In Portland, Oregon, where the weather never reaches extremes, cars can remain well preserved over extended periods of time. Such was the case with Tom Benson's most recent find-this '67 GTX. "This car was absolutely mint," says Tom. "You're looking at a 100-percent original car, right down to the paint." When Tom acquired the X, he was astounded by the documentation that came with it. The original window sticker-which is always nice to display and hardly ever survives-the Certicard, the buildsheet, and even the original loan papers were in the pile.
The history of this X begins in 1967 in Portland, when twin brothers purchased it. One brother owned the car, and the other brother co-signed for the loan. Tom found out about the GTX by word of mouth. He's the vice president of the local Chrysler R/T Club of Portland, and one day he got a call from a friend of a friend.
Usually, such calls wind up being a wild goose chase; the story almost always gets bigger as it passes from friend to friend. Tom knew an electronic-distributor rep who did business in a small town 30 miles south of Portland. This man, in turn, knew a guy who ran a small machine shop there. Apparently, the machine-shop owner had heard about a '67 GTX for sale and told the distributor rep, who told Tom, thinking he might be interested. The price seemed a little high at 15 grand. Actually, that was the only part of the story that had been exaggerated: "When I went out there to look at the car, the price was $18,000," Tom says. "I ended up buying the car anyway."
What Tom found was enough to make the sale. As these cars age, paperwork becomes more and more desirable. If you have the paperwork, you build credibility that cannot be duplicated. Tom's find came with a dozen timeslips-a 13.50 from Portland International Raceway was the quickest. Is this original paperwork? It's not original factory paperwork, but it certainly adds to the history of the car. More credibility comes from the original purchase documents (e.g., loan papers and such) from the dealership. Even more interesting were the original receipts from the dealership documenting vintage performance modifications.
Tom explains, "This car was kind of special. It had dealer-installed dual four-barrel carburetors. The owner took the car back to the dealership and had them take the heads off and mill them. They installed an intake and carbs from the Direct Connection catalog. In addition, they put in a Hemi dual-point distributor and a set of Hooker headers and also had the rearend gears changed to 3.91s. The car came with steel wheels, but the original owner installed chrome Magnum 500s." Tom plans to keep the car and show it as found.
What was the experience like picking up the car? What was the owner like? Tom recalled spending four hours with the seller, who was still enthusiastic about the GTX. "When he got in and out of the car, he wiped his feet," says Tom. "The car still had the original dealer-purchased floor mats-you could tell the guy was fanatical. He was an interesting, colorful character-a retired truck driver who rode a Harley and had an old four-wheel-drive pickup. He lived off the beaten path on a couple of acres in an older home." The owner even had receipts for a garage he'd rented years before to store the car in. Now, it was safely stored in the garage at home.
"He told me he never sprayed water on the car," says Tom. "He said he took a damp sponge and wiped it off."
Oh yeah, Tom even got the original Direct Connection catalog the owner used to order his hot-rod parts.
Please forward your leads for Rare Finds to Jerry Heasley at email@example.com. Or send regular mail to Mopar Muscle, Rare Finds, 3816 Industry Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811. Remember, there's nothing more interesting than the hunt.