Automotive Fun Fact: What is “The Judge?”

April 21, 2024

Rad Air Mechanics Remember The Judge

It’s back-to-school time, so why not quiz our clients with some trivia?  We asked our Facebook followers which American car has a model called “The Judge?”

The answer?   Pontiac GTO.

The Pontiac GTO is a classic American muscle car produced between 1964 and 1973.  What made this car so special?  A bigger-than-ever V8 engine, hood scoops, a hearty rumble, and a French name….Pontiac stole the “GTO” acronym from Ferrari’s most beloved racecar, the 250 GTO.

The 1969 GTO was named “The Judge” after a popular skit called “Here Comes the Judge” made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. on the popular comedy television show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.  The Judge was a slightly re-styled version of the 1968 model but excessively decorated with racing stripes, a spoiler, blacked-out grille and “The Judge” fender decals.

Pontiac originally aimed to make “The Judge” a more affordable GTO model to compete with the Plymouth Roadrunner, another wildly successful muscle car.  However, by the time they were done restyling the vehicle, it went on the marked slightly more expensive than the Roadrunner.

Just over 72,000 GTOs were produced in 1969.  Most of them were hardtop vehicles and only 6,833 are “The Judge.”  The first 2,000 GTOs were red but more colors became available later in the year.  The rarest model of the year is a “Judge” hardtop in crystal turquoise – only two were ever built.

Congratulations to Tom McGill who correctly answered our trivia question!  Tom is receiving a free touch-screen tablet computer for participating in our contest!