"Back in the Day"       
    Page 8
1969 Plymouth GTX.
Back in the late 60s, muscle cars were in their golden years. They, and gas, were cheap. There were all kinds and among the favourites were Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, Dodge Challengers and Plymouth Roadrunners. There were not as many GTXs but they nevertheless left their mark on the street and strip as potent contenders.

I bought my first 69 GTX in the fall of 1968 and waited 3 months for it to get to the dealer - Parkway Chrysler - in Ottawa, Canada. When I got it home in January 1969, I put it away until the snow was gone.

The only options it had were radio, Chrysler mags and red line tires. The colour was Seafoam Turquoise Metallic (Q5) outside and black inside. Today, Q5 is a rare colour as it was only offered in the 1969 production year. I kept it well tuned but made no major changes to it and my ET's on the drag strip were between 13.9 and 14.1.

Here are the only period pictures that I have of it. By the way, that hot babe is now my wife...

During my year long search to find another one, I went to see a Q5 69 GTX at a dealership called John Scotti in Repentigny, Quebec in the spring of 2007. It was advertised on the internet and since it was a Q5, I decided to go and take a look at it. It never occured to me at the time that it could have been my original car. But in a 1 in a million chance, I would find out a year later that this, in fact, was my original GTX.

The body was in beautiful condition having been rotissery restored a few years before. The paint was flawless. The hood inserts were painted black as I had done back in the day. It was not numbers matching as the motor and transmission had been changed somewhere along the way. It now had an air grabber hood option, power steering and brakes that were not original to the car. In addition, it now also sported headers.

It no longer had head restraints that came with it originally. The air grabber device was in the trunk as the person who restored it put a high rise intake manifold on it and the hood would not close with the air grabber device installed. While looking at it, I noticed that there was a hole in the dash where the tach had been. I thought nothing of it at the time as, although that is where I had installed my tach, so had thousands of other guys.

As I previously said, this GTX had been restored a few years before. During the restoration, it received a beautiful paint job, a new engine and transmission. A high rise intake manifold and headers were part of the restoration. Since I was looking for a stock car as it had come from the factory and what I thought was a high price, I decided not to purchase it.

By the time I found out (about a year later) that this car was my original GTX, I had already purchased another one. The day I found out, as soon as I got home, I checked the web site where it had been listed for sale but to my great disappointment, it was sold. I really felt lousy for a couple of days. I came so close to purchasing my original GTX but missed the opportunity. On the other hand, I was relieved that it was gone as I could not have afforded to buy another one.

I knew that sooner or later, I would probably see my car at a local show. Sure enough, in July 2008 at Mopar Magic in Cornwall Ontario, as I was driving into the show, I quickly scanned the cars and saw a Q5 69 GTX. I just knew that it was "my car". I pointed it out to my wife and as soon as we were parked, she headed over to see it. It took me over an hour to work up the courage to bite the bullet and go see it.

Finally, I knew that I had to go see it or I would not enjoy the show. So I walked over to where the car was parked and introduced myself to the current owner who lives in Valleyfield, Quebec. My wife had already told him that his car's original owner was here so he was expecting me. We started talking and the more we talked, the better I felt.

He explained to me that he was having a lot of problems with it stalling and not starting. He had changed a lot of parts but had still not found the problem. I noticed that the air grabber unit was now under the hood but he said that he only put it on at shows as he could not close the hood due to the high rise intake.

I looked the car over and noticed that the seats no longer had head rests and that the front door panels were not from a 69 GTX. With a different engine and transmission, the car was basically a shell of it's former self.

It's still a beautiful car. But now that I have seen it "in the flesh", I'm happy with the one I now have.

Here are some pics of me with the car and it's current owner.


Please check out Bernie's website for even more pics and his present 1969 GTX:
Bernie's GTX