Dirt Cheap: 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ

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It is hard to argue that Pontiac did not start the personal luxury car craze with its introduction of the third generation Grand Prix in 1969. Pontiac’s fourth generation Grand Prix was built from 1973 to 1977 and sold even more units than the prior generation. This 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix is located in Staunton, Illinois and is being sold by a dealer. The car is listed here on eBay and on their website for $8,950. The odometer reading shows 29k miles but without pictures of the interior and the engine compartment it is hard to tell how many times, if any, the odometer has rolled over. This is not an auction and the seller has a Make an Offer button for prospective buyers to submit their best price to the dealer.

The Grand Prix was offered in the J, SJ and LJ models. The J was the base model. The SJ was the sport model and the LJ was the luxury model. In 1976, Pontiac introduced the split waterfall grill and 4 rectangular headlights. For some, it is an eye catching design and for others not so much. with most people I talk to, it is a love it or hate it design. Pontiac reworked the design for 1977 to a more stately look. This car looks solid from most of the pictures in the ad. The seller states that it has had the same owner for the past 20 years.

Since it is an SJ model, it came with bucket seats, console and a L78 400 cubic inch V8 engine backed by an automatic transmission. This engine was rated at 180 horsepower and 315 lb ft of torque. The seller states that the engine has some upgrades including an aluminum manifold and dual exhaust. The optional engine was the L75 400 cubic inch V8 engine rated at 200 hp. The Pontiac 350 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at only 160 horsepower and was standard in the J (base) model. This was the last year for the 455 cubic inch V8 engine in a Pontiac.

The car is raiding on dirty black wall tires and factory 15×7 Rally II wheels. Pontiac built over 110,000 Grand Prix’s in 1976 including 4,807 Golden Anniversary edition cars. The special edition cars had T-Tops  and special Cadillac Autumn Gold Paint. This car looks like a driver and is priced accordingly.

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  1. Bo

    This car really falls into the category of ‘beater’. Rust bubbles under the vinyl roof, spray foam rust repair in the trunk.. It’s potential restored value means it’s not a viable restoration project. It is a great nostalgia machine as it accurately represents what $700 would have gotten us back in 1989. Lots of beater fun still left in it. These, along with Monte Carlos and Cutlass’s were very desirable beater cars for teenagers back in the day.

    Like 13
    • TimS

      Its “potential restored value” is a problem if you have auction show dreams, but not if you just want one of these.

      Like 6
  2. Keith D.

    No interior photos..Ridiculous!

    Like 10
    • Gary J Lehman

      With pictures, you’re a buyer?

      Like 0
  3. MoragaPulsar

    Last year I made a side trip to visit Country Classic Cars. The place has hundreds! of very interesting cars, all types of the 20-40 year old classics that are not overly rare or expensive, but uncommon to see these days (e.g. Rivieras, Thunderbirds, El Caminos, Reattas, Allantes, RX7s …).

    It was a great visit, but everyone of the vehicles seemed tired and rusty, and because or this, rather overpriced. Photos always looked appealing, but in person, not so much.

    But, if you like reading BarnFinds, you would enjoy a visit to CountyClassics outside of St. Louis.

    Like 13
    • "Edsel" Al leonardMember

      Been following a few of their vehicles since Sept….pics are always grainy, no reliable documentation and ALWAYS overpriced…they do have a large, odd selection…

      Like 4
  4. Bick Banter

    9k is dirt cheap??? Yikes. I needs a new job :-D

    Like 15
    • Michael Berkemeier

      I think he meant the dirt was cheap. The car that is covered in the dirt? Not so much.

      Like 5
  5. ACZ

    The personal luxury car craze was started by the 1963 Buick Riviera.

    Like 8
    • bone

      The 58 Tbird has that crown

      Like 2
  6. Robert Liivoja

    I traded my 1974 Camaro for a 1975 Grand Prix. I thought that it was a very good looking car.
    The performance on the other hand, not great. 400 ci 4 barrel was slow to get going and only slightly better on the highway.
    I had the car for 5 years and when I went to trade it in, the salesman asked me if I had a fire in the engine compartment. I did not. But the silver gray finish looked like a speckled trout.

    Like 2
  7. Steve

    Got married in a 76 triple back GP J, back in 76. Liked the car but with the 350 was such a dog, barely would do 100 mph and that was a long stretch to get there. Pretty car and loved I the interior though not the 85 mph speedo. ( I think)

    Like 3
    • Michael Berkemeier

      Must have been a tight fit…how many were in your wedding party?

      Like 9
    • Kevin

      A 76 GP had a 100 mph speedometer, the 85 mph stuff was in the 1980s you are a decade off

      Like 0
  8. Karl

    F.Y.I. Country Classics has recently changed ownership.

    Like 1
    • Michael Berkemeier

      …and it is still a bunch of overpriced beaters with no real collectible value.

      Like 3
    • Fish56

      Thanks for the info. I remember they had a very bad fire a few years ago, lost a lot of cars, some of them being on consignment.

      Like 0
  9. Fred

    455 was last sold in 1976

    Like 2
  10. Emel

    The selected wheels do this GP no favors.

    Dual rectangular headlights were pretty new at this time. They
    were hard to get use to……don’t think I ever did ! lol

    Like 2
    • Michael Berkemeier

      *used to

      Like 1
    • DON

      Iagree !

      Like 0
  11. PRA4SNW

    No interior photos.
    Did the dealer lock the keys in the car or something?

    Like 6
  12. Steven Ramos

    Car is in poor shape and one of the auctions did have a few inside photos but looked very tired it’s way overpriced for that condition..

    Like 5
  13. Joshua C Mansmith

    Bought a ’76 SJ for my then girlfriend from my uncle for $200.Belonged to the local church secretary.

    Like 0
  14. Flynn O'Brien

    From the looks of it the odometer definitely has rolled over and hasn’t been garage kept much. Overpriced for its current condition. I’d give them $1000 for it but no more than that. These were my least favorite body styles. I absolutely love the 71-72 models going back to the 80s when I was a young kid and had a paper route. Guy had one on my route that was gorgeous and I would just listen to him fire it up. Ever since that I was hooked on them. One day I’ll have one.

    Like 0
    • Kevin

      You can’t buy a 400 Pontiac engine by itself for 1,000

      Like 0
      • Josh M

        …and if you do its going to need a rebuild.

        Like 0
  15. Maggy

    My neighbor gave me his 76 SJ with a blown up 400.He bought it new.Had the Hurst t top option .I remember the sticker on the door saying the car was modified by Hurst.It was red with a white vinyl landau.Pretty car .Never got around to putting another engine in it , parted it and scrapped it. Regret it to this day.

    Like 0
  16. Steven Hays

    I’d love to have this car!! I had a 74 Cutlass Supreme with the 350Rocket
    And this is very close to that. Tuned carb and a HMI distributor,swap rear end, ran a 9.6 in the quarter.

    Like 0

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