JULY 2020: ’69 GTX – KIWI MOPAR MUSCLE SETS SAIL TO NEW ZEALAND

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Paul Southorn is the proud owner of a ’69 Plymouth GTX.

That is very cool on its own, but Paul lives in New Zealand – a place where a ’69 GTX is an extremely rare sighting.

Paul’s a hardcore Mopar guy so this GTX was something he’d thought about for a long time.   

JERRY SUTHERLAND

He explained his ownership this way: “I have always loved Mopars, especially B bodies/Road Runners  since a young age. I’m 49 now and grew up in 70s & 80s so when an opportunity game up to own the GTX I couldn’t turn it down. I was scrolling a local website and it popped up so I sent a well-known hot rod builder to check it out for me. He said if that’s what you want — buy it. You be lucky to find a better one plus if I didn’t buy he said he would”.

Paul knows the history of his GTX: “It had one owner in U.S and it came to NZ in 2017 and now I’m the third NZ owner”. This car presents well because it had a very secure history so Paul was very confident about its status: “It shows  50412 miles  and it may have been around the clock but judging her condition I think the miles are genuine plus it’s all numbers-matching including trans. Paint has had a re spray”.

He was really happy with the condition of his classic Mopar: “It was just like as it is now. She’s in excellent condition for a driver. Not a trailer queen. They are made to be driven”. Paul added his own touch for road trips: “ I have installed a modern kicker sound system and it’s full-hidden”.

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Paul explained how nice this car was when he bought it because it had no issues: “No…. just drive and enjoy. I keep her well maintained and run her on 100 octane gas we can get it at the pump in NZ”. The car passed an out of country inspection with ease: “Old imported cars need to be certified by an inspector prior to registering to make sure they are safe and not from a chop shop so the GTX is fully certified for NZ”.

This is a left-hand drive car in a right-hand drive world, so Paul had a learning curve on New Zealand roads: “Weird at first but doesn’t take long to get used to. Overtaking (passing) is the hardest part….. so whoever is riding shotgun get the job to be my eyes”.

A ’69 GTX is a rock star in New Zealand, but Paul has adjusted to the extra attention: “Yeah…. she’s a head turner for sure. As well as rare because there are plenty of old Mustangs, Camaros, Impalas etc over here but not many B- bodies”.

Paul is very clear on the future of his GTX:

Keep her as-is. The muscle car era is a great part of U.S Auto history. I’m fortunate enough to be the custodian of the GTX for now.

Paul Southorn

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Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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