1,050 Canuck Editions: 1975 Chevy Laguna S3

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Not too long ago, we were lamenting the loss of a former Barn Finds feature, a Chevrolet Laguna S3 that ended up in a junkyard. That was a sad sight, and really drove home how important it is to aggressively pursue a project car if you have the chance to save it. Fortunately, this 1975 Laguna S3 here on craigslist is in much better shape than the junked car was and has a good shot at being someone’s next project.

First, thanks to Barn Finds reader Clarke B. for this excellent find. Although this ’75 example is on craigslist in Michigan, it sounds as if the car originated in Canada, since the seller claims it is one of just 1,050 manufactured across the border. Of course, it could have been intended for U.S. sale all along, but I suppose the factory it was produced in holds some historical value for fans of this model. It has only 43,000 miles from new and is listed with a $6,500 asking price.

The Laguna S3 cars came with a lengthy features and options list, but the earlier cars came with more of the desirable bits standard. Beginning in the 1974 model year, the swivel bucket seats, center console and sport-style steering wheel all became options after being standard on the earlier S3s. No word from the seller what his car came from the factory with, so it could be light on features; however, the later cars at least came with the NASCAR-inspired aero-style nose.

If I were to own an S3, I’d probably look for an earlier model, but you really can’t go wrong with whichever generation you choose. All S3’s came with firmer shocks and springs, a front sway bar and Rallye wheels, just like this example is equipped with. The really hot ticket was to spec one out with a 454 and a 4-speed, but this automatic transmission-equipped survivor was definitely built as more of a cruiser than a brawler. Do you think the Canadian-market history makes it more collectible?

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  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Looks good to me. I once had a 74 Malibu 2 dr 350ci 3 on the tree. Miserable mileage and performance till I did a little carb and distributor work on it after the warranty ran out. Usual rust spots to watch (right behind the wheels).
    This one looks pretty good to me, can’t see indication of body damage but not the easiest to tell. One thing I didn’t have so might be specific to a Laguna is the snorkel off the air cleaner to the radiator support.

    Other than fixing anything that needed attention, I’d drive it as is.

  2. Tom Driscoll

    Since I’m in Detroit and this car caught my eye, I emailed seller for specifics and more pics of the car…still waiting to hear back from them…

  3. Tom Driscoll

    Just noticed his description states call or text – no email. So why did he put his email address in under the reply tab?

    • Horse Radish

      Default setting for craigslist.
      You’d be surprised how many people forget to add their phone number OR are paranoid about listing them. Best sign of a flipper if they start spelling out numbers

  4. J Jefferson

    In 1976 there were just over 1,000 white Chevelles with red interiors and striping that had Olympic Rings decals on them. Is that what the seller is thinking he has on his hands?

    • Jeff Adema

      White 76 olympic like mine white with red olympic stripe and white swivel bucket interior. 74,000 original miles, original paint…

  5. Chris In Australia

    I was never a fan of the Colonnades, but they are growing on me.

  6. Tom Driscoll

    Compared to the previous generation, these cars had less horsepower, better ride/handling/braking, and lower interior quality. Whether you like the styling is a topic for debate. For the restorer, not a lot of aftermarket parts being made yet, so expect to search for quality used or nos interior/exterior pieces. Values seem to be on a slow creep upward.

    • Poppy

      They also really packed on the weight starting in ’73. ’68-’72 A-bodies were about 3400-3600 lbs whereas these mid ’70s Colonnades were pushing 2 tons. My first car handed down from Dad was a 4-door ’73 Cutlass Supreme. Nice car, but anemic compared with the ’70 Cutlass Supreme coupe I quickly replaced it with.

  7. Rock On

    Drove a 1975 Malibu Classic through three years of college. Very similar cars, but mine had no louvers on the side windows. It did have the ducting to the air cleaner. I added Appliance headers and a 450 cfm Holley four barrel as I had a 50 mile daily round trip commute to school.

  8. Rick

    Had a ’76 until it succumbed to tin worm. This one looks like it’s on the same path. Almost looks like my old ride though – white, red interior, swivel bucket seats.. great car.

  9. Stephen Taylor

    Nothing wrong with a Colonnade that can’t be fixed with a Chevy Performance crate motor, some suspension components from Global West, a few gallons of POR-15, three dozen patch panels, and ten thousand dollars worth of NOS or reproduction soft goods…

    • Greg

      Best comment ever

  10. Al

    If this is a Canadian car for 1975, it is doubtful it would register mileage. Kilometers were introduced to Canadians, September 1, 1974. Early public release of new 1975 cars in late 1974, would in all likelihood register Km/hr on the speedometer and accumulate kilometers.
    It was probably built to be sold in USA.

    • stumack

      The Metric implementation was September 1, 1977. 1978 models were the first to have metric speedometers and odometers.

      • Al

        I was married in August 1974, and was surprised to come back to Canada from a USA honeymoon on September 1st. The road signs were metric. Most US cars going into Canada that day were doing 100 mph, not 100 Km/hr.
        My divorce papers stated I had gotten married in 1974. Somethings you remember and some things you only wish to forget or never had happened in the first place.

    • Jeff Adema

      They do register miles on odometer and with Miles / KMs on the speedometer…like my el camino

  11. Royal Ricci

    I like the older 73 model with the round tail lights. You hardly see them at all. My friend’s mother had one back in the 80’s and it was all rotted out in the rear quarters. My other friend used to use this car to experiment on his burgeoning mechanical skills like adjusting the lifters with it running.

    • Tom Driscoll

      I agree, I think ’73 was the best year for all the collonade’s

  12. Jerry HW Brentnell

    with our dollar worth 75 cents against your us dollar I’m surprised that there isn’t more canadian iron turning up on here! dealers up here are selling used late model suv,s and pickups by the train load into the states for the us buck!

  13. kevin

    it’s sad when i see old cars in the junkyards

  14. racer99

    Latest episode of Americarna they grafted a front end off one of these onto an El Camino — looked pretty good.

  15. Greg

    I have a nose piece from one of these for
    sale Great Shape $300.00 call Greg at 316-409-7862 in Wichita ,ks

  16. jeff

    I’m looking for one of these if anyone has any leads

  17. Jeff Adema

    Love the Laguna. My 76 Laguna with 21,000 original miles…


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