Born With a 440 V8, This 1969 Plymouth GTX Now Packs More Oomph Than a HEMI

Introduced for the 1967 model year, the GTX topped Plymouth’s midsize car lineup until 1971. But it was more than just a fancied-up two-door Belvedere. The GTX was quite exclusive in the performance department, as engine options were restricted to the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) RB and the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI.

We could say it was Plymouth’s answer to the first-generation Charger, but the GTX didn’t enjoy the sales success of the latter. The fact that Plymouth introduced the stripped-down, more affordable Road Runner in 1968 didn’t help either. While the latter moved 44,303 units in its first year on the market, the more expensive GTX found only 55,516 customers over five model years.

It’s been some 50 years since the GTX was discontinued, and these relatively low sales figures have turned it into a desirable classic. And I’m not only talking about the rare HEMI cars, which can fetch more than $300,000 depending on model year and condition. Highly original 440 rigs have also begun to change hands for six-figure sums in recent years.

On the flip side, many examples are still somewhat affordable compared to other muscle cars from the golden era. If you’re not hooked on numbers-matching drivetrains and are willing to do a mild restoration, you can get a solid GTX for under $30,000. This 1969 hardtop in Dark Metallic Green could be one of those rigs.

Restored a few years ago, this GTX is as fresh as it gets inside and out. The green paint is true to the original factory color, and the fender tag confirms the presence of a few options. The list includes the N96 Air Grabber hood, bucket seats, and the red stripe running along the lower body panels. The black interior is far from perfect, but the wear and tear is minimal on the seats, door panels, and dashboard.

As for what’s under the hood, there’s good news and bad news. This GTX was born with a 440-cubic-inch big-block V8. This engine makes it quite common compared to the HEMI version because no fewer than 13,886 of the 14,902 examples sold that year had this mill. The automatic gearbox narrows it down to 9,862 units made like this, which is far from rare.

But you don’t have to worry about that because this GTX no longer relies on its original powerplant. And here comes the good news: the Mopar draws juice from a replacement, period-correct 440 that packs a few attractive upgrades.

Rebuilt with a high-performance cam, Edelbrock intake, Hooker headers, a Holley 850cfm carburetor, and a high-flow exhaust, the engine delivers more than 500 horsepower. That’s significantly more than a contemporary 426 HEMI (rated at 425 horsepower), and the seller claims it can “run very fast down the quarter-mile.” It should cover the distance in about 13 seconds with proper tires.

If it’s the kind of car you’d like to have fun with on Sundays, the GTX is available in Mecosta, Michigan, and the bidding is at $20,500 with a little more than 30 hours to go. The reserve is still in place, though. If you want to bypass the auction, the buy-it-now price is $39,900.

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