Though not mining for precious metal, Chris Wenglikowski of Hot Springs, Arkansas, struck
Striking it rich is a relative term, especially in today's economy, but as Mopar collectors, we all have a certain vehicle that we'd love to "strike it rich" by finding. Ever since Chris Wenglikowski's sophomore year in high school, when he watched his older brother return from military duty and idle up the gravel driveway in his new (at the time) '69 GTX, Chris knew he wanted a '69 GTX of his own. Though prior to that day Chris' dream car was a Chevy Nomad, he says the rumble of that '69 GTX, and its intimidating looks, made him realize quickly that nothing but a Mopar would be parked in his driveway.
Entering the Navy in 1982 as a submariner, Chris was initially stationed in Virginia at the same military base as his brother. Wanting a cool Mopar to drive, Chris enlisted his brother to help him find his first Plymouth, a '69 Road Runner with a 383 engine and automatic transmission. Driving the Road Runner for a couple of years, Chris sold it when he was transferred but purchased another Road Runner close to his new base. As Chris was transferred around, he actually went through three different Road Runners while serving our country, but none compared to the memories of the '69 GTX that his brother had owned.
Finding an original Air-Grabber car is great, but finding one with all its underhood hardw
Upon retiring from the Navy, Chris relocated to Arkansas with his latest Plymouth, a Sunfire Yellow '68 Road Runner with a 383 four-speed. Joining the civilian workforce, Chris sold that Road Runner but knew he'd be looking for another car soon. In a couple of years, he was in a position to start a new project and started asking around. Following leads, he began searching for an all-Mopar scrap yard he'd heard of in the area and figured that would be a good place to look. One day, while unsuccessfully looking for the scrap yard, he stopped to ask a couple of Ford guys for directions. Though they didn't lead him to the scrap yard, they did tell him of a local resident who had a '69 GTX, and would probably sell it for the right price. After learning of the GTX owner's identity, Chris realized he actually knew the gentleman, so after saving some money he asked if the car was for sale
The owner of the GTX said he might sell, but he was thinking about taking the motor and transmission out of the car for a roadster project he was building. Knowing he'd better act quickly before the car was parted out, Chris asked to see the car and rode with the owner to where it was stored. Though sitting outside under some trees, the GTX was in great overall shape and was still wearing its original paint job. Chris asked the selling price and the owner told him to "make an offer," so he did. After offering what Chris says was a low price, given the car's condition, the owner thought about it for a minute and said, "I ain't going to do nothing with it anyway, so I'll sell it to you." Needless to say, the GTX was loaded on Chris' trailer and headed for its new home the same day.
When Chris got the GTX home, he looked over its options and, thinking it was rare, sent the information to Galen Govier. Upon getting Galen's information back, Chris discovered the car was one of 365 built with T5 copper paint, a 440 engine, an air-grabber hood, painted steel wheels, and a full horn ring steering wheel among its other options. Even better, the car was complete and in great shape, even wearing the original plastic caps on the bolts holding the tail lights in place. After some research, Chris learned he was the third owner of the car, and met the original owner who gave him the key tag that the car came with from the dealership. We congratulate Chris on his rare find and wish him well during his planned restoration of the GTX.
The grille is specific to the '69 GTX and Sport Satellite, and luckily this one is as nice
Looking under the seats, Chris found the original buildsheet verifying the GTX was as-deli
The interior of the GTX was all original when Chris found it, with normal wear and tear. T
Did we say this car was original? How often do you find the factory Carter carb still on a