HatchBlack: 1975 Pontiac Ventura Custom

I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a black Ventura before, but as you can see this 1975 Pontiac Ventura Custom hatchback is indeed black. At least it is now. This one is posted on Craigslist, or here on the CL archive, and it’s located in Oakland, California. The seller is asking $3,500 or a reasonable offer.

This car looks like it’s pretty solid and the seller mentions that it “was well maintained by its previous owner who put a lot of work and care into it.” I don’t know for sure if it was originally a black car because there are no closeup photos and really none of the interior at all, so seeing door jambs for color is pretty tough. Not that it really matters.

This is about the only photo giving a glimpse of the interior and those pesky door jambs to check for color. It could very well have been a black car originally but for some reason I’m thinking that it may have been blue? I could be wrong and as always, please point it out if I am. The interior looks white so maybe it was a black car? The only reason that I’m going on and on (and on and on) about it is that this dull black paint can’t be factory paint, can it be? It looks like it’s been painted with a matte finish or maybe it’s one of those spray-on wrap-type finishes, such as “Plasti Dip”? But, who really cares just as long as the car isn’t rusty! There is no mention of rust and it’s impossible to see any from these photos.

And, then there’s the engine compartment to further confuse things. I’m seeing a lot of rattle-can detailing there, even on rubber parts! The seller has this car listed as a six-cylinder but it sure looks like the Oldsmobile V8 option, and in decoding the VIN it is the Olds 260 cubic-inch V8. I’m not sure how I feel about those light blue engine components. No, I’m sure – I don’t like them. Again, who really cares if it runs great and the seller says that it “runs amazingly”. They also have “a full collection of paperwork for the work that has been done on it.” This is an unusual one, but the car itself is an unusual model. Pontiac Ventura hatchbacks aren’t too plentiful anymore. What are your thoughts on this Ventura hatchblack?


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  1. Alan

    I am based in Beirut LEBANON. I have small collection of american and other vintage cars. As this topic about a Pontiac Ventura last
    coupe with landau top year I bought 76 Ventura light blue exterior checkered blue interior same 260 V8 Olds as this and Yea it has 121 original miles since new Yes Not typo!! I paid 12K for it later I was v surprised was featured in article in Honniverse here it is http://hooniverse.com/2015/02/01/weekend-edition-quick-hit-a-minty-fresh-1976-pontiac-ventura-coupe-with-only-120-miles-on-the-odometer/

  2. Dan in Texas

    You are kidding about not being sure if it was a blue car originally, right?

  3. Mallthus

    This is, to me, the perfect project car. It appears solid, it’s a desirable form factor (to me), and it’s a platform with lots of aftermarket support.

    Of course, it needs pretty much everything from drivetrain to body from, at the very least, cosmetic fixes. And there’s a lot of straight-forward go fast upgrades that could be added.

    The only questions are how fast do you wanna go and how big is your wallet?

  4. Whippeteer

    It obviously started out baby blue. You can see that on the doors as well as the engine compartment. They also did not produce any with a matte finish.

    Like 1
  5. kuzspike

    Back when it mattered, Pontiac’s motors were blue if I remember correctly, but I don’t think it was that shade of blue. Even if the car was originally that shade of blue, I don’t think there would be that much of it in the engine bay any way.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      And I doubt that they’d paint the plastic intake snorkel that blue colour; those were usually left black.

  6. edh

    I can see 3 spark plug wires on the passenger’s side and the upper radiator hose leading to the front of the intake, that’s the god awful 231 Buick V6.

    • Rodent

      VIN decodes to 8-260, and the engine itself looks like an Olds.

      Buick V6 has the distributor in the front, tipped to the driver’s side.

    • Nrg8

      Nope 260 olds is in there. 231 buick v6 had leaning distributor in the front and 200 chevy v6 was at the back. Light blue grey metallic. Oh and passenger front fender is burgandy. But nope!

  7. Jack M.

    Add bonus points for the aougahh horn.

  8. Rabbit

    Definitely an Olds V8. No mistaking that oil filler sticking up from behind the water pump. Those little 260’s actually had some grunt. But, holy Plasti-Dip, that thing would be a bear to strip, especially if they scuffed it first. Could make a fun little project.

  9. Eugene

    who cares blue black red if you buy the car paint it pink paint what you want so your happy not my type car sorry grandmas grocery getter but thats not a bad thing just like ramblers and stangs thankyou

  10. JW

    That car was definitely blue before and if the seller claims it’s a 6 cylinder no telling what else he doesn’t know. Forget it.

  11. Ken

    I’m hard butted for keeping bone stock (well, ok save for an electronic ignition and maybe 4 wheel discs). Bring that baby back to baby blue with it’s white interior. I loved the cars in the 70s when they did stuff like that. White seats, DK blue carpet, blue seat belts, blue dash. Stunning sharp. Anyway, nice find!


    Sorry, couldn’t resist

  13. benjy

    Slap a Nova nose on it and sell it for more after you also put a 350 in it. I had one for a few years it was a good car except the hatch back rattled like a dozen half empty spray cans.

  14. Steven D Visek

    Last Pontiac V8 in the Ventura was in 1974.

    I’d be tempted to turn this into a 1975 one-of-none GTO with a 400 or 455. With proper Pontiac V8 motor mounts the 400/455 are a perfect fit in these cars.

    The 1975 Hurst GTO proposal comes to mind.

    • Steven D Visek

      Second page on the Hurst GTO.
      While I’m not crazy about the black and gold color combo for this car, but an X-body GTO with 400/455 engine, shaker hood scoop, honeycomb wheels, Formula steering wheel, and maybe a Hurst T-handle shifter would be a fun ride.

    • Rabbit

      This is true! I did it with a 79 Phoenix & the 455 mill out of a 72 Grand Ville. Fit like a glove. Kinda.

  15. Beatnik Bedouin

    This would make a good basis for what’s termed today as a ‘Pro-Touring’ (funny, I was building them as far back as 1971, as were a lot of my buddies, due to my being a rather bad influence).

    In 1977, I leased a new ‘Grandma Blue’ Buick Skylark hatch that was a special order that was rejected by the original buyer – all because it had the Chebbie LM-1 V8, instead of a Buick 350. It was probably as close to a Skylark being kitted out as a COPO 9C1, as was possible, with heavy-duty everything.

    Once it was out of warranty, I did a bit more suspension tuning and surprised a lot of people on Mulholland Drive and elsewhere. Good fun!

  16. 79malibu

    Put the spray cans down and step away from the vehicle! Also, It doesn’t make since that the distributer is in the back. Because that is definitely a V6 There are only 3 plug wires on the passenger side. Speaking of the passenger side…….. They went crazy with the flat black spay paint and the wrong color blue spay cans. Why didn’t they cover up the burgundy paint on the inner fender to match the drivers side? hmmmmmmmmmm. I think in its day a cool car. Hell! It’s a cool looking car now. But I agree. too much has been covered up with spray paint. Walk away.

    • Steven D Visek

      Sorry, but there is no doubt that is an Olds V8 and not a Buick V6. If you just Google pics you will see that both engines have several distinctive physical traits. If there were three plug wires on that side, all that would mean is that one is missing, but I copied the photo and then zoomed in on it, and can see there are actually four plug wires on the passenger side.

  17. Babbling Brooks

    That’s a 260 Olds for sure. Same as in my 75 Ventura 2 dr coupe with a trunk, not a hatchback. Not a speed demon but sure sounds great thru 2 1/2″ dual exhaust with Flowmaster’s. Lowered about 2″, buckets, console, factory AC, AT w/ floor shift, quick ratio TA steering box, and a few more tweaks. I saved it from the crusher about 12 years ago now and love it. And you don’t see too many of them on the road. Nice to have something that not everyone else owns (like my 66 Mustang!).

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