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One-Owner Survivor: 1974 Pontiac LeMans

The LeMans began as an upscale version of the Tempest compact in the early 1960s and later became the primary series as a mid-size. The fourth generation of the car debuted in 1973 as part of the redesign GM gave all its intermediates. They employed Colonnade styling which meant these were hardtop-like sedans having doors without window frames. This 1974 LeMans looks like your basic model and is a one-owner, 46,000-mile survivor. It could stand some new paint, but you could drive it while you restore it. From Tucson, Arizona, this Pontiac is available here on craigslist for $7,900 OBO.

After major changes in 1973, the updates for 1974 were minimal. Perhaps the most noticeable was the use of 5-mph bumpers in the back matching the capacity of the ones installed in the front the year before. On some cars, they looked like cowcatchers, so it’s in the eye of the beholder if Pontiac was able to pull it off aesthetically. Colonnade styling came with opera windows on the 2-door models. The seller’s medium blue Pontiac once had a landau vinyl roof, although that’s been peeled away leaving behind its chrome trim and some surface rust.

Engine choices on the LeMans included one inline-six (250 CI) and five V8s ranging from 350 to 455 cubic inches, with output ratings measured in terms of SAE net. No mention is made as to how the seller’s auto is propelled, but the 2-barrel 350 was the most popular choice. It’s likely paired with GM’s 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. Does it look like the A/C belt is missing?

If this LeMans is the base model hardtop (D37), it would be one of 37,000 built in 1974. In addition, 38,000 LeMans Sport (F37) 2-door hardtops were produced as well as 26,000 copies of the Luxury LeMans (G37) in that body style. We assume the paint is original and has held up except for the trunk lid and where the vinyl top used to be. At 46,000 miles, this Pontiac probably saw on and off use over the past 48 years, prompting the seller to refer to it as the “most solid car I have owned.”

Comments

  1. MoragaPulsar

    HOW is this rusty old car worth the $7900 asking price? No details about the engine, or condition, or what works or not. I’m suspicious of the miles claimed, and even more, the seller states: “car zero rust.. most solid car I have owned.” while the top and trunk clearly have rust.

    Interesting Barn Finds post? yes, certainly. Worthy of purchase? maybe for a fraction of asking price.

    Like 9
    • CCFisher

      A little surface rust does not make this a rusty car in my book. If I can get rid of the rust without pulling out my cut-off wheel, grinder, and MIG welder, it’s not rusty. To my eyes, this car is impressively solid, at least what we see of it.

      Like 21
  2. Big C

    As far as 70’s Pontiac Colonnade cars go? This one is practically mint.

    Like 6
    • Conrad A

      I agree. As an expatriate of the northeast, I remember most of these cars rotted to pieces, many times when they were less than 10 years old, especially the rear quarters. Sure, this one isn’t a Grand Am or a Can Am, but it’s heartening nonetheless to see any 74 Colonnade still alive and well. Many of us drove the plain janes daily for years back in the day, and have fond memories of them. I have a basic optioned 74 Cutlass Supreme with 33K actual miles, and original paint and interior, and I’m amazed at the amount of attention it gets at cars and coffee…

      Like 4
  3. Dave

    Open pallet, but I like the as is stripped-down look on this 73 too.

    Like 3
  4. Steve RM

    To answer your question. I definitely see a belt around the A/C compressor.
    I do think this car is a little overpriced. But if it’s everything the seller says it is
    and the rust you can see is all there is then the price isn’t that bad. I’d repaint the trunk and the roof. Not sure but I’d probably leave the vinyl off the top.

    Like 1
  5. normadesmond

    I think that’s Jesus in the car, so there’s that.

    Like 2
  6. GitterDunn

    These were some good-looking cars (well, except those bumpers!), and sold like hotcakes but there aren’t many around these days. I can’t remember seeing one on the road in years. This Le Mans looks like it would take very little to make it a real beauty: body looks very straight, so at least a partial paint job (I’d paint the entire car, and consider leaving off the vinyl top) I did notice that the stainless steel rear window trim is present in some pics, missing in others, which would be a concern. No other interior pics, but at least the dash pad doesn’t look to be cracked – could be that a thorough cleaning and detail job would suffice. Mechanical parts and maintenance for these are readily available, so given the low miles and good condition, I think this is a good buy for someone.

    Like 5
  7. John Oliveri

    My first car was a 73 Luxury Lemans, had a much prettier grille, and one year only tail lights, which I loved, mine was black w a white interior and top, fully loaded, w every option available, it was a gorgeous car, with the Luxury Lemans upgrades and I had Spokes and 1.5 inch whitewalls, she was a real cruiser, wish I never sold it, owned it 1 year from 78 to 79

    Like 3
    • Tommy Okonski

      I bought a 1973 Black on black new off the show room floor. loved the car never had a problem with it had it for 9 years. should have kept let it go 60,00 miles no rust still looked great.

      Like 2
  8. S

    Interesting that this was purchased on May 28, 1974, and this is posted May 28, 2022. 48 years to the day.

    Like 6
  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Agree this looks to be legit – looks like a carport car – hard to fake that paint and bumper plastic trim – which is always long gone on a sunny side car.

    Always thought these were nicely styled – will go over the great pond.

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