JULY 2018: A 1968 PLYMOUTH GTX–ANOTHER BRUTE FORCE MACHINE BUILT BY PLYMOUTH

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Plymouth flew under the radar in the muscle car department because its legacy was largely based upon an image as an affordable family car.

 

The game changed for Plymouth during the Fabulous Fifties when this storied model switched to a V-8 option and caught people by surprise when the Plymouth Fury blew right on by them on the then-new interstates.

 

The cat was really out of the bag when lightweight Plymouths left the Mopar factory with a Max Wedge or Hemi under the hood.

 

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The 1967 GTX was basically a warning by Plymouth: Be very afraid of this brute on the street.

 

The beat went on for Plymouth and a 1968 GTX was very true to the ’66 model because it was an upscale, muscular Mopar that only came in two versions: 426 cubic inches-or 440 cubic inches of mayhem under the hood.

 

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None of this automotive history was lost on Dan de Groot because he was always a big fan of the muscle car era and loved the GTX.

 

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Dan reached a point in his life where he was able to actually own a GTX and began his search for this legendary Motown super car.

 

Dan wanted a four-speed manual transmission to harness the horses on his GTX, so his search for the right one took 2 ½ years before Dan found the muscle car of his dreams.

 

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Dan’s GTX has a 440 that is period-correct under the hood. Dan told MSCC his big block is mated to a factory four-speed manual and definitely answers the bell for his wish list. He also disclosed that his Plymouth is “cammed-up.”

 

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Dan needed to put his own stamp on the GTX after he purchased his muscle car legend, although he wanted MyStarCollectorCar readers to know that most of his improvements are hidden from sight. An example is the undercarriage of the GTX because Dan spent many hours underneath the car.

 

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Dan summed up his role in the GTX: “I did most of the work you don’t see.”

 

He also improved the interior on his car and noted that he did the dash and dash pad on the car. Dan was also able to track down a factory AM radio for the GTX because he wanted his car to reflect as much of its originality as possible, despite the fifty years since it was a brand new car.

 

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However, Dan left the aftermarket gauges in his GTX because they give him an accurate look at his 440.

 

50 years has meant changes for the GTX by previous owners, but Dan likes the challenge to make his car true to its old school. The pipes bolted to the exhaust manifold looked like custom headers but Dan told MSCC they were not headers and were a performance option that came right from the Plymouth factor, according to him.

 

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The free-breathing big block sound from the exhausts proves Dan’s GTX means business and he loves the rumble.

 

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Dan wanted to ensure that his wife got credit for the purchase because every smart married car guy will clear a car purchase decision with his wife-and Dan is a smart, happily-married car guy.

 

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The net result is a completed GTX project because of her role and now Dan can enjoy the open road with his car, thanks to his wife.  

 

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.  

 

 

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