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TA Indy Pace Car

1980 Pontiac 
Turbo Trans Am
Indy Pace Car Edition

I've added some links to more information about his awesome car. I have enjoyed getting email from people all over the country (and Australia!). I'm glad everyone is finding this web site informative. I'm really getting the bug to get another one of these, so I'll be adding more information. Thanks for visiting.

Links:
http://www.indypacecars.com/1980.html - The definitive site for all information about Indy Pace Cars
http://www.phoenixgraphix.com/transam/1980pc.htm - If you are restoring your Pace Car, you can get all the decals here
http://www.stencilsandstripes.com/pr_indy.asp - If you are restoring your Pace Car, you can get all the decals here
http://publish.uwo.ca/~agrehorn/301shrine.html - This site is unbelievable. Everything you ever wanted to know about the infamous 301 Turbo engine!
http://www.geocities.com/ramairta2002/80pacer.htm - This site has some excellent detailed info about the 1980 Pace Car
http://www.firebirdgallery.com/Edition_Indy_80lot1.htm - Pics and info from The Premier Firebird Trans Am Gallery
http://www.phs-online.com/  - Order vehicle specific information for your Pontiac!

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Check out this Magazine ad! 

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I first saw this car a few months after my High School graduation in 1979. I was in total awe.  I bought one in 1985. It was just like the one you see here. It had the authentic lettering on the doors, just as the actual Pace Car did when it rounded the Brickyard in 1980. This car definitely gets a triple Tim Allen "Orh, Orh, Orh!". Sadly, I ended up totaling the car. I've made it one of my life goals to buy another one just like it.

Appearance
Hailed by many as the best looking pace car ever built, the Indy Pace Car Trans Am was the most popular Firebird offered in 1980. The Turbo Trans Am boasted an asymmetrical hood and specially-designed hood graphics. Notes Pontiac "We wanted to show that form follows function on this car".  Only 5,700 of the turbocharged 301 cubic inch Trans Ams where built, this particular car is coded X87, and manufactured in 1980. This special production TA received a white paint job with charcoal accents on the front and rear bumpers, the hood, and the roof.

Lastly a complete set of special decals was installed on the car. The hood bird was larger than normal and made up of red, charcoal and gray colors. A large size set of decals was also installed on both doors denoting the cars Indianapolis Pace Car status.

Pace Car Duties
The 1980 Turbo-Trans am Lead the field at the 64th annual Indianapolis 500 on May 25,1980, and was chosen as the NASCAR pace car for 1980, including the 22nd annual Daytona 500 stock car race in February. It was the first time in 11 years that an auto manufacturer had the same car pace both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 races the same year!

These Pace Cars came equipped with A/C, power windows, power door locks, the WS6 Special Appearance Package, four wheel disc brakes, and a set of 15"x8" finned turbo wheels. It had an oyster and light gray interior with the familiar red illuminated Pontiac instrumentation. Embroidered Trans Am Eagles on the door panels and center of the back seat.  "Orh, Orh, Orh!" 

 

Engine:  Turbo 4.9L 
Trans.: 3-speed automatic
Rear End: 3.08:1 limited slip.
Max. Turbo boost: 9 PSI
Turbo Compression: 7.5:1
Horsepower: 210 at 4,000 rpm
Torque: 345 ft./lbs. at 2,000 rpm

 
Not until years later, did I realize the importance of this car in automotive history. This beautiful painting of a White 1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Pace Car has been reproduced as a limited edition art print. Automotive artist Bill Harbort has depicted this car under a clear blue sky. I'm really looking forward to get behind the wheel of one of these, and go cruisin' around Long Island...

This picture was most likely used in Pontiac ads for the 80' Turbo TA. 

 
It'll probably be a few years before I can conscientiously buy something like this. It could even be a great project to restore one.

 
 

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