Almost a GTO: 1972 Pontiac LeMans Sport GT

For 1972, the Pontiac GTO was no longer a separate series, having gone back to being an option on the LeMans. And it would be offered as a 2-door hardtop or coupe, but not a convertible. Yet, you could order a LeMans ragtop with the T41 option that gave it a GTO Endura nose and Ram Air Hood. In the case of this 1972 LeMans Sport GT, you could get it with a 400/4V V-8 and that more or less gave you a GTO convertible, but without the badging. So, it must have been a strange time to be a Pontiac salesman. This beautiful version is located in Sonoma, California and available here on craigslist for $23,500. A tip of the fedora to Matt R for finding this one for us!

The LeMans began life as an upscale trim option on the compact Tempest in 1961 and grew to intermediate proportions in 1964. The third generation ran from 1968-72 and owed part of its success to its muscle car cousin, the GTO. In 1972, Pontiac built more than 120,000 LeMans models, which included about 3,400 LeMans Sports. That was a convertible-only car which came with special ‘Sport’ signature scripts, custom door and rear quarter trim, special front fender nameplate and bucket seats. To that, you could add the GT option which added G70-14 white-letter tires, body-color mirrors, vinyl tape stripes, dual exhaust with side splitters, decals, and Rally II wheels (this one is now wearing a set of honeycombs). Going one step further with T41 package, you ended up with the seller’s car.

This Pontiac is being offered by the original owner, who has clearly taken very good care of the car for 48 years. It was purchased new in Florida and found itself in California just a year later (NAVY guy?). Service records have been kept since new, further indicating the seller’s attention to detail. The body and paint are in beautiful condition, reflecting one repaint that was done several years ago. Other than one small bubble under the paint on one fender and a slight scrape on one stripe, it would be hard to find any other exterior flaws.

At 89,000 miles, the interior looks really nice. There may be some slight discoloring in some places, but this is a well-optioned car with factory air conditioning, power steering and brakes, power windows, buckets w/console and a period-correct 8-track tape player (I still have some of those tape; terrible technology!). The 400 cubic inch motor with automatic transmission is said to run and drive like a dream. The seller tells us he would consider an interesting trade.

Online price guides seem conflicted on the 1972 LeMans. While a GTO might go for $30-40,000, a LeMans is only half that amount, and yet the GTO was an option on the LeMans. And this LeMans Sport GT seems every bit a GTO, except some of the suspension components are different. To me, the seller’s car is as close to a GTO as you could get but for less money. What’s not to love?

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    I guess while the Ram Air hood was optional, it wasn’t functional? No breather to the air filter. I remember a neighbor’s dad had a Firebird Formula in this same yellow and I didn’t understand why the twin scoops were plugged, as in why bother.

    I suppose the Enduro nose is slightly better than the chrome version but still looks a little odd; why didn’t PMD make a rear bumper to match? Seems like half a job done right.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      These hoods were part of whatever package that was optioned for the car such as GTO or Firebird 400, later to be rebranded as the Formula even Le Mans sport, regardless of the engine. Initially Ram Air (I, II, III or IV) designated a specific engine upgrade that came with cold air induction ie. Ram Air. Ducting and air cleaners were generally the only differences with the when it came to the hood between Ram Air cars and the same model with base or non-Ram Air engines.

      The hoods themselves were not referred to as Ram Air hoods.

      Steve R

      Like 4
  2. Stephen

    Car is ready to pop with rust.

  3. Rum-Z

    I had a ’69 LeMans Custom S hardtop coupe with the standard chrome bumpers on each end, and I had a friend tell me he saw a ’69 GTO with the painted Endura bumper on the front, and he actually preferred the way my LeMans looked. I asked him why, because my car is cheaper and lower down the Pontiac ladder, and he said that the 2 chrome bumpers on my car matched and therefore it looked better to him. I actually never thought about it before he said that.

    Like 3
  4. A.G.

    This car’s front end reminds me of the Stutz Blackhawk which isn’t a good thing. Other than that it’s a good looking automobile.

    Like 1
  5. David Bailey

    Man. An original beauty. Did the GOAT have the 455 H.O. option that year?

    Like 3
  6. Eric Johnson
  7. Moparman Member

    Personally, I prefer the Rally II wheels over the Honeycombs. The HC’s were polycast over a steel base, and thus are heavier than the Rally’s. This looks to be a very nice car. GLWTA!! :-)

    • JOHN Member

      I like the Honeycombs because they are fairly rare, the Rally ll’s are on everything. The wheels would look a whole lot better if the trim rings were on the wheels.

  8. T-Bone

    I love it, one of my favorite cars ever. I would be a buyer unfortunately it wouldn’t end in divorce court. I think it’s a good buy.

  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    This is my favorite color combo for these cars. I had a 69 Firebird 400 in this same color theme, but not a convertible. It had American Racing Torq Thrust wheels that really set it off appearance wise. I would like to park this car in my garage next to my riviera, but still I continue my search for a 67 Buick Skylark Convertible with factory 4 speed. A plus would be if came in this same color.
    God bless America

  10. mainlymuscle

    I’ve mentioned many of the cars that I am fortunate to have in my collection before,so there is no need to repeat.The Reader’s digest version is that I’ve had my 70 Judge vert ,Carousel red over tan ,for 18 years.I have driven it more miles than all of my other collector cars COMBINED .It is simply the best driving muscle car I’ve ever driven.If you are going to have one ,or a few cars,and you truly wish to ENJOY the drive,not just brag about the value,or stare at it in your garage (though this is stare worthy ),THIS IS THE CAR TO BUY -period !!The price is bang on,even factoring in 10 grand for a quality paint job ,a few years down the road.Until then,get the best detailer you can find to remove the lower body rust ,blend in the paint ,and hit the road.Okay , just a little brag ;I daily a Bentley GTC ,but if Mrs.Muscle and I were headed to wine country for the greatest Cab Sauvs on the planet ,the Limey muscle would be left home for the Rag Top Poncho !

    Like 1
  11. Jcs

    Great looking LeMans equipped well that appears to be realistically priced. Actually surprised that the listing is still up.

    Like 1
  12. KEVIN

    that “small bubble under the paint on one fender” is worrisome

  13. GPAK

    Duck Lips on a car ⁉️
    a Kardashian would be proud to drive this.

    Like 4
  14. Allan

    I have a real 72 GTO with the ram air hood pan and air cleaner hooked up, and even more coincidentaly, I just sold a beautiful red 67 Skylark Convertible. Was an auto, but took several best in shows with it. I miss it sometimes.

    Like 1
  15. 370zpp

    I had a new 72 Lemans GT. The (white) headliner leaked after six months and the dealer was not interested in fixing it. I traded it in two years later for a Capri V-6 and never looked back.

    • Allan Leidholm

      Cool. We’ve got cars in commom. Also had a 73 Ford Capri!

      Like 2
    • Douglas Styers

      Was it a convertible, or a steel hardtop…..Lemans

  16. JOHN Member

    I remember the Pontiac magazine ads for the front end option on on the 72 models as the $41 nose job! Quite the buy as the entire front clip is different from the base LeMans

    • Jim moglia

      I bought my 72 about 8/9 years ago and swore I would drive this one. I got it with 47,900 miles in Florida shipped it to NY, now it has 52k. Had a triple black 70 366/4spd a/c car with heavy docs(every oil change) never drove it cause only 360 made. This 72 /4spd a/c car, drives smooth. Original #’s matching 400 now a 469 full roller motor. Having a blast. 72 is my new favorite!!

  17. Nixy

    Oh man, this one hits close to home. My father worked as a mechanic and eventually the service manager at the Pontiac dealer in our hometown back in the day. He special ordered a ’72 LeMans GT, Adriatic Blue w/white stripe, black interior with 400 and 4spd. That is the car we always talk about that he wishes he still had…

    Like 1

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