47k Original Miles: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am

It would be difficult to imagine how hard it must be for someone to purchase their dream car brand new, and then one day find that a cruel twist of fate means that they can no longer drive their pride and joy. That is precisely the story behind the sale of this 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. Thanks to a cruel health issue, the owner hasn’t been able to drive the car since 1995. He has decided that the time has come to part with this immaculate, one owner beauty. Barn Finder Pat L spotted the Trans Am for us, so thank you so much for that Pat. Located in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the Trans Am is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $35,900 for this 1970s American classic.

Finished in stunning Carousel Red, the condition of the Trans Am is extremely impressive. The owner claims that the car has never been driven in the rain, or during the Winter. The photos tend to indicate that this is a very clean and solid vehicle, with no obvious rust or corrosion issues. The panels and paint look virtually flawless and are a testament to careful ownership. The owner purchased the car new in October of 1976. It only received fairly light use until the owner had the misfortune of having both legs amputated in 1995. The car has had little use since then, but it does look like it has been stored and maintained extremely well.

The interior of the Trans Am really looks new. The only deviation from standard that I can see is the Alpine radio/cassette player and graphic equalizer. The rest of the interior looks completely stock. The owner says that he has no children, and as a result, the rear seat has never been used. It also appears that he knew precisely what he wanted when he ordered the Trans Am because, in addition to the distinctive exterior paint, he chose the white interior trim, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power trunk release, cruise control, and a tilt wheel.

This has to rate as one of the cleanest engine bays that I have seen in an unrestored Trans Am of this vintage for quite a while. Once again, this is an owner who knew precisely what he wanted. Nestling in the engine bay is the original 455ci V8, while you also get a T-10 manual transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The owner states that the car has only covered 47,000 miles, and if it really has only had limited use since 1995, then this is definitely conceivable. The owner also holds all of the original documentation for the car that verifies that this truly is a one-owner vehicle. He doesn’t mention whether the car is ready for the road as it currently stands, but it would be fair to expect that there might be some work required before the Trans Am embarks on any long drives.

As an original, one-owner, low mileage example, it would be hard to find a nicer 1976 Pontiac Trans Am than this one. The owner chose a nice assortment of optional equipment, and the result is a fairly desireable car. It looks like the sort of car that will need little work before it is ready to return to the road, and it is a car that is sure to attract plenty of admiring glances wherever it goes. For the person who is looking for an immaculate 1970s classic, this might be just the car.


  1. Mike

    This is the year I liked for the Screaming Chicken. The only year the car didn’t share it’s front end with any other year. This one looks very nice indeed.

    Like 19
  2. Sparkster

    Kind of a sad story if you read the craigslist ad. What a shame what happen in 1995.

    Like 15
  3. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    What a beautiful thing. My type of car and I hope the owner finds a decent buyer.
    A sad story.

    Like 10
  4. Dave

    For as much as we bash automatic transmission cars the irony is that if this car was one then hand controls could be fitted.

    Like 13
  5. Steve

    These are great handling cars especially for the time. I learned to drive a stick in a white 76 TA with a 400 and four speed. It was my late older brothers car. It wasnt too impressive power wise when he bought it, but when he rebuilt the 400, IIRC he used heads from an earlier 389 ti raise the compression. He also installed headers, “bigger” cam an aluminum aftermarket intake and a big ol Holley 750 double pumper. (Half the vehicles we owned, and we owned a lot) had a Holley 750 DP! Gas mileage be damned! 😬) . He He was 8 years older than me. I was around 10 yo. The first time my mom needed to back it out of the driveway to get her car out he was at work with my dad in his truck. He had installed a Hurst Super Shifter with reverse lock out and she couldn’t figure it out. I showed her how. She asked how i knew and luckily i thought quickly and said it was from watching him. As far as i knew she never found out he was letting me drive it. (We lived in rural south Texas where there still aren’t a lot if cars on the road!) my first driving memories with this brother (we also had a brother ten years older than me.) were around 1975/ 76 when i was 5 or 6 yo, sneaking the older brothers red/ red 63 Impala SS 327/ powerglide out for a cruise now and then! I wasn’t driving yet, though! LOL

    Like 26
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Beautiful car. As was noted, had it been an automatic there could have been hand controls added so the owner could still have driven it. Because of the condition it’s in, there’s a more than fair chance that it will sell especially due to the drivetrain selection.
    If the story is true, hope the seller gets what they’re asking for it.

    Like 8
  7. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Make it street ready, then take it to the original owner to offer them an afternoon outing as a way of saying “Thank you. I promise to take care of it as well as you did”.

    Like 29
  8. mark houseman

    I tapped on “show contact info” and it won’t show any contact number. I got 25k burning a hole in my pocket for this car…….great color, super options, incredible history, a T/A I would love to have……

    Like 4
    • Rock On

      Scroll to the bottom of the Craigslist ad Mark. They will email the seller and tell him that you are interested. Good luck.

      Like 4
    • Peter Vey

      It said call Macy @ 414-739-0279

      Like 2
  9. Marko

    Terrific looking Trans Am. Missing the 455 engine for the full coolness factor, but it has all the bells and whistles.

    I see it has the “Automatic Power Door Locks” option switch, next to the rear defroster switch on the dash panel. Doors would automatically lock, when you closed the doors. I knew a guy with a brand new ’76 who was forever leaving the keys in the ignition, and locking himself out, that he finally wised up, and got a spare door key to put in the coin pouch of his wallet, so he could get back in again.

    Like 3
    • Ramone

      Missing the 455? Think it’s still there….

      Like 9
      • Marko

        Oops, was looking at the listing for the 400/4 spd car, and got confused.

        One of my buddies bought a silver ’76 with 455/4spd, back in 1980, and it was pretty stout for the times. We did a little speed trial test on a back road 2 lane paved highway with 3 guys in the car. Got the speedo up to 145 mph, before things got a little white knuckled.

  10. O.Hableel

    do not mess with the original PMD-CAR .. keep it mint to will add value….

    Like 2
  11. Tom

    Not sure if I’m buyin’ that story, something doesn’t seem right: like why is the engine the wrong color blue, and where did the “HO” story come from, in a garage with motorcycles and a lift???
    At least show pics of some supporting docs. If b.s., this is a really low bar.

    Like 4
    • Tom

      Ok, I take it all back…research shows that to be the right engine color, and the was an HO option in ’76.
      Sorry Dude!

      Like 4
      • Tom

        Ad says original exhaust manifolds, but pics show headers?
        I’m skeptical again…

        Like 1
      • JimmyinTEXAS


        “…and ditching the stock single-cat exhaust system in favor of headers and dual exhaust would make the car downright respectable.”

        Like 5
      • Larry Wahler

        Tom, that was my question as well … Exhaust “Manifolds” but I saw headers going into a Single tube With the Cat still on?? What is up there?

      • M vickery

        Did Pontiac paint over the striker bolts back then? Seriously, I don’t know. Sometimes you have to ask someone who was around at the time. Anyone here know?

        Like 1
    • James

      If you read the original Ad, he says that his nephew is selling the car for him , do with the double lift , motorcycles , and Truck are more than likely said ” Nephews “

      Like 1
  12. Troy s

    Although not my favorite year of automobiles I have to admit this thing is clean clean…clean. If it looked that good even in 1995 I would have been very surprised. Too bad more folks don’t take care of their pride and joy like this.
    It’s amazing how little of the engine you can actually see what with all the clutter down there.

    Like 5
  13. JOHN Member

    I had a ’73 T/A, I always liked the 70-73 design and the small back window. Also had a Formula and Esprit at the same time. The low compression 455 with a 4 speed still ran pretty well, it was an A/C car, had the new for 73 bumper reinforcement and diagonal braces mandated by the government to meet the new federal standards for bumpers that added additional weight, not to mention the added weight of the honeycomb wheels! Still it was a nice looking, nice handling car. But… this is a really nice car, it needs a good home, and I hope the seller get’s his price, he deserves it!

    Like 5
  14. Rosco

    Sure looks like it has been repainted.

    Like 1
  15. Shawnga Shawn Member

    Did Trans Ams have color coded / color match wheels ?

    Like 2
    • Robbie R.

      Yes, back in the day, the vast majority of 76 and 77 TAs came with the body color match Rally II wheels. The alum wheels were a pricey upgrade. By 78, and especially 79-81, a larger percentage came equipped with the more expensive wheels. Nearly all restorations these days opt to put on the honeycombs, snowflakes, etc. I still like the old school look of the Rally II’s (except on SE’s, Pace cars, and other limited edition versions).

      • Shawnga Shawn Member

        I know the honeycomb and snowflake were color coded. I had a 77 with the rally lls.. Thought they were all grey . I’ve never seen the rally in body color.

      • Robbie R.

        Yep, the photo for this article is exactly the way that nearly all of them looked back in 76-77, whether the car was red, brown, white, yellow, etc. (my 77 TA was white w white Rally II wheels bought brand new off the Pontiac lot). However, most modern-day restorers and collectors have opted to replace those w honeycombs (up to 76) or snowflakes (77-up) to dress them up.

  16. Mark

    I can see over spray on the foot operated park brake pedal and on the door seal just below the driver’s upper door hinge as well as the previously mentioned door striker so it has been painted.

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Are you looking at photo 15? If so that looks like a reflection because the clutch pedal is almost completely red. But I have to agree, it sure is beginning to look like a respray. And I was really excited, I wanted it to be a great original car.
      Oh, carp! I just saw photo 19. That e-brake pedal looks like it has been intentionally sprayed!! Surely that is a reflection, but how could it be???

      • axle tramp

        That isn’t overspray. It’s the courtesy light shining down on the pedal.

        Like 1
  17. Bob McK Member

    Come home to Daddy! What a perfect piece of history. So sad the owner can’t drive it, but at least he is able to let it go. If I owned it, the car would sit in my garage until I passed. I just couldn’t sign over that title.

    Like 2
  18. Tim Schuetz

    I just purchased the car. I approached it with the same amount of skepticism. Once I looked the car over (for an hour crawling all over it), I could not pay the man fast enough and get the car out of there. The overspray is not there……purely visual from the photos. The photos taken by the nephew did the car no justice whatsoever. It does have the original manifolds. The reason for the converter? Wisconsin had a vehicle inspection program years ago that included visual verification of the converter. There is some flex pipe in the system so I can only assume the converter was installed and removed as needed. I was not able to speak to the owner as his health is frail as best. Just a real honest original car that needs some more attention, but has EXCELLENT originality.

    I’m surprised the car lasted as long as it did on CL.

    Like 8
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Congrats Tim!

      Like 4
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Well done, Tim, and Enjoy!

      Like 3
    • Tom

      Enjoy Tim!

    • Rosco

      Great deal as long as both parties are satisfied with the transaction. Seller should be extremely happy getting that kind of money for the car.

      Like 1
    • mark houseman

      I got to tell you Tim, I have a little sick feeling of jealousy. I knew that car was a super nice car. The story is sad but awesome and I would rather have an original car with a few faults than a completely restored one with all new stuff. Other than repainted and reupholstered in the ’70’s I have two completely original and bone stock cars that I am dying to restore. 1969 Mach I “R” code 4-speed ram air 1 owner and 1970 Barracuda 383 4-speed 1 owner. They’re rough, especially the Barracuda, but all stock. Both originally white interior. I would’ve loved to have this T/A sitting in the garage next to mine. You have a real jewel there. The timing just wasn’t right for me right now or I would’ve absolutely bought this ’76. By the way, I have a history with a ’76 T/A as a friend of mine’s grandmother bought him a brand new one and he picked me up in it the night he got it and we drove to Miami (50 miles south) in it. I will never forget that ride. I’ve had one (“76 4-speed silver/red) on my bucket list ever since. Your new red one here would’ve worked for me…….

      Like 2
  19. Rosco

    Could this possibly be a record amount paid for a mostly stock ’76 Trans Am?

  20. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    This might be a record amount; but then again, it’s like that old adage about quality that we all know, “If you want nice fresh oats you have to pay a fair price; however, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, you can get those a little cheaper..”.

    Like 5

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