Chrysler learned a hard lesson from the GTO: image meant everything. While all of Detroit offered some sort of performance model by 1966, Chrysler simply felt having the Hemi was image enough. That didn’t translate to sales, however, and the more tolerable 383 was lacking in power compared to Tri-Power Goats. In 1967, Chrysler developed a two-pronged attack by introducing the biggest engine available in a performance car (440) and having it standard in a performance model (Plymouth GTX and Dodge Coronet R/T). Our Pick of the Day is very nice example of one of these cars, a 1967 Plymouth GTX. It is listed on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Volo, Illinois. (Click the link to view the listing)
Before the GTX, Plymouth relied on its Belvedere and Satellite models to handle the performance chores. After all, this was how it was done previously by most brands — even Pontiac offered 421s in the Catalina, Star Chief, Bonneville, and Grand Prix. But the GTO changed things by promoting a performance image with a unique model and trim. Oldsmobile quickly developed the 4-4-2 before the end of the 1964 model year, and the Buick Gran Sport joined in 1965. Chevrolet had the goods in 1965 but decided to build an exclusive Z16 SS 396, waiting to offer a full production version for 1966, where it was joined by the Ford Fairlane GT and Mercury Cyclone GT. The market seemingly was littered with mid-size performance cars, yet Chrysler continued to put big engines in models with unglamorous names like Belvedere, Satellite, and Coronet. For 1967, Chrysler finally joined the bandwagon, and clearly it had been taking notes.
On Plymouth’s side, the new GTX model was based on the high-line Satellite, which meant it had a fancy interior and plenty of exterior trim. While the GTO only offered a new 400, the GTX trumped it with a huge 440 offering 375 horsepower — that was 15 more than the GTO’s top advertised horsepower. Pontiac had a 428, but a strange rule limited it to full-size cars, restraining the GTO’s performance potential. And if the 440 GTX had issues competing with the 427 available in the FoMoCo products, Plymouth offered the 426 Hemi as an option. All of a sudden, Plymouth was king of the hill.
Presented here is a fine example of a 1967 Plymouth GTX that is more unusual than most. Features special to the GTX included simulated hood scoops, rocker panel and wheel trim, rear applique, “pit-stop” gas cap, chrome exhaust tips, and upscale bucket seat interior. All these things are typical GTX fare. The standard 440 Super Commando with TorqueFlite powers this White Plymouth, but peek inside and you may notice the white interior features red components. Triple white tends to be more at home on a Cadillac convertible, but most GTXs with white interiors received black components. According to Plymouth’s color and trim combination chart, this interior was recommended with Black, Dark Red, and White hues, and acceptable with Buffed Silver and Bright Red colors. Whomever ordered this car chose to go through a slightly different route than usual, and the results are spectacular.
“It all #s matching and restored to factory concourse quality. Documented with fender tag, build sheet, decoded by Galen Govier and listed in his registry,” says the seller. “The metal trim is all repainted. The door panels, armrests, cranks, and handles look like new. The seats are rebuilt and have firm cushion and all-new upholstery with the correct embossed western pattern. The entire dash area is beautiful.” Both the engine compartment and underside are detailed, with “all the dates and codes lining up properly.”
So, what would it cost to acquire this primo piece of Plymouth history? “This would cost $150,000 to duplicate at a professional shop,” the seller claims. Only a good resto (wo)man knows for sure how true that is, while we know that this GTX can be yours for $85,998.