Original Tires! 5k Mile 1976 Trans Am 455 Four-Speed

Original tires!?! I’ve refurbished cars parked ten or fifteen years with tires that converted into something that’s not rubber. The dry-rotten tires on my buddy’s ’72 Mustang didn’t even grip my inclined driveway. We set the parking brake and the rear tires comically slid down the pavement until the car reached the street. But I digress! Thanks to Rocco B. who spotted this lovely silver 1976 Pontiac Trans Am 455 four-speed showing a claimed original 5213 miles on the odometer. This low-mileage creampuff must have spent its life indoors since it’s located in Logan, Ohio… and nonsensically listed here on craigslist in Detroit, Michigan with an asking price of $50,000.

Ascertaining the value of super-low mileage cars can be difficult; comparable vehicles recently sold provide the best data points. Perhaps the owner knew that 1976 would be the last year of the 455-powered Trans Am and bet on it out-pacing a series of CDs. This model year also gained more integrated front and rear bumpers, and marked the final year of round head lights (thanks to 2gta.com for some details).

The engine-turned dash is pure hot-rod eye candy. Atop the console shifter sits a shift knob that (from a distance) looks like one of those DIY knobs where your peel off the numbers and stick them in the position that matches your pattern, however this image search shows the stylish knob actually with a Pontiac emblem in the lower left below “R” and a conventional American “H” pattern for the close-ratio Muncie M21‘s four forward gears.

Other interesting options shown on the build sheet include the “WX” code 455 HO engine making 200 HP and more impressive 330 lb-ft of torque. Horsepower numbers from the mid-’70s don’t compare to our current high tide of technology-tweaked power, or to the glory days of the late ’60s, but this car (if it were ever driven) would prove highly entertaining. This Pontiac only has to be worth $50,000 to one person. Is it you?

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Pre bandit looks 👍

    Like 4
  2. Nrg8

    I have not ever seen the jack where it should be on these old birds. If the bottom matches the top, wow! Price is really reaching, but it is what it is. Wonder what it would cost to get that 455 to turn out bigger numbers.

  3. glen

    To answer your question, no it’s not me, but it does look nice.

  4. Pete Christensen

    Wow. I like it alot

    Like 3
  5. OIL SLICK

    50 grand is nuts.I can buy a lot of cool stuff for 50k instead of a smogged out TA

    Like 1
    • Tim S. Member

      Preach on, Right Reverend Slick. I love all things T/A but somebody’s been watching way too much Barrett-Jackson.

      Like 2
  6. Clint

    There are plenty of retired guys in their 60s with plenty of money. This car pushes all the right nostalgia buttons for them. It’s as good as sold.

    Like 2
    • 86 Vette Convertible

      I’m over 60, it pushes the right buttons. Unfortunately that ‘plenty of money’ statement doesn’t apply to me. :-(

      Like 3
    • Superdessucke

      Sure it might push buttons but 50k? I doubt it. Try half that, if he gets better pictures. Awful pictures for someone trying to get that much.

      Like 2
      • Nrg8

        You ever see see that episode of ass monkey garage where here flips that absolutely rotten Formula 400, even after he does the burnout filling the inside with rubber goodness? For some reason these hold a special place in peoples hearts. I have 2 73 formula 400’s and a T/A just like this. But they all rotten like ass monkies car. And some burn out cut the roof on one of them for a sunroof.

        Like 1
    • Miguel

      Keep in mind that a lot of those 60 year old would have a hard time with a heavy clutch like this one would have. I am speaking from experience, the clutch part, not the 60s part.

      Like 1
  7. Doyler

    Original tires. How exciting!

  8. MFerrell

    These low mile museum pieces are interesting, I’m glad they exist. Personally, I’d rather have something I can drive. High mileage, NOM, clone – all good, with no worries of wearing out an irreplaceable piece of history.

    Like 4
  9. Jay M

    In 20 years we will be saying “I could have bought that for only 50K” as we watch it cross Barrett Jackson…
    I know where there is a very special 1 off, factory ordered 74 455 SD T/A in similar shape, and he has turned down $200k.

    Like 3
    • Pa Tina

      In 20 years I’ll be 85 and unable to see or hear the Barrett circus. Thank heaven for little favors! Plus the TA will still have the original tires and an electric motor. Have fun watching!

      Like 1
    • Howard

      The SD is in an entirely different league from the standard smogged out 455 TA’s and Firefbirds, and is also much more rare.

      Like 1
  10. Van Cardwell

    The silver paint on 75-76 Trans-ams was terrible. Started to fade in 2 years. If this car has original paint that’s good, that would make it rare. Change the metering rods on the Rochester and get a huge boost in performance. As far as collectability, I met a guy in 78 with a 50th anniversary car. It had every option available. 455 T-tops, 4spd, rear console, gold cloth seats, cruise, defroster, power trunk. I haven’t seen another one like it. The guy wanted the investment. People had no idea then what a car could be worth.

    Like 2
    • Chuckie

      Trash the Rochester, buy a Holley!

      • Tyler

        Quadrajets are far superior to Holley carbs. The only reason to remove it would be to send it to Cliff Ruggles for him to work his magic on it. The only thing better than a good running q-jet is efi.

        Not to mention that beautiful sound that a quadrajet makes when it opens up. Nothing comes close, it’s pure music to the ears. GM should program that sound to come through the stereo of new cars at wide open throttle.

        Like 4
      • Van Cardwell

        Leave the Holley to the race track. 90% of the Holleys installed in the 70s used more gas and didn’t work properly. The only problem with a Rochester on a street car is someone that doesn’t know what their doing messing it up.

        Like 4
      • Tyler

        Exactly! Manufacturers put the Holley on its highest performance engines back in the 60’s because they expected them to be tinkered & fiddled with. GM spent millions on engineering Quadrajets, they were designed to work well on a stock engine with maybe some mild mods, & work well they did. A great balance of performance & reliability. I would venture to say that at one time, there were more cars running with Q-jets than here had been Holley carbs made. But they didn’t respond well to tinkering, & you can get one out of adjustment pretty quick. By the 80’s, use of a vacuum gauge to tune one was becoming a lost art.

        We have a 83 K10 that has over 500k miles on it. It’s on it’s 3rd engine & 4th transmission, but the Quadrajet has never been cracked open. At this point, the electric choke needs to be replaced, but it still cranks right up & runs great.

        Carter had their own version, the Thermoquad, & Chrysler put them on quite a few engines.

        We only have a couple vehicles left that still have carburetors. At some point if/when they need to be replaced, they will most likely get efi, if not complete late model engine swaps.

        Like 3
    • R Spreeman

      Silver paint has minimal pigment and tended to be terrible across brands back in the day. I heard from my brother (a Pontiac service writer at the time) that Pontiac did a lot of free repaints on their silver cars… I had a silver Dodge Mirada, world’s biggest piece of crap, and in two years you could not shine the car. Instead of washing it I just swept the flakes off it as the paint abandoned vast sections of the sheet metal. (Oddly, a Dodge Diplomat I had that was only a couple of years newer had silver paint that shined, and lasted.)

    • Hendo

      1976 was the last year of the 455. Your friend’s 1978 had a 400.

      Like 3
  11. Jack M.

    The people looking to buy this car are probably not too concerned that it is a smog motor. Plenty of power for 90% of the population. Enough power to lose your license in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.

    Like 4
  12. Adam T45 Staff

    When I was a kid my absolute favourite Matchbox car was a metallic blue Firebird with the same front-end treatment as this. I love this, and if someone offered it to me….

    The reality with cars like these is this: Is it worth the money? I’m willing to bet that it will be to someone. At the asking price, is it a good investment? Who knows. Buying cars for their collectable status is no different to playing the stock market. Some people play it safer, while others play the “high risk, high return” game. The price for this is high. In 10 years time it may be worth $200-$300k, or it may be worth $20k. Nobody can foresee the future.

    I would be willing to bet that every person who comes onto this site has either owned a car in the past, has sold it for peanuts, and found that it’s now worth serious money. Or that they’ve had the opportunity to buy a car for peanuts in the past, have decided not to, and now that car’s worth good money. It’s the risk that we take with cars like this.

    Like 3
    • Troy s

      I am one of those person’s who actually made both of those errors, more than a few times.😬

      Like 2
      • Adam T45 Staff

        Don’t feel bad Troy. So have I….several times.

        Like 2
  13. Bultaco

    These engines wake right up with some carb tuning and a backdated distributor. These cars handled really well for what they were, and the 455 weighs no more than any other Pontiac V8. This would be a really fun car from a time when Pontiac was still a sporty, yet classy car.

    Like 3
  14. Colin

    Five Tips for CL Success:

    #1: Ask way too much.
    #2: Post lousy pictures, but not too many!
    #3: Offer only a few words to describe what you are selling.
    #4: Offer more words on payment and what you don’t want.
    #5: USE ALL CAPS TO REALLY SOUND LIKE AN ASS.

    Like 3
    • GV

      #2b. don’t wipe down the instrument panel lens when you take a picture of the mileage but you’re following tip #1…

      Like 3
  15. PETER P BAUSYS

    I still have the original bias ply tires from my 72 Riv with 9,600 miles on them. They looked and rode ok when I bought the car 17 years ago. I quickly put on radials but kept the bias tires. I was amazed at the difference between bias and radial tires.

    Like 3
  16. Mike

    It’s all about trends and social norms not to mention choking laws from government whereupon, hence driverless cars and computer strips on the road dictate our beloved cars as obsolete. I say live for today, buy for today and most of all enjoy for today.

    Like 2
  17. EHide Behind

    The highest reach of Firebirds was in 1971 with introduction of 455 SD.
    It’s top end , quarter mile, and handling abilities put it way above any pony big block autos.
    PONCHOS ALWAYS had oil problems at high revs, but the 455 SD came with side oiler and return holes on head and block opened up.
    These would take a 454 big block Chevelle in every catagory.
    An aquaintence with newer 455 and Edelbrock head, manifold, pistons, Cam, carb, quit reaching at 500+ H P on Dyno.
    So this beaut could get real muscle if wanted.

    Like 3
  18. Luke Fitzgerald

    ‘Course it’ll sell – as they say, find another! – you guys are spoilt – you should see what rubbish gets sold here for $50k AU$ (even adjusted)

    Like 2
    • Pa Tina

      “Spoilt” is going to confuse a lot of ‘Murkins”

      Like 1
    • Adam T45 Staff

      They may be Luke, but they didn’t get the GTHO Phase III, the A9X, the L34, the XU1, the E38, the E49 or the F6 Typhoon. We’ve done ok I think mate

      Like 1
  19. BarnfindyCollins

    Think back, what were other people putting back in 1976? Eldoradoes. Lots of low mileage original ones still around. ’76 T/A’s not. This is someone’s dream car and it will sell. You could have bought Wal-Mart, Apple Computer, PanAm, or a Plymouth Volare’ too, who knows what history will do?

    Like 3
  20. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    With the low miles you really can’t drive it, it’s a trailer queen. I owned a 1983 Triumph TSX, 750cc. It had 11(yes eleven) original miles. One of 341 made. I trailered it around to shows for awhile, that’s all I did with it. I felt it was one of a kind with those miles so I didn’t ride it. I ended up selling it to a guy down south who has a British bike museum of some kind. So it will probably never see the road. This car is for looking at, not for driving and enjoying(especially if you pay the asking price), just like my Triumph.

    Like 2
    • Vernon

      You can still drive it. put a thousand miles a year on it over 20 years it will be 60 years old with 25000 miles still super low miles.

    • Fogline

      Why not drive it, I say. It’s been wasted its whole life up until now. Pull up to your kids school and drop ’em off. Just no food in the car, please.

      What else are you going to get for $50k. And who knows? Show up on this guys doorstep with $40k cash and you are into it for the price of many current generic sedans that you have to drive in reverse to do donuts. You probably couldn’t recreate this for much less would be my guess.

      Like 1
  21. Brian

    I bought one of these new,in black with firethorn red interior. 455 4 speed. AC .NO radio. Msrp was,$5750..I still have the window sticker. Anyway the car was a,dog. 200hp,felt like 150. Lots of quality control problems,kept it for 11 months and sold it to another pontiac dealer.
    Great looking car that wasn’t great at all

  22. ccrvtt

    A co-worker bought one of these new in ’76 – red interior, automatic, & a 350 or 400 I believe. I liked it a lot, but it was too expensive for me then and WAY too expensive for me now.

    Most TransAms of that era were profiler cars, image only. I sort of feel the same way about my C6, but at least it has 400 hp and handles like a go kart.

  23. John Leyshon Member

    Love the 70-76 single headlight cars. Choked as it was, still the fastest thing the US had to offer at the time (1976). $50k…? not seeing it. Would be interested in seeing an auction on it.

    Like 3
  24. Tyler

    I don’t know about 76, but I’ve driven a 75 SD455 4 speed T/A & it was a monster. It would absolutely roast the rear tires through first & second gear. True that a new Camaro or Mustang will run circles around it, are better built & safer, but who cares, 2nd gen F bodies are some of the most beautiful cars ever built. I love it!

    Like 3
    • Thomas Boyd

      SD 455 was only available in 1973 and 1974

  25. The Chucker

    I had one of these while in high school-circa 1984. The 455/4-speed is impressive on paper, but my mother’s 10 year old Accord would totally lay waste to this. I have an early 2nd gen Z28 in the garage, so I’m still a fan. One redeeming quality the T/A had during that time of my life was that it seemed to attract a certain type of girl…..

  26. gto4ever

    Calling these cars a dog doesn’t even cover it . I am all things Pontiac and love them all, but by this time they were all show and noooo go! What we could do back in the 70’s with a small block 400 in a regular old firebird.

    • Tyler

      Small block 400?

      Like 1
  27. George Mattat

    I believe Muncie was long gone by the time this car was built. The last Muncie in a Corvette was in 1974. The 455 in this car was a total dog. For $50,000 I can buy a 1967 Corvette. End of story.

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