There was a time when car dealers would create a special performance edition, sometimes with factory support and occasionally without it, to drum up customer interest. The late ’70s wasn’t a great time for these high performance specials, but a few companies tried to keep buyers coming in the door by building them anyway. The 1977 Pontiac Can Am from Motortown was intended to do just that, but after one of the parts molds was damaged, production ended abruptly. This car was stored in a Wisconsin barn until just recently, but is now available here on eBay.
The Can Am is based on the Pontiac LeMans, but came with Pontiac’s 400 W72 V8 instead of the base 400. Motortown then fitted a shaker hood, rear spoiler, and Can Am decals to create a more aggressive looking package. Initial production plans called for five thousand cars, but only 1,133 cars were ever built. Of these, only a small handful are still known to exist. This one was found stashed in the corner of an old barn in Wisconsin
The interior of the Can Am was meant to be sporty, yet luxurious. The shift in demand and government regulations had a profound impact on the styling of cars in the late ’70s, even on the inside. This isn’t the best looking car, but for the era it isn’t bad. The condition of this interior isn’t the best and is going to need work, but thankfully all the parts are straight from the Pontiac parts bin.
To make sure the Can Am could outperform the standard LeMans, the car was fitted with the T/A 6.6 engine, which was rated at 200 hp. Compared to the Muscle cars built a few years earlier, this seems anemic, but this was a decent amount of power for ’77. It isn’t the fastest car of the era, but this engine can easily produce a lot more power.
The Wisconsin humidity has taken its toll on this car and is going to need some extensive work. The body has rust issues, but replacement body panels shouldn’t be hard or expensive to find. This isn’t the most valuable or sought after car out there, but it is an interesting piece of history and it would be sad if it was lost forever.