Tent Find: 1977 Pontiac Can-Am

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We are grateful that Tim C. is on the lookout for great Barn Finds and found this special car pictured under a tent. This non-running 1977 Pontiac Can Am that is located in Clearwater, Florida. The car looks like a good restoration candidate and the seller is asking $13,500. The Pontiac Can Am was offered only in 1977 and was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January 1977. The idea of the Can Am was developed and pitched by Jim Wangers. Yes, that Jim Wangers, who was the marketing guru for Pontiac GTO in the 1960’s. By the mid 1970’s, he had a company called Motortown. Pontiac shipped him Code 11 Cameo White Le Mans and Motortown carried out the modifications.

Unless you were in California, all Can Ams were equipped with the Pontiac W72 400 engine, not the base L78 400 engine. The W72 engine was developed to be the performance engine for Pontiac and to replace the 455 cubic inch V8 option that ended in 1976. The W72 400 cubic inch engine was different because it was built with a 800 cfm 4 barrel Rochester carburetor, high capacity 60 psi oil pump, special cam, baffled oil pan, special piston rings, and 8:1 compression heads. In 1977, it was rated at 200 horsepower and 325 lb ft of torque. It was backed by a GM Turbo 350 automatic transmission. A 4 speed manual transmission was not available.

The red interior looks to be in pretty good shape. Pontiac offered the Can Am with either red, black, white or tan interiors. This Can Am has air conditioning and cruise control. Motortown modified the exterior of the Le Mans to create the Can Am by adding red, orange and yellow striping, and blacked out lower panels. In addition, a shaker hood scoop, rear spoiler and window louvers were installed. The cars that were equipped with the W72 400 cubic inch V8 engine were adorned with a T/A 6.6 decal on the hood scoop. The California cars equipped with the Oldsmobile L80 403 cubic inch V8 engine were adorned with a 6.6 Litre decal on the hood scoop.

The public’s response to the Can Am was more than expected with 5,000 orders placed. Most enthusiasts agree that total production of the Can Am was 1,377 but it has never accurately been determined. During production the mold for the rear spoiler broke and Pontiac management cancelled production half way through the year. This car is listed here on Facebook and the ad has been up for 3 days. This car is equipped with the standard Rally II rims. The Pontiac 15×7 aluminum snowflake wheels were optional.

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  1. Rixx56Member

    The body appears ok, not so much the trim and trunk floor. A whole lot missing under the hood, as well… ugh…

    Like 3
  2. Greg G

    One question, Is it a flood car? If not why is it not running as nice as it presents?

    Like 4
  3. JoeNYWF64

    I wonder why you could not get a 4 speed manual in these, yet you could in a firebird 400.

    Like 0
    • W72WW3

      For a limited edition car, the EPA durability testing cycle was far north of $50k in 1977 dollars.

      Like 1
  4. Faroutfreak

    I was lucky enough to have enjoyed a few of the ( Now ) classic muscle cars in the early to mid 70s, My pride was the 69 GTO ( Judge ) after it, I found a 1973 Lemans GTO ( looked a lot like this Cam am ) while it did not have the power of the 69 this model of cars from Pontiac handles much better in the curves. This Cam AM looks like a good candidate for restoration, except the $13,500 price, by time the Paint is redone, the Motor rebuilt, and other cosmetic repairs , you’ll have over $35 to $ 40,000, for a car that is only worth about half that ( Now ) but with it being a rare model, that could change as the prices for the Muscle cars of the 60s and 70s go beyond many people reach !

    Like 5
    • Richard c arra

      One of these days I’m going to get one of these. There’s a low mile for $80k. Kinda high. I was lucky enough to have a Grand Am back then. I love the interior

      Like 0
  5. stillrunners stillrunnersMember

    These were really cool Daddy-o cars if your son had a T/A…..thought they were cool beans…..

    Like 1
  6. Fox owner

    Best example of the Colonnade body style IMO. Not sure it’s worth thirteen five if it’s not running. I agree a stick would be nice.

    Like 1
  7. W72WW3

    Pontiac W72 equipped Can Ams had the M40( THM 400) trans, NOT the THM 350.Oldsmobile 403 powered cars had the THM 350. Window louvers were factory installed at the Pontiac assembly plant and were NOT installed by Motortown.

    Like 2

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