Rare W72: 1977 Pontiac Can Am Project

This 1977 Pontiac Can Am is a project. With an odometer reading of 94,349, the car has sat for a number of years and the seller states that they just don’t have time to finish the restoration. While the aftermarket wheels on the Can Am are nice and shiny, they do not come with the sale. The seller is including some old mags with new tires and a mismatched set of Pontiac Rally II wheels. The car is listed for sale here on eBay and the auction ends on Sunday night. The car is currently bid to $3,700 but the reserve has not been met. The car is located in Maryville, Tennessee.


The numbers matching W72 400 cubic inch V8 engine is out of the car after having spun a bearing. As many of  you know, the W72 engine was the optional high performance engine in the 1977-1979 Trans Am. It was also installed in the Pontiac Can Am, except in California. All W72 400 cubic inch engines were backed by a strong Turbo 400 automatic transmission. In 1977, the W72 motor was rated at 200 horsepower and 320 lb ft of torque from the factory.

The interior is not as bad as it probably looks in this picture but the seats are torn and the carpet is removed. The factory sunroof on this Can Am leaks and it rusted the floorboards which will need to be replaced or repaired. The exterior of the car looks good from the angles of the pictures but apparently the car is rusty. The seller is including a driver door and fender as well as NOS door rubber and window sweeps.

The all important and rare rear spoiler is intact and still on the car. When introduced in 1977. Pontiac was surprised to receive 5,000 orders for the Can Am. Unfortunately, the mold used to make the fiberglass spoiler broke and, instead of fixing it, only 1,377 Can Ams were produced. many believe that the Can Am competed with the Trans Am and it was cancelled by Pontiac after only one year production.


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  1. Phlathead Phil

    Is advertising a car with new tires and wheels but not including them in the sale a new internet trend?

    Remember the old phrase; “Bait and Switch?”

    Like 17
    • Steve R

      It’s not bait and switch if they tell you in the ad, it’s just bad business. The seller, by taking pictures with nice rims is trying to make the car more appealing thus sell for a higher price. It’s not much different than a seller taking pictures of a wet car in order to make the paint look better than it actually is. In this cars case, it’s obvious the rims haven’t been on the car for any length of time, they are too nice and installed specifically for the pictures and/or roll the car around.

      Steve R

      Like 11
      • Phlathead Phil

        My point exactly. “Bad business.”

        Why spend any money on wheels, just to sell a car with misfit tired old treads?

        It’s like putting lipstick on pork. 🐷

  2. mainlymuscle

    I’m going to offer $3500 but the 3 grand is only for display /purchase purposes.Seller only actually gets 500 bucks !!
    I like Can Ams ,Free Spirits,and the like ,but this is too far gone ,you need to buy one already restored.

    Like 10
  3. Troy s

    The “dont come with these nice wheels and tires” thing has been going on for decades, time doesn’t heal all wounds and I still hate that practice.
    From a point in time when all show and not too much go was the best it got,,, for performance hungry enthusiasts. The owner could work on that a bit, rip all the mandated smog junk outta there and build it proper. Gears too.

    Like 2
  4. W72WW3

    Some pretty rare options on this Can Am, and looks to be an early build date, too. Pity it was neglected for so long.

    Like 2
  5. JoeNYWF64

    After ’74, all automatic t/a’s & formulas thru ’81 got the turbo 350 trans – including the ’78 W72 – perhaps not a good idea, but the cat converter got in the way of the 400 trans on that narrower than Can Am car.

    Like 1
  6. Rosco

    Rust always a concern, but still a rare car. Prices on these continue to go up and you would have a hard time finding another with all of these options.

    Like 3
  7. Beel

    My roommate in college had one of these. He hated it because he couldn’t see the back end when driving or especially in reverse.

    • Dex

      Interesting. Your roommate must have had bad vision or was extremely short.

      Like 5
      • Beel

        @Dex Well, he was relatively tall and we were both of college age, presumably well visioned. But I tended to believe what I was told…

    • Troy s

      This Can Am is not nearly as hard to see out of compared to say, a ’71- ’73 Mach 1 Mustang, but, everybody has their own experiences I guess.

      Like 2
  8. Gus Fring

    All those options…and no Safe-T-Track differential???

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