1972 GTO 1972 GTO Hot

1972 GTO
The Judge was discontinued in 1972. All of the Muscle Car world mourned.
  • 1972 was a tragic year as The Judge was discontinued.
  • In 1972, Pontiac GTO lost it status as an independent model and was offered as an option to the Lemans series
  • In 1972, the advertised engine power of the muscle car engines dropped drastically due to a shift in the industry to measuring power in terms of SAE net horse power

Muscle Car Specifications

Performance Model
1972 Pontiac GTO
Engine Used
Zero to Sixty
6.6 sec
Quarter Mile
14.6 sec @ 95.2 mph

Muscle Car Comparisons

Muscle Car By Year
Muscle Cars By Make

1972 was indeed a tragic year for the Pontiac GTO. It lost it status as an independent model and was reverted to being a $353.88 option package for the LeMans and Lemans Sport. The Judge option, meeting an untimely death and was discontinued. And if this all wasn’t enough, the most drastic and the most tragic change was the drop in the engine power ratings due to a change in industry standard of measuring the power in terms of the more realistic SAE net hp.

Standard Features

A 1972 GTO featured much of the same options as that of the 1971 GTO. The exterior and interior were largely unchanged along with the optional equipment offered.

As mentioned earlier, the convertible option was discontinued in the GTOs. In the LeMans line, you had the option of getting the GTO package either as the pillared coupe (which was comparatively cheaper) or the hardtop coupe, where as, only the hardtop was offered in the LeMans Sports line.

In the LeMans line, the cheaper version of GTOs, both models were offered in the standard with cloth and vinyl/all-vinyl bench seats. The main difference in the interior was that the pillared coupe came with rubber floor mats where as the hardtop had carpeting. Whereas, the LeMans Sport features were reminiscent of the prior GTOs.

In 1972, Pontiac did not offer a GTO convertible option, in 1972; however, a buyer could order a LeMans Sport convertible with any of the three GTO engines and all the other options which would essentially create a GTO but without its name, of course.

Shift to the SAE Net Output for Measuring Engine Power

Even though there were relatively little changes in the engines from the last year, there was a drastic drop in the power ratings of the engine due to a change in the industry standard for measuring the power of the engine. The power was measured now in terms of SAE net output, meaning the power of the engine with all the power draining accessories attached, instead of the gross output of the power of the engine alone. The reason for this was to make the rating more realistic and it resulted in the rating for the 400 hp engine to go down to 250 hp and the optional 455 was available as either 250 or 300 hp.


Similar to 1971, sales plummeted again, this time by 45% to 5,811. The competition didn’t fared well either. The 1972 rating of Chevrolet Chevelle SS engine of LS-5 454’s dropped to 270 horsepower where as the Turbo-Jet 400 dropped to 240 net horsepower. In this year, Chevelle SS production fell to 24,946 and the sales of the LS-5 was 5333.

Dodge Charger’s 440 six-pack engine’s output dropped from 385bhp gross to 330bhp net where as the output of the regular 4 bbl 440 dropped from 370bhp gross to 280bhp net. Unfortunately, the 383 was unable to meet the new emissions requirements and was, hence, dropped and replace with a 400 V8 which offered 255bhp.

Plymouth roadrunner’s 1972 model was identical to the 1971 with a few minor changes. The GTX was canceled where as the Hemi was made a dealer option and the Runner was offered a standard 400-cid V-8, with the 440 optional. 14,218 Road Runner 2-door hardtops were produced along with 2,942 GTX 2-door hardtops.

Engine Specifications

TypeSizeCarbHorse PowerTourqe
455 HO455ci1x4bbl300 hp @ 4000 rpm415 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm
455455ci1x4bbl250 hp @ 3600 rpm370 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm

Performance Statistics

0 to 60 mphQuarter MileEngineSource
6.6 sec14.6 sec @ 95.2 mph455ci/300hpEstimate
1972 GTO
1972 GTO

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

Overall rating 
5.0  (1)
3.0  (1)
Parts Availability 
4.0  (1)
3.0  (1)
Ratings (the higher the better)
How Does The Car Look? Has the design aged well?
How does the performance of this car compare to similar models?
Parts Availability*  
How available are both used parts and new parts for performance enhancement, general repair and muscle car restoration?
How rare and valuable is this classic car?
    Please enter the security code.
1972 GTO 2010-04-14 08:02:57 rainer vodja
Overall rating 
Parts Availability 
Reviewed by rainer vodja    April 14, 2010

very nice body

This car is super fine-looking,so I NEVER mention other cars.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Report this review