Cheap Venture: 1977 Pontiac Ventura

040516 Barn Finds - 1977 Pontiac Ventura - 1

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This original 1977 Pontiac Ventura appears to be in nice shape. For such a utilitarian, non-collector car (two too many doors?) to have lasted this long and not be a rusted-out heap is a testament to its owner. Or, to it’s former owner, it sounds like this may be owned by a dealer, they say that the former owner traded this car in. This Ventura can be found just north of Bemidji, Minnesota on craigslist with an asking price of.. well, there is no asking price! Make the seller a reasonable offer and it’s yours. No, really.

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The Mandarin Orange body looks fantastic on this car. My neighbor had a 1974 Ventura in Fernmist Green, like this one, and he drove the wheels off of that car. I know that 4-door sedans aren’t as desirable as cars with fewer doors would be, but this would be a cheap way for a person to grab a decent, dirt-cheap version of the last year Ventura. In mid-1977, the SJ model was replaced by the Phoenix as the top trim level for the Ventura and in 1978 there would be no more Ventura nameplate. We all know what happened two years after that: the GM front-drive X-Body cars hit the street, including the Pontiac Phoenix.

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You’re right, this may be nothing more than a used car because of its four-door body style. But, since the body and interior are in such nice shape I thought it might be a nice find for someone with some tinkering skills; not to mention someone who isn’t afraid of having a couple of extra doors. It would be a good first car for your son or daughter or something for them to learn about cars on without spending too much money. Or, buy it and donate it to a high school or tech college auto program; take the tax write-off and make a group of young folks happy. Even the trunk looks almost like new on this one.

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This thing is clean, clean, clean. If this car would have been detailed it would almost like like new. The odometer shows 40,169 miles and from the shape that this Ventura is in, I believe it. The backseat looks as nice as it does up front. If this car would have been a 2-door sedan it would have a much higher asking price than “make me an offer”, there is no question about that, even with it’s major flaw. Four-door sedans are the Rodney Dangerfield of the auto world.

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Speaking of this car’s major flaw: this is Buick’s famous 3.8L 231 V6 with a 2-barrel carb making about 110 hp. And, yes you guessed it, it doesn’t run! Hence the low asking price of make-me-an-offer. The current owner, who took the car in as a trade, says that the former “owner states it just quit running, due to health I haven’t been able to really check it out, but I feel like it could be timing chain.” Luckily, they’re not hard to change and they’re readily available. I think that this would be a great family project to teach a son or daughter a few things about getting an otherwise very nice car back on the road again. What do you think. could you save this otherwise nice, sedate sedan?

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  1. ClassicCarFan

    Slightly more interesting than that Grand Am….

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  2. boxdin

    These cars were the basis of the Seville !

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  3. jim s

    if it was easy to fix the dealer/seller would have it running. needs a PI to see what is wrong with it then make an offer. would make a nice driver. interesting find.

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  4. grenade

    Four door? IGNORE.
    Really though- why bother?

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  5. edh

    3.8L Buick V6? NO!

    My ’81 was a pile of crap I don’t think an older version is going to be better.

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  6. Rando

    Hmmmm, lots of things swirling around in my mind. Yes, 4 doors and pretty boring as presented. Wheels and tires need help. Not sure where I’d go with it, but those wheel covers wouldn’t even make it off the trailer. At least bare steelies, maybe some dog dishes, or even Rallye2s. Something else. Narrow white stripes…

    Engine – OUT. Would be stupid, but how about a new 3800 V6? Just to be different. Yes, easier to put in a SBC and be done wtih it. And still an ugly, pedestrian car.

    Or fix it and drive it as is? Nahhhh.

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    • Chebby

      I like how you think. How about one of the supercharged 3800s, and some Grand National rims on it?

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      • karu

        Lol, what would that do?

        Like 0
  7. Chebby

    A “fair offer” for this old, kinda ugly, not special, not-running car is about $350.

    Just put a price on it, pal.

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    • Bill

      Since scrap cars are done to $30 tonne in Northern Mn Its hard to give away non running cars

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  8. Bill

    That thing has been advertised for years already, He has even tried trading it with no luck

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  9. DW

    Trying to sell a 77 Ventura is a lot like trying to marry off your buck-toothed, cross-eyed daughter. When the best thing you can say about her is that “she’s clean” there’s not a lot of guys lining up at the door, ya know.

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  10. Mike

    I had a 79 Buick skylark, last year of the “nova” style body and RWD, V6 ran like a champ! Personally I have moved as far “forward” in years of cars as I plan to go, (have a 2002 vehicle now) after that gives out I’m going to look around for one of these old rwd, sedans from the 70’s, I’m getting tired of having to pass emission tests and replacing sensors on these modern cars and having to pay someone to diagnose it when something stops working.

    Like 1
    • moosie Craig

      Aint that the truth.

      Like 0
  11. Mr. Fox

    Where exactly is this car? I would drop in a 455! Sleeper!

    Like 0

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