1971 Pontiac GTO Judge Robert from South Dakota

Robert’s story with the Judge goes back 41 years. Just before he turned 17 he brought a 1970 Dodge Challenger home to his dad. His dad took it to his local insurance agent who said there was absolutely no way that they could insure a 16-year-old on that car. So the Challenger was sold and instead, he found a 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge. He bought it when the car was just five years old. All his friends were putting headers and modifications on their cars, but he resisted the urges of being a teenage guy with a cool car and kept it all stock.

Through many life changes including marriage, a house, kids, and college his one bargain with his wife is that he keeps the Judge. He told me that it’s been in storage for over the last 30 years, and hasn’t even driven it in the last 10 years. He hasn’t had any insurance on it the whole time it’s been in storage but over the last several months he has been doing some research on the car and knows what he has.

He has an all numbers matching 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge with 73,600 miles on the odometer. At the end of my call he says to me, “Anna, this car had a 20-gallon tank. If you drive it like it was meant to be driven you get maybe 6 miles a gallon. If you’re “nice” to it, maybe 10. This car was meant for one thing, and that is to be enjoyed.”

Robert embodies the collector state of mind, his wife used to manage a record store and now they have over 700 vinyl albums (he highly recommends Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles) and they go to concerts frequently as a family because life goes by too fast not to enjoy it! Now that the kids are grown he is turning some attention back to the Judge and hoping to do a bit of a restoration (keeping it stock of course!) through the winter and enjoy his classic as well next summer. He happily sent me this photo of his son Spencer in the classic on his 20th birthday, who he hopes to one day pass this classic on to.

Anna Hendricks