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GTO Clone Project: 1971 Pontiac LeMans

At first, the LeMans was a trim upgrade on the Pontiac Tempest before becoming a series of its own in 1964, the same year the GTO was born. Third-generation models were built from 1968-72 and would be the nameplate’s most popular. In recent years, those cars have become targets for cloning, as is the case with the seller’s ’71 LeMans which wears a GTO front clip from the same year. Available in Apache Junction, Arizona, and here on craigslist, the asking price is $8,000 for what may be a largely cosmetic project. Another great tip brought to us by Barn Finder rex m!

Not always the case, LeMans buyers in 1971 could opt for any of Pontiac’s V8 engines in their car, from the basic 350 to the 400 and even Pontiac’s High Output (HO) 455. All 1971 motors were detuned with lower compression ratios to run on lower-octane low-lead or unleaded gasoline. Whether the seller’s car came with a 400 cubic engine, to begin with, that’s what’s under the hood now and we’re told it’s in running condition with Roller Rockers and an upgraded camshaft. It’s paired with a TH-400 automatic transmission and the master cylinder is new.

Other more recent mechanical repairs or enhancements to the car include a new radiator, transmission lines, belts and hoses, fuel pump and sending unit, and a K&N air cleaner. A bunch of spare parts will go along with the auto, such as a front disc brake conversion kit (drum brakes currently), a fiberglass GTO snout, a suspension kit, newer carpeting, and replacement floor pans, which the car surely needs. This was a factory air-conditioned car at one point, but the hardware is missing now.

At 133,000 miles, this LeMans is well-used, and the body is in rough condition. It’s hard to tell exactly what color this Pontiac was originally given the primer and other applications there now. But the 15” aluminum wheels look new or new and would look great on a restored car. It’s debatable what this Pontiac might be worth restored and it depends how far down the path of detailing this car out as a GTO duplicate the buyer chooses to go.


  1. piston poney

    never thought i would say this but, i would drive it the way it sits maybe put the missing headlight in it but other than that driver it, the right out of the junkyard look dosent look to bad on this one.

    Like 8
  2. Kuzspike

    With the word “Pontiac” in the left grille opening its more likely a Lemans Sport model than a GTO front clip. The GTO Endura nose was a $73.72 option, along with the GTO style hood in 1971.

    Like 3
  3. Ike Onick

    How bad does it get when your Clone project goes sour?

    Like 1
  4. mainlymuscle

    Looked like a deal for a cosmetic restoration,right up until “parts include new floors….”.Too much work ,but truly one of the most stunning cars of the era.

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