BF Auction: 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge” Ram Air IV

Sold for $42,500View Result

UPDATE – The seller went over and took additional photos of the car, which we’ve added to the gallery below. They’ve also provided us with photos of the title with the car and all the associated paperwork. Due to privacy concerns, these photos will only be made available upon request.

Few cars possess the sheer presence of the 1969 Pontiac GTO “Judge.” Developed as a “stripped” muscle car offering value for money, The Judge has achieved legendary status in the classic community. This one looks sad, but it possesses some significant positive attributes that make it a serious contender for restoration. It is complete, unmolested, and features a list of optional extras that add to its desirability. However, the icing on the cake is undoubtedly the numbers-matching Ram Air IV V8 under the hood. The seller holds PHS documentation confirming its authenticity and it’s believed to be one of 1-of-58 automatic-equipped Judge Ram Air IV cars built (Pontiac experts feel free to weigh in here). Add those optional extras to the equation, and, once restored, this Judge should easily command a six-figure value in a market where prices are constantly climbing. If you find the prospect of slipping behind the wheel of one of the greatest cars to roll off an American production line too tempting to resist, you will find the GTO listed exclusively here at Barn Finds Auctions.

There’s no disputing the fact that this Judge is a sad sight, but the story behind it is even more heartbreaking. The seller’s brother purchased the car approximately two decades ago as a restoration project. He never commenced the build and planned on selling the car last year when he passed away suddenly as the result of an accident. Therefore, the seller is fulfilling his brother’s wish that this classic should head to a new home and an owner willing and able to do it justice. Mixed in with all that corroded steel, we can still see this Pontiac’s original Cameo Ivory paint peeking through. It has seen better days, and the new owner will face a long list of tasks to complete before they pick up the spray gun. The panels are relatively straight, with no irreparable dents or bumps. However, there is rust requiring attention throughout, with the seller candidly describing the body as a complete disaster. I can spot problems in the lower extremities, and the floors and frame are in rough shape. It isn’t the end of the world because, like so many classics from this era, replacement steel is readily available which is good since you’re going to need it. Rust has sunk its claws into the hood, but since it is a genuine Ram Air component, it might be worth attempting to save it. The buyer will probably choose to undertake a nut-and-bolt restoration, and the potential value of this GTO once the project is complete would justify that approach. It retains its correct rear spoiler, Soft Ray tinted glass, and Rally II wheels, but there will be a shopping list of required trim pieces to add the finishing touches to the exterior.

If you ever doubted the muscle car credentials of The Judge, you only need to examine this car’s mechanical specifications and performance figures to remove any doubts. The original owner ordered this classic with the ultra-desirable Ram Air IV version of Pontiac’s legendary 400ci V8. It sends an “official” 370hp to a Safe-T-Track rear end via a three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission. That combination gave the GTO the ability to storm the ¼-mile in 14 seconds, although you can be sure that with the extra grip offered by modern tires, it should be able to undercut that figure once it returns to active duty. I’ve highlighted the word “official” because, like many cars from this era, it is widely believed that Pontiac understated the power output to avoid raising the ire of insurance companies. The seller supplies photos confirming this car is numbers-matching, although it is missing the correct air cleaner assembly. Patient online searching might uncover a genuine replacement, although high-quality reproductions retail for around $900. Digging below the surface reveals this car features a correct transmission and rear end, but not whether they are original to this GTO. The seller’s brother left notes stating that both items are rebuilt, meaning they should require nothing but an inspection to confirm all is well. After adding an external fuel source, the seller coaxed this car’s V8 back to life. He says it sounds awesome, which I find easy to believe! He holds the original documentation and PHS paperwork for the Judge, which confirms the options and drivetrain combination. As we will see, its rarity claims could go far deeper than that.

Although Pontiac created The Judge as a stripped version of the GTO, buyers could add creature comforts that tailored the car to their taste. This vehicle’s original owner selected an AM radio with an optional rear speaker and a gauge cluster featuring a clock and factory tachometer. There were also floor mats, but the front seat adds to this classic’s story. I’ve seen a few of these cars in my time, and I happily admit that I can’t recall one with a bench front seat. It was available as an option, but most buyers preferred the buckets. Combine the seat with the drivetrain configuration, and this GTO becomes a rare beast. The interior is complete, but like the rest of the car, it requires total restoration. If the new owner elects to source a high-quality kit, it will lighten their wallet by around $3,200. It represents a significant investment, but the interior should present as nicely as it would have the day this car rolled off the showroom floor.

The Pontiac GTO is considered by many to be the father of the muscle car era, and they are as revered today as they were when the first one rolled off the production line. The Judge was the ultimate expression of the philosophy, created as a “no frills” vehicle that refused to compromise on its high-performance credentials. This 1969 model requires a huge amount of work, but its complete nature and rarity make it worth the time and effort. Sure, the finished product should have no difficulty commanding a six-figure value in the current market. However, you can’t place a price on slipping behind the wheel, hearing that Ram Air IV bellow its fantastic tune, and feeling the shove in the back only it can provide. It is also worth noting that with the demise of Pontiac, we will never see cars like this again. Those factors justify why someone needs to return this classic to its former glory. The seller would like to note that the car has a clear Florida Title in their late Brother’s name and they have a Letter of Administration in their name to release the title. If your State requires a Death Certificate, that can also be provided if necessary.

  • Location: Melbourne, Florida
  • Mileage: 10,691 Miles Shown, TMU
  • Engine: 400 ci Ram Air IV V8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • VIN: 242379R175658
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $42,500
Register To Bid
Ended: Feb 5, 2023 3:12pm MDT
Winner: iluvgm
  • iluvgm
    iluvgm bid $42,500.00  2023-02-05 15:08:13
  • Cominghome
    bid $42,250.00  2023-02-05 15:03:23
  • Miles bid $42,050.00  2023-02-05 15:01:16
  • Dawg bid $41,250.00  2023-02-05 15:00:11
  • Miles
    bid $41,025.00  2023-02-05 14:59:26
  • iluvgm
    iluvgm bid $37,500.00  2023-02-05 14:59:05
  • Dawg bid $37,250.00  2023-02-05 14:58:53
  • djstrans
    bid $37,000.00  2023-02-05 14:58:05
  • Dawg bid $36,750.00  2023-02-05 14:56:31
  • Cobane101 bid $36,600.00  2023-02-05 14:56:28
  • djstrans
    bid $36,500.00  2023-02-05 14:55:12
  • Cominghome bid $36,250.00  2023-02-05 12:52:22
  • djstrans bid $36,000.00  2023-02-05 09:36:31
  • Da Judge
    bid $31,000.00  2023-02-04 14:37:15
  • iluvgm
    iluvgm bid $30,200.00  2023-02-04 11:39:31
  • Da Judge bid $30,100.00  2023-02-04 11:36:32
  • Bottoms1
    bid $30,000.00  2023-02-04 09:47:04
  • bert4 bid $29,800.00  2023-02-04 08:22:53
  • Crazymac bid $29,600.00  2023-02-03 20:30:34
  • PoorCanadian
    bid $29,000.00  2023-02-03 15:46:27
  • djstrans bid $28,500.00  2023-02-03 15:39:15
  • PoorCanadian bid $28,000.00  2023-02-03 15:27:48
  • djstrans
    bid $26,500.00  2023-02-03 13:56:31
  • PoorCanadian bid $26,000.00  2023-02-03 12:38:26
  • djstrans bid $25,200.00  2023-02-03 10:38:13
  • PoorCanadian
    bid $25,000.00  2023-02-03 09:47:50
  • djstrans bid $24,500.00  2023-02-03 09:34:15
  • PoorCanadian bid $24,100.00  2023-02-02 21:22:36
  • djstrans
    bid $23,500.00  2023-02-02 14:20:28
  • RogerHuitema bid $22,000.00  2023-02-01 07:16:28
  • iluvgm
    iluvgm bid $21,500.00  2023-02-01 06:40:03
  • Crazymac
    bid $21,400.00  2023-01-31 22:36:41
  • RogerHuitema bid $21,000.00  2023-01-31 14:03:39
  • Gtocurt bid $20,100.00  2023-01-31 10:05:58
  • Tubbylulu
    bid $20,000.00  2023-01-30 20:47:05
  • Gtocurt bid $19,250.00  2023-01-30 18:40:24
  • Crazymac bid $19,000.00  2023-01-30 14:13:22
  • iluvgm
    Iluvgm
    bid $18,500.00  2023-01-30 04:07:09
  • Gtocurt bid $18,269.00  2023-01-29 19:45:27
  • Oldcarhound bid $18,169.00  2023-01-29 18:47:44
  • Bottoms1
    bid $18,000.00  2023-01-28 20:07:39
  • iluvgm
    Iluvgm bid $17,500.00  2023-01-28 12:42:54
  • Bill Egdorf bid $16,600.00  2023-01-28 11:32:49
  • Gtocurt
    bid $16,500.00  2023-01-28 07:59:32
  • Crazymac bid $16,000.00  2023-01-27 10:09:26
  • Vince bid $15,000.00  2023-01-26 17:07:49
  • iluvgm
    Iluvgm
    bid $12,500.00  2023-01-26 14:31:00
  • Miles bid $10,000.00  2023-01-26 14:26:56
  • iluvgm
    Iluvgm bid $8,500.00  2023-01-26 14:19:25
  • Miles
    bid $8,000.00  2023-01-26 12:06:56
  • Oldcarhound bid $1,000.00  2023-01-26 09:56:03

Comments

  1. Dave

    Peace, man.

    Like 6
    • rabadoo Member

      Far out and solid, man…..

      Like 0
  2. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    You can’t kill American muscle!! 400 IV Poncho sounds great.. no smoke!! Now this is worth buying and restoring!! Good luck who buys this! 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 10
  3. Al camino

    Seems like you can’t buy anything worth while for 3200 dollars as long as the frame is good

    Like 2
  4. Big C

    When I was a kid, around 13-14 yrs old. Our big Ford dealer in town, used to get these GTO’S in on trade for Pinto’s and Mustang II’s. Gas “crisis” #1 or #2, created by Uncle Sam. They’d put these Poncho’s in the back lot, and me and my friends would pour over these things. They were in a slightly better condition than this Goat. Repainted outside, in a windstorm, lots of bondo and rot, beat interiors, etc. $400 to $700, as is. My lawn mowing jobs, and mom, wouldn’t let me take one home. Dang it!

    Like 10
  5. Johnny Demonic

    I’d leave the paint as in and get the rest of the car up and running properly.

    Like 3
    • TomP

      Me too. Restored Judges at car shows are boring. A perfect running, all original patina car would not only save thousands on the resto, but it would also be the coolest car at the show..

      Like 4
  6. Judge Baby

    This should run fast with the tin termites dropping pounds . Each race should shake it off more.

    Here comes the Judge 🧑‍⚖️ !!!!!!!

    Like 11
  7. Papa Bear

    I had a 1969 GTO Judge with the Ram Air4 and 4 speed, it had the bench seat with fold down arm rest.

    Like 5
    • Maggy

      Love the car and the bench seat with a column shift….really cool.I’d get her running and driving safe and have fun driving it the way it looks.

      Like 4
    • Dale

      My friend had ordered a green 1968 GTO with the fancy wheels, redlines, hide-a-ways, and the Lemans bench seat (black vinyl) with the armrest. It had a three speed stick on the floor. It had a great rumble at idle. He asked me if I wanted to buy it in 1973. The car was in Chicago. I passed on it, unfortunately.

      Like 0
      • Rusty

        Sounds like the one I bought in ’68, GTO convertible dark green, white top,black interior.
        Three speed Hurst,3:25 gears,didn’t beat anything off the line but top end, hang on. $3411. Out the door. Problem was they got stolen faster than u could blink. Park it at the mall,an say “goodbye”.
        But was my first love for sure.

        Like 1
  8. skloon

    Was it owned by the Zodiac Killer ?

    Like 9
  9. Oldschool Muscle

    I would restore it to factory Patina to me is just rust no thanks….I can buy any rust bucket if that was the case…

    Like 12
  10. Steve Weiman

    Wow, unbelievable stuff like this is still around. RA IV anything is very special, let alone one that still has the goods. Because of the rust I would never touch this car with a 10 foot pole, but someone will, and will do a terrific job to bring her back. This one is worth it. Very curious to see what this one sells for……

    Like 6
  11. Robert Levins

    This one is totally worth it. To completely restore. Leaving it Patina would be a total shame. It won’t be easy to restore this one but in the long run it is probably one of the rarest and most desirable models to do just that, a 100% full restoration.Awesome article! Good luck to everyone involved in the process!

    Like 6
  12. RICKY L JOHNSON

    Check the vin in the driver’s side dash. Numbers 4237 in the sequence. This ponton is screaming lemans clone. No ram air V1 has a covered dish air cleaner yes options a tach in the dash I had one. But even a tilt wheel. The tranny select is on the tree. Guys in your enthusiasm don’t forget check the vin. I hope this turns out legit. Wind it up rev it up blow it out. Little GTO

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The VIN is listed above. The 4237 is there but always good to do your due diligence.

      Like 1
  13. Trey

    The Judge was not a stripped down GTO. Not sure why that false take continues to persist.

    Chalk me up as one of those people who feels it’s absurd to think this car should have its patina maintained.

    Like 13
    • DVSCAPRI

      The “Judge” was marketed & intended to be a “stripped down” GTO by Pontiac in order to drop insurance premiums for the buyers. Very much like the Road Runner vs. GTX. That’s not to say people didn’t order all kinds of options to “dress them up”. Look up “Standard” items on these early Judge’s you’ll find all kinds of things most would upgrade – rubber floor mat comes to mind, bench seat may have also been standard (I don’t recall for sure).

      Like 2
      • Trey

        This is absolutely, positively wrong.

        The Judge was an upgraded GTO, no different than other cars that popped up at the same time like the Cyclone Spoiler and Cougar Eliminator.

        Like 11
  14. Heat

    I wish I had the money and the time to restore this amazing one of only 58 made 1969’s.
    I hope someone takes on this project!
    I would love to see it brought back to life….
    Go for it!

    Like 4
  15. Mark

    Other than the fact that it’s rare, I really would rather have this car with a 4 speed manual transmission. Who would really want an automatic in a car like this?

    Like 7
    • Trey

      Someone who wants to win races.

      Like 6
      • rabadoo Member

        Ahhhh, youth……..

        Like 0
      • Davey Boy

        I won almost every race I had in the mid 80’s in my 57 210 427 4 spd fun machine

        Like 2
      • steve

        Third pedal. Separates the men from the boys.

        Like 2
  16. Bunky

    Was a cool car- once upon a time. Neglect and abuse of this degree should be illegal. Hats off to whoever takes this on. It’s a valuable car, for sure- but the bench seat/column shift automatic ruins it for me.

    Like 3
  17. Purple sky

    BIG payday if someone did most of the work themselves. I am one of those, after restoring these “old cars” since 1985 I could make some big cash per hour on this one. DAMN!!!!!!!

    Like 2
  18. Mark R Member

    If I’m not mistaken, one of these sold for $200k plus on a Thursday at BJ Scottsdale last night. I was a cocktail or two in at that point, but I think it was an automatic. May have been a different year. But amongst the significant numbers that hammered last night for a Thursday, this was one of the top 5 before I called it a night.

    Like 2
    • TomP

      It’s disheartening that after all of these years of BJ and Mecum horrendously and erroneously skewing car values that people are still comparing their junk car dragged out of a garage to the auction house selling prices…. Get a grip already… A bronco sells at BJ for $300k, and now every schmo with a basketcase bronco in their junkyard thinks they have a $50k car…. If anything, it’s amusing, but I feel bad for the clowns that believe this…

      Like 11
  19. Martinsane

    Why is it white?

    And to some of the comments regarding the automatic, I’m in on that as shifting endlessly is pointless, I’d rather put the sob in d and drive.

    As for the car it looks very very very sad and wants to be returned to the earth.

    Like 6
    • 19sixty5 Member

      It’s white because it can be… when the Judge package was introduced, it was only available in Carousel Red. Later on you could order a Judge in any of Pontiac colors. The early cars also lacked the glove box door Judge emblem. Sure, a stick is more fun, but if you intended to race, an automatic is the way to go. Consistency is what wins races. RAlV, auto on the column and a bench seat is the winning combination. The bench seat is significantly lighter than a bench, two additional tracks, two inside floor reinforcement/mounting provisions, console (if ordered) all add up.

      Like 6
      • Pat's Parts

        19sixty5
        Some guys I overheard discussing this car said the same thing about this car having been set up as a “Factory Drag Racer” which I didn’t understand at the time and I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation, mostly because I didn’t want to look stupid. Thanks for clarifying the weight and consistency of shifting gears issues for me. Pat

        Like 0
  20. Johan

    Cool car, hopefully it’ll get properly restored and driven! Why do so many people think they have to constantly rev up the engine like that?
    These things sound fantastic at idle. Lame…

    Like 2
  21. George Mattar

    I bought a 70 GTO from California in 1986, perfect shape for $5,500. Yes $5,500. Anyway, it was automatic on the column with bucket seats. Uninformed stupid know it alls criticized my car at two shows. A console was an option. This white car is worth saving. It may need a correct cleaner. So what. They are cheap in contrast to the correct Quadrajet for these cars. This piece of Pontiac history will sell for north of $30,000.

    Like 2
  22. HarryQ

    The legend is that John Z. DeLorean created the Judge name. I don’t believe it. I believe it was Herb Adams who suggested it. He and his wife Sandi were fans of the show, Laugh In, which is where it came from.

    In the 1968-1972 time frame, Pontiac had a stealth project to do race engine development for 303 CID (SCCA Trans-Am class and NASCAR Grand-Am AKA Baby Grand)) and 366 CID (NASCAR) versions of the Pontiac V-8. It was a legit funded program, but because of growing backlash to the horsepower race, and GM’s official ban on racing, it was kept quiet. The program was conducted by Herb Adams, Tom Nell, and Jeff Young. Jeff was sent to MIT for a master’s degree, concentrating on airflow, and came back with good ideas, and a connection to an MIT professor who used applied math to optimization that reduced the number of combinations you had to try to achieve improvements. He consulted with Pontiac. For any nerds here, the technique used falls into what was then called Operations Research, often referred to today as Operational Research, and more specifically, linear programming.

    They tried the RAM-V heads but couldn’t make them work on the race motors. Today, those heads have many fans, particularly with bigger displacements.

    But the RAM-IV heads, with very careful porting and filling in ports to keep the cross-section area consistent, where what they used. And based on trap speeds with the Gray Ghost in Trans-Am in 1971 (and obviously worse drag than the Mustangs), the motors built by Tom and Jeff had as much power, maybe more, than anybody.

    There is another secret from that area. While Pontiac touted the 1973-74 SD-455 motor’s capability to be modified to use an internal pressure dry sump pump, using a Turbo 400 automatic transmission pump, Pontiac previously built a small run of special blocks with that capability that were used in Trans-Am in 1971-1972 (and one race in 1973), and NASCAR Grand-Am, and maybe Winston Cup.

    Like 3
  23. 433jeff

    I bet it goes for 30-40 grand probably more as I remember when these 5 -7 k cuz the standard gto was 4-5. So i am out of touch with the current upward prices.433 rear has this thing screaming thru the traps. 4 bolt mains, but not surprised when they were blown up. But always surprised when they Weren’t.

    I like the Judge but liked the 68 car of the year better.

    Naturally i hope all original Nos parts and 69 parts go back on this to put it together, Very special rare car.

    Like 2
  24. 433jeff

    Oh one more thing, yea its a muscle car, 4 speed all the way

    Like 1
  25. jim

    Here comes Da Judge Rode hard and put away ??

    Like 0
  26. Rusty

    Ordered mine with disc brakes, front only back then, FM radio, who even heard of that! Tape decks not even on the chart.
    DaJudge was named after a hit comedy TV show that everyone watched. The catch phrase was
    ” Here comes DaJudge”
    Flip Wilson was a great comedian on Laugh-in pre SNL.
    By early 70’s muscle car sales were waning, gas prices were rising and government requirements for smog were kicking in. Air pumps & Cat converters, ugh

    Like 1
    • 19sixty5 Member

      Tape decks (8-tracks) sure were on the charts! Ford introduced them in 1965. Not sure of the first GM, but my 67 GTO had a factory 8 track.

      Like 3
  27. JoJo Judge

    Great project for some body. Love these cars have restored a few 69’s. This one needs a lot of TLC and more than a few hours of labor, that being said just wondering if the original ram air pieces come with the car .Also these are service replacement heads on this engine, not knocking it just saying. Original 722 heads do not have an X in the center exhaust port or a C on the ends, these are tell tail signs of service replacement heads. I have a few sets of these heads that’s how I know.

    Like 0
  28. dogwater

    There comes a time when some cars in this condition are not worth restoring someone will buy this and find out at todays prices are out of control sorry

    Like 2
    • 19sixty5 Member

      I believe whomever buys this already knows the costs of restoration these days. A RAlV is right up there as the holy grail of Pontiacs. The fact this one runs and actually sounds decent is huge. Pretty much everything is available to restore it. Photo’s could be a lot better, get it out in the light!

      Like 2
  29. Banshee

    If this gets the right buyers..I see 45-55k. Engine alone is worth 20-25k

    Like 0
  30. Ashtray

    Finally someone listed a vehicle with the VIN available, included lots of pictures and actuality stated it’s a True Miles Unknown vehicle.
    I’m sure the Brother hates to sell this vehicle. RIP!
    I think it needs to be restored?
    Just my opinion!

    Like 3
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We always list the VINs on our auctions.

      Like 0
  31. gamble

    It’ll take 6 figures to restore this

    Like 0
  32. V12MECH

    A very nice orange one, from a couple days ago, sold on eBay for $78k, not numbers match Ram 4 engine however.

    Like 1
  33. Joe

    To Pat’s brother, I worked with Pat for many years, decades, we often talked cars because of the old muscle cars he owned and the ones I owned. We had just spoken prior to his accident and death about a car car that sold at an auction I had owned, 1977 Special Edition Trans Am that most people called the Bandit Edition, Black and Gold trim made popular by the movie, Smokey and The Bandit. I know he had other cars as well. Joe

    Like 0
  34. Cominghome

    Congratulations!

    I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I’m sure we will see this car at BJ soon with a $250000 price tag.

    Congratulations again

    Like 0
  35. Yblocker

    $42,500 for this pile. Simply amazing.

    Like 1
  36. Carmanic Carmanic Member

    Thanks BF, I never knew Judges came in colors other than that reddish-orange. Learn something every day.

    Like 0
  37. Danno

    I have never seen a “column” shifted automatic GTO, never mind a “Judge” and only a 120 mph speedo? This R.A. IV has got to be worth a mint restored.

    Like 0

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