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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
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

@Tinkerah Actually, I feel like the article was fairly neutral in tone and was a serious solicitation of opinion. Not once was the word uttered "not worth it" in fact the only actual criticism is the lack of pictures. As a Pontiac enthusiast and owner, I'm let down that we don't have a bunch of cool pictures to sort through.

Tinkerah
Technician

I agree. Asking for opinions on another platform can only increase publicity and expose him to more potential buyers. I never would've heard about it if not for this forum.
BigBore
Pit Crew

Why is it apart...?
Lightning1
Detailer

Read the write up on Ebay. It sounds like someone collected all the parts separately. This is the result of the collection. Not being a "crate engine" doesn't do it's value much good.
Hymie60
Intermediate Driver

If you have it show it! $150K, really?
mwmyers91
Detailer

My guess before I clicked on the article was the Wankel, boy was I off. Bha ha ha
Lightning1
Detailer

Found one of those new in crate in the mid 70s in the Detroit area. I couldn't justify the $2500 + shipping price. A buddy of mine bought it and stuck it in a 69TA (not the one talked about in the article). It made a unique car but I don't recall the final result for speed.
TimeFixers
Pit Crew

nope.
Qw
Intermediate Driver

put it on bat , it will bid up to 200k !
oldcars
Intermediate Driver

This is a piece of History . So I think most are missing the point here.
czmx
Pit Crew

The seller is, to use his words, insulted by the Hagerty article and endlessly rambles on about how he has been wronged. His response tells me all I need to know about him, as there was nothing at all insulting in the article.
okfoz
Intermediate Driver

To each their own... I imagine if I had 150K to drop on a motor, I would not be looking at Pontiac, Ford, Chevy, GM, Chrysler, or most any other vehicle. The end of the day, what do you do with it? Set it in your barn to show off to your friends, when that gets old, do you plan on stuffing it into a car that did not come with it? Or are you going to find a car to put it in that is worthy of such an investment?
I find it fascinating, but the older I get, I realize instead of dropping my $30,000 into my 87 Firebird Formula 20 years ago, just Maybe I should have invested it, and then I could have bought a Ferrari. Same case applies here, if you want it, then you will buy it,
do you need it?, nope. you can get better performance for way less.
Is it worth an investment? Cars are never a financial investment, the only thing worse as an investment is a boat.
Is it cool? Sure in someone else's car, or a Museum.
I am reminded of a saying, "A Fool and his money are soon parted"
GTO389
Pit Crew

I have a RAV that I plan to put into a 70 GTO judge. Not doing it just for the value or resale just a unique car. The engine came out of a 65 Le Mans race car that I found here in West Texas. Hope to have it done within a year will post on the GTO forum
Jim1969
Intermediate Driver

Is this an authentic Pontiac engine and parts? Probably. Will the motor be sold? Yes. Will the buyer pay the asking price? Maybe, but doubtful. Enthusiasts who have the money to talk this talk are extremely shrewd, although the have the money.
What comes to my mind is that every other 64 - 67 GTO that is auctioned at Barrett Jackson has 3 deuces. I always wonder where all these cars come from. I’ve been to many car shows in my 70 years. I judged cars at the Spring and Fall Auto Fair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for about 10 years. I can’t remember but 2 or 3 GTO’s with 3 deuces. When I was 14, Mr. Hillman had a 64 with 3 deuces. We’d knock on his door and ask to look at that engine time after time. He’d open the hood and go back in the house. His was the real thing, it was brand new. Is this engine too expensive? Not if you have the money. It will all be settled and purchased with authentic documentation. It’s out of my league!

MadamBlue91
Pit Crew

Neat, but if it's complete, the best possible fate for it would be a museum piece for GM.
Jim1969
Intermediate Driver

Another comment, who manufactured the aluminum intakes for Pontiac? I don’t know. The first thing I looked for was a Winters snowflake logo on the picture of the intake.
Al
Intermediate Driver

I'm confused! It sounds like the short block was assembled at some point and run on a dyno?
Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

It's a GREAT DEAL... especially for the seller!
GTO389
Pit Crew

Years ago I met Jim Wangers in Scottsdale Arizona at a car auction. Told him I have a RAV what do you think. He said “build it up real pretty put on an engine stand and roll it in your living room and just look at it” !!
GTO389
Pit Crew

C7B9539F-6970-4016-A431-0D87EF0BF6D9.jpeg

 I found this 80 GTO Judge minus the motor which will get the RAV low option car just 4 speed with positrac.  A true racer!!

DG
Pit Crew

In 2012 i met a lovely woman who's husband had died. When looking for boat stuff in her barn. I found an engine block, heads, machined and polished crank, piston an unused intake manifold, and 2 turbo chargers. I asked her they were. She replied probably an old Hemi, from when her ex husband was one of the original Ram Chargers when he was an engineer at Chrysler. I looked closer and it was obvious this yas not a Hemi. I then researched her husband. He was the engineer that created the 455 Super Duty. It seemed that there were 3 hand built engines that her husband had reported destroyed. 2 of those engines were released to major auto magazines. She stated the 3rd was placed in her Firebird, along with a lot of gauges that she had no use for. I then asked her if her husband would have destroyed something he had created. She replied no! I checked further and it seemed this was one of those prototype engines. I asked her what she was going to do with it. She replied scrap it or give it away. So, With a bit more checking I found the name of an auto shop in New York. His email address was 455sd .Rhe was reportedly the designer of the intake system for the 455 SD. I explained to him hat I found. He said that he knew my lady friend's husband had been designing a turbo charged fuel injected modification to the engine, before he had passed away. I arranged with my friend to give the entire package to him if he paid for shipping. He said that he and his son would finish it as a museum piece. He was a very, very, happy man. So Pontiac fans, fill in the names. As we know now 455 SD engines have been modified to 1000 HP in Florida.
elldorado2000
Intermediate Driver

I'm a Pontiac guy and that is a huge no. Unless you have more money than sense.
Dieter
New Driver

Guy buys engine
Installs in Pontiac
Takes car to shows and participates in cruise nights
Shows friends what "what it will do"
Blows up engine
uh oh , goes to speed shop and comes out of door crying.
PRScott
Detailer

It's only worth that if some one is silly enough to pay it !!
Quincydubois
Intermediate Driver

I’ve been porked so many times on eBay with absolutely no recourse that that alone would keep me out as a buyer.
OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

I would do a modern build and enjoy my car and save some cash in the process.
Guitar74
Gearhead

And now he is replying to this article and the comments, or opinions, from all of us in a defensive manner on his ebay listing. In my experience, the MORE someone has to try and defend themselves, especially on their own listing site instead of a direct rebuttal to anyone who may be calling his listing bogus (which at least in the posts I viewed as well as the article seemed non existent to me), the more I tend to steer clear.
fotogmike
Intermediate Driver

The seller's eBay comments state he feels like he's been turned into a punching bag for Hagerty. A little too defensive? I see it as Hagerty getting feedback on what the market response is.
Note that the listing is for "nearly" every NOS part necessary to build a Ram Air V. What else is needed? That should be listed.
If someone has a 1970 4-speed Judge with a non-numbers matching engine, this could be just what they're looking for. It's only worth what someone is willing to pay.
87GN98VET
Pit Crew

Looks like the crybaby removed his add. What did he expect for posting such a ridiculous price!
redeuce52
New Driver

I am a bit disappointed at the comments in this section. Anyone in the Pontiac hobby knows who this man is. And knows what he has. He owns numerous Pontiacs and his collection of NOS parts probably rivals that of Royal Pontiac in it’s heyday.
Also, there is a complete misunderstanding of what is for sale here. This is not an original or complete engine that was disassembled for sale. He went through his parts collection and put together a package of all the NOS parts needed to build this engine. This is not the only one he has. I am sure he has and has had several. He looks to be just thinning out his inventory. Either that or he just wanted some attention by putting the ad up. I don’t understand his sales tactics if it is truly a sale. The original ad has a lot of negativity in it, unneeded. And his additional comments about Hagerty are over the top. It is what it is.
elheadflat
Intermediate Driver

Sure go for it; if ur a Pontiac collector and you have to have it then if money is no Object then get the RA V...usually the problem is money and if you don't have it then its easy. As far as I know its not a production w/car unit. A few years back I came across a Chevy Blazer with an L88 427 installed in the show truck....the exciting part...wait for it!..........I got a picture of the crate it was shipped in....top that!
TG
Instructor

This is why i buy off-collector versions of cars with a few dings. I could fill a pole barn full of cars for what that guy is asking for motor parts. As ridiculous as his ask is, someone out there is thinking about it
OldRoad
Instructor

$150K for a short block? I hope a would be buyer knows a short block is without cylinder heads.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

That’s not what was written. The short block is in addition to the other parts. The mention of the short block was that it is a true Ram Air V block. The rest of the parts are listed in the description and touched on in the article.

PurelyPMD
Intermediate Driver

As the former owner of a RA V top end and as the soon to be owner of a complete running motor, these are not worth as much as he is asking. Although Lance has managed to amass quite the collection of parts over the years, he has amassed an equally large narcissism that needs to be fed.
Tinkerah
Technician

I contacted him through eBay and politely took him up on his invitation to "just message" for "more info and photos" and got a paragraph of bitter snark in response.
RodSzabo
New Driver

The picture look like the real item.
But the price is too high.
Maybe $50,000
Billthecat707
Detailer

Hard pass.
1970judge
New Driver

I love to read this discussion. People should stand back and think before they speak. I think it is just hilarious to read the comments. Everyone out there is an expert on everything. Let me tell you about this engine and the man that owns it. He has been the one to envy as long as I have known him. He is a very honest man and straight forward. He don't sell or build junk nor does he advertise something that it is not what it is. I have known him since I was 14 and dreamed about all the rare and nos parts he has had for 30 plus years. If he has it. Let me tell you it is real. It is rare and you wish you could have it. Is this a real ram air V engine? Yes it is. Is it a crate engine. No. Is it all nos parts to build it? Yes. Are these parts rare. Hell yes. I have been trying to find all the parts to build a ram air v for 5 years and I found a carb and a crank and some heads. Cost 30k. Find an nos ram air V block? I would say 40-50k. Heads? Probably 30k. If you can find some. There was just an nos carb on ebay for 15k. Then find all the little parts. Good luck on that one. Ignition? Yah right. Distributor. Oh I bet there is a ton of those out there. So many parts to try to collect. Would take like 40 years. Oh yeah that's right it took him that long. People pay ridiculous money for rare cars everyday. How much is a 69 ta convertible worth. $1 million dollars. Ram air 4 convertible judges? 3-400k. I can tell you right now that you can almost never obtain all the parts for a ram air V engine. I can find all other engine parts out there for sale. L-88, Hemi,427 sohc engines. Go call around and find me some ram air V parts besides the guy that has this for sale. Good luck. I have struck out for years. I have a 70 judge located missing the oem ram air 3 engine. So maybe ill buy it and restore it and buy this ram air V and have the ultimate Judge! Ask yourself what's a 1970 hemi cuda worth. An ls6 chevelle, L88 vette. No wait those are all oem installed engines. The ram air V was an over the counter engine that was never suppose to be. Oh
wait! That was because chevy was butt hurt that the ram air v made more power that there 454 chevelle or corvettes. And would of stomped a mudd hole in them at the track. So long story short is this super un obtainable engine worth 150k. I say yes. If you love Pontiacs and want the ultimate in your collection. Here is your chance. This will never be seen again like this. Nobody sells ram air V stuff. So good luck finding all these parts to build one. I have seen rare and the ultimate in gto stuff in my life. And this man has it! Quit hating on the one that had the vision to collect the ultimate in ram air stuff. If it was not for someone like this you would not have this article to read and even **bleep** about!