1976 Pontiac Ventura            page 2

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(L) It would be interesting to see what's under the covers of these 1976 sales brochures!  (OK, see below for the Ventura brochure at left)

(R) One of the most common questions at pv.com is "what are the right badges for my car?"  To that end, slides for each model year are being developed.  These particular emblems seem to appear on all years 1975-1977, but their location changes.  Other special emblems for hatchbacks and customs have not yet been photographed.  If your car has a full original set of badges, please forward photos to this site...thanks!

(L) Bits and pieces that have invaded my computer.  The ad shot in the upper left actually identified the cars as "1975s", but they clearly have the '76 grille.  The yellow (Sprint?) seems to have its motor out.

(R) Could be the imagination, but it seems that there are more basket-case '76s for sale than any other year.  Especially in proportion to their numbers!  OK, the red car isn't a beater...yet.  But the paint is starting to run!

Fresh from Izmir, Turkey, a new Ventura owner (Kaan, he's the guy in the middle) sends these images of his purchase.  Sure, it's a four door, but it's a safe bet there aren't too many Venturas to choose from over there!  Toasting the happy occasion with him is his wife and a Dutch friend.  Say hi to Kaan at  kaan.salli@tapiriz.biz ; and if you can get him a '76 owner's manual, you'll be a hero (his English is excellent, so don't be shy about writing!)
Canada is home to this wonderful example of a '76.  The custom steering wheel matches the interior nicely, and this car has the large chrome wheel well moldings usually found on the SJ version.  David Matthews ( davidfmatthews@yahoo.ca ) has been restoring this car over the last few years.
I picked up the '76 brochure, and here's what can be found inside.

This is such a nice view of the '76's lines, I enlarged it here for you.  Interestingly, it appears that the "Sprint" designation disappeared in 1976; it was referred to as the "Special Appearance Group", probably because of the decline in performance seen in the mid-'70s.  However, there was no change to the stripes, which were offered through the 1977 model year (appearing in the factory service manual) but to date (fall '04) no picture of a '77 with this stripe package has surfaced.

Posing dramatically under a colorful sky, a new '76 joins our site...

"Hello, my name is Ashton Smith. I am 16 and I have a 1976 Pontiac Ventura. We (my dad and I) took the V-6 out and swapped in a rebuilt TBI 350cid that was from a 1988 Chevy truck with a TH-350. Now there are headers and a free flow exhaust (bottles that you can see right thru), a chip and a new K/N air filter.

The interior was also redone, with the seats getting recovered, new carpet and headliner. The original car had a landau top but we took that off because we were afraid that there was rust underneath. There was extensive rust damage in the right quarter panel, so bad that you could fit your hand in the hole. About a month ago we took it to get the body work done, and they cut all the rust out of there and on the bottom part of the rear wheel wells (like on most old cars), replacing all the metal there.  I just got the car back a few days ago and she is looking very good.

I am hoping to put mags on in the spring and hopefully put new heads, cam and intake manifold on (most likely GM Vortec) and a posi rearend. Then hopefully I can run a better 1/4 mile than my friend with a 1974 Duster with a 360.  Thanks for your time. (Nov04)  Ashton ( pontiac_ventura76@hotmail.com )  Let's wish Ashton good luck in dusting that Duster!

It's always a surprise to hear from a Ventura owner from another country... and in this case, after a bit of detective work, the owner was equally surprised to find that he had an Oldsmobile 260 under the hood!  We salute the Ventura's international fans (like Mario, mescandar@lapolar.cl ) for their dedication to keeping these cars running strong. 

The results of some late-night surfing.  The European '76 was from one of the Low Countries, but I forget exactly which; Denmark was my best guess.  Those are some big honkin' tires on there!  The twin scoops on the other car remind me of a white Batmobile in a weird kind of way...

Tim ( tim0024@aol.com ) has given his '76 a unique look. 
"...here are some more pictures of my car. I got the spoiler off of a 1991 Pontiac Firebird I owned. My 76 has a 403 Olds motor. I paid 2000 for the car. I have rebuilt the top end of the motor, added flow tech headers, rebuilt heads, aluminum performer intake. 650 elderbrock carb and flow tec side pipes with glasspacks. cragar ss rims and 50s on the rear i put a chain link steering wheel on all so. I all so added excel distribtor. its been fun to work on, I hope to have it for many years. Tim 0024"
The car still has its original factory paint and vinyl roof.

From Al Kern ( boltupright@adelphia.net ), who notes
"My daughter's work car.  I bought it 3 years ago for 500.00 dollars . Mileage then 17k . Now 61k." 
I've included it here for the rather unusual dark green color.

Our Turkish friend Kaan ( kaan.salli@tapiriz.biz ) visited the seacoast and provided these fresh photos of his charming wife posing with his '76 sedan. 

This pretty lady is obviously enjoying the photo shoot (and maybe the publicity, too!), while Kaan has some fun modifying his license plate on the PC.

(L) Texan Don Seributra has an eye for elusive x-bodies...here's a '76 sedan nabbed in a parking lot.

(R) It would be a good guess that the dry air of the Middle East would be very kind to older vehicles, so here's a little extra proof.  Reporting from Damascus, Syria, Adnan Al-Maleh ( 2b2a4m@zwallet.com ) tells us his father is the proud owner of this well cared-for, 1976 sedan with a 198c.i. L6.  He has owned it since 1990.  If this is truly a '76, it is very unusual for having the wrap-around taillights, typically found only on the Phoenix.  It also has small turn-signal indicators on top of the fenders.  Adnan was kind enough to caption the photos himself...thank you!

Troy Smith ( tnsmith10@cox.net ) owns a '72 Ventura in addition to this car.
"...the white one is a 76 SJ that I've had since 1990, it has a inline 6 with a 500 cfm Edelbrock carb and a 700R4 trans behind it. It also is still a 'work in progress'."

I believe I've seen enough 76 SJ images now to conclude that the "keyboard" style taillights were a feature of the SJ trim package.  It remains to be seen if the same holds true for '75 and '77.

(R, top) The owner of the Seattle '76 sent this recent shot of his car to the site.  He may consider selling it in the future, so stay tuned, you just never know what you might find in our popular ad section. 
(R, bottom) JP's 76 is a Canadian car, and you can see a few more shots on cardomain.  He writes
"...my name is jean-philippe and I'm 16. This is my first car and I really love it.  It's a 6 cyl. 250ci. , it has 59,000 miles and it runs like new...I keep it original. ..if you have other questions, just ask me!  JP zipi411@hotmail.com "

Time again for us to fly the flags of some of our fans beyond the US borders.  Mario Escandar ( mescandar@lapolar.cl ) captures a little local color with these new, full shots of his '76 sedan in Chile.  At this point, he's probably started preparing it for a repaint (he will keep the same color).
(L) Ian Didriksen ( ian.didriksen@gmail.com ) keeps it short and sweet: "I have a '76 Ventura SJ, and I love it!"     I hope so, because it looks like he won't be getting out of that parking space anytime soon.

(R) It's not often we see this decal package, but this Bloomington, Minnesota car looks like it's wearing the real deal.

(L) Rob ( manofangles@msn.com ) is based in Ontario, Canada and informs us of 2 x-body cars in the family..."Here are a few pictures of my dad's 79 Nova Rally and my 76 Ventura SJ...the Ventura is a 350 Buick and the Nova Rally is a 305."  Looks like we have before-and-after pics of the Ventura, judging by the wheels and paint.  Check out the Nova pages for his awesome blue Chev!

(R) An interpretation of what a '76 GTO could have looked like.  This car appears to be wearing the big 15" rims.  Although it's dressed somewhat like a Special Appearance Group car, don't be fooled.

Sharing a few detail views of the badging on a 76 Ventura coupe with landau ("rust accelerator") roof treatment.  Kidding aside, this car persuaded me to procure the same type of spoiler for the website project car.  It's off of a '90s Firebird and is almost tailor-made.  I plan to have my spoiler sit maybe a half-inch higher for appearances sake, but it looks great mounted like this too.  -Ro

Ken Likens ( mr6x@fuse.net ) is at work modifying his '76 Ventura:

"I acquired a shaker scoop and air cleaner off a 1975 T/A from eBay. I set it up on the 260 to check placement. The hood went on fine. A bolt hole to hold the striker on the '74 hood is missing. I bet the '74 striker may be the trick. Check out how well the scoop lines up in the hole on the Olds 260. It took raising the air cleaner about 3 inches to get it right, but it's functional. I may use a combination of carb and air cleaner spacers to get the right height. Body work is on the horizon.

"I'm surprised you don't see this more often on the 4th generation X bodies. The Pontiac V8 should require even less spacing up.   The only other one I've seen is those pics of the '77 Ventura Sprint on the web and your site. I believe that one had a 305 Chevy V8!  I'd like to know what shaker scoop. As far as I know the Wisco package never offered the shaker package on the Sprint. The car in Murfreesboro and all other Sprints were not equipped with a shaker scoop. The one on your site was added by one of the owners."   (Hmmm, I still wonder...a 77 Sprint owner was posted on performanceyears.com a while back, someone might want to see if his car came with the shaker -Ro)

PS.  I finally found the hood measurements I took off of the '71 "Mosstura" (see the Relics pages), and compared them to my '77 hood.  The external dimensions are identical, so I think we can finally confirm that Pontiac used the same basic hood for all Ventura models; I suspect the only differences will be in the latch/striker (and of course the 74GTO has the cutout for the shaker). -Ro

"I stumbled across your website, and I'm glad I did. I thought I was the only one on earth who still owned a Pontiac Ventura (or knew what it was). This is my 1976 Pontiac Ventura. It was my very first car, and I refuse to let go of it. I have owned it since I was 15 years old. It is worth nothing to anyone, except me. The car is Yellow and Black with the "Special Appearance Group" package described on your website. I can remember always arguing with my friends who claimed it was a 'custom'  paint job.

"The car came with the 'fire breathing', 110HP, 260CID Olds V8 (I never have figured out GM's insistence on hybrids). It had the 3 speed manual transmission package with the floor shifter and console. I have always loved the car's lines and its unique looks. I have been working on restoring the car off and on  in my spare time.

"When I got out of college, I parked the car in my Grandparent's barn and that is where it sat for 12 years. I dug it out and moved it to my home in 2002. I put a lot of work into the car when I was in school. I replaced the OEM rear end with a 12 bolt Posi-trac from a 1969 Nova. The transmission is now a Borg Warner T10 4spd.

"My plan is to build a Genuine Pontiac V-8 to drop in it. This is the only good "digital" picture I have of the car. I have tons of old pictures, but I don't have a scanner yet. I hope to send more pics later.
Thanks, Derek Brust, Melbourne Beach, FL"
( dbrust1@cfl.rr.com )

  (R) Probably one of my favorite impromptu photos, Dennis Doyle ( ddoyle4@fuse.net )  provides this great candid shot.  Don't these guys look like they're having a great day?  Dennis writes "Hey Roland I know it's been awhile since I wrote, just thought I might let you know I ended up getting my '76 back, so now I have it, and my '77.  Here's a pic of me at the track"
The call is out for photos of your hot '76 Ventura!
 Forward to Roland at: pontiacv@pontiacventura.com