1970 Plymouth GTX Sitting for 30 Years Hides a Mystery Under the Hood

When you come across a classic car emerging from a barn, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Beyond the usual expressions of “what an incredible find” or “what a piece of junk,” there’s something captivating about the history that lies behind it. You see, every barn find, no matter how weathered or ordinary, holds a story within.

Perhaps it’s a rare 1970 Dodge HEMI Challenger that once graced the public roads, engaging in drag races with a daring police officer at the helm—the infamous “Black Ghost.” On the other hand, it could be a more common Chevy Impala, destined for restoration but halted by the twists and turns of life, leaving its owner with unfulfilled plans. Then, there are the barn finds that remain enigmas, like the one we’re about to explore—the 1970 Plymouth GTX.

Recently unveiled by “Americana” on YouTube, this Mopar gem spent several decades in storage. While the exact duration of its hibernation remains a mystery, judging by its appearance, it’s safe to say it has remained parked since the early 1990s, amounting to roughly 30 years.

Typically, such extended periods of inactivity lead to severe rust issues, rendering restoration costs exorbitant compared to the car’s market value. Surprisingly, this GTX handled long-term storage like a true champion. Though it’s engulfed in a thick layer of dust and the tires resemble deflated pancakes, it boasts an astonishing lack of rust and, remarkably, retains its completeness.

Peering inside reveals an interior that, aside from the worn-out carpets, seats, and a missing shifter, remains in remarkably good condition. This comes as no surprise, considering the car spent all these years sheltered in a proper garage rather than an abandoned wooden barn.

Now, let’s delve beneath the hood. Does this GTX still possess its formidable V8 engine? It does, although it currently rests unattended on the frame, requiring extensive work to bring it back to life. However, the engine itself presents a bit of a mystery. While it appears to be a Mopar engine, details regarding its displacement, model, or whether it’s the original powerhouse are scarce. Yet, its size suggests that it might retain some degree of period-correctness.

The new owner speculates that this GTX may have participated in street racing at some point, resulting in the replacement of the original 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) V8 with a more powerful alternative. Eventually, this replacement engine was removed, leaving uncertainty as to whether the 440 RB currently nestled under the hood is the original, numbers-matching V8 or not.

For those unfamiliar with Mopars, the GTX was exclusively available with the 440-cubic-inch RB engine and the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 during its entire showroom presence—from 1967 to 1971. In 1970, Plymouth offered the 440 V8 in two variations: the standard four-barrel version generating 375 horsepower and the optional three two-barrel carbs (6-BBL) version, delivering an impressive 390 horsepower. Both options were overshadowed by the mighty 426 HEMI, boasting a rating of 425 horsepower. This particular GTX rolled off the factory line equipped with the regular 440.

But how rare is it, you ask? Well, for the 1970 model year, Plymouth sold a total of 7,748 GTXs, with 7,141 finding homes in the United States. The HEMI-powered hardtops hold the title of rarest, with only 71 units ordered, while the 440 6-BBL version follows suit, with a mere 678 units built. Lastly, 6,398 cars were ordered with the standard four-barrel 440 V8. In the case of this GTX, it came with an automatic gearbox, narrowing down its production to one of the 4,927 examples created.

All things considered, while not exceedingly rare, this GTX is undoubtedly worth preserving, especially if the V8 engine proves to be the original, matching unit. Thankfully, the new owner has plans to revive this Mopar beauty, ensuring it won’t spend its golden years deteriorating in a garage or a neglected backyard. Cheers to yet another golden-era Mopar saved from obscurity!

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