Anyone here ever heard of a W72 engine option for 1980 GP?

78Delta88

Master Mechanic
May 23, 2022
316
43
SW Arizona
The only other turbo I know of at that time was the Buick LaSabre 231. On the F Body, my sister had the 80 Turbo Formula, I had an 81 Turbo Trans Am. There were supposedly some turbo mustangs running around 78 - 80, never saw one. On the Fender tag it should have embossed W72. I have a 81 Bandit II Turbo Trans Am, that code was Y88 which was the special edition and you will find that on the Fender tag, usually drivers side near the cowl. And should be on the build sheet.

Maybe someone with a W30 could verify if the same held true for it. I would expect you would see W72 on the Fender tag, but not certain.
 

ELCAM

G-Body Guru
Jun 19, 2021
581
93
The original owner might have been trying to duplicate as best as possible the concept car, hence all the options.

 

clean8485

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Dec 18, 2005
2,687
113
Ontario, Canada
The original owner might have been trying to duplicate as best as possible the concept car, hence all the options.

The original owner wasn't trying to duplicate that engine, GM actually offered a "high output" package for the 301 engine that year (not turbocharged), under the RPO code W72, and the car that is up for sale has the W72 RPO code as an option on it.
 
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ck80

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 18, 2014
4,418
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Let's try this a different way:

In 1979 Pontiac still offered the 400ci as the w72 engine in its lineup. Thus there was no 301 w72 at that time.

In 1980 weird things happened. The 400 was gone partway through 79. Instead, to fill the gap, Pontiac made three versions of the 301 - one the base L37; one by putting a hotter cam in their 301, and, added electronic spark control - THAT was the w72; then you had the LU8 301 turbo.

Same w72 were talking about was the base engine in the trans am and formula, but you could opt up into turbo or take a credit down to L37.

So, across the other car lines, Pontiac also allowed an upgrade into the w72 engine, just like in years passed you could go with a 400 if you chose. What happened here is a case of the opt for the high end engine for the GP - the w72 301.

Now, in 1981 everything went to CCC and thus, all the 301 engines had the electronic spark control. There was no 'w72' for 81 not because the technology or parts disappeared, or the engine being offered or not, but, reflecting that it was absorbed into standard equipment.
 
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clean8485

Comic Book Super Hero
Thread starter
Dec 18, 2005
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Ontario, Canada
I really wasn't trying to cause any controversy with my original post. I know that the 1980 GP W72 option was unusual, and not often chosen. I was only wondering if anyone else on this forum was aware of it.
 
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pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
7,882
113
Elderton, Pa
The only other turbo I know of at that time was the Buick LaSabre 231. On the F Body, my sister had the 80 Turbo Formula, I had an 81 Turbo Trans Am. There were supposedly some turbo mustangs running around 78 - 80, never saw one. On the Fender tag it should have embossed W72. I have a 81 Bandit II Turbo Trans Am, that code was Y88 which was the special edition and you will find that on the Fender tag, usually drivers side near the cowl. And should be on the build sheet.

Maybe someone with a W30 could verify if the same held true for it. I would expect you would see W72 on the Fender tag, but not certain.
Besides those there was Yenko's Turbo Z Camaro for '81. Yenko added a turbo to the LM1 350.
 

motorheadmike

Geezer
Nov 18, 2009
8,993
113
Saskatchewan, Truckistan
So are you going to buy it?!
 
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Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
8,753
113
Queens, NY
Same w72 were talking about was the base engine in the trans am and formula,
Bing bing bing- we have a winner! Yes, if you ever dissected an '80 TA you find the HO 301 [W72] with the same spark retard that was used on the Turbo 301. Remember, this was one year before OBD1 came into play. They tried like hell to make the TA as good as it could be without the 400 engine so they made it as radical as they dared with the retard box to protect it. But reality says "there is no substitute for cubic inches". I think it would be a terrific option on a G-body car though.
 

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