Clean Survivor: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am

The owner of this 1976 Trans Am purchased it from an estate, and prior to his ownership, the car had spent a few years in storage. It has been returned to active duty and is ready for some lucky buyer to slip behind the wheel, and to drive off into the sunset. The Trans Am is located in Fieldale, Virginia, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding now sitting at $10,600, the reserve has been met. It seems that the journey into the sunset is set to begin fairly soon.

The first thing that the owner says about the Trans Am is that the vehicle has undergone a repaint at some point in the past, and he lists the color as being Carousel Red. That doesn’t quite ring true, because unless there is something weird about the lighting for the photos, the Pontiac looks more like it is finished in Firethorn Red to me. I could be wrong on that, so it will be interesting to see what our readers think. He notes the major flaw as being some cracking of the Screaming Chicken decal on the hood, but these are pretty cheap and easy to replace. He also notes the fact that the paint has a few nicks and chips, but it certainly looks to be of good driver quality. What isn’t an issue with the Trans Am is rust. The floors look solid and clean, and there is no visible external rust. I have to say that I have always been quite partial to the “single headlight” look that you find with pre-1977 Trans Ams. It gives the car a clean and uncluttered appearance, and that really appeals to me.

Lifting the hood of the Trans Am reveals the 400ci V8, producing 185hp. The car also features a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. By this point in time, the power output from these big V8s was hurting, so this is in no way a high-performance vehicle. This statement is definitely reinforced by the fact that the car would struggle through the ¼ mile in 17.7 seconds, which definitely isn’t muscle car territory. Leaving that aside, this is a car that would seem to be in sound mechanical health. The owner says that the engine starts easily, that it drives nicely, and that the Trans Am is very reliable.

The interior is probably the low point of the Trans Am, but it still doesn’t look that bad. It could certainly benefit from some restoration work, but there is nothing that could be classed as urgent. The seats are showing some rips and tears, the carpet is a bit faded, while the door trims have been cut to fit a set of speakers. It is serviceable as it currently stands, but if the next owner wants it to really shine, then a Deluxe trim kit would address all of these issues, and these can be found quite easily for around $1,100. It is hard to see the condition of the dash pad because this has a cover over it. However, the rest of the dash looks quite good, as does the console. The vehicle hasn’t been loaded down with a pile of optional equipment, but air conditioning, a tilt wheel, and a factory AM/FM radio/8-track player are all welcome additions.

For someone searching for a 1970s classic, this Pontiac Trans Am could be quite a good candidate. It is a car that requires no immediate attention and can be driven and enjoyed exactly as it stands today. Its main need is for some interior refurbishment, but this could be undertaken by a relatively competent individual in a home workshop. The fact that it is rust-free, presents nicely, and is mechanically sound has to make it a car that is worth serious consideration.

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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Not sure on the color, but waaaay better than black.

    • Classic Steel

      Now now the late “Man in Black” JC might disagree 😏

      I am more of a Henry Ford early days guy with black and an occasional yellow …when seeing a TA or Bird😂

  2. Chillywind

    What a nice example
    Love it. Missing a mud flap though! this is an easy car to buy and drive, fix the interior later. Its only original once.

  3. Mike D

    It’s riding awfully high, and while those wheels look nice, they’re not original to that year.

    • chillywind

      good catch, they are 78-81 trans am,

      • W72

        WS6 specific cast aluminum wheels.

    • andrew smith

      I like the height actually, and would go up another inch in front and two in back. Just my own personalization.

  4. JoeNYWF64

    Can you replace the hood decal w/o repainting the hood if hood paint is good? Maybe not. I would leave it alone.
    Ridiculous heavy leaf spring! fender to rad support connectors missing, tho you can get away w/o them since the ’70-2’s did not have em.
    A cheap lightwt upgrade is to use the later model much thinner connectors.
    Could there be 14″ wheels & tires on the car?

  5. Steve Bush Member

    Seems like a decent car if the price doesn’t get too crazy. I love the single round headlights, although the ride height needs major adjustment. Maybe knock a few seconds off the 1/4 mile et, too. Still, way better than that POS 1974 Ventura GTO that clown with the awful add with four pics was asking $15k for.

  6. Tony Primo

    The seller may have recently replaced the factory springs. Many of the aftermarket springs are one size fits all. I changed the sagging springs on my Camaro and it took a year and a half to sit properly.

  7. Rosco

    Decent car for the current money. As far as the dash, looks like a cheap dash cap and the seller has cleverly photographed it to hide this. Of course that was intentionally done. And please stop calling the hood decal a “screaming chicken”. That real funny comment was getting old 20 years ago!

    • Johnny

      In reality–Pontiac did call it”Screaming Chicken” Alot of people thought and think it is a eagle. I know–looking at its beak. It does look like the down turn beak of a eagle more then a beak on a chicken.

      • RH

        Johnny, I’m guessing you can provide some proof that Pontiac actually called it that? If not, BS.

  8. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I know it’s not original, but I’m digging the color and wheels

  9. Michael

    Wish I had the cash. The 1971 and these are the year I like the best because of the unqness of front clip. I know it wouldn’t be original but I don’t care. I’d change the color of the car as well as the Bird. I also think it’s right about the springs being new. That is most likely why it sets high. It’ll settle down.

  10. stevef

    It’s definitely Firethorn Red.

    • Johnny

      I like it. I,m thinking about changeing mine back to this firethorn red. White shows rust real easy and hard on the eyes waxing it.

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