Should this GTX be restored?
I have a 1970 Plymouth GTX that was a 440 4-barrel automatic from the factory but has been switched over to a 4-speed 6-pack set-up.
Well, a few years back I accidentally removed a tree from the boulevard with it. I hit it head on and the front end is shaped a bit like a horseshoe now. It’s a unibody, so I’m planning on replacing the entire front clip from a donor car, including the front frame rails, inner fenders, radiator support, suspension, etc. I would like to find one from the same year Road Runner or GTX, but what are my options? Will any B-body of that year work? Are there other years or models I could look at? Thanks for any advice you can lend.
I think the dilemma you face is that any really nice “donor” car that can yield up undamaged examples of the many parts you need to repair your GTX will be too nice a car to sacrifice for parts. If it were 1974 you’d be in a completely different position but it’s 2008 and super clean 1970 B-body Plymouths are not exactly falling out of the trees.
The sad reality is that your smashed GTX is really a donor car and the really clean GTX that could give up its entire front end for your car is the one that should be restored. This is all the more true in light of the fact that your car came with the somewhat pedestrian 440 cid/4barrel and automatic.
But, of course, that’s easy for me to say given that I don’t have any emotional attachment to your smashed GTX.
Solely from the standpoint of time and money, you are clearly better off starting with a GTX that’s not smashed and using what parts you need from your crashed car and then selling the rest.
If you are in love with your car, however, and are thus determined to fix it, then your best bet is to buy a solid donor car. eBay, your local Auto Trader magazine, and word of mouth among your car buddies are all potential sources for the parts car.
As an alternative, many of the parts you need are currently being reproduced but the cost for everything that’s available new, plus the cost for the good used bits that you can’t buy new, will probably add up to more than a decent parts car.
The interchangeability of parts for your GTX gets somewhat complicated and you will thank me immensely if you follow my advice and hold out for a 1970 GTX donor car. Many of the parts from any 1970 B body (Belvedere, Satellite, Road Runner or GTX) will serve your needs but certain large items are GTX only, or GTX and Road Runner only.
Also, there will be plenty of small items that are GTX-specific as well. Plymouth B bodies made in years adjacent to 1970 and Dodge B bodies of the era will yield a lot of useful parts but not as many as a ’70 GTX.
For far more detailed information about parts compatibility than I can provide here, consult “Chrysler Muscle Car Parts Interchange Manual 1968-1974,” written by Paul A. Herd and published by Motorbooks www.motorbooks.com).