In some ways, it is truly amazing that some American muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s are selling for sums once reserved for Duesenbergs and vintage Roll-Royce cars. After all, they were slugged out of the same factories, and companies, and by the same hands as Chevrolet Chevelle sedans and Ford Galaxies. Or in the case of our two featured cars, Pontiac Tempest and Dodge Polara sedans. We’re talking about this 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge and 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.
How much did these muscle cars sell for?
Both exhibit the outlandish features from this era, what with the GTO’s Judge graphics and the Daytona’s humorous beak and towel rack. But the prices they’re selling for are no laughing matter. The Judge sold for a cool $1.1 million, while the Daytona bested it with a selling price of $1.43 million. We’ll take a look at the Judge first, to partially explain its desirability.
As Pontiac GTOs go, this 1970 convertible is a Judge version, which places it above others in the GTO hierarchy. Some owners stripped the Judge decals off soon after purchasing them. And with this one being a convertible, that makes it an even rarer combination.
How many GTOs were made like this?
Powering the Orbit Orange ‘vert is a Ram Air IV V8 hooked to an automatic transmission, one of only seven Judge GTO convertibles built this way. There were also 10 built with what some might consider even more desirable four-speed manual transmission. That makes for a grand total of 17 built with the above combinations.
So the way it works for 1970 GTOs is as follows, 40,149 GTOs were made that year. Of those, 3,397 were Judges, and 168 were convertibles. And of those convertibles, only 17 were powered by the Ram Air IV, with seven spinning an automatic transmission.
What makes this Dodge Daytona muscle car so valuable?
When it comes to Daytona Chargers, everyone knew that someday these would be rare. That’s because there were only 503 made in 1969. And, because they were so outrageous-looking, they were both hard to sell, with many getting the daylights beaten out of them in the hands of less-than-respecting owners. A few were even converted back to the standard 1969 Charger front end by dealers to get them off the lots.
This one, painted T5 Copper Metallic, featured a white wing and tan interior, which was not a particularly popular color in its day. But what makes it rare, besides the limited production and paint, is the powertrain. This example came with the coveted 426 Hemi engine.
Only 70 Daytonas were fitted with it. And of those, just 22 received a four-speed manual transmission. And for all Daytona Chargers, only 22 were painted Copper with a tan interior. Then, just for some icing on the cake, this example has incredibly low mileage at 6,490 miles.
What made the car’s sale at this auction even more interesting?
One of this Daytona’s previous owners was comedian David Spade, who paid $900,000 for it in 2015. So had Spade been the owner at this Mecum auction, he would have gotten all of his money back, and a bit over half a million more. Now, for a somewhat creepy addendum.