While we were at the Goodguys 16th PPG Nationals in Columbus, we got to see thousands of the greatest rods and muscle cars. To be able to see them all would take more time than may of us have.
But really, there are so many sweet vehicles to see and gawk over, that you might miss the chance once or twice to see something special. Something like what YouTube user ScottieD found: a 1969 GTO called “JudgeMENTAL.” One look at this thing, and you can tell there aren’t a whole lot of GTOs that can supersede it in terms of style.
Scottie made his way to the Columbus Nationals and found this orange gem nestled near an Edelbrock Racing tent. Lengthened and boxed-in rocker panels, as well as the precision-made body panels serve as a credit to the mastery that its builder, Darren Nickleson, possesses.
Inside, black and gray trim with lots of shiny nickel tones are a great touch. The modern seats hint at the power this car can pull without making it look too much like it’s meant for the races.
The engine looks the part as well, sporting an Edelbrock set of heads and manifold, atop which rests a customized air cleaner cover. The gray firewall and inner fenders look immaculate when set against all that chrome.
And on the the deck lid, you can see the custom badge and name of the car: JudgeMENTAL. Seeing how badass this thing is, we’re just fine with letting it keep the name.
Where the video fell short on the details, Indy Street Rods and Classics was able to fill in the gaps with more about this incredible build. It uses adjustable suspension and Wilwood brakes all around, with Budnik Cannon wheels. The transmission is a Tremec six-speed.
The engine is pure Pontiac, using a Butler Performance powerplant at a displacement of 505 cu-in. FAST fuel injection, a custom breather, and custom exhaust help with the Judge in delivering 660hp and 630 ft-lbs. of torque.
Nickleson was unfortunately nowhere to be seen in the video, so Scottie couldn’t get an interview with him. Nonetheless, Nickleson deserves credit for what wound up as an awesome Pontiac performer.