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1976 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO 4-Speed

It was the last year that Pontiac installed the 455 cubic inch V8 engine in the Trans Am. It was only available with a 4 speed transmission and 3:23 rear end. While it was choked down with emissions, it was still a respectable performer, especially compared to other 1976 models. This example seems under priced for its condition and there is only 2 days left in the auction. It is listed here on eBay and the car is located in Canada. The current bid is $15,000 and it has not met the reserve.

The car is painted in Code 75 Buccaneer Red with a red deluxe interior. The red interior on mid 1970’s Pontiacs was closer to a dark red than a bright red. This was one looks to be in excellent shape and you can see the Hurst shifter sticking up between the bucket seats. There is not much of a description in the ad about options but the car does not have air conditioning or power windows.

The L75 455 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at only 200 horsepower in its final year of production. The seller has added 455 HO stickers to the hood scoop and says it is a matching numbers engine. However, the round port 455 HO that was produced in 1971-1972 was the true legendary HO engine. In 1975, Pontiac added the HO stickers to the L75 engine for a short period of time before pressure from auto magazines forced it to be removed. The D port 455 was a reliable engine that produced a prodigious amount of low-end torque.

This car should easily sell for twice the amount bid. There are no pictures of the undercarriage and the fact that it is in Canada, might be holding back some interest in the car. The Trans Am was the torch bearer for performance through the 1970s and this is just one example of Pontiac’s effort to put excitement in the hands of muscle car enthusiasts.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Nostromo

    Go get it. One of the first jobs I performed when getting hired at a GM Fisher Body hardware plant was ‘pressing’ a Fiberglass stiffening panel for the backend of Firebirds. I had to load six (I think) Fiberglass plugs into the mold and then cycle the 150 ton press to come down so that all of the Fiberglass was distributed equally under tremendous heat and pressure. The technical term was “squished”.

    The press cycled back up after the timer felt it had had enough and I’d gingerly pick up the still warm panel then transfer it to a cooling rack. Then I’d repeat the process.

    Years later I saw the mold/die out in the yard preserved in cosmoline in case we had to build additional service parts. I was out there looking for a transfer die that was used in the fabrication of seat adjuster lower channels that were made on a rolling mill. That’s another chapter from Life & Labor at GM’s Fisher Body Ternstedt plant in West Trenton, New Jersey.

    Like 41
    • Avatar photo Des Member

      I am restoring a 1970 Camaro SS 396 and many of its body panels have the T stamped into the body panels for Ternstedt. Its a date code too – T22, Ternstedt 22nd week of 1970 stamping date. Also has some with H

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Nostromo

        That is quite a piece of history. You’ve got an artifact. I don’t know where Ternstedt/Fisher Body did its stamping back then. Might have been Mansfield or Parma, Ohio. I can practically hear the din of the stamping presses, the rush of compressed air to blow-off metalworking fluids and get a general sense of all types of aromas of things used in the manufacturing process.

        My specialty was roll-forming and troubleshooting those processes associated with making components for seat adjusters, manual and electric, used in GM’s vehicles. Our blueprints were marked TEO for Ternstedt Engineering Organization.

        The only program in which I was involved where we did any sort of date coding was the upper channels for the modular seat adjusters which were inaugurated in the early-1990s. I recall getting a tool maker to change the debossed date stamps at the beginning of a new week. Frequently enough we worked on Sunday so we were in-sync right out of the gate. There are/were millions of stamped, roll-formed upper channels out there. Some are still in vehicles being used; a reduced number from their ’90s heyday I’m sure.

        Like 2
  2. Avatar photo al8apex

    Imho the 76 was the better looking of all the 74-81 cars

    A one year only design, the last year of the 455

    Like 16
  3. Avatar photo Maggy

    Nice car and I’m not a red car guy but looks nice on a t/a.I don’t care much for aftermarket wheels but these look nice and tasteful on this ride.Few upgrades like headers , exhaust , and a curved HEI along with a Clifford’s tuned qjet and this thing will wake up nice.glwts.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Dennis E

      Hi, Muncie was out of business by this date. That’s why the T 10s.

      Like 7
    • Avatar photo Dan

      I would upgrade to a 5 or 6 speed and Holley EFI

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo David Hultgren

      The honeycomb wheels are not after market they are the predecessor to the snowflake design

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo maggy

        ummmm…these 17” wheels are not factory.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo aldo chelini

        Those are

        Like 0
  4. Avatar photo C Force

    The 76 trans am i had wasn’t quite this nice,rough around the edges.A 400 with the th350 trans.but it was putting out around 320hp and 385ftlbs torque.would certainly think if you were going to spend the money on the engine rebuild that it wouldn’t just be to stock specs.mine fortunately was federal emissions(true dual exhaust ,no smog pump or catalytic converters)and could originally run on leaded or unleaded,didn’t have the baffle in the filler neck.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Tony Primo

      I was working at a full service gas station when unleaded fuel came out, If the customer complained loud enough, the vehicle could be modified to run on leaded fuel, which was much cheaper. Catalytic converter disappeared and the handle of the windshield washing squeegee was inserted into the filler neck to enlarge the neck to accept the leaded fuel nozzle.

      Like 12
      • Avatar photo ClassicP

        I’m cracking over here. I worked in one of those gas stations 75-77’ we even filled the semi’s diesel fuel in the winter but I never heard about squeegee in the neck of tank. That’s great

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo John s.

        They called the 76 firebirds golden eagle because of the hood .

        Like 2
  5. Avatar photo tim961 Member

    Is it a hassle to import it and register it in the US? Just curious. Are ther extra taxes and fees?

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Johnny Major

      The best I can gather from very quick research is correct paperwork (shipper would help outside normal bill of sale/title) and roughly $1,900 from lower Canada to Florida

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Stan

        Id consider driving it to the new owner for less than that fee 🙌 💰 🚗

        Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Boo Radley

    Back in 86 I had a maroon 76 Trans Am with a 455 and 4 speed. The engine had been built by a local performance builder so it likely had close to 400 hp. I took it as trade from a friend who owed me $1,200. It’s only problem was that the drivers door hinges needed replaced, you couldn’t open the door, and it needed a power steering pump. I still preferred my 75 TA overall though, it felt more like a race car, the 76 was somehow more refined.

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Marko

    Nice example of the last year production 455 4 speed.

    I always thought the factory 200hp rating might have been a little shy of true output.

    A buddy of mine bought a silver 1976 T/A in 1980, that was pretty much the twin of this car, complete with original urethane honeycomb wheels. We took it for a “Top End” test on a lonely stretch of road, and got the speedo wound up to an indicated 145 mph before it started to feel like it wanted to lift. Note: Don’t try this at home folks.”

    I do happen to like the 17 inch aluminum honeycomb look wheels on this Buccaneer Red car. Gives it a touch of modern to go with the classic look.

    Being that Lacombe, Alberta, is just north of Red Deer, towards Edmonton on Highway 2, I would check the underside, as the highway dept used a lot of salt during winter in that area. If it checks out, then this is a great car.

    Like 5
  8. Avatar photo PL

    She looks good, but of course we’d have to see it in person.
    Congratulations to the new owner!

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Dan Palmer

    eBay cars tend to get the most of their action in the last few hours of the auction. As a buyer, unless I won’t have access to a computer around when the auction is ending I don’t bother bidding early.

    Like 3
  10. Avatar photo Steve Weiman

    The evolution of the TA through the 70s seem to mimic Elvis exactly. The 69 starts out lean and every component perfection. By the late 70s – heavy, bulbous, looking and under powered. Elvis was difficult to look at by then too. That said, look up an Elvis performance in the final years, and he is still just pouring it out live despite that exterior appearance. Although I personally would never own a 76 TA, it’s still a Trans Am, and a pretty cool one at that. And Elvis, even at the end, could still blow just about every other performer off the map when he poured on the coals…..

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo ClassicP

      Crazy. Reading your comment made me want to share this: 16 years old driving my friend back to school from Pittsburgh to Miami in a 73’ Trans Am. (Only one speeding ticket) but it was shady. $20 on the spot. My friend is asleep and over the radio is announced Elvis Presley is dead. One of those things where you always remember where you were.

      Like 3
  11. Avatar photo 455RAIV

    Nice T/A – Have the heads milled or a set of early heads installed – open scoop good exhaust and your flying – a New 1975 455 T/A was done for export by Motion performance back in the day Milled heads 800 Holley vacuum sec’s Torker intake – HL Cam – Hooker Chrome side headers -3400 stall auto – 4.10 rear gear etc. and it ran 12’s in the 1/4 mile :)

    Like 5
  12. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    That’s the best “red/color combo of red “ I think I’ve ever seen! Not a huge red color fan for exterior colors ( interior a different story ) but THIS ONE I would buy – absolutely! Even without a/c ( which you could add ) I’d STILL buy this car! I sure wish I was in position to buy this car because if I were – I would be booking a plane ticket to Canada…. Nice article too.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo BA

    I would just drive it over brigde from Windsor to Detroit & not look back ! I used to go to the Ford Windsor engine plant for quality line calls from Bowling Green, OH & unless you have items to declare never was stopped other than the fare just straight across! I’m just guessing but if didn’t declare your importing a vehicle you would pay your bridge fare & off you go!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Des Member

      And then when you present the Canadian registration/title to your local DMV to title it in your name and they ask for the stamped customs import papers what will you do?

      Like 1
  14. Avatar photo Des Member

    Buccaneer Red code 75 is not an original 1976 Trans Am color. The red that year was called Firethorn Red and has more of a carmine/burgundy tone.

    Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Henry

    Back in 1987 I bought a bucaneer red 75 trans am for $1800. 400- 4spd. P.w. tilt wheel. P.s. p.b. no other options. No rust at all anywhere. The non match 400 didn’t bother me. Ran great. Only needed a new clutch. How things changed like we all know. Wish I kept it. I would buy the 76 shown here if I wasn’t finishing my 71 cuda resto. 75 is my favorite yr. Ta . just my taste. Prices, values had already changed when I bought the cuda in 2008. Pd. 15k for it. Stripped rolling shell but solid. I built 4 other cars between then and now. That’s what’s taking so long. Working on it everyday now as I’m getting older and slower fast.

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo Neil R Norris

    A 455 Poncho has the potential for spine snapping torque … I say YES all day to this gem!

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo Gregg Olsen

    No such thing as a 455-HO engine offered in 1976. The last true 455-HO was in 1972.

    Like 0

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