1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
8-cyl. 400cid/366hp 4bbl Ram Air III
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Pontiac was caught wrong-footed in 1970 as the market suddenly moved towards smaller cars. While the Plymouth Duster, Dodge Dart and Ford Maverick were flirting with 150,000 unit sales, Pontiac didn’t have any compacts to offer. Insurance rates and federal regulations were strangling the muscle car market, and GTO sales were almost slashed in half to 40,149 units. Worse was to come.
The 1970 Pontiac GTO was facelifted slightly, but still had the split Endura bumper, now with a boxed center section like the Firebird but with four headlights. The fenders were creased above the wheel wells and the rear bumper and taillights wrapped around the sides.
As usual, Hardtops led the GTO market with 32,731 sold, followed by only 3,621 Convertibles as that body style fell from favor. Judge Hardtops recorded 3,635 sales, while Convertibles dwindled to 162 units. Prices remained stable at $3,267 for the Hardtop and $3,492 for the Convertible, and the Judge package added an extra $337.02. The 255 bhp two-barrel 400 cid engine was dropped, but a 360 bhp 455 cid V-8 was added. It was an excellent engine with more torque but less top end than the 400.
Base engine was now the 350 bhp four-barrel 400 cid V-8. The Ram Air III package cost an additional $158.51. The hot rod Ram Air IV cost $558.20. Air-conditioning was not offered with this package.
The Judge remained a popular package for the remaining die-hard muscle car fans. Most popular was the 366 bhp, 400 cid Ram Air III package with a 4-speed and 2,380 buyers, followed by 1,003 who chose an automatic. Buyers of the 370 bhp Ram Air IV V-8 were divided between 325 with 4-speeds and 72 with automatics. The new 360 bhp 455 cid V-8 passed almost unnoticed, with 14 automatic hardtops and only three convertibles.
Once again, options could easily push GTOs past $4,500 but they were sharply scaled back to 52 from 88 choices. A total of 22 exterior paint colors were offered this year: Starlight Black (A), Palomino Copper (B), Polar White (C), Bermuda Blue (D), Atoll Blue (E), Lucerne Blue (F), Baja Gold (G), Palisade Green (H), Castilian Bronze (J), Mint Turquoise (K), Keylime Green (L), Pepper Green (M), Burgundy (N), Palladium Silver (P), Verdoro Green (Q), Cardinal Red (R ), Coronado Gold (S), Orbit Orange (T), Carousel Red (V), Goldenrod Yellow (W), Sierra Yellow (Y), and Granada Gold (Z). Two-tone paint was not offered and no mention was made of one-off exterior colors.
Eight interior trim colors included Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Gold, Red, Saddle, and Sandalwood. Four convertible top colors were offered with White, Black, Sandalwood, and Dark Gold, as well as five vinyl top colors were offered with White, Black, Sandalwood, Dark Gold, and Dark Green.