59,000 Miles, Four Speed, Original: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am

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While the Trans Am name is synonymous with Burt Reynolds and his magnum opus “Smokey and the Bandit,” the sportier version of the Pontiac Firebird was around a lot longer than that.  If you are looking for a very original and relatively low mileage version of these seventies muscle cars, then we have a great find for you.  Check out this 1976 Pontiac Trans Am for sale on craigslist in Phoenix, Arizona.  Is $29,900 too much to pay for a mid-seventies fun machine like this with only 59,000 miles on the odometer?  A big thank you goes to T.J. for another great find!

When you think of a Pontiac Trans Am, of course, the Bandit and his black and gold ride come to mind.  You may even think of the gorgeous red Trans Am in that other magnificent Burt Reynolds movie, Hooper.  What many don’t know is that the Trans Am name first appeared on the Pontiac Firebird in 1969.  Named for the road racing series that was very popular at the time, this modified Pontiac was the raciest of the Firebird line.  From larger motors and beefier suspensions to additional body panels, the Trans Am was always special.

By 1976, some good things had happened to the Trans Am as a whole.  The front and rear of the car were capped with very well-integrated polyurethane front and rear bumpers.  The back glass had also been changed to a wraparound design in 1975.  This made the car easier to see out of and set the tone for the basic body style until 1981.  In the negative, power was once again down from previous years.  The 455 Pontiac engine was in its last year and was only available in a four-speed.  A 50th-anniversary version was also made, showcasing black paint with gold trim.  This color scheme, of course, would be front and center in the public’s consciousness just one year later.

So the 1976 Trans Am is special in that it bridged the gap between two eras of the second generation Firebird.  Surely the caretakers of the Trans Am seen in the ad thought that this car was special too.  The seller purchased the car from a person who owned the car since 1978.  That person has passed, but they had to have been very careful with this special car.  The color on this unique Trans Am appears to be Firethorn Red, which was a fairly rare color for the year. The paint and the famous “screaming chicken” decal are all original, as are the engine, transmission, carburetor, and interior.

We are told by the seller that the interior is all original except for the carpet.  It is not clear if a new carpet was secured or a used one was swapped out.  The pictures show a molded carpet that looks serviceable but a bit unclean.  Perhaps the seller has been enjoying the car a lot.  The vinyl seats are in great shape except for the driver’s seat.  The dash has no cracks and everything else appears to be functional and in good condition.

While this car does not have the legendary 455, it is equipped with the lower horsepower 400 cubic inch V-8.  The seller tells us that the top end was refreshed 10,000 miles ago.  Sending the power rearward is a four-speed manual transmission.  We are told that it runs and drives great.  One would imagine it is quite a fun car to drive.  There just aren’t that many opportunities out there to drive a muscle car with a big V-8 and a manual transmission anymore.

It is not only good looks, but the muscle car experience that drives prices up on cars like this.  Several Firebirds and Trans Ams suffer from major rust issues, but this one is rust-free and is a fairly well-equipped car.  If you are looking for a Trans Am to enjoy and drive on occasion, you could do far worse than this one.  The price might not be right as of now.  However, for an original Trans am in good condition, the price will be right soon.

Have you ever owned a Trans Am from this era?  What would be your plan if you ended up with this one?  Let us know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Cattoo CattooMember

    WoW! That color looks really nice on that Pontiac. I’d do what you said and take it out and drive it now and again. Especially on those bright spring days and during summer to various car shows and such. Probably swap out the wheels for something else though.

    Like 6
  2. PL

    Looks great, I’d consider checking it out if I lived closer.

    Like 2
  3. Rw

    White one with red scoop from Thunderbolt & Lightfoot comes to my mind.

    Like 2
    • Duane Bruns

      Yes you should have we should have all kept the stuff we had in the past. I had a 74 Cutlass salon would love to find one of them babies again.

      Like 0
  4. CCFisher

    I wouldn’t call this one well-equipped, Jeff. No A/C, no power accessories, no custom interior (note the black seat belts), and no tilt wheel. It seems pretty basic to me.

    Like 6
    • David Cook

      Mine had A/C, pwr windows, tilt wheel, cruise contrl, am/fm/8 track

      Like 2
  5. David Cook

    I bought a 76 Special Edition/50th Anniversary Edition new in 76. Loved that car. I should’ve kept it

    Like 2
  6. Lathebiosas

    Are those rear fender flares factory? They look huge!

    Like 1
    • Robbie R.

      As a former 77 TA owner, the fender flares appear to be correct size (76 was same as 77).

      Like 2
  7. Debbie

    Beautiful! I have an original set of wheels off an 1987 Firebird Formula that I’d sell you

    Like 1
  8. Pgs

    I got a 1978 golden edition Trans Am for graduation in 1978 I got it in late May of that year and in October of that year a drunk driver hit me and totaled it. It still makes me sick to my stomach today

    Like 2
  9. Karolin

    In terms of the mileage – 52,000 miles could actually be 152,000 miles. There isn’t another “slot” (my words) on left side of the odometer, for it to “turn over.” I can’t believe that a 1976 Firebird would have only 52,000 miles on it. I previously owned a Ford Mustang that also had the same type of odometer. I drove that car well over 100,000 myself but that number “1” couldn’t display.

    Like 1
    • Shawnga Shawnga

      Those numbers appear to be mostly even as they line up, Karolin. Once a car “rolls over” , the numbers tend to have a definitive offset to indicate such. It has been said that this is a manufacturers intention, to prove just that. To me it looks like it could just be getting closer to turn 60,000.

      Like 0
  10. Rainer Beran

    Id enjoy driving it on the weekends and taking it to car shows as often as possible. Great car grew up with these.fun to drive with that 4 speed.

    Like 2
  11. CenturyTurboCoupe

    What happened with the fuel pipe from the pump to QuadraJet? Very bad idea putting supplemental fuel filter on the intake with more potential fuel leak points. Carry an extinguisher DS!

    Like 2
  12. David G

    Smokey and the Bandit started filming prior to the release of the ’77 Firebirds. At least one (maybe all three) of the cars was a ’76 model with a ’77 nose swapped on. This red ’76 is great, but lack of A/C is a big drawback for many potential buyers.

    Like 2
    • David Cook

      They should’ve filmed with the 76 front end and hood. It was a much better looking car.

      Like 1
  13. Joe Preventowski

    This Chevelle is NOT what it is advertise as. I drove 1100 miles to buy it. complete repaint, left qt panel replaced with inner and outer wheelhouse. left driver’s door replaced. I stopped and walked away.

    Like 2
    • Robbie R.

      Joe, this is a Trans Am… not a stinkin Chevelle! 🤣

      Like 3
      • Smokey Smokerson

        Probably why he didn’t like it

        Like 1
  14. Tully Tavares

    Sounds Fake, More Like A Used Care Salesman Tactics!
    I had a 78′ Formula with the two scoops on the hood and around 200 hp before a rebuild. I would not trust any salesman on line without seeing it in person like the fellow that went to see it, THEN WALKED AWAY!@@!
    Verify It First Before You Put Up Tbe Cash…

    Ps- It Is A Darn Shame I Missed The Bridge And Landed On Interstate 270 in Rockville, Maryland. It took just that before woke up and smelled the coffee.

    Peace

    Tully Tavares

    Like 0
  15. C Force

    My 76 trans am was silver with black interior.had the 400 with the TH350 trans.mine was no where near as nice and not rust free like this one.what it had going for it was the fact i took the 400 from 185hp to over 300(about 320) and almost 400 ft lbs of torque.sounded good with a rough idling cam and hooker headers and flowasters.Thats the only thing lacking on this one,needs more hp.

    Like 0

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