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 because of rapidly rising fuel prices and the very real shortage of gasoline. It was something he 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 that car who was not particular about the authenticity.
Then his search continued for the real thing and it wasn’t long before Lore found a virtual twin to his original car advertised for sale in Charleston, W.V.
Lore went to inspect the car and found a near-perfect rust-free car — much 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.
Records that came with the car indicate the first owner acquired it in Las Vegas, 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 for a few years, Lore had it repainted in the original Cameo White with Lucerne Blue stripes. In 1972, the white front bumper was made from new (at the time) bounce-back Endura material.
The 455-cubic-inch High Output V-8 is capped by a four-barrel carburetor that 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 redline, while the speedometer tops out at 160 mph. A shift lever sprouting from the console on the floor between the front seats controls the four-speed transmission.
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 canister.
Since it was repainted, Lore has driven his Trans Am 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 the car’s.
Lore says Pontiac built only 1,286 models 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 now that he has found his.
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