Debbie & Tim Brown's 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
(from Volume 19, Issue 244)

story by co-owner Tim Brown, photos by Michael B. Kelly


My wife, Debbie, was very specific about wanting a 1970 Pontiac GTO for about 7 years. Going to car shows, each time she would see one, we would have to go over and check it out. I tried to interest her in a 1968 or 1969, but she wouldn’t waver. Our son and I had just finished building a 1972 Chevrolet C-10 Pickup and I was supposed to do a GTO next, but a 1961 Impala got in the way so I built that first [It appeared on the cover of Issue 202, and featured in the center spread].

After the Impala we weren’t really searching for a GTO but we had decided that if one found us then it was meant to be. So while Debbie was searching for parts for a customer’s GTO that we were repairing at our shop, a friend remembered that she was interested in a 1970 GTO, and told us about one for sale in Jacksonville only 10 miles from our house. We took one look and knew that it was the car for us. It was in very good shape, with hardly any rust. We started working on it a few months later, and it took about 18 months to complete.

It has a Pontiac 400 stroked to now displace 463 cubic inches, which dynoed at 585 horsepower and 615 cubic foot pounds of torque. It is fitted with a Holley HP850 carburetor, an Edelbrock intake, and sounds sweet thanks to Doug’s Headers and Magna Flow mufflers. The power is passed back to a Turbo 400 transmission, then a Currie 12-bolt rear end with 3.42:1 gears. To clean up under the hood we deleted the factory air and added Vintage Air, and keeping everything else cool is a PRC aluminum radiator with two 13-inch electric fans.

Giving the “Goat” sure-footed suspension is Detroit Speed’s System 3 on the front and back, with adjustable coil over shocks. The brakes are by Wilwood, with 14-inch cross-drilled rotors and 6 piston calipers on the front, and 13-inch cross-drilled rotors and 4 piston calipers out back.

The paint is Dupont Chroma Premier base coat/clear coat, and the name of the color is Green Gem 2 (which looks almost black until the bright sunlight hits it). For rolling stock it has KWC 19x9.5 inch rims on the front wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport 275/45ZR19 tires, and out back reside a set of KWC 20x13 inch rims and Michelin Pilot Super Sport 335/30SR20 rubber. To make room for the rear wheels we narrowed the frame rails 6-inches, and mini tubbed the rear body. The interior was returned to pretty much stock, with black vinyl upholstery, and a wood grained dash and console.

Just a few weeks after we finished the GTO Judge we took it on the Hot Rod Power Tour and it handled beautifully. We enjoyed working on the car together. Debbie and I would like to thank Rick Klimek and Bo Allen for all the help with the car. We would also like to thank Gary Harrison for building a great engine. All the work was definitely worth it when I see Debbie drive the car with a big smile on her face. -Tim Brown