Garage Find 400 V8: 1970 Pontiac GTO

To many in the muscle car world, the Pontiac GTO was king, credited with starting the muscle car movement in the 1960s and 1970s.  Pontiac had always strived to be the performance division of General Motors and 1970 was no exception. This GTO has been in storage for the past decade and needs to move along as part of an estate sale. It looks to be a basic GTO model, one without Ram Air. The car is located in Hockessin, Delaware and available here on eBay where the no reserve bidding process has reached $4,200.

The second generation of the GTO (Gas, Tires, and Oil?) ran from 1968-72 and was perhaps the most powerful of the cars. And, depending on your tastes, maybe the best-looking ones overall, too. By 1969-71, muscle car sales were waning as the insurance industry began pricing people out of buying them. One of Pontiac’s counter moves was The Judge, but it was considered a low production car that was hard not to recognize. The GTO lost its hidden headlights for 1970, but the Endura front end seemed a bit more pronounced with the exposed quad headlights. Total GTO production was still 40,000 units, with the “basic” 2-door hardtop and a 400 cube V8 at 350 hp comprising nearly half the volume. That fits the seller’s car to a tee.

This seller has a difficult job in that he’s working to redistribute cars from an estate. This is perhaps the third vehicle from that collection I’ve seen, and I did a write-up on the Checker that’s in one of the photos. The owner had a varied taste in cars for sure, with a Checker, GTO, and Metropolitan being the least of his empire. This GOAT has been inside for the last 10 years or so and has a thick coat of dirt to prove it. The car has been repainted another shade of green at some point as the inside of the trunk shows what may have been a lighter Green Mist, to begin with. There’s a patch in the driver’s side quarter panel that suggests an earlier rust repair was made. We’re told that you’ll find rust in both lower quarters and inside the trunk.

Interior-wise, this car is going to need the usual amount of work. The upholstery and carpeting at a minimum are going to need replacing but we’re told the floors are sound, which is good news. The radio has parted company with the dashboard at some point. We don’t know if the GTO ran before it started its extended hibernation, but the seller feels confident that it will run again. With the provision of casting codes, the seller is suggesting this is a numbers-matching car. The indicated mileage is north of 83,000.

Though the muscle car market was changing by 1970, the GTO was still the third best-selling mid-size muscle car. Only the Chevelle SS 396/454 and Plymouth Road Runner beat them in the showroom. Hagerty indicates that a GTO in Fair condition is a $16,000 car, whereas Concours could fetch north of $60,000. So, if rust isn’t a big problem, that gives the buyer some room to work to pull off a restoration.


  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Not much interest here in the dusty GTO, but I did scroll the photos to see what else was in the barn.

    Like 1
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    The seller also has another ’70 GTO, possibly a Judge, for sale. That car is positively frightening in my opinion, and yet has been bid to $6700.

    Like 2
    • Brent

      There is a write up on the Judge a few cars down the page.

  3. Rustytech Member

    I’ll take the Metropolitan sitting next to it.

    Like 5
  4. Robert Davis

    GTO, Good Til October, then put it in the garage!

  5. EPO3

    Need to see more pictures just doesn’t have enough info on it .But I would like to take a look at his barn.

    Like 1
  6. George Mattar

    In looking at the underside of the trunk, this car was originally Palisade Green. I owned an identical car in the mid 80s. I paid $5,500 for a near perfect California car and had it shipped to Pennsylvania for $300. Tines have changed. This is sadly a parts car. Base engine. Automatic. I looked at the Judge thus guy is selling. Only Scott Tiemann could save that POS. Very sad dumb people let cars get to this point.

    Like 4
  7. Charlene Spino

    The GTO is a classic…,,, I would clean the car and get it running condition….. professionally…. before it was sold in this estate sale….. Charlene

    Like 1
  8. Howard A Member

    In case anyone needs more proof that at one time, these were just rusty beaters, here you go. They were in every gas station lot for $500 bucks, tops. I could see saving a nice one, why someone saved this rusty hulk is beyond me. Same thing, with restoration costs, you’d be a fool to stick a dime into this, I just don’t get it and I suppose, never will.

    Like 4
  9. local_sheriff

    I just don’t get it when so many car guys loose their heads whenever a GTO(or LeMans) in any condition is put up for sale. IMHO there are other A-bodies of this vintage that not only look WAY better they’re also cheaper to aquire and can be built with similar upgrades if it’s a high performance car you’re after

    Like 2
  10. Nate

    I was always under the impression that the “GOAT” was the older box style GTO and the “JUDGE” is the new version like this one. I know it is a very trivial thing to bring up but thought maybe someone else would know for sure or if this is just a localized thing. Definitely not trying to start anything or take anything away from the older style GTO, just trying to end a curiosity.

    • Macfly

      The Judge was an add on package to the GTO that debuted in 69 (I think that year). All Judges are GTOs. Not all GTOs are Judges.

      Like 2
  11. Bob Maj

    Either someone along the way installed a Lemans trunk lid on this or it is a Lemans. 1970 GTOs didn’t have the Pontiac emblem on the lower middle part of the trunk lid.

    Like 1
  12. Frank

    Nate, I always called gto’s “Goats” didn’t matter what year they were.
    Price on this thing is getting close to $6,000 If you factor price of everything and labor to fix it, You’re way overpriced.
    In 75, during the gas crunch I picked up a 69 judge RAIV with a 4spd and 3.90 gears for $750. Also had picked up a 68 GTO with hideaway headlights, no
    engine or trans for $200. (the good old days)
    It’s amazing what cars are going for now, but that was 46 years ago!
    If people would stop paying stupid prices, they would come down
    In the meantime, I’ll play with my ’81 Malibu, the G.N. and the V8 S10 as
    they hopefully continue to appreciate

    Like 3
  13. Steve Clinton

    I’ll take the Checker and Metropolitan.

  14. 3Deuces

    “The Judge” was a performance / appearance package available as an option on the Pontiac GTO from 1969-1971.

    Like 2

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