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Blank Canvas: 1970 Pontiac LeMans Coupe

This could be the blank canvas for your next project, that is, if you’re a Poncho man. This 1970 Pontiac is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and appears here on craigslist. If you’re not a Poncho man, the asking price is $2500, which could be enough to convert some of us. Although it looks light in the front end, as if the drivetrain has gone missing, it hasn’t. Stay tuned.

The seller might not be too much of one, as with so many of the cars we see advertised on line, the description is very short on specifics, or useful information of any kind. So that leaves us to observe, and speculate. It’s still assembled, and doesn’t have the general look of a car that’s been apart too many times, and almost any way you slice it, that’s good news.

A look under the hood shows us an engine that looks like it maybe hasn’t run in a few years, but not so long ago that hearing it fire up might not be too much more than a weekend project. We can see it’s a factory air car, with a Pontiac engine still in place. (I love the small block as much as the next guy, but I don’t think one belongs here). The A/C bracket and compressor are gone, but these may be source-able from a full size Pontiac, or perhaps available in reproduction. It’s still has a 2-barrel carburetor, so perhaps the air cleaner is in the trunk. The only other modifications that appear obvious are the ultra high performance chrome valve covers, and some long-ago added yellow spark plug wires. The choke-pull off diaphragm looks shiny and new, this suggests someone was concerned with keeping it running well, not too far in the distant past. Other than that, the engine compartment looks like zip-tie heaven. The seller offers us no information on this car’s current running condition.

The rear trunk lid is an area that often shows lots of rust, at least it does on Midwestern specimens of this model. This one looks like it has a little along the lower edge, but what’s that up on the upper right corner? The lower edge of the vinyl top trim is also another common area where we can expect rust. The car also appears a little less beat up than others of this era and price class. Seeing the broken tail light lenses, I wonder if this car has the same aftermarket support as it’s Cutlass and Chevelle “A” body cousins.

But maybe it doesn’t need it. The fenders, doors, rockers and quarters don’t look too terrible here. I think most of us will agree the 1980s Firebird wheels must go immediately. There’s nothing wrong with them – on a 1980s Firebird… This opens up plenty of room for discussion about what should replace them.

Nary a word of description is offered about the interior, or the condition of the floors and trunk floors. If they are as solid as the outside of the car looks, the asking price is a bargain. A little information would be nice. What color is the remains of the interior? What color was the body originally, anyway? Since the seller says nothing, we get to speculate. And speculation about what we would do with this car is what we do best here at Barn Finds. It’s a blank canvas. So what are you thinking? Build an expensive GTO or Judge clone? Restore to original? A nice driver? What color? Wheels and tires? What would you do?


  1. Jeffro

    Better than the 68 Camaro before it.

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  2. 68 custom

    The price is sure right and if that vinyl top is not hiding big problems this one looks like a pretty good deal. plan on the interior needing everything including a dash pad though. personally I like that particular style of Pontiac wheel and think they would look pretty good on the car after polishing them upand finding a set of caps and refurbishing the rest of the body including new paint. if a guy was real lucky that would be a 400 2 barrel under the hood and would respond well to a basic rebuild with some go fast parts. have to watch your wallet pretty hard though as this one could get expensive if you dont spin wrenches your self. hope it ends with a good home.

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    • Fast Fred Member

      Sorry 68 went to hit thumbs up but miss I agree with what you say

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    • Mike W H

      well 68, I’ve never seen a vinyl top of this age from this part of the country that ISN’T hiding big problems, especially where it meets the rear fenders and along the drip rail.

      But for the right guy with a flair for body work, miracles can happen. You gotta believe!

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  3. JW454

    Not too bad. I’ve seen a lot worse with higher asking prices. I think a determined hobbyist could get this one back on the road. It would take an investment to make it a nice driver but, it could be done. On the redo, I’d have to add power brakes and make sure the air was working. Otherwise… no changes. Just a nice driver quality effort.

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  4. Rustytech Rustytech Member

    Considering what it’s big brother (GTO’s) are bringing, this is a bargain. If the top isn’t too bad this would be a great project. The A/C compressor would be the same on all GM vehicle’s from this era, and are still available today. I love the nose on this. If I were looking for a project right now, I might be booking a trip to MO.

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  5. Car Guy

    The 70 is still a high compression engine, even if it’s a Pontiac 350.
    This car could easily be built into a GT-37 clone. All the emblems, splitter exhaust tips, and stripes are reproduced. A set of either early 15 in Polycast Honeycombs, or Rally II wheels sans trim rings would complete the look.

    Like 1
  6. Wayne Thomas

    What would I do? Swap in a LS2 GTO engine and make a GTO restomod.

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  7. racer99

    Had a 1970 Lemans Sport convertible with the 400. Great car to cruise in although it handled like a drunken sailor when pushed hard around corners. If this is solid underneath and under the vinyl roof then it’s a deal. I’d have to wonder with where this is located what kind of demons are hiding underneath.

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  8. Terry

    Love 2 get me hands on it .would keep me awake at nights.

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  9. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Car Guy–I think the designation you are referring to is “T-37” not GT37. Someone will come along to fact check me. I seem to recall T-37 was a box you checked to get the Goat front fascia, hood and other goodies added to a regular Lemans at the factory. Again, someone please fact check me.

    The rust in the upper right of the trunk makes me think the trunk lid was left OPEN for years, thus accumulating moisture in the channels that run along the inside of the lid. That would be an obvious spot for rain to puddle. Hope this isn’t the case….could mean the trunk floor is swiss cheese.

    Like 0

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