Car of the Month
The GTX ready to go to Total Performance, LLC body shop in Carroll, Iowa in January 2009
Nov. 2010, the GTX is ready to pick up at Benton Warnke's shop in Carroll, Iowa
For past car's of the month scroll down below this picture & text
This month's features one of only two 999 paint code 1970 GTXs known to exist. This car was painted EA4 silver metallic, a color only available in 1970 in a Fury. If a customer wanted a car painted a color not available in that model they could special order it and then the paint code on the fender tag and buildsheet would read "999". The other known 999 paint code 1970 GTX was painted DR8-burgandy metallic. In 1968-69 Omaha Orange was considered a "999" color however it would not be one in 1970 as in early 1969 Chrysler changed Omaha Orange to EK2 "Vitamin C" and was a color available in 1970 for a GTX. Here are the colors that were available in a 1970 GTX that would NOT make it a "999" paint code car: BL1 sandpebble beige, DY2 sunfire yellow, DY3 yellow gold, EB3 ice blue, EB5 blue fire, EB7 jamaica blue, EF8 ivy green, EK2 *vitamin C orange, EV2 *tor-red, EW1 alpine white, FC7 *in-violet, FE5 *ralleye red, FF4 limegreen, FJ5 *lime light, FJ6 *sassy grass green, FK5 burnt orange, FM3 *moulon rouge, FT6 burnt tan, FY1 *lemon twist, FY4 citron mist, TX9 black velvet. Note the "*" colors were called high impact colors and the customer was charged by the factory around $15 extra cost to have them painted on their car.
SECOND KNOWN 999 PAINT CODE 1970 GTX IS RESTORED
by Roger L. Wilson
I first became aware of this special 1970 GTX when the owner e-mailed me the fender tag numbers in February 2004. The 999 paint code, of course, caught my attention right away. Since this GTX had been repainted numerous times, the original color was in question. As of Dec. 2010, I only have one other 1970 GTX in the registry with that paint code and it is painted a burgundy color.
In December 2004. the car showed up on eBay but didn't meet the reserve price. Since I was the high bidder, a deal was agreed upon later to purchase the car (in Michigan), however, I was soon notified that he wanted it picked up within several weeks. Since I wasn't too excited to make a winter trip with a car trailer to Michigan and back to Iowa, I contacted WW/NBOA club member Milt Wood, who lived near where the car was. He graciously agreed to pick the car up for me and keep it at his place until I could come in the spring.
This GTX came from the St Louis assembly plant, originally scheduled to be built there May 1, 1970. It was ordered with the standard 440 4-barrel with the optional 18-spline Hemi 4-speed with a pistol grip shifter coming out of a floor-mounted console. 3.54 gears were ordered with the Dana 60 rearend. A black vinyl top complimented the special order paint. The light package, clock/tach, AM radio with rear speaker, rear bumper guards, hood performance paint, woodgrain steering wheel, door edge trim and 14" Road wheels were also options ordered by the original owner. The build sheet was with the car as well as the original fender tag when I bought the car to help authenticate the above mentioned options.
Shown here is the GTX's original fender tag and what the codes mean:
E86 = 375 hp 440 4 bbl V8
A33 = Track Pak (3.54 Dana)
I picked up the car in June 2005 from Milt's and stopped at Sue and Ed George's in Boone, IA on the way home so they could look it over. We just quickly looked it over and it appeared to be original Petty Blue paint under the trunk lid. After removing the trunk GTX emblem, again Petty Blue was found. Also, it was observed that the car was much more damaged by rust than first thought.
When I got the car home, I inspected it more carefully. The GTX had at least 6 metal patches screwed and rivoted together in the trunk to make a floor pan. Under the trunk floor it was discovered a non-original gas tank with straps that had the J-bolts attached near the rear bumper instead of by the rear axle. The GTX had a 19” radiator ahead of a non-running 318 with automatic transmission as well as a column shift steering column with an aftermarket floor shift coming up through the 4 speed floor opening for the 904 automatic transmission. The Dana 60 was missing, replaced by an 8 1/4” rearend. The passenger side of the car was in much better shape than the driver's side due to an NOS quarter skin being installed sometime in it's past. (Since it was rusty in the lower part it was not used in the restoration.) There were numerous places where Petty Blue paint showed through on most of the car's panels which had been sprayed with gray primer. The driver's side quarter looked the worst with some large patches having been screwed and rivoted on and a very thick layer of bondo applied. The bondo was cracking and falling out along the top edge. The front fenders were off of an FC7 purple car, the driver's door was off an EB5 blue car and the standard power bulge hood was off a yellow car!
So, what was the original color of this GTX? I noticed that there was a fair amount of Petty Blue overspray, which could only mean it had at one time been repainted Petty Blue. I removed the rear quarter glass rubber seal which had blue overspray and found shiny original paint--EA4 Silver Metallic. Looking in the trunk at the support braces and under the vinyl top also showed the silver paint--not Petty Blue. The engine compartment, which had black paint peeling off, also showed a lot of silver paint on the firewall and radiator support. Removing the carpet and package tray also showed silver paint. I was a little disappointed this 1970 GTX was not Petty Blue, however, it is probably the only 1970 GTX that was painted the EA4 Silver Metallic color.
Cars that were ordered by the customer to be painted in a color that was not available for that particular model were coded 999. In the 1970 model year, EA4 silver metallic was only available in the Fury body style. There is no information on the fender tag or buildsheet on these special order cars to signify what color it was actually painted. To determine what color the car was originally, one have to find an inner-most place on the car where it could not have been repainted to hopefully discover the original color. I used an original 1970 paint chip to match the paint color on the GTX showing it was originally painted EA4 Silver Metallic.
I don't have a very long history on the car. I'm hoping someone will read this and know who originally owned the car. At present I can only go back two owners.
Fast forward to the fall of 2009. For several years I had seen some of the work that Benton Warnke of Total Performance, LLC of Carroll, IA (shop #: 712-792-9114, cell # 712-790-7791) did, including a 1970 GTX. I was impressed by the quality of the work coming out of his shop so decided to take the plunge and get the 999 GTX restored. So on a cold January 16th day in 2009 the GTX left for Carroll. Several unforeseen things slowed up the restoration. The first was getting the new AMD sheetmetal. The 4-6 weeks to get the new quarter panel ended up to be 6 months. However the wait was worth it as the quality of this new sheetmetal is excellent. Then due to the bitter winter we had in 2009-10 the engine didn't get done as soon as hoped, but again the wait was worth it. The 1970 vintage 440 cid engine was one I purchased several years ago in a car deal and was already rebuilt. I had John Wilson of Anthon, Iowa, look it over to make sure everything was up to par. John did not work as much as he hoped during the winter as the heating bills for his shop were more than he could make working there so he waited until warmer spring weather to complete the motor. He discovered it was built well, unfortunately it was built for racing and would need racing gas to run. I had him put it back more to stock specs which involved buying different pistons, cam shaft, and oil pump.
I was very pleased with the work at Total Performance. Benton had all the sheetmetal that needed replacing removed by cutting out the spotwelds. New rear quarters, lower extensions, trunkfloor, dutchman panel, rocker panels and outer wheel housing were installed. I found better quality doors, trunklid, hood and front fenders to use on the car as the replacements on the car when I got it needed quite a bit of work. Since the car had probably been junked at one time in it's life or partially parted out, mice had made nests in a number of places. This, of course, is not good especially when they nest in metal areas as their urine is very corrosive to metal. One of the metal channels under the dutchman panel had to be replaced as it had rusted through on the bottom side due to mice. The rocker panels were replaced due to damage by mice also. Even one of the front frames was found to have a weak spot that needed attention, and yes it was due to a mouse nest.
A Dana 60 was located but had to be completely gone through including changing the 10" brakes to correct 11" ones. We replaced the green bearing with new stock bearings. A correct year 18 spline "hemi" 4 speed transmission was purchased and then rebuilt. The GTX was originally ordered with Goodyear white raised letter F70x14 tires. The reproductions were over a $1,000 plus since they were bias ply, if the car was setting for a while the tires I was told they tended to develop flat stops on them. I decided to upgrade to radial tires, going with B F Goodrich raised white letter tires. I had Benton and his crew assemble the car so it was a driving, running car when I picked it up in Nov. 2010 from his shop. Basically I just had to install a few odds and ends including the back seat and door panels to complete the restoration. At present, I'm hoping to bring the GTX to "Mopar in the Park" in Minnesota in June 2011 for its initial public showing.
Past Car's of the Month
Bryan Davis's EB7 6bbl 4 speed GTX
Barry Funk's FK5 automatic 4bbl GTX
Roy Garcia's triple black 1970 GTX
Blair Wightman's EB7 4 speed GTX
Darwin Leis's rare black 1970 GTX with white vinyl top
Brian Dougon's rare two-tone paint 6bbl GTX
Dave/Julie Stewart's EB5 w/white interior 4bbl GTX
Chip Haine's rare TX9 4bbl automatic with blue interior
Dave Grimmon's EF8 4bbl automatic with 1/2 million miles
Jim Chandler's FK5 4bbl automatic in the UK
Ron Knorr's EF8 with white interior 4bbl GTX
Dave Hechler's FE5 now 6bbl 4spd GTX
Dave Chisholm's modified TX9 GTX
John Borzych's FJ5 GTX race car
Rick Richard's EB5 6bbl 4 spd GTX
Don Collom's FT6 4 speed 440-4bbl GTX
Bob Thompson's GTX 440-4bbl automatic
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 FE5 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