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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Is this NOS Ram Air V Pontiac engine really worth $150,000? | Hagerty Media

Some of the greatest innovations in engine building have their roots in racing. By the end of the 1960s, every auto manufacturer had some sort of wild design in the works to one-up the competition. Engines like Buick's Stage 2 455, Ford's single-overhead-cam (SOHC) 427, the all-aluminum ZL1 Chevrolet 427, and, of course, the 426 Hemi have become performance icons.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/is-this-nos-ram-air-v-pontiac-engine-really-worth-150000/
88 REPLIES 88
drjim
Detailer

I'll bet the people on the Pontiac forums will go bonkers over this...

- Jim
TomP
Pit Crew

I'm a Pontiac guy. This would be nice to have, but a set of Mickey Thompson Pontiac hemi heads would be waaaaay better.
spoom
Technician

Magic 8 ball says, "...for every seat.".
Swamibob
Instructor

Need more pictures!
Tinkerah
Technician

And if you ask for them, as I politely did, he'll treat you like you're not worthy to gaze upon the precious gems. Whatever he's up to, he is not a legitimate seller.
Flashman
Instructor

An object is worth whatever some fool will pay for it.
OrphanCars
New Driver

Elon Musk needs one of these for his next Cars in Space project.
Without the original car surrounding this engine, it's worth maybe half the ask.
TomP
Pit Crew

It's NOS. It was never in a car.
Joewee2554
New Driver

You are too generous.
AutoAppraiser
New Driver

Personally I'd ask the Pontiac King Reggie Horning!
Edwardsg
Intermediate Driver

Think it’s quite a stretch to think a few parts are worth more than the 69 TA with both a RA III and a 303. Market has spoken.
Maybe for one of the dozen 427 Hemis produced.
speed6
New Driver

Why waste $ on old tech? Buy a new Kauffman block and billet hemi heads.
STRIPES
New Driver

The Pontiac RA V iron head was never placed in a production Pontiac. It was a flop in the power department on the street, with current Edelbrock round port heads making more power at a tenth the cost. So, the engine is interesting, but it isn't going to complete some rare cars OE appearance, and its not as powerful as whats currently available manufactured in aluminum. If fact, the head is reproduced by DCI, and is available for $3499 in aluminum.
PurelyPMD
Intermediate Driver

Unfortunately the ones produced by Don at DCI are a derivative with a true split port and are more of an evolution of the original. Unfortunately in many cases his do not allow the owner to use their stock hood. The ones developed by Lynn at McCarty Racing are closer to reproductions of the originals in both looks and functionality and WILL fit under a stock hood and do interchange with the original parts.
neilscarlt
New Driver

I worked for PMD for 20 yrs., mostly in Southern CA. The Ram Air V wasn’t certified for CA, but was available in AZ, which was part of the LA Zone. Based on reports from the GM Proving Grounds in Mesa, AZ, as well a respected racing/performance authority in Tucson (J.D. Braswell), the tunnel port heads never performed as expected. Performance tech of the day ran head on into new emissions laws. The Pontiac “GloryDays” were in for a struggle. However, a NOS set of these heads would be a find...maybe not a $150,000 find, but who knows?
Indycaver
New Driver

I can't say that I've ever heard of dyno testing an unassembled short block? The seller seems concerned about getting bashed in the Pontiac forums ... and considering the few parts he has listed on Ebay ... it doesn't look like someone who is serious about selling $150,000 in parts.
MisterTorgue
Intermediate Driver

I honestly don’t think that they’re serious about selling the parts either. Judging from the seller’s comments they’re getting plenty of pleasure of showing off the parts they have that the rest of us don’t. Even if there’s a price on it, some things are never for sale, even if someone comes up with the cash. To some people just being able to say you have something and nobody else can have it is worth more than money. I could be totally off here, but the seller’s tone really rubs me the wrong way.

Dad_jokes
Pit Crew

Yeah, like every bozo with a Marti report citing his green over tan 1967 Mustang coupe with the 6 cylinder/automatic is one of only 957 produced with the specific options it has.
Everyone thinks their **bleep** is unique in the car world. Or wants it to be. At least this engine truly is.
EdWelsh
New Driver

Although I would love to have it, but, for 150K, I could by a museum quality 73' TA Superduty and have enough left over to buy a 78' Bandit TA.
Hubcap
New Driver

eBay probably hopes it sells. I suppose if you have enough money and want the bragging rights, then go for it, but as I see it, that's about all it's good for.
MARK400
Intermediate Driver

There are aftermarket mfg`s out there producing tunnel port type heads similar to the ram air V that outflow stock RA-V heads. I can understand matching number guys wanting them, but for a guy who wants to run a 400, 428 or 455 and and have a stout engine a well ported set of Edelbrock or Kauffman, or Butler ported heads are the way to go. Iv`e also seen oem D port heads ported that flow exceptionally well and make over 500 hp on a 0.30 over 4.150 bore x 3.75 stroke 400 with stock rods, proper cam and bottom end on the dyno. Bottom line is it depends what you want, power or correct casting numbers. Only you can decide.
MisterTorgue
Intermediate Driver

Right, to someone out there assembling the engine and running it would be a crime. Especially when you can reproduce one for less. Or build something more drivable and just as powerful for less. Personally I think they should donate it to GM Heritage Center and just take the tax write off.

drj3127
New Driver

You get a lot more for your money on this engine than for the two totally trashed mouse eaten 53 corvette (prototype) seats on ebay for $99K a few weeks ago.
Tinkerah
Technician

Those "seats" sprang to my mind as well, does anyone know if they ever moved? You can ask for the moon for your toenail clippings but nothing's worth anything until someone makes a sincere offer.
Davidb0123
New Driver

$150 K for an engine ... I don't think so!
Id buy a 67 GTO first!!!
I stroked a 400 to 461 for my Lemans
Some will say you can never have enough HP ... but it upwards of 550 - 575 HP .... Enough
But Hey ... just my opinion
Utopia1
Detailer

My vote is CP.
Joewee2554
New Driver

No. Not even if it was in a '69 GTO.
Rust-aholic
Pit Crew

Wow, love Pontiac’s but don’t think that will sell. Wasn’t the weakness in the rods?
kip
Intermediate Driver

Would never run right on pump gas, and It would not be numbers matching when installed. The numbers matching point is the holy grail for most car values. If this was installed in a car, I think its perceived worth drops. Besides, what '69 Pontiac have you seen sell or justify for what this motor would cost? If you have to go with a non-numbers match mill, new tech Pontiac blocks are available I believe.
Historian
Detailer

eBay is full of morons! Just had one offer me $120 for a piece of jewelry in mint condition that retails for $900. Yeah, sure! Needless to say, I told him to shove his $120.
tahend
Detailer

Even if it's worth it, it will never run on the street. It's just something pretty to look at.
Gary
Pit Crew

Unreal. But maybe that makes my “honodrive” worth more!
tadg47
Pit Crew

Guess there's a sucker (with more money than brains) born every minute. For that money, give me a hot new Corvette. Or even a classic Corvette.
bhankinsonn
Intermediate Driver

Unique enough that it just might sell. As with anything on eBay and the exposure generated it may tickle the need of that Pontiac fanatic
Edwardsg
Intermediate Driver

My dad bought a 1969 Judge with Butler RA IV heads in the mid 70’s.
$1600, and ran in the 10’s with a single 4 barrel.
Even in today’s dollars, a lot of bang for the buck.
Still have the Butler motor, but the RA III I swapped in is much more enjoyable.

Note that with some parts, assembling a complete motor goes down the road of many custom parts. Pushrods and rocker arms, valves and springs, exhaust, pistons, etc. to actually use those heads effectively will be another chunk of money.
hyperv6
Gearhead

There will be someone to pay this but there are few. Most will want to run this and if it is NOS then the value lies in the NOS part of this. Though rare RA5 heads can be found. 

 

I saw a full aluminum GTO frame. Rare and expensive but even it did not sell at the Pontiac Nationals a few years ago. 

 

Much of it comes down to demand. 

Huntz-Hall
Pit Crew

Well, hey now!
I understand when reading this that all of the parts & pieces for this engine come with the sale.
I also assume that all of the parts & pieces are NOS (in boxes & have never been installed & used in any other engine) so all pictures of said parts should be shown, it needs to be proven that the statements are true. As Tom Cruise said, "Show me the Money!"
Tinkerah
Technician

I asked him for more photos and he declined so it's my considered opinion that he does not have the parts. The photo of that head looks like a stock image lifted from elsewhere....And wasn't it Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character who demanded "Show Me the Money!"?

Greg_I
Advanced Driver

A commenter here did mention that the seller is known to have a serious collection of rare Pontiac parts and does indeed have the parts he says he owns. If you check his other items for sale, there are other Ram Air V bits he has listed as well. So I wouldn’t be too concerned about them possessing the parts. Shame they didn’t wanna share though.

Classman
New Driver

Seriously, REPORT HIM TO EBAY FOR "PRICE GOUGING!" Go to the posting on eBay and scroll down until you see REPORT on the right side then report this thief trying to scam people! Who is that guy trying to ripoff on eBay! Big deal, he has an old motor! Send that 150k to Texas Speed and see what you get, a few 3000-4000 hp ls motors! Now he wrote how this article ruined his chance of selling what he has, so far a old intake, a old head, and a old distributor for 150k, he is trying to scam and screw someone on ebay! I think it is more like ebay should ban him for life for posting that scam and trying to ripoff pesople! $150,000 for an old outdated engine that is worth about $100 is beyond a waste of everyones time IT IS A SCAM! He is really trying to screw someone royally and should be reported. It makes me sick to see people try to scam and screw others like this! Everyone take care and God bless you all! Be safe and report people like this guy when you see them trying to scam others!
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Sorry, but you’re wrong!!!! Anyone who would buy this for $150k, has more money than brains, and I have no sympathy for them.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

Disagreeing with the price and being a scam are different things. A scam would be taking your money without intent to give you the parts. I technically wouldn't call it gouging if there aren't any like kind or quality engines for sale at the same time, and nobody is forcing anyone to buy it. I think it is worse etiquette to report an ad because you disagree with the price more than asking too much.

GRP_Photo
Instructor

Flashman has it right. If someone buys it, by definition it's worth it.
Classman
New Driver

It will never be numbers matching for those who mentioned that! It is a CRATE MOTOR! He says so in the eBay posting!
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Who knows what it will being? These things are only new once.
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Sorry. BRING.
jpmotorbeast
New Driver

I'd much rather have a 69 Trans Am convertible one of only 8 made
Tim
Instructor

The answer to this articles question is the same as the answer to this question: "Will putting this engine into a car add at least $200,000 in value to that car?"

I think the answer is "no."
Tinkerah
Technician

And now he's devoting space in his description to bellyaching that you, Greg, have asked for our opinions and that he's lost respect for the Hagerty company because of it. Well here's mine: Rattling off a bunch of part numbers is not evidence of existence. No pics?? C'mon.