This Judge Can Be Bought
The car: 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
Location: Danboro, Pennsylvania, USA
Original Ad: Click here
When the Plymouth Road Runner debuted in 1968, it changed the rules for performance cars in the united States. Before then, many performance cars like the Plymouth GTX tended to be based on the highest trim level; the kids bagging groceries found it difficult to save up their pennies for unnecessary items like bucket seats and chrome trim, both of which were standard on the Plymouth GTX. But with the Road Runner, a bench seat, 383, and 4-speed were standard – all for under $2900, while the 440 GTX was over $450 more.
Consequently, the rest of Detroit took note, especially Pontiac. As the progenitor of the muscle car scene, Pontiac was as guilty as anyone else in ignoring the youth market, as popular as the GTO was. Engineers played around with a Tempest stuffed with a 350 HO and called it E.T. (elapsed time), but Big Chief John DeLorean nixed the idea on the basis that a GTO was not going to have less than 400 cubic inches. Instead, he took the E.T. idea, complete with bright Carousel Red paint, added a Ram Air 400, spoiler, and beltline stripes, and hawked this outrageous, deluxe GTO to the public starting in January, 1969. Named after a quip on the televesion show Laugh-In, the psychedelic GTO Judge was a marketing success, selling more than 6,000 units – over nine percent of GTO production.
Even though the GTO Judge was meant to be a one-time special edition to help increase sales, it returned for 1970 even wilder than before. The GTO had been heavily facelifted with a sleek new look with bulges above the wheels that likely were influenced by the Mercedes Gullwing. The Judge’s spoiler was now a “floating” airfoil, and the new tri-tone stripes sat on the wheel bulges. Even though the Judge was joined in the market by other striped-and-spoilered muscle cars, most notably the Buick GSX, Judge production held steady at nine percent of total GTO production while overall GTO sales fell. Pontiac product planners decided the Judge would continue into 1971 but the package was cancelled mid-year after 374 were built, including 17 convertibles.
But it’s not just the 1971s that are rare – only 168 Judge convertibles were built in 1970. This one has the standard 400 Ram Air motor rated at 366 horsepower and is paired to an automatic transmission. This particular Judge is unusual in that it came new with the optional bench seat with column shifter but a previous owner switched it to the more attractive buckets/console configuration. Best of all is that it’s painted in the ever-popular Atoll Blue with the nifty blue/pink/orange stripes, but the AC and hood tachometer aren’t anything to sneeze at. Judge convertibles always carry a premium, but since the transmission is not the original numbers-matching unit, this Judge is a bit more affordable than others – a bit, as the seller is asking $159,900.
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Petrolicious makes no claim as to the accuracy of the information contained in the car’s original listing, nor will it be held responsible for any errors in said information. If you’re interested in this car, do your homework and research it extensively before you buy.