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Sep042017

1972 Pontiac Trans Am

By Vern Parker

Like many young men back in the glory days of muscle cars, Gary Lore purchased a new 1972 Pontiac Trans Am.

Also like many young men he sold the car after only a few years prompted by rapidly rising fuel prices and the very real shortage of gasoline. It was an action he soon came to regret..

“I started looking for a replacement in the mid-1980s,” Lore recalls. In 1987 he bought a used 1972 Pontiac that had been altered to appear as an authentic Trans Am. In 1991 he found a buyer for the car who was not particular about the authenticity.

Then the search continued for the real thing. Not long afterward Lore saw a virtual twin to his original car. It was advertised for sale and was located in Charleston, West Virginia.

Lore went to inspect the car and found a near perfect rust free car like his first one with an odometer reading of 64,000 miles. He purchased it on the spot and returned the next week to take the Pontiac home to Stafford, Virginia.

Records that came with the car indicate the the first owner acquired it in Los Vegas, Nevada which helps explain the factory installed air conditioner. The steering and braking tasks are power assisted. The front brakes are disc brakes.

After enjoying the Pontiac a few years Lore had his car repainted in the original Cameo White with Lucerne Blue stripes. In 1972 the white front bumper was advertised as “new at the time” Endura.

The 455-cubic-inch High Output V-8 is capped by a four-barrel carburetor which protrudes through an opening in the Shaker-style engine hood. Dashboard rally gauges help the driver keep tabs on how the car is performing. The 8,000 RPM tachometer has a 5,700 red line while the speedometer tops out at 160 MPH. The four speed transmission is controlled by the shift lever sprouting from the console on the floor between the front seats.

Lore has had the white front seats recovered and is considering replacing the carpeting.

Assisting the air conditioner in controlling the cabin temperature are the Soft Ray tinted windows.

A set of F60-15 white letter tires are mounted on 15-inch Rally II wheels with trim rings.

Dual exhausts with chrome extensions peek out below the rear bumper.

Visual cues related to speed and performance abound on the car from the front air dam to the spoiler on the rear deck. Nestled in the trunk is the small “space saver” spare tire and inflation cannister.

Since the repainting was completed Lore has driven his car to Pontiac gatherings as far as Minnesota, New Hampshire and South Carolina as well as many local trips. He reports highway fuel economy of about 12 MPG. He exercises his car on good weather days just to keep the juices flowing, both his and his cars.

Lore says Pontiac built only 1,286 cars like his in 1972. His left the factory with a window sticker suggested price of $5,254.83. There are only a precious few remaining but that doesn't concern Lore because he has his.

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