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A well-dressed tire shredder for the Mopar-loving lead foot
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The GTX hardtop was the banker's hot rod of the midsize line and a member of Plymouth's high-profile Rapid Transit System for 1970. Skillful restyling resulted in a more menacing look to ring in the new decade. The reimagined grille made the nose look like it was wearing racing goggles. Its "power bulge" hood was new, along with the fenders, bumpers, and decklid. Simulated air intakes were added to the revised rear quarter panels, and reflective side stripes cleverly terminated in them. The rear panel was blacked out, and housed slotted taillamps.
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The upscale high-back bucket seat interior also contained a Rallye instrument cluster with a round 150-mph speedometer and gauges for engine vitals, set into a panel covered in simulated woodgrain. A tachometer/clock was optional, as was a cloth and vinyl bench seat with center armrest.
The 375-hp Super Commando 440 four-barrel was standard and the 390-hp 440 Six Barrel engine was a new option for the GTX, having famously arrived mid-1969 model year in the A12 Road Runner and Dodge Super Bee (440 "Six Pack" in the Dodge). The eminent 425-hp 426 Hemi, with its special hemispherical combustion chambers, large valves, dual four-barrel carbs, and more, returned as an option.
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The 10.5:1 compression 440 Six Barrel engine boasted three Holley 2300-series two-barrel carbs on a new Chrysler-made iron intake manifold that replaced the Edelbrock aluminum unit early in the 1970 model year. Wedge-chamber cylinder heads housed 2.08/1.74-inch valves and included Hemi valve springs and dampers. The 268/284-degrees advertised duration hydraulic cam featured low-taper lobes and used slightly undersized _ at-faced lifters. Several more small-but-effective upgrades to increase durability were added to the valvetrain, as well as the bottom end's rotating assembly.
Inside the block was a new-for-1970 crankshaft (still forged-steel, but heavier duty) and new forged connecting rods that were beefier than those used in the 1969 440-6. The added rod and piston weight required external balancing, so a new specially balanced vibration damper and flywheel (or converter) were used. Moly-filled top rings adorned the cast pistons. A dual-breaker distributor provided spark, and low-restriction exhaust manifolds and dual exhausts ushered out the combustion remains.
The fortified 727 TorqueFlite automatic sent power down the driveshaft to a heavy-duty 8¾-inch rear end with 3.23 gears standard, and Sure Grip (limited-slip) optional. An extra-cost A36 Performance Axle package for the 727 included 3.55 rear gears, a Sure Grip differential, a seven-blade torque-drive fan, and a 26-inch high-performance radiator with fan shroud. The A32 Super Performance Axle package retained items from the A36 but added power front disc brakes and swapped in a 9.75-inch Dana rear end with 4.10 gears.
An A833 four-speed was also available but required—at additional cost—the A33 Track Pak comprised of a 9.75-inch Dana shroud. The A34 Super Track Pak retained the A33 features but swapped in 4.10 gears and added power front disc brakes.
The unibody platform was bolstered with some undercarriage reinforcements and the extra-heavy-duty suspension, featuring .92-inch torsion bars in front augmented by an anti-roll bar, and leaf springs in the rear with six leaves on the left, five and two half-leaves on the right. Heavy-duty 11-inch drum brakes and F70-14 tires (F60-15 optional) were also specified.
Not surprisingly, a GTX with the 440 Six Barrel engine was a holy terror on the street, as Darcy Regala of Western Pennsylvania learned after he purchased this one back in 1977. He remembers his Lime Light, four-speed, Super Track Pak, Air Grabber-equipped Plymouth being virtually unbeatable in his area back then.
"At the time, we were drag racing a lot of Mustangs and Camaros," he says. "It just ate those cars alive! In '77, there weren't a lot of cars from '68, '69, or '70 around. I'm telling you, when those 'trips' kicked in, it threw you back in that seat and that car was just gone. With that 4.10 setup, it was just perfect for street racing."
Later that year, when Darcy decided that he needed to sell the Plymouth to buy a more practical driver, his twin brother David partnered in the GTX so they could keep it. The B-body was then put in storage, where it remained for three decades.
In 2007, it was finally exhumed. Darcy and David collected parts and had Jeff Smith, an award-winning motorcycle builder and a relative of Darcy's wife, Joanne, restore it. It was finished in the spring of 2009, and the brothers were highly pleased with the results. A few personal touches added include chromed taillamp bezels, body-colored tail panel instead of black, and larger-than-stock modern radials and chrome styled road wheels. Many enjoyable years followed with the GTX before it was sold in 2018 to fund college educations for the brothers' two sons.
The 1970 GTX already emanated performance thanks to its appearance, powertrain, and extra heavy-duty suspension, but a Pistol Grip shifter, optional Air Grabber hood, performance hood paint, and a High Impact color, like this example's Lime Light, left no doubt as to its supercar intentions.
SPECIFICATIONS
Engine
OHV V-8; cast-iron block and cylinder heads
Displacement 440-cu.in. (standard); 440-cu.in. Six Barrel (optional); 426-cu.in. (optional)
Horsepower 375 @ 4,600 rpm (440); 390 @ 4,700 rpm (440-6); 425 @ 5,000 rpm (426)
Fuel system Four-barrel carburetor with cast-iron intake manifold (440); three two-barrel carburetors (440-6); dual four-barrel carburetors with aluminum intake (426)
Transmission 727 TorqueFlite automatic; A833 four-speed
Wheelbase 116 inches
Length 203.8 inches
Width 76.4 inches
Height 53.3 inches
Shipping weight 3,465 pounds (approximate)
Production 7,748 total; 678 440 Six Barrels (350 four-speed, 328 auto)
 
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