With all the guys out there restoring classic Mopars to make a quick buck, it's not often that we feature full-on restorations unless there's a good story behind it. Gary Franklin's '70 GTX is just that, a good story, so we'll let him tell it.
"I had just graduated from high school and was driving down Main Street one day when this Lime Green '70 GTX screamed past me. I followed the owner to his shop where, after some cajoling, he let me testdrive it. The previous owner traded it in because he thought a rod was knocking, when, in fact, the pressure plate was chattering badly. I knew exactly what the problem was, and two days later I was driving my first Mopar. It cost me $1,300 and another $75 more for a new clutch setup, but the car was mine!
"The options read off as follows: FK5 Lime Green, black vinyl top, hood stripe, four-speed, 3:54 Dana, side stripe delete, road wheels, buckets, non-console with the fold-down buddy seat, pistol grip shifter, AM/eight-track radio, power steering, power brakes, and rear window defroster. Not only was it one of the fastest cars in town, but it was also one of the most maintenance-free and dependable cars I have ever owned. I even got 18 mpg on the highway. A new set of plugs every year was about the only thing I had to do to it.
"During college, I lived with a bunch of friends in an old house, and the GTX quickly became known as the party car. Our driveway consisted of a '70 340 'Cuda, a '71 340 'Cuda, a '68 Camaro SS, and a lowly MG. Back then we shared cars, and I got to drive the 'Cudas while my roommates borrowed the GTX whenever they had a hot date. straight out of college, thinking I was a sensible adult, I sold it in 1978 for $1,300 and moved on to other 'regular cars.'
"In the early '90s, I spotted an ad in a trader magazine for a Lime Light four-speed '70 GTX in Florida. I called and talked to the guy's wife; she told me all about the GTX, which was exactly like my first GTX, but unfortunately a deposit was already placed on it from somewhere in upstate New York. Five years later, I saw an ad in Hemmings Motor News for a '70 Lime GTX from upstate New York. I immediately called and found out it was the car from five years before. Within weeks, I was the proud owner of the car like the one I sold before I knew better.
"This '70 originally came from California, and spent most of its life in Arizona. The list of factory options are: four-speed, power steering, power brakes, front discs, Trac-Pack rear, Air Grabber hood and hood pins, hood-mounted turn signals, console, go-wing, factory undercoat, road wheels, clock/tach, and the $14.05 Hi-Impact FK5 paint. It has the numbers-matching motor, trans, all original sheetmetal, and has never been wrecked. The engine is balanced and blueprinted, .030 over, with a stock Six-barrel cam. There was never any rust on the body or undercarriage. The paint job is 10 years old and was painted by Larry Gibb.
"Since I have owned it, I have added 15-inch Ralleys, Goodyear polyglas tires, new exhaust tips, restored the grill, re-restored the engine compartment with all correct hoses, clamps, battery, and decals. I polished all the stainless and chrome trim, and every year I do a couple of little things to it. I only put new parts on it, but use exact reproduction and date-coded pieces. In a year or so, I plan to redo the dash and possibly replace some original wiring. It will never compete in an OE class, but it's very close and that's good enough for me. I rebuilt the carbs last year, and, like my first GTX, it's very maintenance-free and dependable.