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Confusing Camaro: 1976 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport

I’m going to go out on a limb here and refer to this 1976 Camaro Rally Sport as a one owner vehicle. Technically it is a two owner car, but I think that the current owner has bought the car to on-sell it to someone else. The condition of the Camaro seems to be quite impressive, and I’m surprised that the bidding is as subdued as it is. At the time of writing, it is sitting at $6,200, and it appears that the reserve has been met. Located in Charleston, West Virginia, you will find the Camaro listed for sale here on eBay.

The presentation of the Camaro is very nice. It’s as straight as an arrow, and there doesn’t appear to be any rust issues to deal with. The owner suggests (but doesn’t say outright) that the paint is original. If this is the case then it’s pretty impressive, because it seems to be free of scratches, chips, or any other real blemishes. The Rally Sport package was largely a cosmetic package, which provided the Camaro with the black paint treatment as you can see on this car. It was available on Camaros painted in five different base colors, including the bright yellow of this car. The ad for this Camaro is also contradictory in a couple of areas. In one spot it indicates the mileage as 86,500 miles, while in another it states that the mileage is actually 54,000. This latter figure is also what is shown on the odometer, so I’d probably want to follow up on that.

The Camaro is said to be a numbers-matching car, with it’s original 350ci V8 and 3-speed automatic transmission. The owner says that the Camaro runs and drives well and that the transmission shifts smoothly. One interesting item that came to my attention is the decal on the air cleaner. It indicates that the engine is a 350 Turbo Fire producing 285hp. That sounds way off to me, as the 1976-vintage 350 in the Camaro was only producing 165hp. It may be nothing, but it is another item that might require investigation.

The interior presentation of the Camaro follows the same theme as the rest of the car. It presents well, but there are some small things that I don’t quite understand. The trim, headliner, carpet, and upholstery all generally look to be in good condition, while the dash pad looks to be free of cracks. We can’t see the rest of the dash, so we don’t know whether the original radio is present. One defect that I can spot is a crack in the lid of the floor console, so the rest of the plastic could probably do with a check. The car is also fitted with power windows, power locks, cruise control, and air conditioning. It all looks pretty impressive, but if you look at this photo, you can see a label on the dash just below the lighter, and I can’t identify what it is, apart from the fact that it’s not standard.

This Camaro is an interesting car for a number of reasons. It’s interesting from one perspective, because if it is everything that the owner claims, then that makes it a survivor that’s in very impressive condition. It’s interesting from another perspective because there are enough interesting little quirks that make me want to give the car a close personal inspection. As I usually say to people looking at purchasing a car (classic or otherwise) there is nothing that beats a thorough inspection in person to verify that a car is all that it is claimed to be. If a personal inspection gives this Camaro a clean bill of health, then it could be a great car to park in your garage.

Comments

  1. Chebby Member

    Engine decal seems to be from a 1960’s Chevy. Seller calls the 350 a “factory big-block” so they apparently don’t know too much. Dash switch says DE-FOG up/down and there’s a forced-air defroster in the back window.

    Like 20
  2. Jferrelllancaster

    Was almost sure 305 was standard fair for the RS and LT models in 76.Tan interior throws off too as most I had seen had black but I know this could be an oddball.

    Like 3
  3. poseur Member

    Forgot all about these!
    Most were red/black & I recall seeing an odd yellow one now & again….can’t recall any other colors so I’m curious about what the other five options were.

    Like 8
    • Bobby

      5 different color options 3 engine choices 250 305 and the 350 half of them had the 350 at 165 hp

      Like 5
    • Bob

      Red, Yellow, Blue, White and Maroon with the mat black hood and roof were the color options 75-77, I don’t recall a 6th color in those yrs. It’s rare to see the black paint in the mat finish since as soon as it was first waxed it turns shiny black.

      Like 4
      • half cab

        A guy that lived down the road from me had a jade green loiking one with the black . He was 2nd owner around ’79.

        Like 1
    • Sam

      My 76 was silver and black as was almost every rally sports in central Illinois. I remember seeing a light blue and black and also a light tan and dark brown rally sports but don’t know if that was between 75 and 77. I was quite good-looking for the day. I cannot recall ever seeing one with matte black finish.

      Like 5
      • Bob

        Oh yeah thanks, I forgot Sliver and black that was the other color for 75-77. 78 was when all those light blue dark blue light tan dark brown color combos came along. I never saw one like that in the 75-77 body style that was an original. The 75’s were all mat black, can’t say if so later but believe all were thru at least 77. If you google 75 Rally Sport Camaro there is a yellow one that’s a perfect example of what the base non LT looked like new with the Z86 suspension package. Correct flat black, no chrome drip rails no chrome lower body trim ect.. original Goodyear’s. Mine was just like that car but red.

        Like 1
  4. Rock On

    Pretty well optioned Camaro for 1976. Power windows, power locks and air conditioning. I don’t believe that these had the engine displacements on the air cleaner anymore. Go to any large car show and there is usually a guy selling them. You can stick whatever displacement and horsepower on the lid that you want to.

    Like 10
  5. Joeinthousandoaks

    I doubt the turbo 400 is there as well. He doesn’t actually say it’s a one owner car. Just the last owner had it for years and he is old.

    Like 3
  6. MadHungarian

    The 305 was standard in ’76 per the brochure, and 350 was optional. I was perplexed by the Type LT rear panel, but according to the brochure, the Rally Sport package (mostly paint and trim) could be ordered on either the base car or the LT. It would be more correct to call it a LT with the Rally Sport option, rather than the other way around as the seller says, but that’s a minor technicality.

    Like 4
  7. Rick

    I’m calling clone. I don’t know anything about fender tags and codes, but I see overspray on all that in yellow. On the firewall behind the hood hinges, it looks like black over the yellow.. I love the overall presentation, but methinks there is a ton of rust hiding in the doors and rear quarters..

    Like 1
    • Rich H erie pa

      The black was always shiny Gm didn’t do these cars with flat black, I’ve owned many when they were new, the tan interior is correct and was available in most any color car. ugly yes, but correct, price seems reasonable enough but a closer inspection would be warranted as these cars were known for rot in their day

      Like 6
      • Karl

        I had a 78 version of this car like was said a turbo 350 was the stock trans no position and they rust like crazy and cannot take HP! I was young and stupid and my neighbors daughter had this car and it was beautiful, after a few years of drooling as it drove by I saw a for sale sign in it and I bought it. It had 100k miles cam was rounded but it had a 4 bbl. Well that engine came out and I built a stout 377 full roller that dynoed at 544 hp at the crank I welded in sub frame connectors and went 456 gears in a position rear diff I got the car down to an 11.30 till I got inspected and was asked to leave the track. Big problem with this car was flexing, it was way to nice to make a race car out if it, I was running great heads and 12 to 1 compression so was running 107 octane fuel all with a car that I tried to race and run a very fast street car! My ignorance ended in failure, I had a beautiful Camaro that was getting hurt every run, bad street cat that burnt really expensive fuel, and LOTS of it with a gear that made it very hard to run down the hiway with. Car is ok my thinking was pretty flawed!

        Like 3
      • Cv

        The RS came from factory with flat black hood and roof. I had a 76 RS Type LT. I had one from then. Had black interior. Tan seems like yellow non rs. Yellow and black exterior. Looked sharp, made 350 4spd, posi somewhat faster with headers and intake work. A tree jumped in front of me, bummer!

        Like 2
  8. V8TEC

    The air cleaner decal could simply be off another car, although when I bought my ’77 LT, it had some 245 Horsepower Turbo-Fire decals on the air cleaner and valve covers. I knew that wasn’t accurate for the car, but it turned out it had a mild Comp 260H cam and Z28 exhaust (dual resonators & pipes from the cat-back). Maybe this car has some mild mods and the owner wanted to keep it GM-appearing. The label under the lighter socket is for the rear window defroster (RPO C50), a forced-air style defogger. Overall seems like a decent looking car for $6200.

    Like 1
  9. Marvelous

    The tag says De-Fog … real, and was a criticism of the car when they installed the option, to have such a cheesy tag on the instrument cluster. I was around a lot of these cars in Texas. This two-tone came in a couple different variations…red, yellow, blue…whether they were added from the dealership or from the factory…who knows. Saw them all.

    Like 1
  10. MikeK

    Yellow over-spray in several areas. By the hood hinges, trim tag, truck lock assembly. Nice looking car, but a VERY close personal inspection is needed on this one.

    Like 2
  11. Spyder

    Seeing that interior brought back memories. I ordered my Camaro at our local dealers. I ordered the interior in black with maroon exterior. I was so excited to see the car when I got the call until I looked at the interior. I had expected solid black.The outside panels were black but the seating area was that “ houndstooth “ pattern in black, grey and white. I was just sick. We looked at the order and it was correct but wasn’t shown in any brochures except in leather. The car was great handling, great looking ( at that time ) but I never got over that interior.

    Like 1
  12. Bob

    My Red/Black 75 Rally Sport wasn’t LT optioned, it was a 350 4bbl, Auto, A/C car with a black vinyl interior and bright red carpet. Had the off white gauge surround not the darker tan like this one. Anything but a black interior on these RS’s just look silly to me. The best part of mine was the handling package that this one doesn’t have. You can tell that package by the set of color matching Z/28 style wheels and Goodyear Polyglass GT E60-15’s, that suspension option code was Z86 with a price tag of about $115. The Rally Sport option code is Z85 which can be seen on this 76 cars build tag.

    Like 1
  13. tommy

    I bought a new 1976 LT 350 4-speed black out side and inside don’t remember the horse power. thought it was 350 horse power but I could be wrong on that .$4100 hundred dollars . Nice car I only had 16,000 miles on it when I sold it I didn’t lose a dime.sold it 2-years later sweet car, also had a 1980 Z28 350 350 horse power black outside with red scoop on outside. inside red. also.a nice car

    Like 1
    • half cab

      I didn’t recall them have 350 hp during these yrs? I had a ’69 plain jane with a weak 327 that would leave both my friends mid 70’s rally sports.

      Like 1
    • Don H

      Sorry but no 350hp in 76our 80 not even close to that🥃

      Like 0
  14. Bodyman68

    Ive seen these since new as 3 neighbors had them one 74 Z28 4speed 350 , 76 type LT 350 4speed,and 77 305 AT,AC rally sport . I have had a couple myself always seemed underpowered for the weight . They did ride well and handle. With this car overspray back then was common as not many shops had hi tech spray booths and most shops painted where the car fit in . This car is not bad at all but id want to see it in person .

    Like 1
  15. James Smiley

    I had a light blue 76 with a 305 and tan interior with all the bells and whistles this one has I also thought the 305 was the standard engine for this car please correct me if I am wrong. On the other hand that was one fun car miss it a lot and looking for another one

    Like 1
  16. Frank Lacina

    I had an 80 R/S in a copper color with chocolate brown paint scheme. The brown started on either side of the grill and went up the center of the hood flaring out before the windshield then followed the normal pattern, top of the doors wrapping up onto the roof. It was a stock 305, not sure what the trans was. Had the camel color interior. Loved the car, spotless with no nicks or dings. Underside was showroom clean. Bought it new then got married and got stupid and traded for a new 86 Cavalier. Had it 6 years and it had 23,000 miles on it when traded. Wish I had a way to track it down now.

    Like 1
  17. James Smiley

    I know how you feel I wish I could track mine also but moved on I get to relive my youth through an 89 Silverado and having just as much fun with it

    Like 1
  18. Frank Lacina

    Bought an 89 Mustang convertible a few years ago, had 47K miles and was pretty much showroom. Had it 2 years and got bored and sold it for less than I had in it. Life moves on!!

    Like 0
  19. mainlymuscle

    Karl,I feel your pain ; the old adage “street cars make poor racecars,and racecars make terrible streetcars”.I have a substantial collection,and when I got one of my “lifers” 70 Judge vert,I told everyone I know to whack me upside da head,if I tried to make it go faster.A dozen years later,I still log more miles on that one than all the others combined.Having said that,the new ones are awesome dual purpose vehicles which brings me to this clean and pretty but underpowered Camaro.Mild LS driveline,and subframe connectors is the way to go,or not .Just hang your left elbow out the window and have a heck of a good day !

    Like 2
  20. Frank Lacina

    The body side molding is aftermarket and back section missing on drivers side. If you look at pic with “Rally Sport” on right front fender, you will notice body line is wavy and not crisp. There is mud in there.

    Like 1
  21. ROBBIE TEEUWEN

    54,000 miles is approx. 86,500 kilometers

    Like 0
  22. SRC

    I own a survivor 1976 Silver/Black Rally Sport with Black interior. Purchased new late Sept 1975. Couple observations: Paint appears to be a repaint from pictures. Dead give away is the black on roof/hood. Came from factory as matte black – aka flat black. 99.9 percent repaint (mine included) use gloss black. 2nd and 3rd observation – have someone verify matching numbers on motor. Appears that you have a 350 air Filter cover on a 305 engine. 350 CI in 1976 was a blue painted engine block. 305 engine was Orange. 250 was also blue. The decal with HP is not correct. In 1976, GM did not have a decal on the Air Cleaner cover – regardless if 250, 305 or 350. In addition to color of engine block, their is (or should be) a decal on the radiator cover. It will show in small print the CI displacement (aka 250, 305, 350) spark plug advance settings, timing settings. I have the 305 CI in mine – orange block. Tan interior was the interior of choice for the yellow-black combo. The fabric also appears to be correct. It also was popular with the LT trim on the white/black combo and so was the Red interior (on LT) Black was more common on the non LT models – vinyl interior. Silver/Black was mostly Black interior, you would see Red interiors on the Silver/Black with LT about 1/3 the time. Your picture indicates the LT trim – dead give away is the brushed aluminum trim panel on rear of vehicle between the tail lights. Non-LT trim levels came painted matte black in this area. Another give away, will have the LT badge on the interior door panels where the manual window handles would have been, LT came standard with power windows. Regardless, overall the car looks very good condition from the pictures. I would not let the minor things prevent you from purchasing the car. There were 200K of these cars made over a 3 year period, only a handful are still on the road today Enjoy.

    Like 0
  23. Tro

    I had a 1976 RS had a 4 speed yellow and black like the one above also had white interior. Had the 350 all factory no A/C in it. Was the second owner bought it from a friend in 1979

    Like 0

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