Clean Survivor: 1976 Chevrolet Camaro Type LT

This 1976 Camaro Rally Sport Type LT is a neat and tidy car that doesn’t need much to make it stand out. The body and paint look good, and it is mechanically strong. I have to thank our eagle-eyed Barn Finder Pat L for spotting the Camaro for us. Located in Moreno Valley, California, the Camaro has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $7,500 for the clean classic.

The Bright Yellow paint on the Camaro appears to be in very nice condition. The same could be said of the Black, while the red pinstripes provide a nice contrast. It is a California car, so it doesn’t appear as though rust is a visible issue, and the owner doesn’t mention any issues under the car. The trim, chrome, and glass also appear to be in good condition. By the 1976 model year, the 2nd Generation Camaro was entering its seventh year of production, but options such as the Rally Sport pack did manage to keep the car looking relatively fresh.

The interior of the Camaro has survived the California sun really well, with the only major issue being some significant damage to the cover on the driver’s seat. This appears to be beyond repair, and a replacement will be on the cards. Otherwise, the remaining trim looks really good, and significantly, there are no signs of any deterioration to the dash pad, which is one of the first areas to show sun damage. Apart from the Rally gauges and cloth upholstery, the interior also features air conditioning and an AM/FM radio.

The owner doesn’t supply any engine photos, but we know that the Camaro is fitted with the 305ci V8 engine and 3-speed Hydramatic transmission. The owner does say that the Camaro runs and drives really well and that it has always been properly maintained. He also states that the vehicle has only covered 76,000 miles, but doesn’t mention whether he holds any evidence to verify this. The performance of the Camaro equipped as this one is was never anything to write home about. The engine produces 140hp, which is enough to propel the Camaro from 0-60 in 12.2 seconds, while the ¼ mile is covered in 18.8 seconds. There is no doubt that by this point in time, the Camaro was definitely more about pose power than performance.

This Camaro is in good condition, and it appears that it needs little more than a cover on the driver’s seat to present really well. It is by no means a high-performance car, and in fact, it would probably be put to shame by a fair number of 4-cylinder cars today. However, if you are the sort of person who would like to own a car like this but craves better performance, then there are available options out there now which would deliver this improvement but would still allow the car to pass its smog test. Maybe that’s food for thought.

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Comments

  1. Jack M.

    Don’t worry about that weak 305, there is plenty of room in that engine bay for all popular engines. If you like your torque there is even a kit available to drop a 500 cubic inch Cadillac engine in there!

    Like 4
  2. CCFisher

    “it would probably be put to shame by a fair number of 4-cylinder cars today”

    Try *all* 4-cylinder cars today. Even the sad little Chevrolet Spark will outrun it.

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      If you add the 3 speed auto, VERY heavy ’70’s a/c compressor that can cool a house!!, REAL 1 FINGER TO TURN! heavy power steering components, monstrous Camaro door beams, 5 mph bumpers front & rear, & the highly restrictive flat pellet cat converter that was used on GM ’70’s cars – onto a Spark, it might not even move! lol
      That converter probably robs 30 hp on this camaro.
      Plus, thanks to the goverNment, it had to have granny gears in back cause overdrive automatics were not avail yet(the ’78 honda accord got a 2 speed automatic!!) & 5 speed manuals were not yet developed – for american cars.

      Like 2
  3. Tony Primo

    Anyone that would drive a Chevy Spark over a second generation Camaro has probably clicked on the wrong website. Heck, I would even commute in a six cylinder Camaro before I sat my a$$ in a Spark,

    Like 12
    • CCFisher

      Wasn’t endorsing the Spark, merely observing that it’s quicker off the line than this Camaro. At 6’2″, 300lb, I’d have better luck getting on a Spark than getting in one.

      Like 5
      • JC

        hahahaahaha… great sense of humor!

        Like 1
  4. Vin_in_NJ

    A local guy puts his silver and black RS/LT for sale every year with no takers. Seems if it weren’t for the Transformer’s Bumblebee, there would be no love for these big bumper Camaros

  5. sluggo

    Its amazing to me many of the writers on BF seem fixated on the factory perf. #’s when anyone who lived thru that era (60s-70s-80s) all know fully well that the car as produced was basically hot rod donor material and what you did to the car defined it.
    There is reams of Car Craft, Hot Rod, Super Chevy and other magazines that all detailed how to improve handling, brakes, trans and the engine. The Camaro of the 70s was always a excellent platform to build on, However a bit TOO popular and nauseatingly common for many years. Some suggested Car Craft be called “Camaro Craft”. However these are rare cars now, many ended up on race tracks, wrecked or parted out. (The Subframe clips used to be super popular for other builds and I have one on a rat rod 30s Coupe).
    I built several camaros of this generation and super easy and affordable performance. My Last one was a 77 LT and top speed of 140 mph, fast enough to scare people but could pull down decent gas economy on the freeway.
    Several companies built a career on offering parts and kits for these,, I know of 2 local Camaros like this both owned by 20 somethings and they think its the coolest thing since sliced bread. However they ARE kind of a tank. Doors weight a ton and as they age they creak and flex. SubFrame connectors and a few mods are your friend. I paid $800 for the last one in 1992 but the prices these days are climbing. This looks like a decent not too molested example,

    Like 10
  6. Rustytech Member

    Why does everything have to be a hot rod? What’s wrong with a nice old car just to cruise around in? Especially a nice looking ride like this. I’d fix the seat and whatever else needs fixed and just enjoy it. They don’t make anything like this anymore.

    Like 6
  7. sluggo

    Rustytech, you are right. Some cars can be just enjoyed as is. However I was responding to the write up bemoaning the weakly 140 hp and the comments how slow these were. The typical buyer of these expected perf. So many aftermarket companies sprung up offering the parts to make them go. Edelbrock marketed a stand alone kit that guaranteed 350 hp out of these motors.
    But out of the factory these were slow cars when stock. While may grossly modified theirs (Big blocks were commonly swapped in) most people just wanted a little more Ooomph. Simple cam swap, Intake, carb, tweak the ignition a little (The HEI was pretty good) remove all the emissions stuff and here in Oregon we scrapped the AC, throw on some headers and exhaust you had double the power, and generally still decent mileage. Later years many swapped in the Overdrive trannys and even better gas mileage with decent perf.
    Most of these were auto trans. Turbo 350 but the overdrive was an easy swap (700 R4) but the really rare variants were stick shifts. Those were not very common.
    But this car looks pretty stock so its a rare find today

    Like 4
  8. Paul

    LOL my 76 Cosworth Vega is faster than that, but it’s a nice looking Camaro. Good set of wheels on it and it would be a nice cruiser.

    Like 1
  9. Superdessucke

    Actually, it would be put to shame by All four cylinder cars today. The slowest car sold in the U.S., the Ford Ecosport, goes from 0-60 in 10.7.

    That being said, these engines are pretty easy to get a lot of additional power out of. If you did a cam change, 4 barrel intake and carburetor, and dual exhaust you could probably knock 3-4 seconds off the 0-60 time. That would have to be done to have the show match the go.

    Like 2
  10. klharper

    This was the car of choice when I was in High School in the 80’s, and I don’t think any of them were stock. At the time we called them Ahole cars, because everyone seemed to have one, and since I was into sports cars I didn’t really care for them.
    But times change and you grow older and I appreciate them now.
    If there was a car built for hot rodding it was the Camaro, because stock they kind of suck, ok they really suck.
    So I will agree with Sluggo some cars are ok stock but some just have to be modified to be worthwhile, and a well hotrodded camaro is actually a lot of fun, and can be pretty darn fast, and getting rid of the bumpers and going to some nice fiberglass pieces it can look pretty decent also.
    Oh on this one I did notice one item. The center arm rest pad has been replaced, because they all cracked from the factory.

    Like 3
  11. Rustytech Member

    Sluggo. I take your point. Believe me when I say I understand the limits the engines had. I got my drivers license in 1968, right in the hay day of the muscle car era, so I know what a disappointment these were to the go fast crowd. In 1976 you couldn’t have given my one of these. At my age though my days of stop light to stop light drag races are long over. I like seeing cars in their natural state. I wouldn’t object to some discrete modifications ( ie camshaft and carb upgrade etc ) but keep it as stock looking as possible even under the hood.

    Like 2
  12. sluggo

    Rustytech, understood, Finding a car like this unmolested/modified is a rare Barn Find today. It was exceedingly rare to not modify them. I modified many cars of this era, and decluttered the engine compartments and stripped off the emissions, detailing and some bling. But emissions testing got increasingly strict. In some jurisdictions ANY mod was a fail even if the engine tested better than min specs. The aftermarket community howled about this. Keep in mind the LT was considered the performance platform and a different package. There is sites that break down the variants, there was a “Luxury styled version” as well and a friend owned a red 79 version and he kept his mostly stock. But besides being common, there was bias against any Camaro and those who drove them. Some I knew in the military from the east coast, made some racist comments about Italian-Americans in Camaros. But my wifes family,, many in Law enforcement here on the west coast called them “Drug Dealer Cars” and ironically the last one I had I bought from a guy getting out of the Cocaine business. I had to extensively change the looks of the car because I got a lot of police attention and drug addicts trying to wave me down… “Oh! You arent Russ, Oh well, You got any?” Even after I changed it up I got tired of constantly being pulled over, especially when I worked nightshift as a mechanic.

    Like 4

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