It was 1996, and my brother Mike had just purchased this '67 Plymouth GTX out of Missouri. The color on the car at the time was turquoise metallic. it came with a bad engine and needed a complete restoration. When Mike got the GTX home, he took the engine and transmission out, and also removed the hood, fenders, and doors. But that was as far as he got. The GTX sat in his garage for the better part of the next four years. When Mike and his wife decided to buy another house, they decided to sell the GTX.
Not long after Mike bought his new home, my other brother Mark and his wife were having a party at their house. Most of our family and a bunch of Mopar friends were there. We were all sitting around talking about cars, and the next thing I knew everyone was trying to persuade me to buy Mike's GTX. My wife Susan wanted me to buy it so we would have a classic car to cruise in and take to shows. Finally, I broke down and bought the GTX for $2,500.
I towed the car to my brother Mark's four-car garage, so we could do most of the work there. Piece by piece, I stripped each panel down to bare metal and did what body work needed to be done. I did every panel myself to make sure everything was perfect. After I was satisfied everything was ready for paint, I took the GTX and all the parts to Dean Honda in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, where I am the body shop manager.
I painted the car using Spies Hecker base/clear paint, and the color of the car is called Amber-Fire Pearl Metallic. Susan picked the color and it turned out perfect. When all the painting and buffing was done,I took the car back to Mark's garage for assembly.
While I was busy doing the painting, my brother Mark was busy building the engine. He built a .030-over 440 using an Eagle crankshaft and rods, and Ross pistons. He put a set of ported and polished Indy cylinder heads on the block. the intake manifold is an Indy high-rise race manifold that sports a 1,000 HP Holley carb. We installed a set of Crane Roller rockers with a .590-inch lift Mopar Performance Purple Shaft cam. I installed a set of tti step headers that are made for the raised-port Indy heads. The exhaust is made of a 3-inch stainless steel pipe with Dyno Max mufflers. The transmission is a 727 that I had completely rebuilt. The shop installed a reverse valvebody from Turbo Action and a 3,800 stall converter from TCI. Frank, a friend of mine, helped minitub in the rear wheelwells so I could get the 1111/42-inch wide, 30-inch tall drag radials to fit neatly under the rear wheelhouse. We cut the 831/44 rear housing 4 inches on each side, and installed a new set of Moser axles and 4.30 Richmond gears. We relocated the rear springs using a Mopar Performance relocation kit, and also installed a new set of Super Stock springs.
When it came time to do the brake work, Larry Forgacs, another friend, and I installed a new set of Wildwood disc brakes in the front and 11-inch drum brakes in the rear, along with a new Mopar Performance master cylinder and stainless brake lines from Fine Lines. The wheels are Weld Pro Stars that are 6-inches wide on the front and 10 inches on the rear.
The interior has new seat covers from Legendary Auto interiors and new carpeting. I restored the dashboard myself. George Yago, a friend of mine, made a custom headliner and added the black vinyl roof covering. The vinyl roof really made the car look nice with the Amber Fire paint.
It took me two years to complete the GTX. That meant every weekend and some nights. When the car was completed, my son, Brandon, came up with the name Copper Bandit. It fit the car nicely, so it will stay.