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I like the Judge - a '70 was the first car to really catch my attention (I was 4!) - but it isn't a great example of what made the GTO great.

The Judge was initally a response to the popularity of Mopar's Road Runner and Super Bee - low-buck performance that sold well and caught a lot of media attention. It was supposed to be a stripped-down, lightweight car with a standard 350HO and optional Ram Air engines.

Somewhere along the way, the Judge became a fully-loaded car. Judges were quick, but you could spec out any GTO with the Ram Air IV engine and it would be equally as fast.

Pontiac's real performance term has always been Super Duty. The SD cars are legends among Pontiac enthusiasts, whether it be the early '60s Catalina with the SD421 or the mid-70's SD455 Trans Am, the "SD" means Pontiac performance.

Pontiac also used to emphasize the torque of their motors by using the Trophy name. An engine with 375 lbs/ft of torque would be the Trophy375. It's an interesting thing to focus on as torque is the thing that plant you into the seat and is a main selling point for cars like the GTO.

If there will be a performance GTO, I'd vote for reviving the Super Duty name. A SD400 GTO, anyone? With a Trophy 400 V8?
 
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