1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Hardtop - SOLD
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This very appealing Polar White Judge hardtop is one of 3797 cars built in 1970, as documented by the accompanying PHS paperwork.

The idea was to create a bargain-priced Pontiac GTO, much like Mopar’s Road Runner/Super Bee twins, but when the Judge debuted in 1969, it was the most expensive GTO and could be loaded up with every trick imaginable. Trying to cash in on pop culture undoubtedly helped, as the Judge name took on multiple meanings: the last word in authority but one that didn’t take itself too seriously, as viewers of the “Laugh-In” TV show would understand. “Here come da Judge!” immediately became part of the pop culture lexicon and you’d better believe Pontiac used it to their advantage in period advertising. Nevertheless, the Judge was relatively rare even when it was new, as only 3797 buyers ponied up for the top-of-the-line Goat in 1970. With an all-new look that eschewed chrome and added an aggressive new Endura nose, that might be a surprise, but it’s also why 1970 GTO Judges are so highly prized by collectors today.

This very appealing Polar White Judge hardtop is one of those 3797 cars built in 1970, as documented by the accompanying PHS paperwork. It also carries its original, numbers-matching Ram Air III engine, factory 4-speed manual gearbox, and a long list of options that includes the hood tach, painted rear wing, and what appears to be dealer-installed A/C. It was restored in stages, receiving a comprehensive mechanical freshening about three years ago and it was treated to a high-quality repaint and new interior just last year. It is correctly detailed and the finish work is quite good. You may note that there’s a slight bluish tint to the paint, which is intentional—Pontiac wanted their Polar White to look a bit like a glacier—and depending on the light it goes from brilliant white to a soft blue. The effect is extremely cool (literally and figuratively!). It appears that they replaced the quarters when it was refinished, but the workmanship is quite good and even after spending a lot of time crawling around in the trunk, the best I can say is “probably.” Nice! Gaps are very good throughout, the Endura front bumper is in excellent condition, and all the correct Judge stripes and emblems were installed—and yes, that’s the correct stripe color combination for a Polar White Judge. There wasn’t a lot of chrome left in 1970, but the stuff on this car is quite nice, from the headlight trim rings that are in excellent shape to the beautifully finished rear bumper. It isn’t quite a show car, but it’s certainly well above average.

The black interior was likewise fully restored when it came time to reassemble the car. Correct textured seat covers, replacement door panels, and new carpets were all installed to make it look right. New foam underneath means it’s comfortable for long cruises, and all the engine-turned dash appliques are bright. You’ll note that it includes a center console with a Hurst shifter for the 4-speed manual gearbox and a woodgrained wheel helps warm things up as well. Factory gauges are all fully operational, including the optional hood tach, which is just about the coolest gauge ever installed on a car—you’ll never get tired of watching it do its thing out there in front of you. The A/C blows nice and cold and it appears to be dealer-installed because it uses a factory control head in the dash, but a Harrison compressor and slightly different hose routing than a factory installation. Either way, it is very nicely done and has been in place since the car was virtually new. The only notable deviation from stock is a Pioneer AM/FM/cassette head unit that sounds better than the original AM radio and blends in reasonably well. The headliner is beautifully done and the trunk is correctly finished with spatter paint, a reproduction mat, and a full-sized matching spare with original jack assembly.

This is the car’s original, numbers-matching 400 cubic inch Ram Air III V8 engine, and it was rebuilt to stock specs fairly recently. It stars and runs beautifully with no issues—good oil pressure, no warm weather fussiness even with the A/C cranking, and a fantastic V8 rumble out back. It is also correctly detailed with a Ram Air air cleaner assembly up top, complete with vacuum-operated flap, correct Pontiac Turquoise engine enamel, and fresh cad plating on any part that needed it. The list of new parts is extensive, including the brakes from master cylinder to pads, the electrical system including the harness, and little stuff like the GM-coded coolant hoses with proper tower clamps. Factory exhaust manifolds dump into a fresh Flowmaster dual exhaust system, but that seems to be the lone deviation from factory spec.

We’ve confirmed that the Muncie 4-speed manual transmission is also this car’s numbers-matching unit and it feeds a heavy-duty 12-bolt rear end with 3.55 gears and a Posi limited slip inside. You’ll note that the suspension includes a lot of new equipment and the floors are in fantastic condition with no evidence of previous rust or rot. Take a peek inside the rockers and you’ll even spot crisp, clear seams and no signs of the dreaded tin worm in this car’s past. There’s also a new gas tank hanging out back as well as a set of proper Pontiac split exhaust tips that are just plain cool. Factory 14-inch Rally II wheels are fitted and they are correct—trim rings were not part of the deal when you bought a new Judge. It currently sits on fresh 225/70/14 white-letter radials that give it just the right aggressive look and are probably a big upgrade over the original Firestones.

Documentation is extensive, including a full PHS package with a reproduction window sticker, invoice, owner’s manual, and more. It also comes with a framed GTO ad from 1970 and invoices for recent service work.

Nobody will argue that the Judge isn’t an A-list collectable, and finding one that’s ready to drive or show is not getting easier. This one has an awesome pedigree, a high-quality restoration, and a somewhat unusual color combination that works quite well. Even fifty years later, the Judge is a very impressive car. Call today!

Vehicle: 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Hardtop
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 115193
Mileage: 2564
VIN: 242370P154785
Engine: 400 cubic inch Ram Air III V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.55
Wheelbase: 115 inches
Wheels: 14-inch Rally II wheels
Tires: 225/70/14 white letter radials
Exterior Color: Polar White
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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