As you can probably tell from our extensive list of sold inventory, our prediction about the increasing desirability of pristine, highly optioned second generation Trans Ams was correct, and their upswing in collectability shows no signs of slowing. That's because in the mid to late 70s, the Trans Am was one of the only performance cars left, and pop culture rightfully enshrined the brand as one of the most aspirational vehicles on the planet. Today, that sentiment resonates well with buyers who are beginning to have a little free time, a little disposable income, and are rediscovering the car of their dreams. Fresh out of a first rate frame-off restoration where it was topped with a correct and highly desirable color combination, this numbers matching 1976 455 H.O. Trans Am is one of the last big block, 4-speed F-bodies ever built. If you're a Pontiac fan who is looking for a significant car which maximizes your bang for the buck, this '76 'bird is easily the nicest second generation Trans Am we've offered for the money!
Before we go any further, I'll go ahead and decode the car's cowl tag for the sake of authenticity:
76 – 1976 Model year
2FS87 – 2: Pontiac, FS: Firebird, 87: 2-door coupe
N – Assembled at GM's Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility
067809 – Fisher body unit number
19N – Deluxe black vinyl interior
A51 – Bucket seats
78L – Carousel Red lower paint
78U – Carousel Red upper paint
10E – Assembled during the fifth week of October, 1976
A31 – Power windows
WS4 – Trans Am
BLK – Secondary interior color: black
560804 – Fisher time date code
According to the Pontiac Historical Services documentation included with this awesome big block Trans Am, it was assembled at GM's Norwood Ohio manufacturing facility in October of 1976 and delivered to Galen Boyer Motors of Independence, Missouri. In 2009, the car underwent a complete top-notch frame off restoration during which high quality quarter panels were seamlessly welded to mostly original sheet metal, and a slick new layer of correct GM code 78 Carousel Red basecoat was sealed under a glossy and durable clearcoat shell. Once the bright new paint was completely dry, a full set of gold decals was applied along with a great looking tri-color 'screaming chicken' hood piece and the car was buffed to an incredible shine. Today, with better than factory panel alignment and a fresh visual sizzle that is simply out of this world, the car sits as a highly desirable example of a major milestone in Pontiac history: the last year of the 455 H.O.
Even in its final days of production, the Trans Am remained true to everything that made the muscle car era such a memorable time. And the 1976 model year was one of the best combinations of old school swagger and modern car sophistication to ever roll out of GM's design studios. At the front of the car, a newly integrated urethane bumper that's complete with chrome trimmed marker lights sits below a fiberglass header panel which is adorned with a pristine 'screaming chicken' emblem, silver grille inserts and the last incarnation of round Trans Am headlights. At the top of the car, a “455” branded shaker hood sits in front of a pristine windshield which is split by an integrated antenna and framed by like-new stainless trim. And at the sides of the car, chip-free wheel flares and fresh gold “Trans Am” decals sit below traditional metal Pontiac fender vents, and standard body-matched sport mirrors ride in front of traditional chrome handles with body-matched inserts. At the back of the car, more spotless stainless trim frames another pristine window, and a body-matched tail lamp panel houses showroom fresh tail lights between a prominent rear spoiler, a pliable urethane rear bumper and pristine side splitter stainless exhaust tips.
Under the hood you'll find this Trans Ams all original L75 big block V8 which, at 455 cubic inches was the largest muscle car engine you could buy in 1976. Thanks to government mandated emissions standards, performance had almost been legislated out of existence, and that left the Trans Am suffering a bit of an identity crisis. In order to keep the performance flame burning bright, Pontiac continued to offer the big L75 against all odds and built a hardcore group of followers as a result. The “455 H.O.”, as it was branded, utilized Pontiacs 6H head design, a cast iron WX block, a nodular iron crank, arma steel rods and aluminum pistons to provide enough low end grunt to make this Trans Am one of the fastest pony cars on the market. At the top of the motor, a correct Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor sits in front of an HEI distributor which shoots fire through MSD heli-core solid suppression wires. Below that carburetor, the monster block has been sprayed in new for 1976 GM corporate blue paint, as original, and fitted with a nice set of long tube headers which hurl spent gases into an upgraded exhaust system. All the hard parts around the motor, from the belt driven accessories to the brake booster hanging on the fire wall have been restored to factory original condition; and as expected, decals and markings are exactly where they should be from the warning stickers on the radiator to the satin black painted cowl tag. The car's clean engine bay is covered in a nice coat of smooth satin black paint and there's fresh belts, fresh hoses and even a new battery.
Take a look underneath this Trans Am and you'll find a super solid 36 year old undercarriage which has been fully restored and marked to its factory correct appearance and bolted to rock solid satin black floor pans. Behind the motor, the cars original factory mandated Borg Warner T10 4-speed transmission sends power to what appears to be an original GM 10 bolt rear end. That solid drivetrain is centered in the cars original front double A-arm and rear leaf spring suspension which includes Trans Am spec shocks, springs and sway bars that combine with standard power steering and standard power front disc and rear drum brakes to provide excellent stopping and handling. Originally equipped with a power boosting split dual exhaust system, this car now wears fresh mandrel bent aluminized pipes that run through great sounding Magnaflow mufflers to traditional stainless Firebird tips. All of the cars hardware and bushings appear to be in like-new condition, and out back a new stainless fuel tank sends go juice through new stainless lines and fresh hoses. Power flows to the pavement through modern 225/70 BF Goodrich Radial T/As which are wrapped around correct 15 inch cast aluminum honey comb wheels, stainless trim rings and Pontiac branded center caps.
Inside the car you'll find a fully restored black vinyl interior which is ready to hit the show field. The cars correct bucket seats are comfortably firm and, carrying new for 1976 horizontally stitched vinyl covers, look like they should be in something much more expensive than a pony car. Below the seats, black one-piece carpet shows minimal wear and has likely been carefully protected by the cars “Pontiac” branded floor mats since it was installed. Between the seats a like-new black console houses a storage bin behind the cars chrome Hurst shifter, and above the seats, a stain free headliner is stretched tight around a fully functioning dome light. In front of the seats, an excellent looking engine turned dash houses crystal clear Rally gauges above controls for the heater and the cars correct Delco stereo radio. At the sides of the seats, hard to find two piece door panels anchor like-new pull straps behind chrome handles for the doors handles and windows. In front of the driver, a correct black Formula steering wheel is sandwiched between a vivid 'screaming chicken' horn button and a tilt steering column. And behind the cockpit, the cars fully restored trunk features new decals and carries a correct Space saver spare tire.
Included with the sale of this sweet Trans Am is a stack of Pontiac Historical Services documentation and a reproduction owner's manual.
Exciting cars from the mid-70s are pretty hard to find, and this highly desirable 1976 Trans Am is a pristine example of Pontiac's contribution to a virtually non-existent performance car market. With a numbers matching powertrain, a squeaky clean restoration and a killer color combination, it's set to provide a new lucky owner with years of reliable cruising and great memories. Drive it to work when the weather is nice or take it to the weekend car show, either way you can't go wrong. But don't hesitate too long, because with a price like this, it'll be gone before the end of the week!
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