Die-cast: NEO 1970 Pontiac GTO, The Judge

The Judge was Pontiac’s ultimate torque master …

By 1970 the muscle car craze had reached its peak and the Big 3 were mining niches in the muscle car vain with special models to maximize revenue These niche muscle machines were aimed directly at the most extreme torque-loving buyers.

Into this world came Pontiac’s 1970 GTO Judge for the 1970 model year offering a choice of two 400-cid V8s ready to grind the tires off this performance-based Pontiac.

NEO delivers a clean 1/43 scale version of The Judge in its flashy Orbit-Orange color scheme with blue/orange/pink stripes over the wheel wells and along the body side’s creases. This beauty is a nice addition to any muscle car or scale Pontiac collection.

The History

For 1970 Pontiac added a new Endura (compressible plastic) nose with exposed headlamps, and a revised tail. The GTO’s looks were a hit, as were its cousins, the popular Oldsmobile Cutlass and Chevrolet Chevelle.  All were attractive and bound to be classics. But The Judge was the flashiest looking!

The Judge was Pontiac’s ultimate GTO that eventually featured a 455-cid V8, but most came with a 366-horse 400-cid Ram Air III engine. So The Judge would rule at the dragstrip. Plus its big V8 was aided by two black air scoops built into bulges in the car’s long hood, feeding additional air into the engine for increased power.

To keep the muscle car’s tail planted a big 60-inch rear wing rode atop the trunk lid and four exhaust pipes exited the rear-end under the massive chrome bumper. Bathed in its Orbit-Orange paint scheme, The Judge would get a lot of attention.

The pumped-up Ponty also featured rear sway bars and revised shock valving, and the GTO was the first Pontiac to use variable-ratio power steering in an effort to improve handling.

The Model

This model is a stunner, its orange body tending more toward a bright, mustard yellow, but including those multi-colored graphics mentioned earlier over the front and rear wheel wells. “The Judge” logo sits below the stripes on the front quarter panels and another is plastered on the tail, below the wing’s right side.

There are side reflectors just behind the car’s Endura nose. The four headlights are well executed with good depth to create a realistic look and the running lights below are divided into quarters with delicate silver trim. The grille is a black mesh with GTO logo on the driver’s side.

GTO hoods had all the bulges in the right spots, as does the model, plus the black air intakes for the Ram Air powerplant below. Oh, and there are Ram Air logos atop the hood bulges. Down below the nose is a modest flat black chin spoiler too.

Windows are trimmed with chrome photo-etch and there are chrome door handles, a driver’s side mirror and rear bumper, again with realistic thin and wide taillights, and four-chrome tipped exhausts below.

Tires are treaded, but unbranded, while the rubber wraps around some handsome five-spoked sport wheels with red trimmed centers.

The gun metal gray to black interior is a bit hard to see with all the windows created in the raised position, but you can see in well enough to view ribbed seats and door panels, plus a fake wood-look dash, large three-spoke sport steering wheel and the Hurst T-handle shifter found on all four-speed GTOs at the time.

Not much more you could want in a 1/43 scale model and with its stellar finish you can guarantee a lot of looks from admirers viewing your display case.

Vital Stats: 1970 Pontiac GTO

Maker: NEO
Scale: 1/43
Stock No.: NEO4986
MSRP: $99.95

Link: American-Excellence.com



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