It's what I like about Pontiac.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.
They have a long history of finding a secret way of saying F-U to gm corporate and tricking them into things.. somenwins, some losses.
The GTO? The OHC inline 6? The fiero? The SD engine lineup? The 89 TTA? Lots of times they slipped something by. Now, they got close and lose sometimes like the banshee that became the c3 body, but, on the whole they were better at sticking it to corporate than any other division, at least in the DeLorean years.