Teddy Pieper © 2014, courtesy of Auctions America

Offered not only with the powerful 440+6 engine package and manual 4-speed transmission, this Autumn Bronze Metallic GTX is also presented with a few very unusual features. It has the desirable Air Grabber hood, A33 Trak Pak option, power disc brakes, split-back bench seat, pistol-grip floor shifter, and very rare add-on non-console stereo cassette player/recorder setup.

Records indicate that this is one of 62 440+6 pack manual transmission GTX hard tops produced in 1971. Given the options on this example, it is very likely the only one of its kind ever constructed.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1971 Plymouth GTX
Years Produced:1971
Number Produced:135; 62 4-speeds, 73 automatics
Original List Price:$3,733 (with 440 4-barrel)
SCM Valuation:$52,900–$75,500
Tune Up Cost:$350
Distributor Caps:$22.58
Chassis Number Location:Top of left side of dash panel, visible through windshield
Engine Number Location:V code, fifth digit of VIN. Partial VIN on rad cradle and oil-pan rail passenger’s side
Club Info:National B-Body Owners Association
Alternatives:1971 Oldsmobile W30 442, 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351, 1971 Dodge Charger 440
Investment Grade:C

This car, Lot 5076, sold for $74,250, including buyer’s premium, at Auctions America’s Auburn Autumn sale in Auburn, IN, on August 30, 2014.

The Plymouth GTX was born in 1967 as an upscale Satellite with a special high-performance 440 4-barrel engine. That engine showcased the new “915” cylinder heads and matching exhaust manifolds, performance cam and related hardware. The GTX had its own appearance package with dual hood scoops, twin stripes, and flashy chrome-styled road wheels and chrome exhaust tips.

In 1968, the low-budget Road Runner made serious waves and stole the GTX’s thunder, as it shared the same Satellite shell as GTX. The two models co-existed uneasily, but the cheaper stripped-down Road Runner eventually gained the upper hand in sales to a market obsessed with power and speed.

Performance reshaped

Plymouth opted for a major change in styling for their 1971 B-bodies. Stylist John Herlitz was tapped for the job, and he plunged into it with relish. While the press hailed the 1971 GTX and Road Runner as Chrysler’s latest examples of fuselage styling, Herlitz called it “form and curvature in sheet metal.” It was a move away from Mopar’s practice of linear design, which GM had abandoned in the mid-1960s.

Herlitz was inspired by the McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom fighter jet’s side intakes for the shape and form of the grille. The side view and optional hood stripes drew attention to the wheelwells. Marketers added an Elastomeric bumper option to counter the Pontiac GTO’s Endura nose. There were several stripe combinations available, and a hood scoop was offered with its own special graphics. A GTX could look smooth as glass or like a rolling billboard, depending on the owner’s preferences and checkbook.

The GTX was still the top of the line, with more features than a Road Runner, and it came standard with the Super Commando 440 4-barrel and column-shift Torqueflite 727 transmission. The bucket seats, wood-grain dash and door panels were also included but a console was extra cost. You also got gun-barrel exhaust tips, dual horns and heavy-duty suspension. Optional engines were the 440+6, of which only 135 were made, and the 426 Hemi.

The Six Pack engine option was cheap at $125, but the Hemi was a brutal $746.50, and that explains why only 30 Hemi GTXs were made. Any GTX is rare, as Plymouth only made 2,942 of them that year — the once-proud nameplate became just an option on the Road Runner by 1972.

Building it right

In an era in which many manufacturers were backing down from the horsepower wars, this car, particularly the Six Pack-equipped version, still packed a pretty healthy punch. Power was down on the 440, but it was still rated at 385 horsepower — only about five horsepower below the 1970 version.

But this Mopar wasn’t king of the hill out of the box. A Six Pack GTX runs the quarter in the 14.80-second range. A Boss 351 was a full second faster, and a W-30 Olds offered the same level of comfort and speed. At nearly 4,000 pounds, weight was this car’s enemy, so to make it fly, you needed the right options — the Super Trak Pak gave you 4.10 gears, axles and cooling, while the Air Grabber hood improved breathing. Most owners modified their cars from there to give them even more of a performance edge, and that’s also had an impact on how many really good stock ones are out there today.

This car has some choice options. An early-build car from September 1970, it came with stereo cassette tape system with microphone, N96 Air Grabber hood scoop, 4-speed manual transmission with pistol-grip shifter, A33 Trak Pak, power brakes, Rallye wheels and a split bench seat with folding arm rest. Considering how rare V-code GTXs are, you’ll be waiting a long time before you come across another with this same good stuff.

Cool and deadly

When it comes to values, muscle cars must have the go-fast stuff and be in primo condition. High-impact paint and a wild interior help as well. This particular GTX is not flashy like Muhammad Ali — it’s more like Joe Frazier: cool and deadly.

GTXs were affordable in the early 2000s. You could get a Six Pack for around $23,000 back then. Sales shot up to the $80,000 range in 2007, and from there, values plunged steeply as part of a market adjustment before leveling to the mid-$40,000 range. Of course, condition and originality affect the price on one of these markedly. An engine replacement or color change usually shows up in the sale price. Today, nice condition, numbers matching, no-stories cars go over $70,000, but they’re super-rare — prices on these cars reflect the fact that there are so few to choose from.

Buyers do pay sky-high prices for Mopars, but they can be reasonably sure about what they’re really getting thanks to Chrysler’s inclusion of engine information in each of their cars’ VIN sequences — in this case, that V in the fifth spot. That said, all the features mentioned have been duplicated in the past, so you still must check any car thoroughly before plopping down a stack of cash.

A car that’s been in a notable collection raises the comfort level for buyers. This one had been offered as part of the Disiere Collection, which is another plus.

While $74k was strong money for the model, it wasn’t a record. The buyer of this car paid a market price for now, and considering how few there really are like this, I think by the next time one comes

available, this deal could look like a bargain. Well bought.

(Introductory description courtesy of Auctions America.

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