1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am / Photos, Specs, Engine, Styling

Featured is the rare 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am. Pontiac built this automobile for only one model year. There were only an estimated 1,377 Can Am’s built which did not even nearly satisfy the orders Pontiac dealers had. This is explained below.

pontiac can am
1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am Couoe

The Pontiac LeMans and GTO

Beginning with the 1964 model year the GTO was available as an option only on the Pontiac LeMans. Interiors of the LeMans and the GTO’s were identical with the exception of brand emblems. Many will say that the Pontiac GTO was America’s first real muscle car although some may disagree. Pontiac Division’s John DeLorean is credited with creating the GTO which began when a larger engine was put into a LeMans at the GM Proving Grounds outside Detroit.

The Pontiac LeMans was produced in the United States from 1961 to 1981 and then from 1988 through 1993.

The Pontiac LeMans Can Am

As mentioned, the Pontiac LeMans was built for one model year only for 1977. The car was a mid size based on the LeMans and Grand Am models. The Can Am was a special edition option package for the Sports Coupe model and named after the Can Am racing series.

1977 pontiac can am

The Can Am car package was painted Cameo White which included orange, red, and yellow graphics, along with blacked-out lower panels and window trim. With the Can Am package there were also several options available. These included aluminum “snowflake”  rally-style wheels painted to match the white paint job, which was also offered on the Trans Am, and a steel or glass sunroof. Interior trim color options included red, black, white, and tan which were the same as offered with the LeMans.

Many More Orders than Cars Built

As mentioned above, there were an estimated 1,377 Can Am’s produced however the exact number has never really been accurately determined, but most use the number 1,377.

Pontiac estimated that they would build about 2,500 Can Am’s and they told this to their dealers. What Pontiac did not seem to recognize was that the demand would be much more. Pontiac hit a home run without expecting one. It wasn’t long before the orders started to come in and the dealers were sitting on more than 5,000 orders. This meant that production would need to be increased greatly.

Unfortunately for all involved, the mold used to make the fiberglass rear spoiler broke and production at Motortown Corporation (a Detroit-based specialty company) ended.  There was an attempt to repair the spoiler mold but it broke once again and the effort was dropped. Pontiac had built the Can Am at their factory then sent out the car body to a company named Motortown Corporation for the Can Am Appearance Package. In addition to the rear spoiler, Motortown also modified the hood to accept the hood scoop, and added decals and stripes. When the rear spoiler mold broke, and for whatever reason was discontinued at Motortown, that essentially ended Pontiac LeMans Can Am production far short than the number of orders received.

77 pontiac can am

The 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am Specifications

There was a new high performance engine built in the 1977 Pontiac Can Am. Engine for this model is a 400 cubic inch V-8 equipped with a four barrel carburetor delivering a rated 200 HP. This  engine is commonly refered as the T/A 6.6 (W 72). This is the same engine utilized with the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. The LeMans Can Am models built for sale in California and other western higher altitude states came with a 403 cubic inch V-8 with a four barrel carburetor putting out 185 HP.

Transmission is a three speed automatic.

Brakes included power assisted front discs with rear drums.

Wheelbase is 112.0 inches, overall outside length 208.0 inches, width 77.4 inches. Curb weight 3,300 lbs.

Performance numbers given show 0-60 in ten seconds.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below…

The 1975 Pontiac LeMans

The 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo

The 1967 Pontiac GTO

Reference material for this article includes..Muscle Cars: A Legacy of American Performance by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide…Muscle Cars: Kings of the Street From the Golden Era by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide…The Definitive Pontiac GTO Guide: 1964-1967 by David Bonaskiewich…pontiacpower.org.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

The 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am Collector Car

With only about 1,377 of these Pontiac Can Am’s produced, we are looking at a rare automobile. It’s thought today that only a quarter or less of these models remain on the road.The Pontiac Can Am is getting harder and harder to find especially in good condition. This is one of those autombiles Pontiac should have produced for more model years. The 1977 Pontiac LeMans Can Am is most likely the rarest performance car from the latter 1970’s.

77 can am

Published auction and sale prices for the 1977 Pontiac Can Am puts an example in excellent condition in a range from about $50,000 to $70,000. Models in less than excellent codition have been in a range from about $25,000 to $40,000. Much depends on the originality, restoration if any and mileage.