1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge" Emerges With Rare Option and Bad News Under the Hood

1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge" 16 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/eBay seller muntz007
1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"1970 Pontiac GTO "The Judge"
Launched as a $337.92 trim package in 1969, The Judge rapidly became a hit. The Ram Air III, the new tires (which were wider and contributed to a more aggressive stance), the new graphics, and the trunk spoiler made The Judge an intriguing presence.
However, it never became a catalyst for growing sales for the GTO. In its first year on the market, The Judge convinced only approximately 6,800 buyers to give it a second chance. It means the car didn't even account for 10% of the entire GTO production, despite its appealing promise.

1970 brought awful news. The GTO sales collapsed, with Pontiac selling only a little over 40,000 units. The Judge was impacted, too, so only 3,797 GTOs equipped with this package rolled off the assembly lines.

One of them recently made its way to eBay, promising options that you can rarely find today. Seller muntz007 says (and also offers PHS documentation, including the original invoice and the build sheet as proof) that The Judge left the factory painted in Cardinal Red and sporting a red interior with a Sandalwood top. I couldn't find any evidence, but the seller claims it could be the only red Judge with a Sandalwood top.

Pontiac fitted this Judge with the Ram Air III 400 engine and the other goodies in the package, including the Hurst shifter with the T-handle. Unfortunately, the engine is no longer there, as the car comes with a 400 donated by a 1978 Trans am.

It's bad news for GTO collectors who wanted to retain the original setup, so the only option now is to go the restomod route and stick with the Trans Am engine. The seller explains the engine doesn't run, claiming it'll need a rebuild. If you can find a 1970 Ram Air III 400, you can aim for a factory restoration, making the resale price go through the roof.

This Judge could also make some people walk away if they expected mint metal. The body comes with horrible rust, including on the roof and the undersides. You should put the car on a lift to inspect the floors, but you should assume the car needs new pans, especially considering the rust that has already invaded other metal parts.

Unsurprisingly, this Judge won't sell cheaply, and the car has already caught the attention of wealthy people online. The auction started earlier this week and reached $16,500. There's no reserve, meaning whoever sends the highest offer can take it home. I expect the price to surpass $20K in the next couple of days.

The Judge is parked in Pinson, Alabama, waiting for someone to take it home. The auction will end in approximately four days.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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