Not every car acquisition story can claim such extraordinary circumstances as 12,000 original miles, little-old-lady driven to church only on Sundays, one owner, second owner, original date-coded air in the tires, one of only two in existence, Hemi, Max Wedge, dual-quad, Six-Pack, fill-in-the-blank musclecar found in the barn, rotting in the field, pie-in-the-sky fantasy find. We're all searching for the ultimate deal, and just the possibility, however remote, keeps us looking. Getting a Hemi-car for free from a complete stranger is the stuff of pure fantasy-or is it? Back in 1990, Jim Yount of Brookville, Ohio, owned a service station right off the interstate. One fine afternoon, a gentleman wanders into the station looking for the manager. Jim introduced himself and was asked by the man to take his GTX off his hands. Junk cars are routinely dumped at the service station, so Jim thought the man wanted him to take the car to the salvage yard. He agreed to do so, asking the man to sign the title over. But he soon realized that he wasn't being asked to haul some heap off to the boneyard. Unbelievably, the gentleman simply wanted to find a good home for the GTX because he was tired of fussing with it. Keep in mind that the subject of this article is a '68 "Hemi" GTX.
Despite Jim's efforts to learn more about the history of this particular GTX, much about the Plymouth's past remains a mystery. The GTX was known as the gentlemen's hot rod, and was basically a Road Runner in a tuxedo, normally loaded with A/C, power accessories, and 440 ci of fat-block residing under the hood. Jim and Joan Yount's '68 GTX is the antithesis of this recipe. The unusually optioned Plymouth left the assembly line with manual drum brakes, an AM radio, manual steering, a vinyl top, a 833 four-speed trans, 426 Hemi, and a Dana 60 rearend. Jim and Joan's Plymouth is more Road Runner than GTX.
When Jim acquired the GTX it was already a very nice car. Over the years he went through the trans, reupholstered the interior, and rebuilt the engine. The car served him well as a driver, but one day he and his wife Joan decided that they would return the car to its former stock glory with a rotisserie restoration to make the car perfect. The process took a year and a half, and the car was then successfully shown in showroom stock condition. Stock lasted for a whopping three weeks before Jim had enough. An electronic ignition was added, the stock carbs were replaced with a pair of 600-cfm Edelbrocks, a slightly warmer cam was stabbed into the Hemi, and a Flowmaster-muffler-equipped exhaust system replaced the stock pipes. That was more like it. Jim simply wasn't satisfied with his GTX sounding and running like a mere car.
So, the next time you hear stories of the rare find, remember that sometimes you stumble into the deal of the century without even looking. That's precisely what happened to Jim Yount. Now, if only someone would hand us the keys to a Superbird or a 'Cuda. Heck, we'd settle for a free Omni!