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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT: Sorry - probably should have posted this in the Lounge. Please move if required :)

Looking at a 1970 orbit orange Judge. The owner has provided PHS documentation and it is a true factory orbit orange 4spd RAIII car but has a freshly rebuilt NOM WT block (does have #12 heads though).

Car is unrestored underneath but very solid and appears to have a show quality exterior/interior/engine bay. It also has a 12-bolt rearend which must be non-original as I believe these only came on 455 equipped cars. Was originally a Sandlewood interior car, now black. Unfortunately has drum brakes all around, but they are power-assist.

This is exactly the car I've always wanted (OO Judge, RA, 4-spd) - I would be happy with a Judge tribute car, but thought this might be a nice opportunity to own the real thing. I want either a sandlewood or black interior car, and it would have been nice if this interior was left sandlewood on this car for originality's sake...

Being non-numbers matching of course brings it down from the typical $50-75K asking price I've seen for '70 Judges and I know it's hard to say without seeing it in person, but what would you say a non-numbers matching RAIII Orbit Orange 4-speed Judge be worth? His original asking price was over $40K, and he claims to have paid $45K a year ago and put $15K into it. Not sure I buy all that, but was looking for some thoughts from those that know better than I :)

Options are as follows:

THE JUDGE
SAFE-T-TRACK
RADIO P/B
CONSOLE
GLASS-S/R-WS
4 SPD TRANS
G70X14 WL FG
STRG-VAR
SPG SHKS-R/H

So it doesn't have many options and doesn't have the original drivetrain, but is it worth anywhere near his high-30's asking price? It was a frame on resto with the underside looking original/driver quality. Everything else looks great in the pics...

Any opinions are greatly appreciated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not an expert by any means, but the options do list the optional Formula wheel (which it appears to be) and it's hard to see but that looks like a Hurst T-handle (not sure if these came original, but I've seen a number of '70 GTO's with them.
 

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Looks like a 77 or so TA steering wheel. Underside looks like a nice redo that has been driven. Nice car. I would say search out 10 cars in your price range and buy the nicest one. If this car is the nicest, then go for it.. Economy is tight, so cars are bargain basement price right now.
Oh, that's in Canada? Well, check for rust and it may be a good deal, have to have a magnet to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Car is located in IL. I'm pretty sure that's the factory optional "formula" wheel (same as T/A). I've seen several GTO's with them while searching and it's listed in the options on the PHS invoice.

I'm just not overly familiar with the value of a non-numbers matching Judge (really you're paying extra for paperwork at that stage of the game). There's a beautiful low mile numbers matching GTO cloned into an OO Judge on ebay and the guy wants $35K, but it's been up several times and only gets into the mid-20's. People can ask what they want, but it doesn't always mean someone is willing to buy at that price.

I'm just curious if people feel mid-30's is too high, fair, or a steal for this car in particular?
 

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A matching numbers engine would add about 10-15k to the price of the car. The question is, can a comparable car with the right engine sell for mid 50's in this market? If so, your car may be fairly priced. Looks like a nice solid car. Maybe priced a little high. With a real Judge, correctness is critical. If you like it, buy it. If you bought a new car for high 30's, what would it be worth in 5 years? What will this Judge be worth in 5 years? My money is on the Judge, right motor or not.
 

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Judges are the rarest of the GTO's so to have I you are interested in is the best case scenario. Orbit Orange is one of the favorite colors, 4-speed definitely.. I see tribute judges listed for 35,000 all the time so a real Judge at $45,000 is what I would be asking. Love the fact it as the Formula wheel option. You know the Old Cars Price Guide says add 125 percent for the Judge option!!!! You can turn it into the 75 grand by finding the correct Block. Good Luck!!!!! LES
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the opinions guys - I really appreciate it. I really do want to get it, but financing will definitely be tight. Even with a date correct block, the car could never truely be numbers matching again. I doubt I would really care though as I will drive and enjoy the car regardless. Just having a REAL 4-speed OO Judge would be very cool, and will probably never come up again as I assume most people weren't silly enough to toss an orignal Judge drivetrain aside.

I see I missed it in my first post, but yes it does have the factory Formula wheel option listed on the PHS invoice (STRG WHL-FOR). Am I correct in understanding the rear must have been replaced as well? Was it possible to get a 12-bolt with a RAIII car?

As for a new car - never have bought one and never will for that very reason. The wife bought a 2 year old Jetta before we were married for just over $20K... 5 years later it's finally paid off and worth MAYBE $5K. I could never swallow that. This would be the first car I've ever financed, so it's a big step talking myself into it. I would really like to have something now when I'm still young though (31 in week or so) when I can really enjoy it for years to come. As mentioned, you don't ever really lose on these cars in the long run so if I was ever stuck and had to sell, it's not like I'd lose my shirt.

Got my eye on a Judge clone right now as well for considerably less money - only downside for me is it's an automatic.
 

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If the clone is nicely done, and you like it buy it and turn it into your GTO. If you want a stick, convert it, the parts are out there. Put a Tremec 5 speed in that sucker with the money you saved not buying the incorrect real Judge.

IMO any reasonably priced GTO is a good investment if you can enjoy it.

It's not all about the money.

P.S. LOVE that Monte SS. Very cool.
 

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Agreed, it's not all about the money. But if you can, get the real Judge. You will NEVER regret it, guaranteed. Better to cry once when you buy it rather than every time you drive it. You will always appreciate a good value, and you will never forget a lost opportunity that may be a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Again, if you can, buy the real one!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Both very good points that I've considered guys. The thing with the real judge is it's EXACTLY the car I've always wanted. The downside is even at this price, it's really pushing my budget. I also just found out he has a title loan, making any transaction a LOT more complicated being that I'm from Canada. I'm not comfortable handing over 10's of thousands of dollars then waiting for him to pay off the loan and his bank to return the title, then him to send the title to me.

I'm not one for concours restorations and cars that you're afraid to drive, but it would be simply awesome to own a real OO 4-speed Judge.

The original plan was to simply buy an already done OO Judge clone, or recreate one from any reasonably priced GTO, so I would likely convert any automatic GTO I may end up with. I'm quite comfortable with that as I did the same to my Monte. I would hate to cut up a numbers matching car though, which the clone currently is... but I'd probably still do it as I'm not one to worry about resale since I don't plan on ever selling if I can recreate my dream car.

P.S. LOVE that Monte SS. Very cool.
Thanks :cheers
 

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If the finances are complex but on the up and up, not a problem. My final word is this: even though it is a stretch to get the OO Judge, the price will likely never be more reachable to you. This may well be your only chance to own your dream car. Case in point: I had the opportunity to buy a '67 427 4 speed 'vette roadster back in 1985 for 15k. I could just barely pull it off, but it was a "stretch". Passed it up. That car today in that condition is well over 100k. I lost MY chance!! Just something to think about!
 

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^I see your point GTOguy but... A vette is a vette is a vette, and a Judge is really just a GTO with some stickers. I know.. BOOO to me:shutme. I love these cars, When I started looking for a car to buy and fix up I really only knew that I wanted a GM A-body, whether it was a 442 or a GS Buick I did'nt care. In fact, these cars were'nt worth too much at the time anyway and I had a fresh Buick 455 I thought about dumping into whatever I bought.

I'm glad I did'nt do that now come to think of it. I sold the motor to help finance my restoration, there was no way I could do that.

But I knew when I found the right one, felt it in me, that feeling that this was the one. All the other cars I looked at I was able to view with the detatchment of the discerning buyer, but this one was different. I knew I had found the right car. Of course when I got it home and pulled all the chrome trim off (did'nt need a screwdriver for most of it!) I had second thoughts :lol: but owning and restoring it with the help of my wife, family and friends, the pure enjoyment of driving my dream is what it's about.

I say if you want a resto cruiser you can "restore" to be a real Judge, go with the real Judge. If you want a car to modify to your own taste, be it Pro Touring, Pro Street, Monster Truck, buy the clone.

Anyway, follow your dream and do what you really want, I'm sure either way you'll have a nice car that will bring you much satisfaction.
 

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Alky, I know what you mean about "feeling it". The two I currently own and have had for almost 30 years now were that way. I knew that "this is the one" as soon as I walked up to it. Hard to explain, but there's no denying it. I still think that the Judge is always going to carry a premium over a comparable GTO. As time goes on, even more so.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like I'm screwed on the Judge deal. I made an offer of $35K a week or so back that he accepted. I also did all the leg work with HIS bank seeing how the transaction would have to take place, made arragements with my bank, had a shipping company waiting for the word 'go' etc...

I told him I'm on vacation for a couple weeks right now and could come down any day, however he preferred this coming weekend and said he'd hold the car. In the mean time, he lowered his asking price to my offer, which I knew would have the car gone in short order.

He emailed me yesterday stating someone local is coming with cash today. The buyer must have been trusting enough to hand over $35K in cash without the title, in which case I would never do that anyways. The seller could EASILY screw him over for $35K right now...

Sure it's his car and he can do what he wants with it, but I really don't understand people sometimes. Why pick a date a week out and say you'll hold the car, only to turn around and sell it to someone else a couple days later? If he had the title, this would have been a lot easier, as I could have pulled the "I'll be there in X amount of hours with cash in hand" line like this other guy did. A real bummer as I'll never have that oppurtunity again for a real Judge.

The clone seems to be a bust as well - seller said it was "still for sale for the right price" but won't respond to emails requesting some pics of the car :confused People are strange...

The search continues! :)
 

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Sure it's his car and he can do what he wants with it, but I really don't understand people sometimes. Why pick a date a week out and say you'll hold the car, only to turn around and sell it to someone else a couple days later? The search continues! :)
Because the guy is a jerk. Sorry it fell thru....
 

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CONGRATS on the failure of your deal!!! There was too much bad, and the buyer is going to tell the story later on. You'll find your deal that will work. The urgency and haste of the sale makes you go hmmmm, doesn't seem like everything was on the up and up. You'll find your barn find or project car, unless you got the big $$. Just give it time.:cheers
Just watched Mecum Auction and there were plenty of nice driver frame off GTOs for $20K. Market is down, so take advantage while it's good...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the positive words guys. I know I'll find something if I'm patient - I just have a hard time being patient at times :D I was REALLY leary of this deal to start with because he didn't have the title in hand, but once I talked to his bank and saw it wasn't a huge issue, I thought it would have been smooth sailing. When he lowered the price in the ad I knew he'd get one of those "be there with cash in hand" offers, regardless of any promise to hold the car (which he actually offered, I never asked him to do so).

I do understand to a certain degree where he was coming from since he's in the midst of a divorce and money talks, but I don't know why he wanted to wait until this coming weekend if he was open to sealing the deal earlier. I didn't bother getting upset with him or giving him the guilt trip as there is really no point. At the very least he had the decency to let me know what was going on rather than just stop responding to emails. Funny part is a I had a dream the night before I got the email from him and it was about the shipping getting all screwed up - maybe a sign that it wasn't meant to be LOL

The good news is I did a lot of research for this non-transaction and am fairly comfortable with buying a car from the US now, even if I have to have it shipped. Finding something I want locally will be next to impossible.
 

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I still think the guy was somewhat of a hack. If I promised to hold an item for someone, that's exactly what I would do. If someone else came along in the meantime, I would start a list. If the original guy backed out, I would start at the top of the list and work my way down until the car was gone.

I agree, for whatever reason, "it wasn't meant to be".......
 
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