Forgotten Firebird: 1976 Pontiac Trans Am Y82 SE – NOW $64,500

by | Apr 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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April 5, 2024 Update – The seller replaced the expiring first Craigslist ad we are aware of with their second listing.  While the pictures and brief description carry over, the seller elected to reduced their asking price from $76,000 to $64,500.

Ask casual classic car enthusiasts what was the first model year Pontiac introduced a special edition Trans Am, and most will respond, “1977.” That’s due to the Smoky And The Bandit effect, as the popularity of the special edition black and gold 1977 featured in that movie had everyone wanting a “Bandit” Trans Am.  Unfortunately, the answer is incorrect, as the first special edition Trans Am launched in the spring of the 1976 model year.

1976 marked Pontiac Motor Division’s 50th year in business. To commemorate, Pontiac launched two special edition models.  The first was the Golden Anniversary Grand Prix which featured an exterior finished in Code 55 Anniversary Gold with white accents. The second is what became known as the Y82 special edition 50th Anniversary package on 1976 Pontiac Trans Ams. Y82-equipped Trans Ams featured black exterior paint with gold accents, making it the first “anniversary” Trans Am package and the first production black and gold special edition. While Pontiac planned to offer only 2,400 Y82 Trans Ams, production records indicate that the General Motors Division produced a total of 2,590 examples.

This 1976 Pontiac Trans Am Y82 Special Edition for sale, first spotted on Craigslist in Lonsdale, Minnesota (Minneapolis) in February 2024, is reported to be a numbers-matching survivor quality example with only 69K original miles. While 1976 was the final year you could buy a 455-equipped Pontiac Trans Am, this example features the standard 400 cubic inch, Pontiac-sourced V8.  On the plus side, this car features factory air conditioning and does not have the optional Hurst Hatch T-Tops, which proved to be very problematic during their first year of installation.

Now offered for $64,500 (the original ask was an eye-watering $76,000), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all 1976 Pontiac Trans Ams. Several pristine SE examples recently sold at the traditional January tent auctions for over $80K, so like it or not that is the state of the Malaise Era Trans Am market. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $45,800 before making adjustments for factory air conditioning (+10%) and the Y82 Special Edition Package (+5%).

The 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, particularly when equipped with the Y82 50th Anniversary Package, stands as an iconic representation of American muscle car excellence. With its distinctive design, potent performance, and commemorative features, the Y82 Trans Am captured the essence of Pontiac’s heritage while pushing the boundaries of automotive innovation for its time.

At the heart of the 1976 Trans Am lies a powerhouse of an engine: the 6.6-liter (400 cubic inch) V8 powerplant. This engine was synonymous with brute force and unrelenting performance, delivering an impressive output of 200 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Mated to either a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic, this engine provided exhilarating acceleration and a visceral driving experience that enthusiasts craved.

The Y82 50th Anniversary Package elevated the Trans Am to even greater heights, distinguishing it as a special edition model commemorating five decades of Pontiac excellence. One of the most notable features of the Y82 package was its distinctive appearance, highlighted by the iconic two-tone black and gold paint scheme. This striking combination, coupled with the Trans Am’s aggressive stance and aerodynamic design, ensured that the Y82 commanded attention wherever it went.

Complementing the exterior aesthetics were a host of performance-enhancing components that further elevated the driving experience. The Y82 package included upgraded suspension components, such as specially tuned springs and shocks, which enhanced handling and stability during spirited driving maneuvers. Additionally, the Trans Am was equipped with power-assisted front disc brakes, providing confident and responsive braking performance to match its formidable acceleration.

Inside the cabin, the Y82 Trans Am exuded luxury and sophistication while retaining its unmistakable muscle car identity. The interior featured plush bucket seats upholstered in premium vinyl, adorned with intricate stitching and embossed with the iconic Trans Am logo. The cockpit was designed with the driver in mind, placing essential controls within easy reach and providing excellent visibility for an engaging driving experience.

In addition to its performance and styling enhancements, the Y82 package offered a range of exclusive features and amenities that further distinguished it from standard Trans Am models. These included special 50th Anniversary badging throughout the vehicle, commemorating Pontiac’s rich history and legacy of automotive excellence. Furthermore, each Y82 Trans Am came equipped with a limited edition dash plaque, denoting its status as a collectible and highly sought-after model.

The 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am equipped with the Y82 50th Anniversary Package represented the pinnacle of American muscle car engineering and design. Its potent performance, distinctive styling, and exclusive features made it a coveted symbol of automotive excellence and a timeless classic that continues to captivate enthusiasts to this day. Whether tearing up the open road or turning heads at a car show, the Y82 Trans Am remains an enduring icon of Pontiac’s storied legacy and a testament to the enduring appeal of American muscle cars.

The PacePontiacHyundai YouTube Channel features this 1976 Pontiac sale training video for the entire Firebird lineup that year.  Unfortunately, the poster recorded the video from a TV while playing the original VHS tape, so the quality is not that great:

The exterior pictures of this 1976 Pontiac Trans Am Y82 SE for sale clearly show this car’s paint is likely original, with visible patina on the front end. With only 2,590 Y82 Special Editions produced for 1976, this example is likely one of the lower mileage survivors you will come across. We will be watching this to see whether the seller ends up having to lower their asking price before finding a new home for it.

If you are serious about buying this Special Edition Trans Am, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Pontiac Pony Car featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For Sale is a Rare and True 50th Anniversary SE (Special Edition) 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
All number matching.
Very original survivor with all original metal.

Located in Lonsdale, MN – South of Burnsville and Lakeville, West of Northfield, North of Faribault, East of Mankato

Show or go: What would you do with this survivor-quality 1967 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Y82 Special Edition for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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