Chuck S 1969 Plymouth GTX 2dr Hardtop Coupe

Same car, same girl, after all these years!

It was the summer of 1972. I had just graduated high school and was car shopping. I wanted something flashy and fast and a friend of mine and I were looking through the newspaper and we found a 1969 Plymouth GTX and he said I would really like it. I honestly did not know what one even looked like! So we drove to the neighboring town and to the address where the car was. When I first laid my eyes on it I was hooked! I immediately loved the car! It had 31,000 miles, two previous owners, and was in excellent condition. It was priced at $1,995. Now, my father had to approve the car before he would co-sign for it and his only question was whether it took "ethyl" or not and I wasn't sure! But he signed for it without ever seeing it. The first thing I did after bringing it home was drive it to a small, neighboring town to try to show it off to a pretty little girl I wanted to impress. It was not hard to find her that day, she was cutting across lots to get to her sister's house but I couldn't catch her. The closer I got, the faster she ran and I didn't understand it at all. Later, I found she didn't recognize the car of course and thought some stranger was stalking her! Well, I had many exciting times in that car. I actually rigged the license plate with a cable I could pull that would drop the license plate down! I blew up the engine one night being stupid and rebuilt it using some high performance parts from a '70 Charger RT I bought from a friend. As life goes, I got married to that little girl I had chased around town. We even drove it on our wedding day. I got immersed with other cars and projects and decided to pull the engine out and put it in a '68 Dodge Dart GTS. I dropped a small block 318 in the GTX and decided to sell it to my fifteen year old nephew. It had gotten rusty by this time and had about an inch of body filler in the rear quarters. I made him a great deal, selling it to him for only $350. That was the price my in-laws wanted for their Opel wagon that made a better car for our small family. Well, my nephew soon decided he would like the original engine back and located the GTS and I helped him purchase the car to get that engine. Fast forward, my nephew had the car for a couple of decades. The engine was getting tired so he replaced it and left the old block in his shop. I told him if he ever wanted to sell the GTX, let me know so I could have the first chance. But life took me a long way from home and one day I was sad to find he had sold the car someone else. By this time it had been "restored" a time or two and was currently in primer. Throughout these years I would return to my brother's house to deer hunt every season, which was in the location where the car was. While sitting in the woods once I thought I heard a familiar roar and wondered if that was actually my old car. Several years went by and on one of my hunting trips I stopped by to see my nephew who mentioned the guy who owned the GTX had just stopped by to see if he wanted to buy it back. But he couldn't afford it right then and the truth is, neither could I! But I drove over to where the car was anyway, just to look at it. It had been sitting outside for a couple of years and then in a barn and was a real mess. The guy wanted an excessive amount of money (in my opinion) for it. Just for the fun of it I went to my local bank and was amazed to find out they were more than glad to finance it for me. And the fact is, I paid over twice as much in sales tax than what I originally sold it for so many years before! I actually able to drive it home but the car was actually dangerously unsafe to drive. I was able to begin the restoration process on it and it took over three years. I even got the original engine back as well! One of my favorite pictures is my body guy working underneath the rear of the car where basically the whole lower back of the car was missing because we had to cut it all out. A sideline to this story involves that little girl I mentioned in the beginning. Her folks had a weekend cabin up north and she was pretty much regulated to going there every weekend. And that is the first long drive I ever made by myself, to see her at the cabin and eventually I (or we) made that trip several times over several years until her folks sold it. But life is so strange! We lived not too far from the old cabin and found it in foreclosure one day and bought it. So the day finally came where we moved and the car went with us. In going through some old cabin pictures we found one circa 1972 with the GTX in the driveway! So I moved the car around and took a picture in the same location! It is amazing and wonderful to have a couple of family heirlooms "back in the family."

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