Scott stripped the paint, leaving factory-issued Carousel Red on the roof and decklid only. “I repaired spot rust in the rear quarters, front fenders, the left floor pan, and the bottom of the doors. Some of it had previously been addressed by body shops over the past 40 years, but to collision-shop standards. We re-performed that work and additional rust repair to my standards, which is based on a concours philosophy,” he says.

PPG products were used in the restoration, K38 high-build urethane primer to smooth the body panels, and six coats of PPG lacquer in Carousel Red. Scott wet-sanded the new paint to match the surface of the existing OE paint with 1,500- and 2,000-grit sandpapers. He says, “It takes some expertise to blend the new paint to the original lacquer.”

In 2011, Jim and his Judge returned to Scott—this time to get the original steel brake lines replaced. “Jim drove it for so many years that I felt it was time to take the car apart to preserve it,” Scott explains. “After some discussion, we decided I would pull the body off the frame, replace the brake lines, and powdercoat the chassis. Since Jim wanted his Judge to retain a steeper rake from rear to front than the factory intended, I removed the old air shocks and spring spacers, and replaced them with 2-inch-taller-than-stock springs from Detroit Spring, custom 2-inch spacers, and longer-than-stock KYB shocks. It re-created the Judge’s late-in-’69 street stance, but without the harsh ride qualities that Jim had lived with ever since then.”

During the restoration, the men also agreed that the Judge’s original mill was crying out for a metamorphosis. That entailed boring the 400’s cylinders 0.030-inch, and mating the original crank with 6.625-inch Eagle forged rods and Federal Mogul forged pistons.

The No. 48 D-port heads were sent to SD Performance for CNC-porting, and upgraded with 2.11/1.77-inch stainless-steel valves, bronze valveguides, and Crane 1.65:1 rockers. A Crane hydraulic flat-tappet cam (218/224 duration, 0.500/0.500 lift, 112 LSA) directs the valvetrain components. Then the engine was reassembled and reinstalled.

Now oil is delivered via a Melling 60-psi pump; an ACDelco fuel pump delivers high-octane energy drink to the original-and-rebuilt Rochester Quadrajet; and the original distributor (with Mallory Uni-lite conversion module), factory coil, high-temp Super Stock 8mm wires, and AC45S plugs dictate spark delivery into the cylinders.

Hooker Headers (replacing this Judge’s original Ram Air iron exhaust manifolds) route the spent gases through 1.75-inch primaries and 3.00-inch collectors, and then through a 2.5-inch dual exhaust featuring Flowmaster cans. The original single-piston, 10.9-inch front discs and rear drum brakes are rebuilt.

Now, despite having over 60,000 miles on the odometer, Jim says his ’69 Judge is as fun to drive as when he bought it new. He also enjoys taking it to car shows. “I won Third Place in Modified at the 2009 GTOAA International Convention (the Co-vention) in Dayton, Ohio, and displayed it at the Ames Performance Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, in 2010 and 2011,” he says.

If you’re looking for an original-owner ’69 GTO, don’t put Jim and his Judge on your shortlist. “I don’t know how it works in your town,” he says smiling, “but in my town, the Judge is not for sale.”