GM and SLP battle over 'Judge' model of the new Pontiac GTO.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    GM won't budge on 'Judge'; customizer told it can't use GTO Judge name

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    By RICHARD TRUETT | Automotive News
    (08:39 Oct. 22, 2003)

    DETROIT -- General Motors and an aftermarket company that specializes in producing high-performance vehicles both are laying claim to the name "Judge" for hotter versions of the new Pontiac GTO.

    GM believes it owns the name, since they created the GTO Judge, a special performance and appearance model of the GTO marketed from 1969 through 1971. The Judge name has not been used on a vehicle since then. Production of the original GTO ended in 1974.

    SLP Engineering, of Troy, Mich., best known for creating the high-performance Firebird Firehawk, says it has made the name a registered trademark in preparation for launching its own tuner models of the GTO next spring.

    SLP founder Ed Hamburger said his company is planning to offer three souped-up GTO models, one with 370 hp, one with 389 hp and one badged the "421 Judge," a version that will make 421 hp.

    Hamburger said SLP researched the Judge name and found that ownership had been allowed to lapse. He says he also trademarked the phrase "Here's Comes The Judge," which could be used in advertising.

    "GM created the trademark and it has always been associated with GM and the GTO," said Robert Kraut, GTO brand manager. "You get the right to use the trademark with usage and association." GM will do whatever is necessary to protect its trademarks, a spokesman said.

    Hamburger said SLP's GTO packages are aimed at addressing what GTO enthusiasts say are shortcomings of the new car - the lack of a functional hood scoop (GM says Ram Air will be offered on the 2005 GTO along with other enhancements), and an aggressive appearance that signals the car's tire-shredding performance.

    GTO purists have been pummeling GM with complaints about the car's sleek styling, which many say is too bland and doesn't contain any of the original car's styling DNA.

    GM officials have said they specifically didn't want the new GTO to look identical to the old models for fear it will be perceived as a retro car and have a short shelf life instead of becoming a permanent high performance model. Pontiac plans to sell about 17,000 GTOs in the 2004 model year. The car will sell for about $33,000.

    Kraut said that an advance-order system put in place last summer has been successful
    , and that the first buyers are tracking their cars as they are being built. Kraut would not say how many GTOs have been sold, but said he's "cautiously optimistic" that the first year's production will sell out.

    The 2004 GTO arrives in early December. It features rear-wheel-drive, a 350-hp, 5.7-liter V-8, a luxurious interior, and a fully independent suspension.

    As with the Firehawk, consumers will buy GTOs from a dealer, who will ship the car to an SLP-approved upfitter to have the performance parts added.
    "We've established ourselves in the marketplace as a GM tuner," said Hamburger. "This is the next logical extension of the Firehawk program now that that car has been discontinued."

    For the GTO, GM is not sharing technical information with SLP. Kraut said that GM is neutral about SLP's beefed up GTOs. "Our position is that we encourage the production of aftermarket components for our products," said Kraut.

    Kraut would not talk specifically about future GM-built high performance versions of the GTO other than to say various engineering groups within GM are looking at the car.


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  2. mover

    mover and shaker OT Supporter

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    As a guess, I would say GM will win on this one.
     
  3. Surgie

    Surgie Mein Führer, I can walk!

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    If the GT40 / GT battle was any indicator then they might lose :dunno:
     
  4. Down623

    Down623 What's the Catch?

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    I dont think "Here's Comes the Judge" will be a catchy slogan among people who grasp the english language.
     
  5. Dr. Zoidberg

    Dr. Zoidberg the lovable tramp

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    those GM bastards :(
     
  6. blkhonda1991

    blkhonda1991 "Zoinks!!"

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    i like the idea of a small tuner having the name...make it worth more
     
  7. BlueadderGTP

    BlueadderGTP Ragin Cajun?

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    I can't stand SLP. To hell with Hamburger. :madfawk:
     
  8. nitro

    nitro Guest

    Good. I don't want the Judge on the new one. :ugh:

    Let the real, true-to-the-forum Judge be with the rest of muscle cars of the sixites.
     
  9. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I call for a do-over on the GTO. Make it look like this! (complete with snorkel)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MySunRoofWorks

    MySunRoofWorks INCONCEIVABLE!

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    Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on th
    and on a side note, McDonalds is suing Ed Hamburger over the name "Hamburger"
     
  11. nitro

    nitro Guest

    Oh noes, I'm addicted to the forum. :eek3:

    I meant 'form'. :o
     
  12. lawnboy

    lawnboy Robert DeNigro

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    engrish.
     
  13. Delegado Zero

    Delegado Zero OT Supporter

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    Look at the battle Ford gave Shelby over ownership of Cobra. GM will probably win.
     
  14. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    I want to strangle whoever decided on those wheels for stock :rant:

    They look like happy daisies. Leave flowers to the beetle.
     
  15. outsidah

    outsidah Hrmmm OT Supporter

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    I gotta give this one to GM
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Ford had the same problem with the "GT40".

    I believe they just called the car the "GT" instead of fighting over it.
     
  17. jinushaun

    jinushaun New Member

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    That's :riaa: what SLP did.

    That's like AC Schnitzer copyrighting Z3 after BMW replaced it with the Z4 and then wanting to call a tuned Z4 a Z3. :down:
     
  18. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    ibbergerchevroletreleasesa450hpversiontokeepcopoaliveonceagain:o
     
  19. Bad Mojo

    Bad Mojo Guest

    GM needs to back the fuck off unless they have plans for a "Judge" monikered car that isn't a 4 cylinder, 4 door, piece of shit. I can't say I've been to impressed with the way GM resurrects their legendary names... the GTO is finally something coming out that actually gives cresdit to it's predecessor's.

    Keep the rights to "The Judge", but let SLP use it, at least until GM gets off their ass to do something with it.
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The point is, they do.

    GM's in house tuners are called PRV, and so far they're responsible for the Corvette ZO6 and Cadillac CTS-V. I'd must rather see them build a Judge (even though I was never fond of the original Judges) than SLP put an overpriced hood on the car and steal the Judge name.
     
  21. twistid

    twistid Banged By Super Models Moderator

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    i hope GM wins this battle, they need to show more muscle.
     
  22. Bad Mojo

    Bad Mojo Guest

    Sure, but anytime soon? Remember, SLP did the WS6 for GM as well (and later ASC)... And that name is owned by GM as well, as is the SS nameplate for several vehicles. Given what GM's performance division did with the '02 Camaro (the modern Penske/Sunoco Camaro) and the TA (The modern 421SD TA), I know they have the means, but a press release would be nice!

    And a 421hp GTO will take more than an overpriced hood :)
     
  23. Wolf

    Wolf No one plans to take the path that brings you lowe

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    All Gm would do is slap on a bodykit and emblems, add $3k to the MSRP and call it the "Judge".
     
  24. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    :werd: those sons of bitches have the piss-poorest business practices I've ever seen.
     
  25. 426Hemi

    426Hemi Guest

    I'd rather that SLP did "The Judge". If GM did it I really doubt that it would have as much as 421hp, unless the C6 has 500hp. That is one thing that always hampers GM, they have to protect their "baby" the Vette, makes me sick. At least if SLP did it we could have more power and probably a more "in your face" design. GM would tone it down too much.
     

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