1969 Judge Value Estimate - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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1969 Judge Value Estimate

I’m looking for opinions on the value of a car. It’s a 1969 GTO Judge, Ram Air III, automatic transmission. The VIN has been verified by PHS, it is indeed a legitimate Judge. It is nearly complete, as best as I can tell. It’s been parked since 1975 (or earlier), and has 40 years of garage junk piled around and on top of it. My father-in-law (the owner) has given conflicting stories regarding the reason it was parked. He’s said that it’s “blown up,” and as it sits now the valve covers are off and I can see aftermarket rockers. The intake is aftermarket Edelbrock, and the carb is aftermarket Holley. I do not know if the original parts are buried elsewhere in the garage. Exhaust manifolds are also missing, and some crummy looking headers are laying nearby. From what I can see, the block and heads are original… I can say nothing for the internals. He has also mentioned that the transmission “went out.” I don’t know if that’s what he was meaning when generally mentioned the car being “blown up,” or if that was referring to the engine specifically. Every time I ask I get a vague and different answer. I think he honestly doesn’t remember. One thing I can say with certainty… it did not move to its current resting place under its own power.

Though it has been stored inside, the garage is low-lying and very humid. The body is rust free and free of crash damage, but rather beaten and scratched due to the way it’s been stored. The paint is very, very dull. Due to conditions in the garage, the chassis has significant surface rust.

I know that anyone can look up a car value, but my hang-up is deciding what condition rating applies to it. (Unfortunately, Hagerty’s Valuation tool only goes down to condition #4 . I swear they used to include 5 and 6.) From Hagerty:

Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior; may or may not be running, but isn’t weathered, wrecked or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.
May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts.

It’s nearly complete, so I wouldn’t consider it a parts car… thus making it a number 5. But on the other hand it is most certainly weathered, making it a 6.

Now, I realize that putting a value on this car is highly subjective. A car in poor condition but so much potential value is going to garner widely different opinions.

I will be purchasing this car from my in-laws. The father talks about “fixing it up,” but he hasn’t done a thing in 40 years and has finally admitted that he never will. Two of his kids (that aren’t my wife) have expressed interest but also have done nothing in 40 years to act on it, and don’t have the financial discipline to pay their phone bills on time… not to mention save the money to buy and restore a car. My concern is to buy the car for a price that will prevent any legitimate argument that I lowballed them. I’m not trying to get this car cheap. I want this to be a transaction that everyone involved feels good about now, and 10 years from now.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:57 PM
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I understand your family concern. A healthy family relationship is more valuable than any vehicle in my opinion.

Possible best solution:
Your father-in-law should set the price that he is willing to sell to his kids. Your wife could buy at that price. If more than one descendent is interested in buying the project car then increase in reasonable increments until only one buyer is left. If your wife is successful bidder, she buys the car....meaning her name is on the title. Your father-in-law would likely make that a condition of the sale anyway. Terms would be the same for your wife and her siblings (cash, deposit + payments etc). I would recommend a cash sale but that is ultimately up to the seller since they are his kids.

Another option is to list it on eBay and let the market set the price. That option may or may not appeal to the seller if he wants the vehicle to remain in the family.

Restoration costs for "high interest" Pontiac's are on the high side so try and keep that in mind when setting your budget.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 07:04 PM
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The fact that it is a documented Judge makes it worth money. If it has a numbers matching engine/trans/rear end, this brings up the value to a restorer. The fact that it does not have the original intake/carb/exhaust manifolds doesn't kill the value as these can be had in order to get the engine back to original - the original parts could even be in the garage under a pile of stuff as most "hot rodders" don't throw anything away.

Without pics, it is hard to figure a price, but I think you are trying to convince yourself what condition the car is in order to get the lowest price on the sale of the car. If I had to guess, I would say a minimum might be in the $10-12,000 range or more as I assume it probably has low miles. Production number, color combo, and options can add higher pricing.

Sadly, you may be in a bit of a pickle when it comes to family and money. You may have a fight on your hands and the value you come up with may not be what "they" come up with - which is often the problem.

My question to you is, do you have any idea what it will take to restore such a car?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 09:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Have owned quite a few Judge projects, also have a good insight on what several longtime friends & contacts have also sold their '69 Judge projects for. Have never been a fan of valuation guides, they often miss the mark. With thè vague description you have mentioned, it's very hard to give a spot on valuation. Realize it's not an easy situation, but everything needs to be inventoried & the car need to be fully inspected before a true valuation can be given.

While having a supposed original '69 YZ block & 48 casting heads is nice, until one documents the originality & condition of other drivetrain parts, as well as condition of what one would hope (but I doubt) are a really nice condition original RA hood, as well as a nice rust free deck lid, date matching original JA wheels, condition of original frame... just too many variables. Have known quite a few '69 Judge project buyers over the years, that would not buy a factory automatic RAIII car. That type of pickiness has really peaked over the last 9-10 years when such a RAIII Judge needs a substantial amt of ràre parts & extensive bodywork. In 6 weeks, there is an auction coming up where there are several '69 RAIII Judge projects being sold. At least 2 of them are automatic non Carousel red cars. Going to be interesting what these projects go for ESP since in the same auction, there are a few similar condition 4 spd '69 Judge projects.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys! You're way nicer and more helpful than what I'm used to on crownvic.net (there are plenty of helpful people there, but there are waay to many that dilute the helpful replies with useless ones).

Attached are a few pictures... but there's close to useless on account of the junk piled around.

I'm truly not trying to get the lowest price for the car. My father-in-law has offered to sign the title over to me for free. I don't entirely believe that he is serious, but regardless, I'm not going to accept it without paying because of the domestic disaster that would almost certainly result with his children. He's leaving the task of picking a price to me.

Shake and Bake; I agree that it should be a cash sale. Once this happens I want it to be very final.

Jim; I had 8k in mind... so I'm glad to see I'm in the same ballpark as your 10-12k. I won't say that I know what it will cost to restore it, but I have a solid grasp of the effort involved. The last picture is my '72 corvette. I just got the frame back from the sandblaster and am excitedly patching up some minor rust spots before powder coating. But I digress... that's another story for another forum.

Pinion Head: The hood looks quite good. The trunk lid should be because it's up high and away from the wet floor, but I can't get within about 6 ft of it. The wheels match, but I can't speak for the date codes.

Thanks again guys. I look forward to the day I'm asking restoration questions instead of value questions.

Edit: It's worth noting that the corvette pictured belonged to the same owner and sat beside the Judge in the same damp garage for a couple decades. So, the condition of corvette chassis is probably very similar to the Judge.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 06:58 PM
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OK, you sound realistic in what you want to pay. You also seem to know what efforts it is going to take to get the car moving again. The pics really help. It appears a little rough, but when all is said and done and you drag it out, it may not be so bad once it gets cleaned up a bit. So 8K may be an OK value, but still a little low, BUT, you have the right intentions in that you are looking to take the car and work on it - and possibly get it going again, so even I might accept the 8K offer knowing it was going into good hands.

Now if you bought it and flipped it just to profit off it, then you would be a scum bag in my book for taking advantage of the situation. But, seeing your other cars in the garage, you seem more of a "keeper" of your muscle cars and a good PONTIAC is exactly what you need to whoop up on those Chebbies! LOL And for God's sake man, DON'T even think of installing an LS engine. A modern 4-speed automatic OD is however a very acceptable and practical swap if you plan on making it a driver/keeper - just keep the original TH-400.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I have no intention of flipping it. I've never sold a car in my life, and I'm certainly not going to start with this one.

I'm really not as much of a Chevy guy as the picture of the garage would indicate... I'm an Olds/Buick enthusiast more than anything. The camaro belongs to my dad, the corvette was simply a good opportunity, and the truck... welll... I can't buy an Oldsmobile truck.

I like the idea of LS swaps (I love the performance of the 5.3L in my truck), but ONLY when originality is not an option anymore. For the Judge, there's definitely enough there to work with. Don't worry! That 400 isn't going anywhere. Even though it would be a driver/keeper, I doubt I'll put on enough miles to worry about getting an OD transmission or getting a tall axle ratio for cruising. I'm not a racer, but I feel it's entirely appropriate for a Judge to be optioned more for the drag strip than the street.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 08:34 AM
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I just stumbled upon this old thread, did you end up buying the Judge? any updates?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:33 AM
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x2 I’m curious as well
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