Reader Question: The Great Pumpkin?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Patrick asks: About that competition orange 1976 Trans Am. Can you tell me when that came out?

My reply: It’s actually Carousel Red – as distinct from Chevy’s Hugger Orange and other shades of pumpkin! It’s a color unique to Pontiacs  that first appeared in 1968 as an available color for the GTO Judge.

It was then offered again in 1976 – as a Trans-Am color.

It is a pretty rare color, too. I’ve yet to see another car like mine in person – though I have seen them in magazines and online.

Pontiac only offered it one more time – in 1980.

I think it fits  the ’76 better because it works better with the old design “screaming chicken” hood decal (the bird was updated in 1979) as well as the overall look of the ’76 vs. the ’80 (technically, the ’79-’81) body, which had an entirely different front clip, flat hood, different shaker scoop, rear bumper/whale tail and so on.

1976 was also the last year for the “polycast” Honeycomb wheels – unique to Pontiacs and a very unusual/good-looking wheel, in my opinion (it looks like aluminum, but it’s actually steel, with a urethane insert in the Honeycomb pattern) and the 455 V8. Add Carousel Red and you have quite a sight!

By 1980, the biggest engine you could get in a Trans-Am was the 301, turbocharged or not. And the Honeycombs were not available.

In my opinion, those cars look best in white with charcoal accents (Indy/Daytona 500 Pace Car trim) or the Smokey & The Bandit black and gold theme!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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