Configuration: Longitudinal front-engine
Engine: Ram Air III V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
A Little History
“The Judge” was an options package that was only available for 1969 Pontiac GTOs. It was introduced to try and reverse the decline in GTO sales. GTOs had fallen into being moderately-liked, mid-range cars; they weren’t a well-made cheap model but weren’t considered a premium model either.
In short, there were just better options out there. The Judge options package, however, quickly turned things around for Pontiac. It included: the rear spoiler, striped body paint and “The Judge” decals, as well as the choice between two engines: the 366hp Ram Air III for $332, and the 370hp Ram Air IV for $390.
It was offered as either a hardtop or a convertible, but in the end only 108 convertible units were sold in comparison to the 6,725 hardtop models sold.
“The Judge” quickly became the best-equipped muscle car for the money, but was only temporarily successful at stopping the slide in GTO sales. Pontiac sold just over 72,000 GTOs in 1969, a drop of 20% from the previous model year. Pontiac discontinued “The Judge” package for 1970, and by 1971, sales had dropped down to a measly 10,000 units and the GTO was discontinued.
Aside from the typical package associated with “The Judge,” buyers were also given many other bizarre options, including a litter basket and even a reading lamp.
The car’s name is a pop culture reference to “Here comes Da Judge,” a recurring catchphrase on the 1960s TV show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. The Judge also made a cameo in the 1993 cult classic film, Dazed and Confused.