When it comes to Corvettes, not many people these days pay much attention to the 1976 models.
But back in the day, this model year proved to be one of the most popular in Corvette history, with a whopping 46,558 units produced by the St. Louis factory.
The ’76s even got lost in the shuffle just a couple of years later amid the 1978 Indy Pace Car hoopla, but all these years later, these “Bicentennial Editions” can still be fun to drive, even with the L48 engine that produced only 180 horsepower.
Currently up for sale on bringatrailer.com is a pretty sharp red 1976 model said to be a two-owner car. The seller bought it in 1993 from the original owner and has put about 50,000 miles on the odometer in the 27 years since. The car is about to flip over 100,000 miles, with 99,800 showing.
With six days to go in the on-line auction, the high bid has reached just $3,000. No word on what the reserve is, but it’s likely not to be too high.
That’s not bad for a fun car that you don’t have to worry about getting scratched or chipped, the way you would with a late-model cream puff.
In fact, the typical front-end bump has already occurred, but fortunately a couple of scrapes and spider-webbing on the urethane bumper are hidden by a black bra that actually serves to dress up the car in our opinion. There’s also a scrape below the tail lights on the passenger side of the rear bumper.
Photos with the listing show a few rock chips and cracks in the paint, as you might expect from a 44-year-old vehicle. For the money, though, you can’t expect perfection, and this one looks like it might show okay going down the road or looking at it from a few feet away.
While the engine isn’t very powerful, especially compared to modern standards, it does have the advantage of being hooked to a four-speed manual transmission in this case, a rare choice back in the day when the majority of owners had begun opting for the convenience of an automatic as the Corvette was transitioning into more of a boulevard cruiser and not a hot rod.
The ’76, of course, was the first year without a convertible being offered, so this one has the standard removable body-color T-top panels. It also features dual exhaust, air conditioning, slotted 15-inch alloy wheels, bucket seats, woodgrain trim, and an aftermarket radio.
Somewhere along the way the rear bumper has been changed to a later model’s, likely an ’80 to ’82, as the spoiler is molded into the bumper.
A new battery has been installed earlier this year, and other areas addressed since 2018 include a carburetor service and a new radiator and brake pads. The new owner will also get a cotton car cover, bags for the T-tops, and a new cargo mat.
The interior isn’t perfect by any means, but there are no obvious rips or tears in the upholstery and overall it presents well inside, especially for the money. Blow up one of the interior photos, and you’ll see an interesting decal on the center console that warns passengers: “CAUTION: DO NOT LOWER WINDOWS AT SPEEDS IN EXCESS OF 120 MPH.”
We’re wondering how much past that figure the ’76 would even go. Any of our readers who have driven a ’76 have any recollections of reaching 121 or higher in their car?
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