Almost a GTO? 1971 Pontiac LeMans Sport

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The 1971-72 mid-size Pontiac LeMans Sport was something of a cross between the LeMans and the GTO.  That probably didn’t help GTO sales as you could order a LeMans Sport with bucket seats, a big engine, and the “Enduro” nose the GTO used. This ’71 example has the first two items, but not the latter although it was only a $75 upgrade. From Vale, North Carolina, this Pontiac has a rebuilt engine and automatic transmission, perhaps leaving the body and paint job as the next big-ticket expense. It’s available here on eBay where the current bid is $8,100 but the reserve is still waiting to be met.

I’ve always wondered if Pontiac went too far in diversifying its product offerings in the 1970s. When you went to the showroom looking for a mid-size, you found the T-37 (cheapest), Tempest, LeMans, LeMans Sport, and the GTO (fastest) – all the same car under the skin. Without the GTO front end, this ’71 LeMans Sport has a lot to offer someone looking for a GM muscle car, but without the muscle car stigma the insurance companies were looking at in those days. Pontiac built about 35,000 LeMans Sport 2-door hardtops in 1971 (far more than the GTO).

The seller describes this car as a barn find, though that term is sometimes overused. He/she was going to restore the automobile but found something else that has a greater appeal, so the Poncho is ready to move on to someone else to finish the work. The burgundy paint is original, but it’s ready to be refreshed once you deal with rust in places like the rear quarter panels. And did the car once have a vinyl top given the placement of grey primer on the roof? The interior seems to have fared better, but the seller is sending along a plethora of new parts, including some for the passenger compartment.

Under the hood resides a 400 cubic inch V8 that has been rebuilt, but there’s no indication if it or the automatic tranny are original to the Pontiac. Some bling has been added such as to the valve covers. The LeMans has factory air conditioning, but it’s currently in-op. Air shocks have been added in the back, something that most of my friends had on their muscle cars back in the day (me included). We’re told it runs and drives, but does it need more? If you’re into videos, here’s one you might want to check out.

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  1. jrhmobile

    My mom had a T-37 for a rental back in the day when her station wagon was being repaired. 350 with a 350 TurboHydro, and she ran it hard.

    After she turned that in, she bought a coupe and never went back to the mom taxis. I think that T-37 changed her life.

    Like 12
  2. Stan

    Cool Lemans. 400 has torque.. handy because these are 3600lb. Heavier than i thought.

    Like 2
  3. Paul

    Endura bumper, not enduro

    Like 7
  4. John

    I had a 72. Was by far the most gutless car I ever owned. I think my Chevette was quicker

    Like 2
    • Michael Kruper

      I had a 76 400 auto 2 barrel. It was the epitome of wasted cu in.

      Like 2
    • 370zpp 370zppMember

      Same here John. My 72 GT looked good, even sounded good but was poorly made and also gutless.

      Like 0
      • Stan

        Im surprised to here that, apparently the 400 made good torque. Never owned or drove one. Good to know 👍

        Like 0
  5. Smokey Smokerson

    My older brother had one of these when he was in HS back in ’82, but with the 350. Traded a guy for a Triumph Spitfire….what a dumb a. That triumph spent as much time with the hood open as it did on the road.

    Like 2
  6. W72WW3

    There, I fixed it for you.

    Like 4
  7. Richard Chuda

    I had this car in blue with dark blue vinyl top. 350 automatic. My first car with A/C. Boy do I wish I still had it.

    Like 3
  8. Scotty B

    Almost got them all!! But you forgot the GT-37.. I think that was the closest to the GTO without the GTO price.

    Like 3
  9. Mike Donahue

    I had a 70 GTO. I can still hear my buddy’s mom yelling as I laid rubber pulling out of their driveway; IS THAT MIKE DONAHUE? YOU TELL HIM I’M CALLING HIS MOTHER!

    Like 4
  10. BMan Lewis

    IF you picked up a 70’s T-37,LeMans, GTO body with the right options , you were straight.. this unit isn’t worth Nowhere near 8k

    Like 0
  11. wjtinfwb

    HS buddy Bobby had a brown ‘70 LeMans coupe. Parchment vinyl bench with the 350 2barrel and a THM on the column. Slow, but a nice cruiser. The thing I remember most is it had an incurable exhaust manifold leak, probably from a crack. Decent car but nothing I’d pay any significant money for.

    Like 0
  12. John Oliveri

    My big brother had a 69 Lemans convertible, deep green, white convertible top, white bucket seat interior, black dash rugs and console, with a Hurst shifted factory 4 speed, factory dual exhaust, and full size PMD wheel covers, under the hood was a factory 350/330 hp 4 barrel, what a sleeper, you realize a 400 GTO was only 360 hp, no one saw this one coming, had manual Brakes and steering, No A/C just am radio under dash 8 track

    Like 2
  13. C Force

    The pontiac 400 has more potential than the 350.the 400 4bbl engines had 2.11 intake and 1.66 exhaust valves,7/16″screw in studs,and guideplates w/hardened pushrods.the 350 and 400 2bbl engines only have 1.94/1.56 valves.

    Like 0
    • John

      I believe the 350 and 400 2bbl motors were 1.96/1.66 valve size.

      Like 0
  14. 433jeff

    I have one of these, only mine is a post car, it has a steel molding around the window and chrome, so if you open the door with the window down you still have a big steel frame.

    Honestly with the fender grates and the chrome on the post, it’s something you dont see every day. It looks good, i have a trans am shaker hood and im going to cut that in and it should give it a great vibe with the nose. Does anyone know how many post cars were made in 71-72?

    I like this cars interior, mine is boned out.

    I agree with the talk on the earlier 350 HO, while its not a RA1 400, its still 330 hp,

    Like 0
  15. Mike Erickson

    I have a 70 LeMans Sport. This car came with a 350 245 hp I actually added a 3 deuce setup off a 65 389 with a set of 69 330hp heads in it’s day I called her a Camaro eater, had great torque and excellent top speed. I did peg put that 145 mph speedo a time or two with red lights in pursuit, also this is a factory 4 speed car, good project car or parts car…for sale for a realistic price…

    Like 1
  16. Eric

    Sleeper gto…love it

    Like 0

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