Introduced in 1967 to compete with the mid-size Chevelle SS 396, Olds 442, Pontiac GTO and Ford Fairlane GT, Plymouth’s now famous and highly collectible GTX would change the face of high performance forever.

Introduced in 1967 to compete with the mid-size Chevelle SS 396, Olds 442, Pontiac GTO and Ford Fairlane GT, Plymouth’s now famous and highly collectible GTX would change the face of high performance forever.


Based on the company’s Satellite line, the GTX (along with brother Dodge Coronet R/T) came with a standard 440-inch “Super Commando” 375-horsepower V8. The engine hooked to either a four-speed manual or a Torqueflite three-speed automatic, while the base price came in at $3,178.


For just $546 more, the fire-breathing heavyweight champion of muscle car motors, the 426 Hemi, could be checked on the option list. Complete with two four-barrel carbs and a “de-tuned” rating of 425 horsepower, the street and strip crowd quickly figured that with a set of headers, some ignition work and some low ratio rear-end gears (4:10 or 4:56), the Hemi was an easy 11-second quarter-mile car.


The standard 440, however, was a more popular engine choice thanks to its smoother hydraulic cam and single four-barrel induction. This made for much better street-ability and an easier to tune engine. Still, the same changes made to a 440, with gearing at a 3:90 maximum, would propel the GTX to 12-second performance at the local drags.


Built in St. Louis, GTX would have a lifespan of just five years, ending in 1971 because of new government regulations on emissions and sagging sales. The high-performance recipe that worked when fuel was 33 cents per gallon (GTX delivered just eight mpg average) was no longer valid, and Plymouth, along with other manufacturers, put and end to the muscle car heyday.


Today, a 426 Hemi GTX matching number Plymouth is worth in the neighborhood of $150,000, while the pristine 440 models can fetch $60,000. Notable is the fact that the 426 Hemi is still regarded in racing circles as a great engine, while the differential used in the four-speed 440 and Hemi GTX, a Dana 60, is also a popular choice of modern-day drag racers.


Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist with GateHouse News Service who welcomes reader questions on collector cars at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840 or at extramile_2000@yahoo.com.