Missing Stripes? 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am

My eyes may be deceiving me, but I do not see the iconic stripes gracing the hood and doors of this Pontiac LeMans that’s said to be an original “Can Am” package car. Spotted by Barn Finds reader Pat L., this super clean LeMans is desirable as-is, but potentially even more so if it’s a genuine Can Am edition. Find it here on craigslist with an $11,500 asking price.

Here’s another spot where those famous stripes would be. Since the aero bits and shaker hood are present – along with the color-matched wheels – I suspect this is a real Can Am. Also, the lower trim and trim around the perimeter of the windows is blacked out, another cosmetic enhancement unique to the Can Am. However, there should absolutely be orange, red and yellow graphics gracing the door.

The interior looks quite sharp, and you can just see the shaker hood through the top of the windshield in this photo. From this position, you’d have access to 200 b.h.p. courtesy of Pontiac’s 400 motor. Not hugely powerful, and frankly, a bit misleading when you consider this special edition was marketed in homage to the elite Can Am racing series. Still, it wouldn’t be the last time an ordinary car was gussied up without a boost in power.

So, where are the stripes? My guess is this LeMans was repainted, and either the current owner doesn’t realize it should have the exterior appliqué, or he does know and hasn’t been able to find reproduction stickers. Regardless, it appears to be rust-free and in fine shape otherwise, and if the seller’s contention that there are only 300 Can Am’s left is true, then finding one in any condition will become a challenge.

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Comments

  1. dirtyharry

    Just when you think you were aware of every GM model, you get a surprise. I was shocked to see the hood scoop on this model. Looks like a very nice car, but by 1977, the company that claimed, “We build excitement,” didn’t have much excitement to sell even with 200 hp big blocks. As a California resident, we are hunting down 1975 and older cars, otherwise the smog police are still involved. Getting away from the smog police, is the only likely way of putting some real excitement back into that big block. I have been rejected by the smog police for tiny offenses (a gas cap, a rubber vacuum line that only looked old, etc.)

    • David

      A Pontiac 400 isn’t a big block, and I too even as a poncho fan was unfamiliar with this package. Good luck with the smog cops!

      • Patrick Farmer

        Every Pontiac V8 engine, with exception of the lowly 301, is a big block. I had my 400 from my Can Am on the stand while I rebuilt it, and it stretched grade 8 bolts. Pontiac engines weigh more the a BB Chevy.

  2. Jeffro

    Being a Pontiac man, I’ve always been fond of these. Nice looking car. IMHO, seller would have better chance of selling if stripes and decals were on car. 400 has lots of potential!

  3. George

    Gotta love these guys boosting the price by saying that there are only 300 of these left. Really? Prove it! I hear that these were supposedly limited production cars but when I was a 16 year old in 1977 they were like ants. You couldn’t go a day without seeing at least a few in Hollywood, Florida.

    • Nick

      There were only 1377 produced and the Can Am registry has just over 300 on it. This is the only way to track how many are left. I have one of the 14+- made with a factory sunroof.

  4. American_Badaz

    Looks like Phoenix Graphix has the stripe kit for $415.

    https://www.phoenixgraphix.com/gm/1977ca.php

    Would have been money well spent. Especially for an $11,5 asking price. Cool car anyway though.

    • ACZ

      When these were new, they didn’t sell too great. Some dealers took the stripes off thinking it would help move the iron. The stripes were put on in the plant.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Every time I see the front end of a ’77 LeMans I think of the lines: “My handle is ‘SMOKEY BEAR’ and I’m tail-grabbin’ your ass right NOW!”
    1977 was the last great year for the Pontiac A/G bodies. We sold every LeMans and Grand Prix we could get our hands on; some of them still exist. In ’78 the designers started drinking their own bath water and things went downhill in a hurry. I ordered a a ’77 Grand Am but production delays put it past the deadline so I re-ordered and got a ’78. Not even close to the great car that the ’77 was. This is a nice car, even without the fancy decals. Too rich for my budget but it’s still tempting….

  6. Glenn

    Jim Wangers helped to get this car approved for production by Pontiac executives. They considered offering the Can Am in Carousel red, same as the 1969 Judge. Either way, the 1977 Can Am made the covers of many popular automotive magazines when it was new.

  7. CCFisher

    The 400 in this car was, indeed, a power boost. It’s the T/A 6.6, as opposed to the 180hp version in lesser cars.

  8. 68 custom

    I read years ago that the reason they stopped building these was the rear spoiler mold had somehow broke and the pencil pushers nixed the Can-Am. these are pretty nice cars and if not a rust bucket worth close to the asking price.

    • Samuel Wood

      No that was the malibu se with less than 100 made

    • Utes

      @ 68 custom….
      That’s pretty much on the button for Can Am termination. The cost of the broken rear spoiler mold replacement wasn’t justified by the sales potential of further production.
      Phil Tolkan Pontiac here in Milwaukee had a slew of white Lemans coupes on their lot & they all had 400’s under the bonnet. I found his peculiar because other than in the Can Am, the 400 was unavailable. After some inquiry it was revealed they were leftover uncompleted Can Am candidates produced by Motortown where they were shipped for modification.

  9. Ray Smith

    As a 14 year old kid back in 1977 this was a dream car. I remember them very clearly. They had a commanding presence back in the day.

  10. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Just a thought, I wonder if the stripes came in the trunk like some pace car editions did? Maybe never got put on, or his kid put them on his Vega.

  11. AMCSTEVE

    Bucket list car for me. Look’s clean but I would have to suspect bondo as these weren’t immune to rot. being a CO car i have my doubts.

  12. JW

    Could be the guy was like me and don’t care for graphics and had them deleted from the factory when ordering the car. A neighbor of mine ordered a beautiful blue 2010 I believe Shelby GT500 and had the stripes deleted from Shelby but left the Cobra emblems on, he said it was his sleeper car.

    • Mike G

      Back then a hair dryer would easily heat the glue stripe and it would pull right off

  13. Ron H

    This has been repainted. If you look at the ‘through the windshield’ pic you can see the back of the shaker is still masked with tape that is sprayed white. But i agree that the stripes kit may have been in the trunks when new. Who cares, if it can be bought right, does it matter? Check the numbers to see if they match and enjoy it with or without stripes. A very cool car!

    • Greg Member

      Yeah, the stripe kits came in the trunk to the dealer. So a buyer could opt to delete them. I also agree this has been repainted, so that could explain the missing stripes. I’d buy the kit and put them on, get it looking it’s best. But I’m a California guy and wouldn’t want to deal with getting it passed by the smog police!

  14. Rock On Member

    First order of business would be to make that shaker hood functional and listen to that quadrajet roar.

  15. smackin

    Check the Vin and that will tell you, more or less. The black vinyl at the bottom is part of the fecal kit. Why have that and not the stripes? If it was painted on, then that I’d incorrect. The scoop was just a 76 Trans Am scoop also easy to duplicate. The black trim is oak Ted correctly but easy to fake.

  16. Leon

    Out of alignment high beam is a red flag for me. I’ve seen so many cars redone where they do a messy job of putting back sealed beam lights

    • Doug Potts

      You do realize that the adjustment screws on the ’75 thru ’86 GM cars were notorious for breaking. Had 2 ’79 Cadillacs that broke all the time.

  17. Rustytech Member

    IMO the 1977 Lemans was the best looking of the GM mid sizes cars, Even the luxury model was gorgeous. This is a nice example even if it’s not a can am, though I would be shocked if the seller tried pull off that kind of fraud. I like it without the stripes, but I’d be ok with it either way. It bears being said, this being 1977 the horse power rating is “net” so it’s likely closer to 250/275 gross. There are plenty of Aftermarket upgrades for the 400ci if your not in a strict emissions zone. The price looks fair if it’s really a rust free car. Wish I had room for it.

  18. Troy McCutcheon

    I think the stripes are available from Phoenix Graphics. Nice car, 455 would have been bomb.

    • Patrick Farmer

      Jason is NOT a Pontiac fan. Oh and by the way, Pontiac engines weigh more than a Chevrolet Big Block. A 1970 455 H.O. would hand a 454 it’s butt. Do ever wonder why there are no big block Camaro’s after 1973.

      • Utes

        @ Patrick Farmer………
        Got yer facts wrong…..’72 was Chevy’s swan song-year for big blocks, not ’73.

    • Patrick Farmer

      I swapped a 455 in my Can Am in 1987, and I went all out on it. It was supposed to be 9.5:1 and it is closer to 10.0:1. This was after I used forged flat tops that the machinist cut a dish in them. My point is that my 455 with a 4.10 dif turned my Can Am into a predator. It was extremely fun to drive. It is a lightened A body. Street competitors of the day had trouble wrapping their head around a car that big moving that fast. Great fun at 3 MPG and a gallon of 110 per tank full to stop the pinging. I let a lot of things go in my life, but not her.

  19. Todd H

    Don’t know if anyone else noticed but it is a non-A/C car. Notice the air vent opening to the left of the driver and if you enlarge the int pic you can see there is no A/C controls only heat and defrost controls. Wouldn’t be concerned about the left side drooping high beam, likely just due to the plastic adjuster screw mount disintegrating. Very common problem and the replacements are so poorly made that due to the tension of the tensioner spring they often shatter before you can even get the headlight properly adjusted. And sometimes just going over a bump in the road will cause the little plastic tabs to snap off. Chinese junk. Had to buy two packs of them just to get one adjuster that would hold the light in place on one of my three Can Am’s. (there is two to a pack)

  20. Blindmarc

    As 68 Custom said, the reason their production was cut short…..drove one a “friend” had at the time. It was his high school grad present……

  21. Jason

    Pontiac 400 is NOT a big block!!!!

    • Tom Driscoll

      and not a small block?

      • Greg Member

        Pontiac made one size block. Whether they bored it to 326ci or all the way to 455ci, they were all the same size blocks. Different than the other GM siblings.

      • Tom Driscoll

        I think most people know they used one size block, but compared to a sbc, it is a rather “big” block ;)

  22. Poncho love

    Had a 77 LeMans for many years miss that car if I had the disposable income this would be mine for sure. Sigh

  23. pogo mojo

    Most of these self destructed due to the old rust rat. Almost bought one back in 77.

  24. Rolf Poncho 455

    I like it a lot!!! it’s a medium block up to 455 to safe weight
    a clever move from Pontiac

  25. Mitch Member

    I loved that car when it was new and I was young. I agree about the pontiac being the prettiest of the ’77 intermediates. What I would like to find is the 4 door version, the Enforcer. Never have seen one in many years of looking.

    • Tom Driscoll

      I never heard of a 4 door can Am and couldn’t find anything on google…are you thinking of the 4 door grand Am?

      • Utes

        @ Tom Driscoll…
        I specified Grand Am.

  26. Utes

    @ Mitch….
    You’ll probably have no better luck finding a LeMans Police Enforcer than you would in finding a Grand Am, which was available in a 2dr. as well as a 4dr.

  27. Bob

    A 77 Can Am was my first new car. I had a good job and was a senior in high school… I loved it! If I had the money, I would buy this one! I guess that I should sell some stuff so that I’m ready when these opportunities arise! Looks great and brings back loads of memories!

    Thanks for sharing it!

  28. Jubjub

    Kinda pricey but cool. Always liked this generation of Pontiac. Had a ’73 Grand Am, great car, and I see it’s lineage here.

  29. Car Guy

    I just purchased a very nice original paint 73 Grand Am coupe. My father ordered a loaded new one back in 73 and kept it 11 years. Always liked these cars…..this one reminds me of him.

    • Tom Driscoll

      Been looking for a ’73…tell us more about it???

  30. Utes

    Any pics to share?

    A67Man@aol.com

  31. mars2878

    I’ve always liked these

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