Amidst all the bow ties, pentastars and blue ovals that are popular muscle cars from decades gone by, one division that stood out was the Chief, the Pontiac division of General Motors. While other manufacturers were talking big block and small block, Pontiac didn’t have that option when you ordered your muscle car. It was either a big block or a big block, as all external dimensions were identical and engine size was determined by bore and stroke.
Pontiac had their own engines, very much the way they had their own style. Cars like the Tempest and Le Mans may have had bow tie siblings, but the front end of most Pontiacs were uniquely Pontiac and nothing even came close. When the GTO version was introduced, it was like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the red arrowhead told you the Chief was in charge.
The GTO got the nickname “the Goat” from loyal owners and enthusiasts, and nobody really knows where it started. But when you say Goat, people know which car you’re talking about. Although John DeLorean (yes, that John DeLorean) snagged the GTO name from the Ferrari 250 GTO, it didn’t seem to matter because the Goat was one of the most popular cars that Pontiac produced back in the day, and to this day the original GTOs are still referred to as Goats. The newer GTOs? Not so much.
When “The Judge” was introduced, pulling it’s moniker from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, it was an instant hit. Imagine today if an auto manufacturer tried to nickname a popular car using a skit from a comedy show, it just doesn’t seem like it would ever work.
Looking at this 1969 GTO we found on CarsInBarns.com, it’s going green on cinder blocks it doesn’t look like it’s in such bad shape. Oxidation on the orange paint and a few signs of dismantling the car are the only drawbacks.
The front end is still black and not much rust is evident, from what we can see through the tree. Then there it is: the period correct spoiler and the remnants of a decal that, by it’s shape alone, true gearheads know as a decal that once said “The Judge”. Is it truly a Judge or is it a GTO that someone tried to convert to a Judge?
It’s hard to tell, but one thing is certain about this awesome Pontiac: it doesn’t deserve the fate it’s getting, and even though the owner claims it’s not for sale, we hope another persistent enthusiasts bugs the crap out of him until he relinquishes the title. It’s a shame to see this car sitting there and a tree growing through the frame rails. This is one classic muscle car worth turning into a survivor.