Q: Greg, my favorite muscle car is the 1967 Plymouth GTX. I’m hoping you will like my ‘67 GTX story as much as I enjoyed yours in your recent “My Favorite Muscle Car” column.
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and I am still here. The first time I ever read your column was through a Facebook friend’s post as it appeared in an area newspaper.
To explain, I was just 19 years-old and working at a Chrysler dealership here in Chicago. My dad co-signed for my loan and I ordered my ‘67 GTX with a 4-speed manual and the 440-inch 375 horse engine. Soon after delivery and with less than 1,000 miles on it, I took it to US 30 drag strip in Hobart, Indiana, to drag race. I remember you said you took your GTX the very first night you owned it to race at Atlantic City Dragway in New Jersey.
I used a set of slicks on mine right away and did a lot of street and strip racing the next four years. I didn’t make much money back then working, so it took a while to make modifications to make my GTX faster in the quarter-mile.
Thanks to a warranty on the rear gears, I had them install a 4:10 ratio and then put on a set of headers. Under the hood I added a Racer Brown Camshaft (and lifters) and got a hold of a set of used but good 426 Max Wedge racing valve springs. I also added a Borg & Beck 3200 lb. clutch and pressure plate and the needed scatter shield that was now mandatory at area drag strips for manual transmissions. My GTX ran 12:90's, just like yours! It’s hard to believe I never broke a thing on this car other than the rear gear warranty replacement. One other thing I did was add an extra main rear leaf spring, which helped (in launching the car at the start).
After selling my GTX I started drag racing with my younger brother (RIP) with two Chevy cars we built over several years. Then, we went stock car racing in the amateur street stock style class before moving up to late models on dirt. My little brother and I pretty much raced all the time and I sure miss those younger days.
Like you I really miss my GTX and today I’m a 70 year-old “gear head” who now drives a 2008 Chrysler 300C with AWD and a HEMI under the hood. I just wanted to share my ‘67 GTX story and thanks for your fun to read columns. Barry Goelz from Chicago, IL.
A: Barry, you know as well as my regular readers I always love the GTX stories. Thanks for the nice words about my 1967 Plymouth GTX column and we sure have many similarities in our stories.
Like you, my dad co-signed my loan as I was working at Shop Rite Supermarket and then Sears & Roebuck. My GTX wasn’t brand new as it was a dealer special with just 1,500 miles on it. I assumed ownership in May of 1968 and it was a TorqueFlite automatic with a 3:23 rear gear.
As we both found out, it didn’t take much to make these cars run in the high 12-second range. I, too, added a set of headers, and then a Holley 4-Barrel instead of the Carter AFB setup on an Edelbrock intake. A Mallory ignition, some expert tuning by Pete Shadinger (who won the 1961 and 1962 U.S. Nationals Little Eliminator) and a set of small tire slicks to help the restrictive 3:23 gears resulted in 12.90s in the quarter mile, just like you. When we added a 950 cfm Holley 3-Barrel setup, our times went into the 12.70s at 108.
Some of my other favorites of the day were the 1968 and 1969 Plymouth Roadrunners and Dodge Super Bees, with a personal leaning toward the Roadrunner. Although both were pretty much identical except for exterior “window dressing” cues, to this day they demand top dollar, especially with the 440 Six Pack or, better yet, a 426 Hemi under the hood.
Now I’ll admit a numbers matching 426 Hemi Roadrunner/Super Bee is an easy six figure car, but even those that started life as a 383 are valuable, too. More so, if you drop a crate motor Hemi between the fender wells, it will add way more to its value. My favorite years for this MOPAR duo include any and all models from 1968 to 1970. The more the merrier!
Thanks again Barry for your letter.