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Firethorn Red: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am 400 4-Speed

The 1976 Pontiac Trans Am was produced in the middle of the performance doldrums and was unique in that no other year Trans Am shared the same front end. This car is located in Southern California and looks like it is stored in an offsite facility. The car is listed here on eBay for a strong Buy It Now Price of $26,900. There is less than 24 hours remaining in the auction.

The car is equipped with the L78 400 cubic inch V8 engine that was the base engine for the Trans Am in 1976. The engine is mated to a Borg Warner T10 4 speed manual transmission. My brother, Paul, had a white 1976 Trans Am with this engine when I was in high school. While it only generated 180 horsepower, it had over 300 ft lbs of torque. That car and its shaker hood scoop seared my desire to own a Trans Am when I got my driver’s license!

This car is painted in Firethorn red which is really a mix between red and maroon. The car has a white and black standard interior that looks to be in really nice condition. The car is equipped with air conditioning center console, tinted glass and a rear window defrost. I like that this car is stock and still equipped with its 15×7 Rally II wheels.

The optional engine for 1976 Trans Ams was the L75 455 cubic inch V8 engine. It could only be ordered with a 4 speed transmission and it was rated at a paltry 200 horsepower. The odometer reading on this car is said to exceed its mechanical limits (100K+). While this car was not fast in its day, it did not take much to get the car breathing better to generate much more power.


  1. Johnny

    What a joy it would be. To show the difference a person could make with this car in 20 minutes of motor tinkering. That thing would run alot better. I have a roller like this in black and plan on starting on it next year. Its a 76 Formula 400-it had a 4 speed -400 motor. Nice ride. The price is more reasonable then the $40,000 Charger with no motor and a rust bucket at that. This one does run and does,nt look like it needs anything-BUT GOOD GAS. I was with a friend one day going to work. He had bought one straight off the show room floor. We hit the interstate and he wanted to see where it would red line, 110 mph and it wasn,t close.

    Like 3
    • Bear

      I would HOPE that the tach wouldn’t be anywhere even close to redline at just 110mph!! :-O

      Like 0
    • K. R. V.

      I’d be very surprised to see one of these pull the “red line” in top gear! Or maybe even 3rd gear! There was just not enough horsepower! But plenty of torque to run up through the gears! One of my older cousins alway bought a new Trans Am, every three years after he landed a great job as Comptroller in a big construction/gravel pit company. I remember an amazing 1971, that like all he bought had an optional engine and 4 speed Posi Trac. But sadly that one was stolen! So the next was a 1973, 400/4 speed, posi, that he ended up trading in for a 1974 Trans Am, 455 SD 4 speed, that was one of the quickest car I’ve ever driven back then! He still has that car in the same color as the above! He called it his “Blood Orange”! He also has the white seats and door panels but changed the carpet and dash to match the car and it sound gaudy but looks fantastic! Especially when you notice it’s some of the softest nicest smelling leather, he had custom made. I can tell you all for sure that car will pull 3,800 rpm in top gear at 141 mph! But the engine is not stock anymore, but still Pontiac numbers matching excitement!

      Like 4
      • JoeNYWF64

        There was no optional engine for the ’71-2 T/As – they all got 455 HOs, though i believe the low compression HO’s got cast rods – not forged like with the sd-455.

        Somebody tried to steal John Wayne’s green t/a in the movie “McQ”.

        On the tach of the ’74 “station wagon” 4bbl 400 with automatic in the bird, the yellow line starts at between 5000 & 5500 rpm, & the red line starts at a little less than halfway between 5500 & 6000 rpm.
        On later models with converters, the yellow & red lines start at lower rpm – i would think in an “attempt” to reduce emissions & increase mpg?

        Like 0
  2. Phlathead Phil

    Wow, beautiful.

    I had a ‘77 Camaro with the exact opposite color scheme. Firethorn interior, White on the outside. The engine was a 305 smog dog. The engine went to 140,000 and the trans dropped out at 95,000.

    Sold it to buy a diamond ring. Lost on both deals, but got two awesome boys!

    Win some, loose some.

    Like 21
  3. JoeNYWF64

    Never seen headers added, & cat conv kept(aftermkt or factory) on 1 of these. Anybody know how much hp & torque an AFTERMKT converter like this robs?
    Body color trunk floor is a custom touch.

    Like 0
  4. Bob C.

    Even during the malaise era, these Pontiac 400 and 455s still had a lot of go to them.

    Like 2
  5. Jdub

    Is that a photo delete or no radio?

    Like 0
  6. Tooyoung4heyday Tooyoung4heyday Member

    This color combo is a big plus for me. Wouldn’t even need it to be fast, it looks great. Just turn the key and cruise it. Four speed is just how they all should be, present. May need a slightly bigger cam to get that shaker wigglin a little more though.

    Like 4
  7. Chip

    Both my older brothers had ’76’s. One had the 455 – 4 speed, the other the 400 – auto, both white, 400 with the Bird, 455 without. Unfortunately both rusted away to nothing in the Michigan winters…

    Like 0
  8. 455RAIV

    Friend had a 1976 400 4 spd T/A – Black – Tan Interior – open scoop – dual exhaust tuned just nice – Sure liked the Torque he would shift that through the gears like no tomorrow – Fun car :)

    Like 1

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