I saw my first '67 GTX when I was 20 years old. It was turquoise with a black vinyl top and had a Six Pack on the 440. This was in 1979, and the $1,700 asking price was out of reach for me. I never forgot that car, and about ten years later I saw one with a 426 Hemi engine for sale in a magazine. It was red with Magnum 500s and chrome valve covers. That really renewed my interest in '67 GTXs, so I started looking in Hemming's Motor News and our local papers. It wasn't too often that I would find one for sale with a Hemi. When I did see one for sale, it was always more than I could afford, too far away, in bad condition, or all three!

I almost gave up my search, and in January 1999 I flew to Phoenix for a roofer's convention. While there, I picked up a local Auto Trader to check out the going rate for cars in Arizona. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw an ad for a '67 Hemi GTX four-speed with 28,000 miles. The ad said, "must sell." I called the owner and, yes, he still had it and, yes, it was rust free and, oh yeah, it was an original Hemi car. He wanted to dump it. He said he would sell it for a lot less than his asking price but also that I couldn't come and see it at that time. Seems he was busy and didn't have time to show it until next week. Next week? I'd be freezing my butt off in Minnesota the next week!

After explaining my situation, I finally got an appointment to see it in two days-four hours before my flight home. That gave me two days to do research. I went to buy a Hemming's Motor News for some comparables. What else did I find? A current issue of a Mopar magazine sitting on the shelf had an article about how to determine if a Hemi B-Body is real or bogus. What timing! I called my wife to run the purchase by her, expecting a big "no" and a hundred reasons why we couldn't afford it. But when she spoke I couldn't believe my ears. All she said was, "Go ahead if you want it. Just make sure you're home on time and I get to drive it." She continued, "Oh, by the way, your attorney called. It seems the deadbeat who stiffed you out of all that money last year finally paid. The funds will be in an escrow account when you get back."

This couldn't be happening. "OK, Joel," I told myself, "calm down. You haven't even seen the car yet. It's probably a pile of junk. Why else would it still be for sale?"

So, I skipped all the roofing seminars one day to circle the owner's business, hoping to get a glimpse of the car. No luck. A trip to the Plymouth dealer for a copy of the Dodge and Plymouth Musclecar Red Book seemed like a good idea. I picked one up and read the chapter about '67 GTXs at least 50 times.

The next 24 hours crawled by. Finally it was almost the appointed meeting time, and I decided to show up an hour early to see if any last-minute hanky-panky was going on before the sucker (maybe me) would show up. Nope, Paul was at his desk running his business. He apologized for not having time to clean up the car or get it out of the garage. As we walked toward the garage, my stomach was in knots. Paul was talking, but I didn't hear him. The anticipation was too great. As he opened the overhead door, the garage was flooded with sunlight. There it was-a real '67 Hemi GTX-and it was beautiful. As Paul fired it up and pulled it out of the garage and into the parking lot, I felt relieved. "If this thing checks out, it's mine," I thought.