Rare Can Am Edition: 1977 Pontiac Le Mans

One of my favorite terminologies to describe cars from the 70s is “sticker package”, given the frequency with which graphics kits played a larger role in moving metal off of dealer lots. However, I can at least appreciate the Pontiac LeMans Can-Am edition for the uniqueness of the package and the decent array of performance upgrades Pontiac included in addition to the loud-and-proud graphics kit. Plus, commemorating Can-Am racing is never a bad thing. This example here on eBay is a two-owner car with under 40,000 on the odometer, but likely closer to 135,000 in real life.

The Can-Am package included a 200 b.h.p. W72 engine, a 400-cu-in V-8 affectionately referred to as T/A 6.6 on the pronounced hood scoop. Other tweaks included the integrated rear spoiler and rally-style wheels painted to match the white paint job. The list of enhancements didn’t stop there, as Pontiac also included a “Radial Tuned” suspension, power front disc brakes, 3.23:1 axle ratio, and the “Grand Prix” instrument panel, along with a few other cosmetic add-ons. The shaker hood scoop was added by an aftermarket company, and while it indeed shook, it didn’t gulp down cold air, making it more of an appearance upgrade than anything else.

The aftermarket vendor also applied the custom stripe kit and decals. The interior of this example isn’t perfect, but it’s at least complete. Both driver and passenger seats will need to be redone if you’re seeking perfection, but the rest of the cabin looks OK. Even with the damage to the seats, the interior is free from major stains or alterations, but the seller claims the carpet is tired. From the initial outside pictures, I didn’t believe this car had seen over 130,000 miles, but the interior tells a different story. It’s not bad, but it does show that the Pontiac has not been kept as a time-capsule grade example like so many other Can Ams.

This is especially true when you see the rust that has blossomed underneath the back window. The seller acknowledges that the Can-Am will need some work, and there’s additional rust repair needed along with the front window and in the engine bay. Rust repair will definitely be a requirement for the next owner to sort out, and it looks like the parcel shelf under the rear glass is in need of replacement. Overall, the Can-Am edition is an interesting outlier due to being produced in limited quantities and for celebrating a racing series with next to no visibility today, aside from motorsports historians. The seller claims that he has priced this one cheaply for a quick sale, but is the $10,999 Buy-It-Now a fair shake?

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    The rear end needs to be lowered. I always wanted one of these just not a rusted one.

    3
  2. Paul

    My friend bought one of these new in ’77. I thought it was a good looking car. Unique and rare but as with many rare cars the reason they are rare is nobody wanted them when they were first sold. Also, I thought all of these had center consoles. This has a column shift.

    2
    • Nick P

      The reason they are rare, 1377 actually, was because the mold to make the rear spoiler broke, and the decision to fix it and continue production was scrapped.

      11
      • Leo C.

        I had heard that the mold broke twice, the first time they fixed it & the second time they just decided to stop prodution of the car because they didn’t want to spend the money to fix it again!

      • Nick P

        I have never heard that, but it makes sense if you think about it. I’ve always wondered why they gave up so easily. From what ive heard they were selling pretty good and would have had a good run if fate hadn’t intervened.

        1
    • Leo C

      The center console was an option,

  3. Arby

    Excellent example of how GM lost their way in the 70s – just compare this car with the previous entry ’68 GTO.

    2
    • bone

      Cant fault GM for all of it – By 1977 the 68 GTO ,or any car from that era , would look odd with the government mandated 5 mph bumpers , and with all the emission regulations, the ’68 would have ended up with a anemic 400 like this car, or worse ,a 301 . Performance as dead by the mid 70s ; this is basically a luxury muscle car wanna be which the GTO would have ended up being as well.

      2
  4. Jack M.

    Not a lot of work involved to make the shaker scoop functional. Then you can hear the sweet sound of the secondaries wailing away on the Quadrajet!

    9
  5. Steve R

    Someone would be better off waiting for a nicer one to come along even at a higher price. I’d be surprised if there weren’t a fair number of really nice ones parked in peoples garages, they were unique enough that they would have been squirreled away when fairly new.

    Steve R

    7
    • mac pontiac

      I have that I’ve owned for 25 years. Started its life as a California car. Brought it to Indiana in 1995. It now has 40000 miles on it and zero rust. They are getting harder and harder to find especially in good condition. Mine is 1 of 42 with the 403 Olds motor because it was a California car. Have to be careful of rust if looking for one but they have been going up in price especially the last 5-8 years.

      4
    • RTS

      The prices on these continue to rise due to the low production numbers, but pretty sure there were zero “squirreled away” when new. Being unique in ’77 didn’t mean much, especially for a Pontiac Can Am. People that bought them drove them.

  6. Jerry

    Lots of rust around front and back windows and other places…..worth maybe 5 to 7K in that condition imop.

    5
    • Leo C

      These cars were all prone to rust in all the same ares.

      • SteveTheD

        Not all. If you lived in a dry climate and the car was always in that area it wasn’t an issue. Don’t know why everyone thinks all older vehicles rust away.

  7. TimM

    Pulling the glass and fixing the rear window frame is not an easy job and the front is more difficult due to removal of the dashboard!! With that kind of work needing to be done I don’t feel the price is very reasonable!! It’s a cool car but not worth the amount that needs to be done on top of the buy it now!!! In my opinion!!!

    10
    • Jerry

      Ditto!

      1
  8. Dave

    11 grand is a bit steep…unless you need one to complete your collection of sticker cars. This would fit in with a 1977 Aspen R/T, Volare Road Runner, Olds 442, and Mustang Cobra/King Cobra.
    True performance in that year was found in the Trans Am. But…

    I was 22 and saving for my first new car. After surviving the winter of 76/77 in a 69 Charger R/T with no heat, I passed right by cars and bought a new 4×4.

    2
  9. JollyJoe

    I own a great condition but not perfect Can Am. Frankly, this is a parts car. Ignoring the rust which is deal breaker here to anyone who knows, the kibbles and bits that are not being made for this car that would be needed to get this one to a 20 footer are Oprah money big. For example, the rubber strip on the front bumper which is broken in the same place on every Lemans cost me $500 several years ago to get a perfect one and took several years to find. I found many for $50 bucks but they were already broken or partially tearing.
    This is a parts car, IMO.

    8
    • Dex

      Just so you know, there are reproductions of the front bumper strip for far less than $500. As far as parts and pieces, other than the dash, everything is ’77 Lemans parts. Still many around.

      1
  10. TimS Member

    My favorite non-Trans Am Pontiac. A worthy refurb project for me if didn’t have a red interior.

  11. jerry z

    I like these cars bit never was a fan of the front nose. Too bad the Grand Am was discontinued by then. It would have made a better selling car IMO. Also like some others have posted, the rust around the windows will be a nightmare to repair.

    2
  12. Dave Suton

    Always loved these. On my list of cars I would get from the 70’s. Which include 79 Chrysler 300, 75 Dart Sport Hang 10, 78 Mustang ll King Cobra, 77 Dodge Power Wagon, Plymouth Trailduster plus a few others. And before you make fun of my list, I was a child of the 70’s.

    4
    • Jerry

      What? No Levi Gremlin?? 😁

      1
      • jerry z

        Or any Levi AMC!

  13. JoeNYWF64

    A curious mix of brownish & shiny black metal under the hood.
    I guess those are the thinner standard seats, as opposed to the thicker shorter delux ones. Can’t be many made with those seats, column shift & no a/c or p/w.
    “Shorty” exhaust system.
    Given the same exposure to weather, i wonder if say any ’60’s lemans would rust like that.

  14. Doc

    Would buy it if $4k-$5k cheaper. Need a lot for it

    1
  15. JoeNYWF64

    This BIG car looks just too wide on the front with those small headlites – Pontiac should have continued with/used ONLY the ’73 grand am front end thru ’77 with circular headlites for all models of this gen, & use the saved money to tool up a matching rear bumper for that grand am front end.

  16. mainlymuscle

    Funny,local Kijiji ad this morning features a 77 Lemans with a red console interior,and I thought “perfect to build one of those cool Can Am cars.I always thought they were gorgeous,almost as nice as the Canadian Flag paint scheme cars.It’s cheap ,and close ,and appears to be much more solid than this featured car.I prefer recreations anyway,built with MY power choice not the mandated late 70’s garbage.I’m feeling inspired …….

    2
  17. ACZ

    Unfortunately, another Mid-West rust bucket. This would at least need a donor shell and front clip. Not worth the effort to save but would be a good parts car, just not at this price. Some people will never realize that a too high price and rust don’t go together.

  18. Joe Spinelli

    column shifter and buckets with no console????? aaaahhhh no never liked bucket seats anyway ig your smart you get a bench seat and lets see who can figure out why

    1
  19. Jasper

    Pretty rusty when you look at the eBay ad. I had a ‘73 Grand Am with a lot of the same rust. Surprised the trunk looks as good as it does. Mine had rust in the foot wells I had to patch. The Grand Am had much nicer seats. Janky exhaust is missing the splitters and rattle canned Rally IIs. Lucky to get $4000. Really.

    1
  20. Douglas Threlfall Member

    I had a ‘73 Grand Am I redid in 1981. Even then the sheet metal was going obsolete. I had trouble getting full quarters, outer wheel housings & the panel behind the back window (I believe GM calls it an “upper rear body panel”) and trunk floor extensions were unavailable. With all that rust, no power options and a undesirable column shift with buckets, no reproduction parts available, it’s nearly worthless, maybe just below a parts car.

    • RH

      Not worth anywhere near what seller is asking, but far from worthless. Do a little research and you will see what some of the Can Am specific parts are worth.

      1
  21. LD

    Cars from up in that part of the US are so sad to look at with all the corrosion and rust. Too bad.

  22. JoeNYWF64

    If this car was a basket case, i wonder what the unobtainium rear spoiler would be worth, selling it by itself. Odd they reproduce all body parts needed for the Mad Max 2 door, & all the decals for the Can Am, but not the rear spoiler?
    Even more odd, there was another earlier(’72) ducktail spoiler whose mold broke after just a handful of copies were made! Scroll down to #5 in
    http://www.musclecarfilms.com/Pontiac_Promo_Errors.html
    Yet, repros(not the best quality) are avail on ebay.

    http://classiccars.com/listings/view/924703/1972-pontiac-lemans-now-a-gto-clone-for-sale-in-vineland-new-jersey-08360

  23. Leo C.

    I worked at a Pontiac dealer at that time, so I do know something about those cars.

  24. Leo C.

    SteveTheD, you missunderstood what I was trying to say, you are right, not all old cars rust out, but this particular body style, when compared to other make & models of the same year & in the same climate conditions all have the same problems of the front winshield frames & rear window areas rust out very bad as this is not the first Can Am that I have seen among several that have this condition.

    • SteveTheD

      You’re saying the ’77 Pontiac colonnades will rust badly around front windshield frames & rear window areas and no other 1977 vehicle will? I have strongly disagree since I have owned many Pontiac colonnades and what you’re stating is just not the case. Sorry.

  25. Leo C.

    What is a collonade? I’ve never heard that term used & I’v been in the new car dealer industry 30 years. I’m not saying all ’77 collonades have that problem, I’m just stateing the fact that I’v seen a lot of Can Am’s that look just like this one & obviously you have not.

  26. SteveTheD

    Anyone that worked at a Pontiac dealer in 1977 as you did, or any GM dealer would know that term. The mid-sized 1973-1977 GM midsize cars, Pontiac included, were nicknamed “Colonnades” due to their roof styling. Been called that for many years.

    1

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