Dave Drozdowski started with...
Dave Drozdowski started with an L.A.-built, lifetime-in-the-West car when he restored this '70 GTX. Early-production car was 2,525th off L.A.'s assembly line that year.
Do you remember the song "In The Year 2525," by Zager & Evans?
If you don't remember it, thank you. That up tempo, yet depressing song was the only hit record those guys ever had. It reached number one on Billboard magazine's "Hot 100" singles chart in mid-July of 1969, stayed there for six weeks, then those guys never had another hit after that.
While that song was on its way down the charts like the spent first stage of Apollo 11's Saturn V moon rocket that tumbled through space that summer, this GTX rolled off the line at Ma Mopar's Los Angeles Assembly Plant in Bellflower, California. Per its VIN number, it's the 2,525th car off the line at that plant during the '70 model run, one of 4,927 440 Magnum/727 GTX's that ChryCo built out of a total, both-body-styles/all-engines/all-assembly-plants GTX run of 7,748.
That car spent its life in the Western U.S. until the early '90s, when Dave Drozdowski found it via an ad in his local Sunday paper. Turns out that a miner of motive metal had bought this car from its last Arizona owner, then hauled it up to Michigan for sale.
Choosing a GTX in 1970 meant...
Choosing a GTX in 1970 meant three engine choices: the 440 Magnum (seen here), the 440 six-barrel . . . and you can guess what the other one was. OEM Airtemp A/C unit on front of engine was restored by Classic Auto Air.
Dave went to see it, took a good look at it, then bought it and took it to his Shelby Township, Michigan, home--where his wife instantly said, "Are you sure?" when Dave said that this car would be restored in a minimal amount of time for only a few grand.
If you're going to miss your time and cost estimates by as big a margin as Dave did, it helps to start with a car that had little rust and/or crash damage on it. Especially if all the original paint, vinyl top, soft trim and weatherstripping had been devoured by the sands of time blowing through the blazing Arizona sky.
In a nutshell, it took him about four years to get it to the condition you see it in here. Major help was done by: Don Witkowski at The Collision Shop in Clinton Township, Michigan (body and paint work), Shelby Auto Trim in Sterling Heights, Michigan (who re-did the seats and interior trim with Year One-sourced repros), Performance Car Graphics in Tallahassee, Florida (Gauge cluster resto), Classic Auto Air in Tampa (who restored the heater and OEM Chrysler Airtemp A/C system), and D&S Engines (who rebuilt the 440 and added hardened valve seats for unleaded-fuel operation).
The GTX was done in time for that year's Woodward Dream Cruise, where Dave and Nancy received tons of compliments for their Lime Light-colored cruiser. Since then, they've shown it a bunch of times around Southeastern Michigan, scoring a number of First Place trophies.
By the way: During the resto, Dave had the OEM AM radio replaced by an original Mopar AM/FM, which pulls in today's Detroit-area music stations (especially since legendary AM powerhouses "Keener 13" and "The Big 8" are no more.)
As for Zager & Evans . . . Bob Seger had more songs chart (at least in Detroit) than Z&E before he did "Night Moves!"
GTXs got the top-level interior...
GTXs got the top-level interior trim that Ma Mopar offered on its B-Body Plymouths. Dave's came with high-back buckets, woodgrain steering wheel and console from L.A. Assembly.
Huge trunk was a selling point...
Huge trunk was a selling point for '60s-era midsize Plymouths and Dodges. The '70 GTX came standard with full-size spare that didn't eat up trunk space like it did in E-Body trunks.
Doing a period-correct resto...
Doing a period-correct resto on any 1970-model-year car in Michigan, even on Dave's GTX, means using the worst license plates (in terms of color combination readability) ever. Michigan didn't make this mistake again.
Rally gauge cluster with "Tic-Toc...
Rally gauge cluster with "Tic-Toc Tach," 0-150 mph speedometer was restored by Tallahassee, Florida's Performance Car Graphics. Don't you just love the fake wood dash trim?
'70 Plymouth GTX hardtop
Owned by: Dave Drozdowski, Shelby Township, Michigan
Total '70 GTX production (all engines/body styles): 7,748
Total '70 GTX production - w/440 Magnum engine: 6,398
Total '70 GTX production - w/440 Magnum & 727: 4,927
VIN: RS23U0E102526 Built by Chrysler Corporation at Los Angeles Assembly Plant, Bellflower, California.Car was 2,525th unit off L.A. Assembly line during '70 model run.
Mopar Power Engine: That "U" code on the VIN means one thing: the 440 Magnum, topped by a Carter four-barrel, and restored to showroom-new condition, thanks to D&S Engines. Transmission: Console-shifted 727, given the same freshening as the 440. Rear end: 8 3/4-inch, which was standard on the 440 (while Hemis got Dana 60s).
Sure Grip Suspension: Restored stock front torsion bars/rear leafs, with hydraulic shocks Brakes: Restored original power-assisted drums at each corner Wheels: Magnum 500 five-spokes wearing repro 70-series Goodyear Polyglas tires.
High Impact Body: Original '70 Plymouth B-Body hardtop Unitbody restored by The Collision Shop, Clinton Township, Michigan Paint: Original Lime Light, sprayed on by The Collision Shop, Clinton Township, Michigan. (Reproduction black vinyl top and black side stripes added by them, too) Interior: Original front-buckets-with-console interior restored by Shelby Auto Trim, Sterling Heights, Michigan. (Source for reproduction interior components: Year One)
Only indication of engine...
Only indication of engine size on the '70 GTX's hood was this badge at the aft end of the hood bulge.
Four-year resto project turned...
Four-year resto project turned Dave's well-aged GTX onto this eye-grabber. We warned you about the license plate!