No Reserve Barn Find: 1970 Plymouth 440 GTX

The Plymouth GTX has always been one of my favorites. I didn’t realize there was a 1967 inaugural version until a couple of years into its second-gen run. In a sense, it was somewhat done in by its cheaper brother, the Road Runner – most unfortunate! But the standard GTX offered a bit more than the Road Runner and I’m happy that we have found this 1970 example to review. It is located in St Louis, Missouri and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $23,600 with 33 bids tendered as of this writing.

A refined muscle car, the Plymouth GTX existed as its own model from 1967 through 1971. Starting in 1972 and lasting through 1974, the GTX designation was carried over as an option on 440 CI engine equipped Road Runners. By 1970, GTX production dropped to about 7,700 units from 14,900 the previous year, a 48% drop. The Road Runner, which had a stellar 1969 with 84K units finding owners, saw a precipitous drop too, with 1970 volume coming in at 43K, about a 49% drop.

This example is listed as a barn find as it was supposedly sitting for 45 years. It is finished off in its original B7 Blue with black reflective stripes. On the surface, this GTX does present quite well. The seller states that the hood, doors, fenders, and quarters are all in excellent, original condition. The lack of a vinyl roof covering is an advantage considering how often they harbor moisture and the resulting corrosion that ensues. The seller adds that the installed wheels and tires are not part of the sale but he will include original Magnum style road wheels along with tires that hold air.

Plymouth B-bodies of this era are known somewhat as rust magnets but the seller claims, “Solid Frame Rails, with NO ROT, just surface rust from sitting, there is absolutely NO ROT in this car anywhere, including the interior floors and trunk floors and all body panels.” There is a lot of surface rust present but the images don’t specifically indicate rust-through. It is a bit rough looking underneath, however.

Under the hood is a 440 CI, 375 HP, V8 engine. The seller indicates that this is not the original engine though it is correct for the vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s “stuck” – never a good symptom for what could be a truly major problem. That being the case, there is obviously no reference to this GTX’s operating prowess. This is an automatic transmission-equipped car with A/C.

The interior of this Plymouth is a real bright spot, it’s in good nick. It has a rally cluster instrument panel and black vinyl upholstery that is showing little sign of wear. Nice to see is the center console with a gear selector as opposed to a column-mounted selector lever – something that seems incongruous in a muscle car of this nature. From what can be spied, the carpet and door cards look good too.

The seller suggests, “This is a perfect candidate for a mechanical restoration and clean up paint and drive as is.” I would agree except for the mechanical restoration part – yes it needs to be done but it would be more reassuring if we knew what was wrong with the engine. The non-matching number aspect of the motor is, I believe, overblown. Yeah, it’s nice but certainly not necessary for a car that someone is going to drive and enjoy. So, what’s your preference, assuming that you have one, GTX, or Road Runner?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    WOW! As clean & solid as this one appears to be, the price is only going to go up! Hopefully the engine can be freed, and only minimal TLC required to be a nice driver, while contemplating whether or not to do a full rebuild/restoration. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 9
  2. alphasud Member

    The stuck engine is a no worry to me with a body that nice! I would wire brush the underside and treat with POR15 pull the engine and rebuild, go through the transmission and enjoy this car in its current condition. The fact that the GTX wasn’t as popular makes it more popular to me.

    Like 17
  3. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    GTX came about in ’67 as upscale Belvedere. Always thought it was a good looking car too, just never cared for that gauge setup. I guess it was hard to justify the cost of GTX when you could get the very similar Roadrunner for less. GTX the gentlemans musclecar?!? Roadrunner just the raw deal and purpose built. Little bit of rust converter and free up the engine or just jump in and get it all over with with this good starting point? I don’t know, guess you can’t go wrong.

    Like 4
  4. Steve Bush Member

    This looks like it could be a very nice car when done. But at the current bid of $24.9k with under three days to go in the auction, it’s pricey for a non running NOM car, that will still need a big investment of time, money and work to finish. In addition, I would be extremely cautious and make very sure I checked everything out very thoroughly as once again we have dbag seller, 7of8beepost4404, who once again isn’t including in the sale the tires & wheels shown in the ad. Instead; he is providing a junk set of tires and a, who knows what kind of shape set of Magnum 500 wheels, when for the money you should get both sets. Since he’s telling you beforehand it’s not illegal, but still constitutes a form of the old “bait and switch.” Which is illegal when a buyer isn’t told before arriving on the scene.

    Like 15
    • David Mika Member

      I agree Steve. And at any rate, original mill or not, I’d at least take it apart and get rid of the horrible, hair-brained idea “silent” cam gear, and pop an all steel one on it, as we know what they do…

      Like 5
  5. "Ole Hoss

    I know a lot of people think that $25,000 sounds like a steep fee for a non running ’70 GTX with a non matching motor. Take a bit of advice from a guy who has restored one that was a pretty good driver to begin with. Once you fire up the plasma cutter and mig welder to replace sheet metal, that $25,000 for a rust free example is money well spent. If this car is as clean as it is advertised, it would be a crime perform a full restoration. This thing just needs to be mechanically restored as necessary for a safe, dependable ride. Use it and preserve it.

    Like 14
  6. Morley

    No four speed and how could any one live in a place with this much dirt flying around. The other cars in the barn seem to have escape this dust storm of biblical proportions. Another staged ad. and to what end , First you crush them, sometimes burn them and then you bury them. What is it with these mopar guys????????

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      The cars in the background aren’t dirty because the “staged” picture wasn’t taken where the car was found.

      Glad to see a seller actually wash a car before placing an ad. It’s a stupid trend that cost them money and makes a car harder to sell.

      Steve R

      Like 10
      • William

        I tend to agree with Morley. If you moved a car, wouldn’t the rush of the wind take away more dust than that? It all seems like a big game, where people try to con others out of extra cash. Of course, it is the buyers fault all the way. Only they can determine how much they are going to pay for a car. If people were more strict about rejecting the silliness that bumps up prices, then this Ponzi scheme of goofy prices would end. We all know how a Ponzi scheme ends, and sooner or later, they all end.

        Like 2
  7. Desert Rat

    You ask what would rather have a Road Runner or a GTX, for me I would rather have a RR. I realize the GTX is a nicer car from the factory but I just dig the cartoon bird ,the horn sound, the whole marketing deal just makes a RR more fun to me. But I will never forget my first ride in a 68 yellow RR with a 383. It belonged to my uncle Gene, and I was in 8th grade and I remember thinking this was the cheapest interior I had ever seen (I didn’t understand what the RR was all about, an inexpensive car with good muscle car pieces in it at a low sticker price from the factory). Never been a Mopar guy put won’t mind having a 68 yellow RR with a 4 speed with a 383 just for the memories.

    Like 3
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yep…seeing a AAR/TA 6 pak hooded E body in the back ground……

    Like 1
  9. Troy s

    Road Runner or GTX, interesting question,, probably better answered when these were in action on the street. That’s where it mattered. The Road Runner was one for the kids, cheap and cheaper, not quite as much under the hood either. I like both cars equally to be honest, but like someone else said it’s cool to see a GTX as they aren’t that common. This blue one is spot on with those wheels, which absolutely should be sold on the car. Forget the beater Magnums and junk tires, they’ve got no business on this blue machine.

    Like 1
  10. Charles Sawka

    Restomod candidate in my opinion. Crate Hemi and manual trans.

  11. Frogwarts Member

    Hmmm. 31,000 Original miles. But wait. not original engine and even it doesn`t run??? Smells fishy to me.

    Like 4
  12. Old car guy

    I remember my first ride in a 440-6 pack 1969 GTX on rainy roads, at 60 miles per hour when you punched it, you were spinning sideways in the road! Took a good driver to keep from hitting the guardrails. It was an auto and you could hardly get traction, and at the time $2500 was his asking price. This same guy had a 1970 Cuda Convertible 440-6 pack 4 speed with a shaker hood, green with black stripes, that car was even worse! He was a Mopar fanatic, now passed away, along with all his cars. My 283 4 barrel 4 speed 64 Nova could beat them out of the hole all the time when we street raced , but once they got traction. they would catch me at 1/8th mile, and leave me like I had shut my car down…such fun memories!

    Like 4
    • Rich

      Frogwarts. I easily recall most of the Road Runners, Bees, and these being pretty much worn out at 60K miles if run hard. So it does not surprise me a bit to see this one. Many friends had blown engines by 30K, if not sooner than that…Good times!

      Like 2
  13. Robert Scheel

    I looked at this car 20 years ago as i worked with original owner don’t know for sure but i’ll bet it was still sitting in the same spot when they found it the owner told me if i could find him a ford galaxie xl i could take the gtx home long time ago but the man was just wanting that particular ford something to do with his relationship with his wife. that is a real solid gtx yeah no 4sp or 6 pack . That car is for real and so is the man that has it now he knows what hes got iam surprised its at auction and not just priced at $40,000 .

  14. Pete in PA

    Sold at $28.5k and that kinda surprises me. As Ole Hoss says a rust/rot free starting point will save a ton of cash during a restoration.
    As much as I’ve drooled over a 67 GTX, by 1970 I think I would have picked the RR over the GTX. While the GTX grill is at least equal to a RR grill, I’m not a fan of the blacked out GTX tail panel and the RR side stripe/dust trail may be the most awesome decorative option ever.
    So for the extra GTX cash you god fake wood on the dash, fake wood on the door panels, the special grill, the different tail panel treatment and, of course, the 440 engine. Pretty sure I’d choose a Vitamin C RR with the side dust trails, buckets, the 440+6 and a 4-speed.

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