David Newhardt, courtesy of Mecum Auctions
  • One of only 19 Hemi GTXs produced with automatic transmission in 1971
  • Documented with the broadcast sheet, consumer info sheet and warranty pamphlet
  • Approximately 40 miles since restoration
  • Matching-numbers 426 Hemi engine
  • Matching-numbers 727 automatic transmission
  • A34 Super Trak Pak with Dana Suregrip 4.10 gears
  • Factory N96 Air Grabber hood with hold-down pins

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1971 Plymouth Hemi GTX
Years Produced:1967–71
Number Produced:2,942 in 1971, 30 to 32 with Hemi power
Original List Price:$4,480
SCM Valuation:$117,000
Tune Up Cost:$350
Chassis Number Location:Top of left side dash panel, visible through windshield
Engine Number Location:Fifth digit of VIN, partial VIN on radiator cradle and oil-pan rail
Alternatives:1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6, 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, 1971 Dodge Charger Hemi
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot F140, sold for $253,000, including buyer’s premium, at Mecum’s Dallas, TX, sale on September 6, 2019.

America’s muscle car had a formula: Start with something lightweight, stuff a huge engine in it, beef up the suspension and drivetrain and make sure it could hook up.

In the case of the 1967 Plymouth GTX, the formula worked well. The standard Super Commando 440 mill was a potent beast that delivered 375 hp. If that wasn’t enough to pin you to the seat, buyers could step up to the 426 Hemi, which came to play with 425 hp on tap.

From 1968 to 1970, the GTX had evolved to a more universally recognizable muscle car, with an aerodynamic NASCAR-style rear deck, Air Grabber hood, body stripes and an optional deck spoiler out back. The single 4-bbl 440 continued to be the base option along with the optional 426 Hemi. New for 1970 was a 440+6 “V-code” option with 390 hp.

Hello 1971

By the end of the 1970 model year, insurance companies, gas prices and new government regulations began to take a toll. It wasn’t that American muscle was dead on arrival, but a phase-out was in the works — especially given the coming new emissions standards. That final nail in the coffin choked the life out of nearly all of America’s muscle machines.

1971 was the last year of the GTX as its own distinctive model. Future models (1972–74) were badged as an extension of the Road Runner. The all-new “fuselage” body style, although appearing longer than its 1970 predecessor, actually utilized a one-inch-shorter wheelbase along with a wider rear track. It was a love-it-or-hate-it style — personally, I’m in the love-it camp, but I’m a pushover for Hemi-powered Mopars.

A “two-tag” Mopar

One thing Chrysler did right was to identify models and engines within the VIN. This makes building a fake high-dollar Mopar pretty tough. VINs are stamped all over the car, and the fifth digit in the sequence identifies the engine — in this case the R-code 426 Hemi.

Our subject car was also so laden with options that they didn’t all fit on one fender tag. Factory option codes would spill over to a second tag. Those cars, in Mopar speak, are known as “two-tag” cars. They’re quite rare.

That makes our one-of-19-Hemi-with-an-automatic-transmission GTX much rarer than it might appear on the surface. I’m sure the bidders on this example knew that. That rarity aided in what may seem like a huge final bid.

Big money for a big car

Per the Mecum website, there were about 1,000 cars up for grabs at the Dallas sale. Our subject car was the highest sale over the three-day event. The seller, who is a very well-known Mopar collector, brought ten of his prized possessions to the block. Eight of them changed hands.

This car was restored by Dave Dudek, who is also very well known in Mopar circles. He owns one of the go-to shops for serious Dodge and Plymouth muscle-car restorations. His attention to detail has led to some of the highest Mopar prices at auction.

Piling on to the already excellent pedigree of our subject car, this GTX remains very fresh, with only 40 miles on the restoration. Plus, in addition to the original numbers-matching elephant 426 Hemi under the hood, there is decent original paperwork. This all points to a best-of-the-best opportunity.

Well bought or sold?

First and foremost, this is one hell of a rare machine. There just weren’t a bunch of these built and sold in 1971. Per the ACC Pocket Price Guide, that number is 30 Hemi GTXs sold in 1971 (other sources claim 32). Of those, there’s no telling how many are left — especially those still powered by their original engines.

Our subject car checks a bunch of the boxes needed for an American muscle car to ring the auction bell. Fastidious collector? Check. Correct and proper restoration by a marque expert? Check. Verifying original documentation? Check. The list goes on to include a ton of options, numbers-matching engine and transmission, a great color combination and a verifiable number built — meaning one of only 19 examples with the Hemi mated to the automatic transmission. Check, check, and check, please.

The current price guide suggests a median value pegged at $117,000. The main issue is a lack of peer-to-peer comps — with the two highest sales for 440 examples coming in at $88,000 and $77,000. Plus, these sales date back more than a few years, so while they are viable as a backstop, they have little to no bearing on the sale price of our subject vehicle.

A black 1971 Hemi GTX with a bench seat and 4-speed transmission sold for $130,000 in 2015. In the world of collectible-car values, that’s a very long time. To add to this, that car and our subject car don’t comp out very well. Our subject GTX is simply a more striking example.

Bottom line, this was one of the best Mopars on the market this year. Given an increased interest in later-year muscle — especially a spot-on, super-rare 1971 Hemi GTX that represents the last of the breed — I’d call this a market-correct sale, if not slightly well sold.

(Introductory description courtesy of Mecum Auctions.)

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