Owner: David Bardeen, Powell, Ohio
Car: '72 Plymouth Road Runner GTX, restored by Huffman Auto Body, Hadley, Pennsylvania
Engine: 440 RB block, Six-Pack rods, Hughes HE 1423 camshaft, .538 lift, mildly ported heads with over-sized Manley valves, Holley 750 double-pumper. Rebuilt by Fleming Engine Service, Utica, Ohio
Transmission: A-833 four-speed manual, Hurst Pistol Grip shifter rebuilt by Brewer's Performance in Troy, Ohio
Rearend: Dana 60, 3.54 Sure Grip rear, stock axles. Rebuilt by Allen Driveline Service, Butler, Pennsylvania
Wheels/Tires: Front and Rear: Ralley 15x7, Goodyear Polyglas GT G60x15
Mike informed David of the '72 GTX's history in a letter:
The name of the hockey player that originally drove the GTX in 1972 is unknown, but we believe he was a Red Wing and friends with Gordie Howe. Gordie has driven your car and supposedly wanted to buy it. The story is that the day the GTX showed up on the transport at the delivering dealer, Duane E. Hildreth of Melvindale, Michigan, (the original owner) wanted to buy it. He was in a 340 Swinger at the time. The dealer personnel told him that he would have to wait six months until the hockey player who was using it for ads and promotions returned it. When the six months were up, Mr. Hildreth was told by the dealership that they were sorry, but that Gordie Howe wanted to purchase it. Gordie found out that Mr. Hildreth had been waiting six months and said that he should be given the right to purchase. Duane Hildreth registered the vehicle 10/24/1972.
The car came to Texas when Duane Hildreth's employer transferred him to San Angelo, Texas. The next owner, Jerry Tucker, was attending Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Jerry saw Mr. Hildreth's wife driving the GTX, chased her down, and asked Duane Hildreth to sell the vehicle. That was in the fall of 1978 or spring of 1979. Mr. Hildreth didn't oblige him at the time. During the summer of 1979, Jerry returned home to Abilene, Texas. Mr. Hildreth placed a classified ad and tried to sell the GTX with no luck. Jerry picked up an old copy of the paper when he returned to school in the fall of 1979 and called Mr. Hildreth on the off chance that it didn't sell. He hadn't sold the car, and Jerry purchased the GTX.
Jerry Tucker sold the vehicle to Bryan Tilbrook of Abilene in 1980. Bryan never registered the car. I sold a '79 Corvette and purchased the GTX in March 1981 from Bryan. My registration receipt dated 3/11/81 shows a transfer from Jerry Tucker to me. I sold the vehicle in 1982 to an Airman stationed at Dyess Air Force Base so that I could pay the down payment on my first house. I made him promise me that he would give me first option to purchase in the event he was transferred and wanted to sell the Road Runner. This is how I came to possess the owner's books and broadcast sheet. I kept it because I had every intention of purchasing it again. Needless to say the Airman's phone call never came, and the GTX was gone for good, or so it appeared.