Y85 Special Edition TRANS AM Info
INDY PACE CAR

1980

1979 being the last year for the big block, the Pontiac 400 and Olds 403, Pontiac provided something special for 1980 to compensate the loss of cubic inches while keeping almost the same horsepower, they created the Turbo!

Powered by a turbocharged 4.9L V-8 engine, the Turbo-Trans Am needed only minor modifications to bring it up to pace car specs.

As the turbocharger comes up to higher speed, the turbo's boost is controlled to 9 PSI so the turbo doesn't overboost/detonate the engine.

The compression ratio on the turbo is 7.5:1, the horsepower is 210 at 4,000 rpm, and the torque is 345ft./lbs. at 2,000rpm.

The 80 Indy Trans Am was one of the LEAST modified cars EVER to pace the indy 500, as they only changed the rear end gears.

Turbo Indy Pace Cars, coded X87, made their debut in 1980 with an asymetrical hood and specially-designed hood graphics. Notes Pontiac, "We wanted to show that form follows function on this car."
In 1980, 5,700 of the turbocharged 301 cubic inch Trans Ams where built. The Turbo Trans Am Pace Car's paint scheme is basically white with a charcoal accent color extending from the hood through the door upper, into the front of the sail panel, and through the forward half of the roof.
A complete set of special decals were 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 either door denoting the cars Pace Car status.

Silver tinted removable T-top hatch-roof panels and aluminum white "air-flow" wheels are standard equipment. Along with the 4.9-liter 301 turbocharged V-8, a 3.08:1 rear axle and limited slip differential are standard. A three-speed automatic TH-350 was the only transmission available, no 4-speeds were offered on any '80 Trans Am.

For the first time since it was introduced in 1969, the Pontiac Trans Am was selected as the pace car for the 1980 Indy 500.
In fact this was only the second time Pontiac had paced the field at the Brickyard... and it was chosen as the NASCAR pace car for 1980, which included 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 chosen to pace both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 races in the same year!

The 1980 Trans Am was piloted by 1950 Indy 500 winner Johnnie Parsons, Sr.

 

 
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