Car of the Month

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This month's car of the month features an EB5 colored 440-4bbl column automatic motivated GTX with the rare bench seat option owned by Bob Thompson of Virginia, but orginally from Idaho.  He is moving to Virginia from Hawaii, being a Lt. Col. in the USAF there.  Bob wrote "being here in Hawaii for 3 years has been great but I do miss my Mopars (1970 GTX and a new project-'70 Challenger RT) and am looking forward to cruising in the "X" once again."

Here is some history of Bob's GTX.   Bob is the 2nd owner of this car and purchased it back in 1985 for $1500.  The original owner didn't want to sell the car but had to because of his wife being seriously ill.   The GTX had 87,000 miles at the time but it didn't have the original motor or transmission.  The original owner blew up the original 440 at 7700 rpm and replaced it with a 383  motor with 915 heads out of a 1969 Roadrunner.  Bob replaced this motor in 1988 with a rebuilt 1972 440 that was beefed up with steel crank, forged pistons, etc. so it pumped out an honest 375 hp.  Bob restored the car himself while taking an auto body course in Cheyenne, WY during 1989-91.  He learned a lot about hidden rust and how to fabricate many rusted out pieces on the car as there weren't very many repros available, not many B-bodies around, and mostly because he couldn't afford it.   The above pictures were taken during the early 1990's when the car was finally done to his liking.   Bob added the airgrabber hood saying, "who would pass up on a complete and mint airgrabber hood setup for $180 (no typo)?"  Notice also the dealer installed hood tach that works, but Bob says it's not accurate.     Things modified in the engine compartment were the removal of  the wiper reservior while  installing an overflow tank and tranny cooler.  The rest of the car is correct including the light package which includes the hood mounted turn signals.    This GTX didn't come with a floor console as it is one of 6% built with the optional split bench seat.  Since it was ordered with the 727 automatic transmission it had to be a column shift.    It also came with the standard 22" radiator instead of the HD 26" one.

The original owner shared with Bob that he was only in his twenties when he bought the GTX, just recently getting out of the Navy.  He said he went to the dealer and was able to test drive a hemi powered GTX.  As soon as he took it out of the lot he stomped on it and the car violently swerved to one side to where he almost lost control.  He immediately turned around, parked the car, and told the dealer he wanted it.  The dealer laughed and said that with his age and financial background, there would be no way he could afford both the car payments and the insurance payments.  So he told the dealer that he would take the six-pack instead.  The dealer laughed again.  Finally, he  insisted that  he wanted to buy  a GTX and the dealer said he had one that was a 440-4bbl and that with it's lower cost, he could afford it.  Soon after he bought it, he came across some guys in a 1968 Camaro and raced them.  He lost and was so upset about it that he dumped over $3000 into the drivetrain.  As a result of his efforts, the car broke into the high 11's once and did consistent low 12's in the quarter mile until he blew up the motor.  According to the original owner, the GTX did a top speed of 144 mph from the factory (it had 3.23 gears) which had to have pushed the motor well over 6000 rpms.   The original owner noted that he was lucky to be alive after that trip.

Bob's future plans for the GTX include putting Edelbrock heads and manifolds on the motor as well as installing some quality headers.  He also plans to redo the front suspension and get new tires, as well as replace the interior carpet and rechrome the armrest bezels.

Any interesting note from Bob that he shared concerned the original owner.   As mentioned earlier, the original owner didn't want to sell the 1970 GTX but had to because his wife was seriously ill.   Bob promised the original owner that he would restore the car one day and take good care of it.  Bob said he was 20 at the time and most kids that age, with that kind of power in a car, would have tended to run these cars hard because they weren't as valuable as they are now.   To make a long story short, Bob returned to Idaho for a visit in 1995 and showed the original owner pictures of the car.  Bob said, "His eyes watered up pretty good and he said that, except for the hood, it looked just like it did when he bought it from the dealer."    Bob said, being an amateur resto guy, it was one of the best compliments he has ever had.    The original owner couldn't believe that Bob still owned the car all these years and was apologetic for thinking that he would probably trash the car.  Bob told the guy that when he retires from the Air Force, in 3 years, he just might drive the GTX up into his driveway and take him on a cruise down memory lane, and hopefully, by them it will have a hemi in it.

(January 2005)

Past Car's of the Month

Joe Petrungaro's FC7 automatic 440-4bbl GTX
Darren Phiipp's FE5 automatic GTX
Mark Sillar's EB7 A/C auto GTX
Norm VerHage's EB7 4 speed GTX
Chris Akin's FC7 automatic GTX
Steve Lester's EV2 automatic GTX
Ed Aprile's EB5 w/white vinyl top & side stripe 4 speed GTX
Ron Simonar's FC7 4bbl auto GTX
Fred Gilmore's Ivy Green GTX w/ Hemi engine
Brian Moceri's black 440-4bbl 4 spd GTX
Dave Kruszewski's TX9 GTX w/ white interior
Mats & Eva's FK5 6bbl. 4 spd GTX
Doug Dufour's EW1 4bbl GTX w/AC
Frank Forest's FK5 6bbl. 4 speed GTX

Chris Lobascio's EB5 automatic 440-6bbl. GTX
Mike Doddo's 440+6bbl. 4 speed GTX
Russ Carpenter's EB7 4bbl. 4 speed GTX
Ivan Kron's FE5 6bbl. 4 speed GTX
Nick Pieramico's FK5 6bbl. 4 speed GTX
Chuck Brunell's FJ5 GTX
Steve Coe's EK2 4 speed GTX
Dave Drozdowski's FJ5 GTX