The last time a ’69 GTO The Judge appeared on this pages was in 2013, after Jim Cavanaugh almost passed up shooting it since he assumed it was more than likely a clone. It turned out to be not only the real thing, but very original and quite a story as to its history, having met its owner. This time we have these shots of a pristine one, posted by nifticus.
The question of course is: Is it genuine or is it a fake? You be the Judge.
I suppose it should actually be Pigmeat Markham, whose “Here Comes The Judge” had been part of his routine for years before it was recorded in 1968 and performed by Sammy Davis Jr. on Laugh In. In the second season, Markham joined the show himself. This song is often credited as being the first rap song.
The Judge was a $332 special option package available on the GTO starting in 1969. The original intent was to create a Road Runner competitor, meaning a stripped-down, low bucks GTO. But apparently that just wasn’t quite going to fly with John DeLorean. It generated a lot of hype, but only 6,833 were sold, less than 10% of total GTO production that year.
I was 16 at the time, and as much as I loved the ’68 GTO’s new body, I thought The Judge was a bit too blatantly copying the Road Runner’s image and style without being the real thing. But I can see the point, inasmuch as gobs of GTOs were being sold to all kinds of buyers that were not the typical muscle car crowd. With a vinyl top and an automatic, it was losing its edge, and The Judge’s job was to get that back. Whether it did that is…for you to decide.
The Jusge package included the spoiler, the Ram Air 400 engine, Rally II wheels without trim rings, Hurst shifter (with a unique T-shaped handle), wider tires, and of course the graphics.
That was perhaps the most important part of all.
As to whether this one is authentic or fake, does it really make any difference?