Rhymes With? – 1976 Pontiac Sunbird

Speaking of once-popular cars that are now largely forgotten, this is one that is popular because it was produced by GM with its strong distribution network, but not because it had much intrinsic virtue. Basically a rebadged, slightly refined Chevrolet Vega, it was only offered in the notchback body style and intended to compete with “sporty” coupes like the Mustang II, Capri, Datsun 200SX, and Toyota Celica. And it was certainly there on the field, but whether it truly competed was another question. Check out this 1976 Pontiac Sunbird for sale for $3995 in Foley, MN.

1976 Pontiac Sunbird left front

Presented in Carousel Red, the car looks in excellent shape, and has something else in common with a carousel – you won’t have much control over where you’re going. The selling dealer says the car runs and drives nicely, but you’ll want to ask some probing questions about the car’s history since a snowbelt car in such good condition may have been in storage for a longer period, and will now need catch-up maintenance. With only 78,000 indicated miles, this is your best chance to experience what a 6-year-old Sunbird feels like. You want that, right?

1976 Pontiac Sunbird right rear

This car’s sub-model is the “sport coupe”, which is of questionable accuracy when you’re talking about a vinyl-roofed automatic economy car with a 231ci Buick V6 cranking out 110hp. It’ll probably be reliable. If you want to make changes, you won’t be the first going down that path, so you can do the predictable small-block-something upgrade, or if you’re feeling spendy, find yourself a 1980s turbo V6 from a Buick or Pontiac.

1976 Pontiac Sunbird badge

Here’s a nice detail shot that shows the condition of the paint and trim, and also this oh-so-1970s sunflower set into the top of the S. For some reason, the car sports a goofy exhaust extension that protrudes enough to scrape your shin each time you put something in the trunk.

1976 Pontiac Sunbird interior

Here’s the other remarkable part about this car. Normally, these cheap interiors feature torn vinyl, ripped carpets, and cracked dashboards, but this one looks very fresh. Of course, the dashboard is covered by a mat, and the steering wheel has a cover from the local chain store, but if the overall condition is any indication, these are just the owner’s taste and not a necessity. There’s enough faux wood and naugahyde in here to make the petroleum industry proud (or kill one fake tree and one entire nauga), and the red overload is enough to delight even the most finicky pimp, but it’s impressive just for existing. Is disco-era nostalgia enough reason for you to pick this one up?


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8 Responses to “Rhymes With? – 1976 Pontiac Sunbird”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I had one of these in 86, blue, 4cyl. auto; paid $300 for it. Crashed it looking for a party out in the woods

  2. Kevin Says:

    I bought this car. I’ll be getting it delivered in February.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Cool, so I guess it must have been in as good condition as it looked – what are your plans for it?

      • Kevin Says:

        I hope so! I bought it sight-unseen and asked a number of questions. I had the same car in HD but i put a 327 chevy in it. Loved that car. It will be getting a similar conversion. I want it to look stock but with either a small block chevy or an LS3. Leaning LS3.

      • Chris Keen Says:

        Sounds like fun, the stock powertrain is not really worth keeping, but seeing a stock-looking one – or any one – is pretty unusual at this point.

      • 76sunbird Says:

        Amen. I wanted an unmolested example. This appears to fit that bill.

  3. 76sunbird Says:

    Got the car home yesterday. Very solid with just a few spots that will need attention. It was a repaint. The original color decodes to sterling silver.

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