Is it a REAL Judge? How to tell the real ones from the fakes
In reguards to visually discerning if it is a Judge or not is another good question. People can clone Judges all day long. There is no way to tell by looking at a clone except by running the VIN number through PHS and to see the Judge option stated on the build sheet. By just looking at the VIN, you can't tell.
Appearance items that make a Judge a Judge are:
Ram Air III standard or Optional Ram Air IV engine Blacked out grille Blacked out hood scoops However, 1969 Judges didn't have blacked out hood scoops. 1970 did, not sure about 1971. rear wing Rally II wheels with no trim rings (dealer could install if wanted) Ram Air decals on hood Stripes and Judge decals on each fender and on rear deck lidMost, but not all Judges had a plastic "The Judge" glovebox emblem.
The above items can be added to a plain GTO to make it LOOK like a real Judge. Keep in mind that a Judge is worth about 40% more than the same quality GTO of that year.
None of these additional items will prove that a Judge is real:
A window sticker (these can be reproduced by many companies to say anything you want) The owner swears that it is a real Judge (can you believe the seller?)Scott Zucker (ITZVERN@aol.com) wrote to explain about the Judge spoilers. One way to spot a real '69 Judge is to open the trunk and have a look inside. A standard base model GTO or LeMans will have only one torque rod in the hinge assembly. The regular GTO or LeMans trunk was lighter and needed only one torque rod to make the trunk lid stay up. Because of the added weight of a Judge spoiler, Pontiac used two torque rods. Look for them. In 1970, they changed the whole design and the wing weighed less. So just insert the trunk key and turn it. If the trunk lid pops up like its supposed to, it's a good chance it's a real Judge.
Many people believe there is nothing wrong with building a Judge clone. But there is something wrong with selling a non-Judge car as a Judge by misrepresenting it as REAL. A Judge is a special appearance and performance option that made the GTO look great. But "buyer beware"!
Steve Petro (email@example.com) for supplying most of the text for
this article. His Judge was recently featured in a new book about GTOs
NEW- A hardcover book all about GTO's by author Steve Statham. The author did a photo shoot of Steve Petro's Judge after the Woodward GTO Tigers car show in July 1999. The book includes several shots of Steve Petro's Judge. In fact, its the cover car too! Published May, 2000
AVAILABLE HERE -> Pontiac Gto : The Great One by Steve Statham.
Attention GTO newsletter editors! Go ahead and reprint any of these Text Topics articles. Just give me credit as Sean Mattingly (Sean@UltimateGTO.com) at The Ultimate GTO Picture Site located at http://UltimateGTO.com
Here's a comment from a recent visitor...
Says Terri-Lee (tshave.@cogeco.ca) - "Thank you for your comment on the GTO VIN numbers on the GTO web page. I was leaving tomorrow to go buy a GTO, and realized the car I was about to purchase was actually a LeMans. You just saved me 10,000 dollars. Thank you, 10,000 times."