As a kid growing up in the '60s, when Darrell Deal would overhear his older brothers talking musclecars, the term GTX was often at the center of those discussions, and Darrell always wanted one of his own. A little over 10 years ago, he finally got the chance. While reading the morning paper one day in November 1992, he was in his favorite section-the antique and classic cars. He saw an ad for a '67 GTX and quickly called the owner and arranged to meet him that afternoon. When Darrell arrived to inspect the car, he found it was intact and drivable, but that was about all.
"It was in need of a lot of TLC," says Darrell, who resides in Lakeland, Florida. "There was a lot of rust in all the usual places: the wheelwells, the floor pans, under the decklid, and so on."
The car spent its first years in West Virginia, enduring the salt and other road hazards. The original interior had been covered with white, rolled and pleated crushed velour, complete with black buttons. Even though it was a long way from being the GTX he dreamed of, Darrell saw it as a diamond in the rough and put down $2,300 for it.
In the rough is exactly where the GTX would remain, sitting in Darrell's garage for the next four years. "Although the car was drivable, it was not reliable, so I drove it home and parked it," he says. "I had a lot of desire, but no time or money."
Eventually, Darrell decided it was time to bring the GTX back to life, and that is when he began making the contacts that would guide him through the process. He put in a request to Galen Govier to look up the car's background, and set off to begin disassembly. Darrell placed all the sub-assemblies in a storage facility for subsequent restoration and began looking for missing pieces.
"Finding parts was tough at times, and some of them were darn near impossible," he says. "I did find many reproduction parts at Year One." Then, while at a car show, Darrell was mingling with the Mopar crowd when two prominent names came up as sources for parts-Jim Drain and Terry Payton. "I was told Terry lived locally and had restored a GTX," Darrell says. "We met, and when I saw his car, it gave me some much-needed motivation. Terry had a lot of parts and a GTX that I could use for reference as I reassembled my car. If Terry didn't have something I needed, my friend Jim Drain did. I was blessed to have such talent around me during the project."
Darrell decided even though this car wasn't highly optioned from the factory, he would install as many factory options as possible, including an N.O.S. Transaudio AM radio (code 421).
He replaced all the rusted metal on the body and shipped it off in March 2001 to Jeff Smith at Jeff's Autobody and Collision in Lakeland. Jeff had to work in the GTX around his usual collision-repair work, so while Darrell was waiting for the body to be finished, he powder-coated the chassis parts and transmission case, and the chrome parts were sent out for replating.