do to complete the interior.

I have a real soft spot for Trans Ams, and the frontal treatment on these ones, with the recessed grilles, is my absolute favorite. This one is a really nice car that has quite a bit of potential. It appears that the work that remains to complete the restoration is relatively minor. The fact that it isn’t a full, numbers-matching car is disappointing but there is something that might make this car quite attractive to any potential buyers. While a good original or restored 50th Anniversary Trans Am can set you back $60,000 or more, bidding on this one has only reached $5,100, and the reserve has been met. So, this Trans Am is definitely going to be finding a new home.

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    what is it the anniversary of? asking because i really dont know.

  2. David F

    1976 was the 50th anniversary of the Pontiac. General Motors introduced Pontiac in 1926 as a model in the Oakland division. It was basically a Chevy but with a 6 cylinder engine instead of a four.

  3. Tom Member

    Wow, I don’t even know where to start. I am a big Pontiac Firebird fan but I have never heard of a 50th Anniversary Pontiac Trans Am. I just might be uninformed. With that said the seller has used the word “restored” which I see this car a a lesson in “What not to do”.

    First off, again I could be uninformed but I don’t really recall any GM car in 1976 with 325 HP.
    New Carpet? When, 43 years ago?
    Again, not an expert on this car but what is going on around the center console around the shifter? Was that factory?
    78K Miles yes but they were either really neglected or it is 78K of 178K miles.

    Panel fit is horrible. What is going on with the hood? Who paints a car without making sure the panel fit, hinges, bodywork, etc, first? That leads me to believe the down to the metal paint resto is questionable at best. Painted 4 years ago? The car looks terrible. If painted 4 years ago why are we repainting the bumpers now, where they never done? Done poorly or improperly?

    Engine compartment, don’t even get me started.

    This is a poor mans restoration OR someone who really does not have an understanding of what a real restoration is. It appears like the restoration of anything where the person did what they “kind of” knew what to do and with the items they didn’t know how to fix they just gloss over. Sorry. “Tired old car, but nothing could be further from the truth” sorry it is the truth BUT the current owner should have left ALL of the restoration up to the next owner instead of doing a half—ed job on what they did do.

    • Jimmy

      I agree with Tom, this T/A would make a good driver as is but that’s it. I think others who are bidding feel the same.

    • r s

      That panel fit looks like I put it together. No, even without experience, I would have never settled for that.
      I say knock off the rough edges and buy it cheap and drive it, though a 1976 455 is not even gonna outrun a new Camry V6.

    • RobB

      In 1976, the 455 was rated at 325 hp. And at less than $6K, I’ll take it in a heartbeat. I had a 76 (sold it) and a 79 with the 403 motor. Put a set of olds 350 heads, a mild cam, headers, aluminum intake and ran 12.50’s in the quarter mile.

      • z28th1s

        The 455 in the Trans Am in ’76 didn’t have 325 HP, it had 200 HP.

  4. Vin_in_NJ

    Everyone is familiar with the Burt Reynolds black and gold ’77 Tans Am, but it was actually this ’76 50th anniversary edition that first had the black and gold, with the black outline eagle on the hood

  5. redwagon

    I’ve never seen a 50th anniversary edition Firebird and I had no idea one could order a 455 in a Firebird in 1976. I’ll bet it was no SD-455.

    Many in my hometown were ‘debadged’ before debadging was a thing. If it were mine I would remove the stickers, maybe leave a screaming chicken on the hood, and clean up the wheels/tires.

    In all honesty, if I could chose one or the other I would rather have a ’76 Formula with the 455 and Muncie, even if it wasn’t an official option.

  6. Bill Obrien

    Its a good start, yes the hood needs to be aligned, and I have stored a corvette that had the same problem with the bumper covers, I pushed it in the garage too far.
    looks like something hit the back of this one. Console has carpet on it, lots of little things missing. but for the price?
    I think its a good deal below 10K. all the hard work is done. just details to have a tire smoking good time.

  7. Vin_in_NJ

    This should be on the fender

    • Matt c

      I had this car and it did not come with this small sticker no where in my paperwork when bought new in 1976 did anything say 50 th anniv, I knew the car was limited but have seen production numbers 110 then 300 how many were really made?

      • DR

        THEN YOU DIDN’T HAVE “THIS CAR”. You probably had a black ’76 455, yes, but not a 50TH Anniversary car; 319 50th 455 cid Anniversary cars, 110 with T-tops – that’s the breakdown.

  8. Saul

    Good luck finding all of the 50th Anniversary stickers specific to this car. I’ve owned two 1976 Firebirds, and there was no indication from the dealer or on the car that 76 was an important year (!!). The seller didn’t even change out the crappy tires from when the car went to the paint shop! Lazy! I would have given the original paint a good polish and clay bar before stripping all the vinyl and painting it, poorly. Wonder what the final number will be?

    • Matt c

      Mine was a 1976 with a 400 no t-top automatic

  9. Brian

    I bought one of these new from Avery Pontiac in Columbus Ohio. As I remember it was about $6000 455 4 speed,super t-10. I only kept the car 10 month,as it was plagued with defects. Great looking car,but it turned me off to american cars for 10 years.

  10. stillrunners Stillrunners Member

    Just rare to find them without T Tops !

    • Joe

      There were actually fewer made with T tops as it was a Hurst special package. They leaked so bad that Pontiac stopped the dal with Hurst to do tje modification.

  11. J Day

    They also had a 50th Anniversary Grand Prix with t-tops (if I remember correctly) which had a special hood ordainment that was like the fender decal on the 50th Anniversary Trans-Am these were the two special editions. How I remember these as my Mom worked a deal on a 50th A Grand Prix and my Dad tried to get it cheaper in the 13th hour and the deal fell through. My Mom reminder him for years over botching that deal.

    Especially after she bought a different Pontiac from another dealer, a 1976 LeMans Sport with a Olds 260 2bbl with 110 hp that could not out run a loaded school bus or milk truck. At 16 I though lucked in and got her 320 hp 350 4bbl LeMans HO Convertible until she took it back. We still have it.

  12. Steve

    200 HP is correct as I had a 1976 Cutlass with the OLDS 455 and it had 190

  13. DR

    Lipstick meet pig.


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