The Plymouth GTX was quite the sleek performer in 1968. Though overshadowed by its Road Runner sibling, the plusher GTX could hold its own on street or strip with either its standard 440 Magnum or the 426 Hemi. Aided by the restyling of the Belvedere, the factory sold over 17,000 440 Super Commando-powered versions for the year.
Our story begins in October 1967 when rock radio disc jockey Jim Buchanan decided to head over to Travelers Chrysler Plymouth in Erwin, Tennessee, to see the latest Mopar iron. Jim was a Chevy fan at the time, but as the announcer at Larry Carrier's Bristol International Dragway, he saw first-hand Chryslers eating the Bow ties for lunch. Dealership manager Jim Ramsey was a regular racer, and he and Buchanan sat down and put together an order for a new GTX.
The 375-horse 440 would give reliability and not require the maintenance of the Hemi, so Jim ordered that L-series mill coupled to a Torqueflite and a 3.54-cogged Dana rear. in early 1968, he was informed by a factory rep that the options on the GTX line had been tightened considerably, and the car would not be built that way again. The car would not get air conditioning, power steering, or power brakes. The latter is the one thing Jim regrets not getting on the car. in hindsight, power discs would probably have been wiser.
Inside, the car got the upscale bucket seats and console layout in light blue, and Jim also ordered the new Light Group, factory tachometer, and AM radio with deluxe rear speaker. Meanwhile, the outside got all the nice chrome trim, road wheels, and a short-run color that Plymouth called Electric Blue. Jim decided on the blue-on-blue combo when he found out that color was supposedly identical to Richard Petty's color. This particular paint hue was dropped after November 1967 for unknown reasons (B5 Blue was the replacement). One other unique thing about the early build is the speedometer, which reads 0-150 mph, instead of the abbreviated 0-15 numerals that are on cars built after January 1968.
The price for the new GTX was $4,275, which to Jim's budget meant $85 a month for three years. The car arrived on December 18, 1967, and Jim remembers watching it come down off the truck.
Showing its wear after six years and a couple of minor fender benders, the GTX was repainted with the factory acrylic enamel in 1974, but like the factory pigment, that paint faded.