If you'll post a wanted ad on all the Pontiac forums & FB pages, offering up to $10,000 for the best quality '69 RAIV heads out there, you can probably locate several decent sets. But, not many guys are willing to sell a good set for $5k nowadays. They're just too rare.
Or, you can go with new alum E-heads for under $3000.
I assume that the '68 RA2 heads are now the cheapest 400 iron round ports out there. But, they're obviously not any more correct for a '69 RAIV than E-heads are.
Edit: By the way, I am not saying that you should actually pay $10k for RAIV heads. I'm just saying the the ad would probably help locate some nice heads. Then, you might be able to negotiate a reasonable price.
Here's a set that apparently sold last year for $4250. So, maybe you can find some for under $5k, after all. I'm personally not aware of any right now.
I myself have a set of #722 's that I originally used on my engine. I was more or less "forced" to switch to 72cc Edelbrock round ports when #6 exhaust port developed a crack about a half-inch away from the valve seat, inside the port. I bought the #722 's off an ex race car and they'd been ground on some, but they passed a pressure test when I was first building the engine so I went with them. It turned out to be another case of "running on the street is much different from running at the track". I tried once to have it repaired at a local shop, but it didn't hold. However, even with it cracked I'm hanging on to it, thinking "one of these days" I'll ship it off to an expert shop like Indy Head Service and get them to take a "crack" at repairing it. It would take stupid money to get me to part with these, just because I know I'd probably never find another set. I'm not even sure stupid money would do it. Round port Edelbrocks, even the first design that don't have the good heart shaped chambers like the RPM CNC versions do, will out perform the #722 's by quite a bit especially if they've been worked like mine have. But you just can't beat a set of real #722 's for "cool and sexy".
The very last thing I'd do, or many of my longtime Pontiac collector/restorer buddys would do, is put a 10,000 dollar callout for a pair of 722's (or any other round port heads) on a Pontiac oriented bulletin board. Esp wouldnt do that on Craiglist or any of the Facebook Pontiac sites full of idiots & wannabe turn & burn artists. Talk about dumb... nice fresh 722's can be bought for quite a bit less than 5K a pair. I've even seen two pair of unported 722's sell in the last 6 months for under $3500 a pair.
First, as a buyer, one needs to define what use the 722's are atuqlly going to be needed for. If the '69 is being prepared for PSMCDR type events (Pure Stock races) that means you will need unported heads. That route is how am in preparation with my '71's. If the '69 is going to see minimal street/ occasional strip duty, or is going to get the static car show show treatment, a set of mildly ported to all out ported heads may do. Just a few years ago I picked up a pair of well ported 722's which had been ported years before by one of the finest rep East Coast shops, Brandywine. that pair of heads, complete with loose in a box stock stabilizer bars & stock valve train cost me less than 3K.
Some actual market history...For the last 30 years, typically 722's have been harder to find than 614's. At one time virgin 722's were worth aprox the same as never used SR 614's, the SR 614's typically flowed the best stock... eventually with Eheads everywhere such SR 614's suffered in value. Over the last 10 years, I've even inspected 3 pair of what were SR 614's where their external dates were removed & retextured so they could be used in high point restorations. The last decade, original production RAII heads have typically priced similar to or slightly above nice 722's. Today, really clean virgin '73-74 SD heads will typically out price the prev high compression round port iron heads. It's all about what's being restored to a high level.
"...I've even seen two pair of unported 722's sell in the last 6 months for under $3500 a pair..."
I dare say that if good quality unported 722's were advertised for sale on the Pontiac forums & FB pages, for only $3500, there would be quite a few buyers trying to pick 'em up, even if they didn't need 'em. They're worth more than that, just for resale, to a high dollar collector, who is having a RAIV resto done. This is my own personal opinion, and I have no quarrel with anyone who has a different opinion.
Just curious as to how much the OP is willing to pay for a good quality set. ????
I figure that if you post an ad offering only $3500 for a good unported set, you'd probably get no sellers, but probably some comments something to the effect of: Yeah, I bet there are lots of guys who'd like to buy a good set that cheap. Again, this is mere speculation on my part. But, I'd be interested in seeing the results. Hey, there may be dozens of guys out there with good unported 722's, who would be glad to get $3500 for 'em. But, if there are, I certainly haven't been seeing any ads for 'em.
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