Muscle Car Royalty: 1969 Pontiac GTO Ram Air IV Coupe

  • March 25, 2021
The Rundown
  • 1 of 151 Examples Produced
  • Excellent Color Combo w/ One Repaint
  • Recently Out of Long-Term Storage
  • Original Undamaged Body Panels
  • Matching Numbers 400ci RA IV V8 Engine
  • Upgraded Automatic Overdrive w/ Original Included
  • 4.33:1 Safe-T-Track Limited Slip Rear Axle
Why We Like It

Just in case the owners of competing muscle cars began thinking Pontiac’s groundbreaking GTO was getting soft, the popular GM division’s engineering wizards unleashed the 400ci Ram Air IV V8 engine as the top power option for 1969. Built for severe, high-rpm duty, the 370hp Ram Air IV was based on a special iron cylinder block with 4-bolt main caps, high-strength crankshaft and rods, forged aluminum pistons, a hot hydraulic cam, free-flowing cylinder heads, a big 750-cfm Quadrajet carburetor on a lightweight aluminum intake manifold, and low-restriction dual exhaust system, making it good for 370 factory-underrated horses. As the ‘Ram Air’ name implied, an efficient twin-scoop hood and sealed intake plenum underneath delivers cool, dense air to the engine for additional power. Available with a choice of 4-speed manual transmissions or GM’s quick-shifting heavy-duty M40 Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmissions, the Ram Air IV mill required HD cooling and Safe-T-Tack limited-slip rear end with either 3.90:1 or 4.33:1 gears. While the A-Body GTO is relatively heavy, acceleration with the Ram Air IV is awesome, with the quarter mile covered by a stock example in just 13.99 seconds.


muscle-car-royalty-1969-pontiac-gto-ram-air-iv-coupe78266568-770-0@2XOur subject Pontiac GTO is advertised to be a matching numbers Ram Air IV with automatic transmission car – one of just 151 hardtops built with this potent powertrain for 1969. The limited-slip rear end houses the top optional 4.33:1 ring and pinion set. Finished in delicious Verdoro Green paint over Parchment vinyl, it comes to market with 78k seller-stated original miles. Accompanied by Pontiac Historical Services (PHS) paperwork confirming the GTO’s factory-original details, the car was formerly under long-term storage, retains excellent sheet metal, and remains quite original overall, save for one repaint. The original matching numbers automatic transmission is included with the sale of the GTO, which offers an improved drive with a modern GM Hydramatic 200R4 overdrive automatic transmission, favored for its deeper first gear and the long high-speed legs and improved fuel economy provided by overdrive.


Valuation Verdict

This high quality, mostly original, numbers matching GTO is a prime example of Pontiac’s top dog for 1969. These cars are legendary for their performance and several older friends of this Zero260 contributor owned one new, usually ruling weekend grudge matches on the local dragstrips and clandestine street races. While awesome out of the hole, these cars are especially lethal from a rolling start, according to accounts from those friends – just the ticket for Detroit’s fabled Woodward Avenue. While price guide values for the flashier Ram Air IV GTO Judge essentially carry a 2-times multiple over the basic GTO Hardtop with the same engine – any 1969 GTO with the Ram Air IV mill is a rare and very desirable commodity today. According to Hagerty, a 400ci/370hp 1969 RA IV GTO Coupe should bring $55,200 in good #3 form and $88,300 in excellent #2 condition. Offered in great, highly original specification with one repaint, the matching numbers RA IV engine, and the added benefit of the more modern overdrive transmission (original included), with PHS paperwork, our subject car seems to be priced right for a timely sale. All said, we think it’s ‘Fair-Market’ pricing at the seller’s ask, in our opinion.

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