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50K Mile: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ

A 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix used to be a common site on the streets in the late 1970’s and in high school parking lots of the 1980’s. As a kid, my neighbor’s son had a gold 1976 Grand Prix with dual exhaust that always sounded so great as he backed out of the driveway. The Grand Prix was offered in the J, SJ and LJ models. The J was the base model. The SJ was the sport model and the LJ was the luxury model. This example is located in Winter Haven, Florida, and was located by Pat L. This Grand Prix is an SJ model and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The asking price is $14,500 which seems reasonable in light of how these models have been appreciating lately.

The ad does not say but this Grand Prix should have been equipped from the factory with the L78 400 engine. Optional engines for the Grand Prix were the Pontiac 350 cubic inch V8 engine and the 455 cubic inch V8 engine. The Pontiac 350 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at only 160 horsepower and was standard in the J (base) model. The LJ and SJ models came standard with the L78 400 cubic inch V8 engine which was the base engine available in the Trans Am in 1976. The 400 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at 180 horsepower and the 455 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at 200 hp. The 455 cubic inch V8 engine was last offered by Pontiac in 1976.

The red vinyl interior shows the bench seat combination which was common in the J and LJ models. Most SJ models came with bucket seats and a center console. The seller states that this car has on 50k miles and has several recent improvements including a new radio, speakers, radiator, water pump, thermostat, battery and HEI distributor.

The most noticeable feature that sets the 1976 Grand Prix apart from other model yeas of the fourth generation is the vertical waterfall grill. The 1976 Grand Prix was also equipped with quad rectangular headlights. Pontiac built over 110,000 Grand Prix’s in 1976 including 4,807 Golden Anniversary editions.


  1. Mark Goguen

    I wish I still had my 76 SJ 400 4b loaded all the bells moon roof posi Trac lots of fun sold it for 2200. Bucks car was mint back in 1980 definitely got a lot of complements

    Like 0
  2. Ike Onick

    Great idea rolling it into a barn for some pictures.

    Like 8
  3. Tc

    Had a 74 sj silver with a 455 until the starter quit it was a bucket console car then got 2 76 nice cars also both bucket console cars swapped motors eventually all went to the crusher

    Like 0
  4. douglas hunt

    I had a 76 SJ silver with charcoal center hood/roof/trunk and a burgandy pinstripe separating the two colors. burgandy interior buckets with the console floor shift. I added a trans am steering wheel and as I worked at an auto parts store, a true dual exhaust from an earlier grand prix was going to be fitted. Was not to be as a kid in a stolen chevette [his grandfathers, no less] ran my girlfriend off the road into a jersey wall, effectively killing it

    Like 2
  5. W72WW3

    Can’t help but wonder how much funkiness is under that dash pad….

    Like 2
  6. PRA4SNW

    Unlike the previous Grand Prix, this might be available from a seller that is actually willing to sell the car.
    Just don’t show up with “cold, hard cash”. They prefer the warm, limp stuff.

    Like 3
  7. butchb

    Buddy of mine’s little brother had one of these. We all three happened to be sitting in the front seat when someone passed us a jar of moonshine whiskey. The older brother sitting in the middle gulped down mouthful of it. Back up it came and right down the defrost vents it went. From then on every time his little brother turned on the defrost he got a unpleasant reminder of that day.

    Like 5
  8. Scott Nydegger

    I had one of these in ‘79 it was nice ride! I like the looks of the 77 better but this car doesn’t look too bad as much as You can tell from the pics. Bucket seats would have been a better option.

    Like 5
  9. Steve R White

    Hurricane damage? Flood?

    Like 0
  10. S

    Hurricane Ian just went through this part of Florida a week and a half ago. Whoever buys this better be sure this car wasn’t flooded and the photos weren’t taken from sometime before the hurricane. Buyer beware!

    Like 0
  11. Alex

    I bought a 1976 in 1979 for $2900.. I traded it to a Suzuki dealer even for a 1979 GSl000L because he loved the car. Triple white with rallye wheels. # weeks later he totaled the car.

    Like 0
  12. Greg

    I actually went and looked at this GP, almost bought it, but decided to wait for a better color combo and bucket seats. It drove good, a/c worked and the dash is actually perfect. I believe it is the actual mileage. I dont see it on CL anymore so he might have sold it. It was a nice GP overall

    Like 0

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