You are on page 1of 5

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Estimate:$750,000-$1,000,000 US Chassis No.

242679B173023 Offered Without Reserve AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $682,000
370 hp, 400 cu. in. V-8 with 10.75:1 compression and 445 lb-ft of torque, four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, front discs with rear wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112" - One of only five produced in this configuration and the only one finished in Starlight Black - The recipient of a full body-off restoration and in perfect overall condition - One of the most rare and desirable Pontiacs in existence Milt Robson’s triple-black 1969 GTO Judge is a triple-threat of collectability: it has the most powerful engine Pontiac offered to the public that year, the Ram Air IV V-8; the sportiest transmission, the four-speed manual; and the least-produced body style, the convertible. It is, without doubt, one of the rarest ’69 Judges in the world, and Robson knew the car when it was still fresh from the factory. Pontiac’s wildly successful GTO entered its second generation in 1968, as did the A-body Tempest on which it was based. Wheelbase dropped from 115 to 112 inches, and overall length shrank nearly six inches to 201.2. The new hardtop wore a roofline more in keeping with the late-1960s trend toward fastbacks. Four horizontally placed headlights looked out from the unique dent-resistant Endura plastic nose, although an extra-cost option would conceal them behind doors. Taillights became part of the bumper assembly. For the first time, windshield wipers were hidden beneath the rear of the hood when not in use. Car magazines loved the new style and range of four 400-cubic inch V-8 engines that generated from 265 horsepower (in the economical two-barrel version) to 360 (with Ram Air II induction). Hot Rod’s test of a GTO with the 350 hp standard V-8 resulted in quarter-mile times of 14.7 seconds at 97 miles per hour. Motor Trend took the testing process one step further by comparing the gamut of GTO models for ’68. A base-engine GTO with automatic transmission and 3.23:1 rear axle covered the quarter-mile in 15.93 seconds at 88.3 miles per hour. A Ram Air four-speed manual car with drag-strip-ready 4.33:1 gears reduced the trip to 14.45 seconds at 98.2 miles per hour. The magazine was impressed enough to declare the GTO its Car of the Year. There were only minor changes to the GTO for 1969, including a new locking steering column and the deletion of vent windows. GTO once again offered four 400-cubic inch V-8s. The 350 hp standard and 265 hp two-barrel versions remained unchanged. The Ram Air III produced 366 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque, but the real beast came in the form of a Ram Air IV rated at 370 horsepower and 445 lb-ft. All of the fourbarrel GTO engines had 10.75:1 compression, and each had unique camshaft specifications. The two-barrel 400 could only be mated to the three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic transmission. The four-barrel V8s were available with either a three-speed manual, four-speed manual or the Turbo Hydra-matic. Standard rear axle gears ranged from a long-legged 2.93:1 (for the two-barrel engine) to 3.90:1 (Ram Air IV), although there were many ratios available by special order. Air conditioning was not available when gears from 3.36:1 to 4.33:1 were requested. Pontiac, the company that started the muscle car wars in 1964 by marrying its mid-size Tempest body to a big-car V-8, took the GTO into 1969 with an astounding power-to-weight ratio. According to Pontiac dealer literature, four-barrel GTOs with manual transmissions weighed 3,515 as hardtops and 3,569 as convertibles, which means the Ram Air IV cars carried a mere 9.76 and 9.91 pounds per horsepower, respectively. (This calculation assumes Pontiac was not underrating the Ram Air IV’s output; they likely were.) Driving home a base ’69 GTO hardtop required $2,831; the convertible cost $3,382. The standard three-speed manual was attached to a Hurst floor-mounted shifter that rode between two bucket seats or a notchback bench with folding armrest. Extra-cost equipment included a $75.00 airfoil on the deck lid, $48.00 cruise control (automatic only), a variety of rubber floor mats, $225.00 AM/FM stereo radio, and $75.00 hoodmounted tachometer. A very significant option package made its debut this year on the GTO. Named for a popular anti-

The dash pad is perfect. without question. and “The Judge” decals ahead of the front wheels. This is. He flew out to inspect it in person. muscled-up Road Runner. His friend Rut Johnson bought the car new from Chapman Motor Co.76). console ($55.27. outstanding documentation and virtually perfect mechanical and cosmetic condition. including the close-ratio four-speed manual transmission ($184. Georgia.68 Ram Air IV example. The Endura plastic nose is excellent in terms of fit and condition. The engine compartment presentation is superior. In the early 1990s. as are the optional hideaway headlight doors.287 GTOs. Just as DeLorean had requested. and only this one came in Starlight Black. with no evidence of any corrosion or damage prior to restoration. All chassis components have been properly painted. heavy-duty SafeT-Track differential ($63. and the gauges look new. Milt Robson is most intimately connected to this black ’69 GTO Judge convertible. If the automotive media loved the 1968 GTO with Ram Air II power. about which Milt says.126 GTO hardtops. covered headlamps ($52. in Gainesville but sold it before anyone realized how valuable such machinery would become. three-spoke wood-style steering wheel ($34. as are gaps between body panels. Total cost when new was $5.6 miles per hour. The public took home 58. the engine bay is detailed to the highest level.328 GTO convertibles. Propes spent four years expertly bringing the ’69 GTO to concours condition through a frame-off. The Judge could be combined with any and all other GTO accessories. power disc brakes ($64. but other colors from the GTO palette were offered later. the company only produced five 1969 GTO Judge convertibles with the extra-cost Ram Air IV V-8 and four-speed transmission. The fuel tank and fuel lines are new.82) and power steering ($105. The Judge was originally conceived as a way to combat the budget-minded muscle cars coming from Ford and Plymouth – especially the stripped-down. In 2000. Pontiac head John DeLorean. Robson learned of a GTO matching the description of Johnson’s car in the Phoenix.32). while all the glass is new and fits great. All stainless steel trim is excellent and has been restored to concours standards. zero-to-60 only took 6.” disliked the idea of selling a de-contented GTO and insisted The Judge take on more distinguishing characteristics.80). Pontiac’s muscle car showed it was still appreciated by the masses. Overall workmanship on the body is very high quality and virtually faultless. All early Judge models were dressed in eye-searing Carousel Red. they wanted to marry and have children with 1969’s Judge with the optional $389. it is complete with an NOS Sport steering wheel. .147. but it was otherwise very solid. According to Pontiac’s production figures. three-colored side body stripes. Robson and Ames stayed in touch. the most valuable car in the Robson Collection. 7. as are the brake lines. Car and Driver piloted such a combination through the quarter-mile in 13. Robson put the GTO in the care of Gilbert Propes in Cornelia. It included the 366-hp Ram Air III V-8.66). a five-foot-wide stand-alone rear spoiler. It was a very rare and desirable combination of features. Like the rest of the car.” Simply put.establishment catchphrase on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. “just try to find one. nut-and-bolt restoration.2 seconds. Convertible top installation is superb. with provenance from new. Additionally. 6. Grand total – 72. Much of the car was in primer from an owner prior to Ames. talking about the black GTO and Ames’ other Ram Air IV four-speed convertible Judge.7 seconds at 103. a renowned Pontiac restorer whose projects have won more GTO Association of America national events than anyone can recall. there are no defects in the interior. It is also one of the most significant examples of its kind. Of all the rare muscle cars in his collection. with all logos in place. When the model year was over. Arizona area.725 Judge hardtops and 108 Judge convertibles.25). 1968. but it had already gone to a new owner – Steve Ames of Ames Performance Engineering. When it debuted on December 19. Every part of the interior has been restored or replaced with new or NOS parts. Correct Ram Air IV details are in place. The Judge was a $332 option (order code WT1) on top of the cost of a GTO hardtop or convertible.19). 14x6-inch Rally II wheels (minus trim rings). The quality of the Starlight Black paint on this 1969 GTO Judge convertible is rated superior. arguably the model’s “father. Ames realized he did not have time to restore the black car and sold it to Robson.