The road to restoration is often long and winding, fraught with unexpected obstacles, wrong turns, and the occasional dead end. Back in early 1990, Dave Duell bought this '70 GTX with the plan of restoring the car. He started down that familiar road by disassembling the car, but then took an unexpected detour. Fortunately for Chris Flake, Duell soon became more interested in nostalgia drag racing and decided it was time to sell the GTX. The restoration had hit a dead end.
In October of 1992, Chris caught wind that this Six Pack car was going to be sold, and he took his wife to have a look. The 56,000-mile car appeared to be all there and original, right down to the 22 years of grime, oil, and dust. As a bonus, Dave still had all of the paper work for the car dating back to its original sale. One of the first things Chris noticed about the car was a Clorox bleach bottle wired to the front where the grill belonged. Dave explained that it was the car's gas tank-the original tank had been removed, and in order to start the engine, the bottle was necessary. It looked funny, but it got the job done.
With the exception of the dash and headliner, the interior was gutted. One bright spot, however, was that the original AM/8 Track player was still mounted in the Rallye dash. The trunk floor had been replaced, but the quarters and rest of the body panels were pretty straight. The small portion of the car that wasn't in primer still carried the original color, though extremely faded. The car was equipped with a 727 automatic transmission, Dana 60 A26 Super Performance Axle Package, 26-inch radiator, power front discs, and best of all it was a "V" code GTX. Even with the car in pieces, air shocks on the back, and Mickey Thompson's mounted to the original Magnum wheels, it looked great.
But Chris and his wife left without the car that day. A couple of days later Dave called and asked if Chris was still interested; If not, he knew a couple of other people that were, and he wanted to move the car. Chris decided he wasn't going to let this one go, having lost a similar car a few years earlier because he dragged his feet. He called a friend who owned a trailer and went to pick up the car. When Chris's buddy looked at the car, all he could say was, "How much did you pay for that?" They loaded the car, brought it home, and the restoration was officially started.
Chris's dream was to make the car a nice driver, but after a little research, he learned that only 684 '70 GTXs were equipped with 440 Six Packs, and only 328 were automatics. The dream changed, and a full restoration was the only way to go.
Initially, Chris estimated the restoration would take about two and a half years and somewhere in the neighborhood of twelve thousand dollars to complete. His only comment after completing the project is "Ha! Before I knew it, I was in deep!" Two years into the project he got lucky and won a Harley Davidson motorcycle, but after spending a summer riding the Harley (time, he says, would have been better spent restoring the GTX), he sold the motorcycle and put the money towards the car. "While the GTX was at the paint shop, I should have been painting hardware and polishing trim. Instead, I was out on the Harley," Chris says. He thought selling the motorcycle would not only free up his time to get the car done, but that the money would be enough to finish the project. Much to Chris's dismay, "The GTX swallowed the Harley without even a belch!" The restoration ended up taking Chris five and a half years to complete.