Tim had two original surviving '69 GTOs that he used as references during the restoration of a Matador Red '69 GTO he also owns. "I decided to restore The Judge first before selling the two. It would delay the '73 Trans Am's restoration, but I wanted to finish The Judge while the GTO details were still fresh in my mind. I spent the next two years researching the tiniest details and buying up as many N.O.S. parts as I could find to make this the best '69 Judge it could be."
In March 2008, Tim sent the GTO's body shell over to friend and restoration expert Gary Riley at Level One Restorations in Arvada, Colorado. Gary's team tended to the body on a rotisserie while Tim restored the chassis.
The body was media blasted to completely strip it of any existing paint. That exposed minor rust in one fender that was easily repaired with a small patch. The rear quarters required more serious attention and both were replaced with N.O.S. panels that Tim sourced for the restoration.
Two coats of DuPont ChromaPremier Pro primer were applied to the prepped body as a base. That task was followed by three coats of Limelight Green and five coats of clear, also of the same DuPont line. The top coat was sanded smooth using 800-1,500-grit paper and then polished using Perfect-It Rubbing Compound from 3M.
Tim removed the suspension from the frame and media blasted the entire substructure, filling in any minor depressions and/or pits. He had the frame powdercoated black and reinstalled the entire steering and suspension systems reusing the original components and adding new rubber bushings and reproduction spiral shock absorbers in the process. Once the body was finished, Tim reunited it with the freshly restored chassis and began the arduous task of reassembling the GTO.
Tim had Chuck Beuthel at Madcap Racing Engines in Lakewood, Colorado, rebuild the code-WS R/A III engine to stock specs. The 400 block was bored 0.030-inch and it retains its original Code-48 cylinder heads, which are specific to the application. An N.O.S. Delco mechanical fuel pump supplies the No. 7028273 Rochester Quadrajet that sits atop a No. 9794234 cast-iron intake manifold. A stock-replacement 068 cam actuates the valves. The original No. 1111970 points-type distributor ignites the combustible cocktail while original Ram Air exhaust manifolds route spent gasses through a reproduction exhaust system from Gardner Exhaust.
Tim’s son, Nic, checks out the rotisserie action.
Backing the factory-rated 366hp mill is an M21 Muncie four-speed transmission that was completely rebuilt by Madcap Racing Engines, It channels power through to the original 10-bolt rear axle that houses an 3.90:1 gear set and 8.875-inch limited-slip differential.
Tim's GTO was finished in time to debut at the 2010 GTOAA National Convention, which was held in Wichita, Kansas, that year. There it was awarded Concours Gold and received Best Of Show-Concours Restored. Though it continues to receive awards wherever shown, he admits, "These cars are never done. It takes a great deal of work to maintain their show condition each year, and it seems I'm always tweaking or updating something."
Tim says he feels very fortunate to have found the two iconic Pontiacs that fueled his youthful dreams. "It's been a lot of hard work, but a fantastic journey to get this Judge and put it back together. In fact, my son, Nic, still talks about his trip with Dad to get The Judge. He's incredibly proud of this car. Every summer we take one of our many Pontiacs to at least one national show together. He's part of the next generation of Pontiac fans who will keep these musclecars alive."
When asked what he likes best about his Judge, Tim answers, "I really enjoy meeting other Pontiac enthusiasts and sharing stories about these great cars. But I absolutely love the unusual color. It's amazing how many people I meet who have never seen a Limelight Green GTO, let alone a Judge in that color! It really stands out on a show field and most people love it. I occasionally meet someone who remarks, ‘It's a great-looking car, but why did you paint it that color?'"
Whether you love it or not, one point for certain—Limelight Green is a color that sticks in your mind. Just ask Tim!
Sherm’s Custom Plating in Sacramento, California, rechromed the rear bumper for Tim. He po
The GTO’s drum-brake system was rebuilt and detailed, and the original code-JA 14x7-inch R
The body and frame are reunited before the return trip to Tim’s garage for final assembly.