For the Love for my Father, My 69 GTX Restoration

Member's Projects & Restorations

  1. moparnation74

    moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    RESTORATION TOOL LINKS Pages 117 and 118
    Special thanks to Anthony for creating these tools

    https://www.forbbodiesonly.com/mopa...-father-my-69-gtx-restoration.127388/page-117

    Behind every car and especially a classic car there is sometimes an amazing heart felt story. Those stories and the associations with the owners, families, and friends carry on for a long time and hopefully forever. From good times and tragic events these cars sometimes experience it all with us. When this relates to a classic car it gets attached to a particular make, brand and model. The one in particular of course is a 1969 Plymouth GTX.....

    Here is the story on my 1969 Plymouth GTX!

    Back in 1967 my father, Mel, whom was stationed at Scott Air Force base also moonlighted at the St Louis Chrysler plant. During his off time he drag raced at the local track with a 64 Sport fury and a 65 Belvedere. This all changed when he had his first encounter with a 67 GTX at the plant. It was Love at first sight. Minutes later he ordered a 67 GTX 440 4spd red with black interior and he had the privilege to walk the car through the line and handpick parts.

    It did not take my pops long and this car was beating up the streets and the strip. His good friend was a member of the Golden Commandos with a max wedge monster and had an idea. So one day in 1968 over at his garage and a few brews they decided to put the "Rat Roaster" intake on the GTX. My Dad said when that puppy landed the car squatted about a 1/2 inch..lol... Between the 915 heads and the crossram the GTX was something to be reckoned with. The X spanked a street rival so much the guy showed up with the race version 68 Hemi cuda. Yes, race only but back then no one cared. The cuda saw Gtx's taillights all the way...the guy finally beat my dad once with the cuda.....After that win a week later that guy showed up in a yellow 67 GTX, no kidding.....
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    So we are going to jump a lot of years due to the fact that family became more important than racing but the love for the GTX never dissipated. In the early 80's me and my brother were at the age of cars, partying, and ladies. While scrolling through our family album I located some of these pics above. Man, I love every inch of the X so I asked pops whats up with this car? The story above came out of him so freely and naturally and the glee in his eye was priceless. Pops then schooled me on Mopars and the next thing I knew, out back a 30 x 50 shop showed up. He said save your money buy any Mopar you fall in Love with and I will provide the shop, tools, and whatever you need to fix one up. Dad said we will do this together and I will give you all my knowledge and guidance along the way. These are things his father taught him and these are things I want to teach you.

    Man I saved every penny, worked after school, weekends. During that time we went to shows, swap meets, collections, you name it we explored that. Saw a ton of cars, people, owners and hundreds of stories. During that time, I fell in love with the 69 Charger and eventually found my 69 Charger....He guided me through the whole restoration from start to finish. The only things we did not do was the plating and machine shop work. While this was going on we eventually ran into someone by the name of Billy Peedins in Micro, NC. He was a well known IHRA drag racing champion and had a mammoth of a Mopar playground. We went down to his place many times and we all became good friends. One day when we went there as we were driving up. My dad said, "look!" Look at what Billy has....It was a black 69 Plymouth GTX, it was love at first sight again. I know, it was not the 67 but that big GTX badge called my dads name.

    Next thing I know he walked out with the keys and took it for a test run on a small two lane country road. Dad nailed it, raced shifted it and pulled in to Peedins garage and said Billy, consider this sold! Prior to this he was searching for a 67 GTX. So I asked him, "What about the 67?" Pops with his smirk said, "What about it?" Didn't I tell you to find the Mopar model you Love? Well, I love this one too......This was in 1993.....

    Years go by with many car shows, restorations and wonderful Father/son memories occur. Then sometimes life throws a curve ball and unfortunately leads to a tragic end. For over ten years my Dad dealt with Rheumatoid arthritis known as a crippling disease. It is an Autoimmune disease with no cure and strong meds to maintain some peace. My last memory of my pops in the GTX was in 2008. We were leaving a show and I was behind him in my 72 340 4spd sublime Duster. Next thing I knew the light changed and he was gone, Dusted the Duster....I see my Mom having some words as he was getting it but that was no matter. His crippled right hand, had no problem banging those gears! His crippled left ankle had no problem banging the clutch that day! The car pulled in the shop in it's "Declared" spot and never moved since.......

    A few months went by and he had severe right sided flank pain. Dad went to the hospital where I was working at and they found that his kidney was the size of a football. They immediately removed the kidney and biopsied the tumor. Our worst fears landed when the results came in and it was renal cell carcinoma. All his treatments and care was guided by Johns Hopkins. Eventually, the cancer(virus) found its way around those treatments. I was in Texas at that time in 2011. He was feeling ill but he went out with the hunt club(they used dogs to run the deer) but he loved, loved hunting....Freezing his butt off and vomiting, he jumped in the truck and drove himself to the hospital. No question, I came home during this time and in less then 30 days January 7, 2012...We lost him, It was total devastation of all of us...like the flick of a light switch....
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    The aftermath of this still affects me to the current day. The stress of the loss caused me to have a serious medical problem. Depression set in, gained some weight and the stress of the loss led to several mini strokes. Previously, I was a very fit and athletic guy. Through time and self treatment(yes, self) I got back to my old self but at times I slur some of my words/mumble.

    Not a day goes by that I do not think of him or miss him. In the new world I will be with him again....I was privileged to have such a loving father, friend, and teacher....Hey, two sons, two sons college educated, and each married once!

    Out of the blue abou two years later. I get a call from Mom and she came out and said, "I want you to come and get the GTX." Your father wanted it to be that way and knew only you could maintain it and maybe restore it! I offered to buy it and that got shut down fast and was told to come get. I did just that! Keep in mind my Dad Loved this car so having this in the garage was bittersweet. Times I would just sit in the garage and stare at it and think of all the memories. None of my other cars were important to me anymore, they became obsolete. The X was like a disease but in a very good way. Eventually, I made the decision to do a full restoration......So word to the wise when it came to this build money was no object, it was an obsession for perfection and I can care less what a GTX is worth.....It is not just a car I am rebuilding here, it is a great story about an Honorable Patriot, Husband, Father and his 69 Plymouth GTX he adored.....

    So without further ado...here is my Fathers GTX and the restoration....

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    • moparnation74

      moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      • 69Coronetrt

        69Coronetrt Well-Known Member

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        Great story. Thank you for sharing. You dad sounds like quite a man. Good luck with the restoration.
         
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        • moparnation74

          moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          On the road to paint and Body! With limited time due to work and tendonitis. I am unable to do that daunting task anymore!
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          • OldBMXGuy

            OldBMXGuy Active Member

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            Awesome car and even better story
             
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            • moparnation74

              moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Through my course of restorations I had never had a bodyshop meet my demands and also commit to a timeframe..Until now! The team at Triple F was phenomenal to say the least and we built a fruitful relationship on this project! This was a factory type paint job(other than base coat and clear) I wanted protection from the Sun, although will it see Sun, lol...Short bursts maybe....In any event eight different colors were used to work in reverse of the factory processes. So it has oversprays, poor coverage, runs, sags, specs, fisheyes etc....Black exterior paint, dip primer, natural steel paint, front blackout, organisol, interior red, red oxide primer, grey oxide primer......It was a daunting task even for the heavily talented Triple F guys and they nailed it! I cannot thank them enough...

              http://www.triplefautomotive.com/69-gtx.html


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              Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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              • moparnation74

                moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                More shop pics!
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                • steve from staten island

                  steve from staten island FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Great story. Your dad sounds like a special type of man and your a special type of son
                   
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                  • moparnation74

                    moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Finding hidden problems.....
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                    • moparnation74

                      moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      More pics!
                      gtx 13.jpg gtx 15.jpg gtx 16.jpg gtx 17.jpg gtx 19.jpg gtx14.jpg GTX 9.jpg GTX 11.jpg
                       
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                      • moparnation74

                        moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        Coming home!
                        GTX 12.jpg gtx 18.jpg gtx 20.jpg
                         
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                        • moparnation74

                          moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Back Home!
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                          • moparnation74

                            moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            More pics!
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                            • moparnation74

                              moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              • moparnation74

                                moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                :thumbsup:
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                                • dieseldazzle

                                  dieseldazzle Well-Known Member

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                                  Beautiful.

                                  Thank you for sharing that story with us.
                                   
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                                  • moparnation74

                                    moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    Now the assembly can begin. This build is a "True" OE type build......not the abortions seen on TV!

                                    It may not be the best on the planet but it will be a fine representation of what an original factory GTX should be....This car is completely matching numbers drivetrain and body along with all original paperwork etc....It is built back to what it was sold as in Sanford, NC in 1969. 440 4spd, trac pack car 18 spline dana 60 3.54, manual steering(ugh) manual brakes, All black exterior, Red interior, side stripe delete and No hood treatment, A REAL AIR GRABBER GTX!

                                    Tons of NOS and some of the unobtainum type parts are all utilized in this build. Any pitted parts were replaced with either NOS or high quality originals. Parts were striven to be restored back to day one condition. All parts restored with coatings utilized the correct sheens and finishes. All natural parts were kept natural with heat treatments, weld burns, and various natural finishes.

                                    If anyone has any questions about anything from cost to the grade of steel wool used and everything in between...Feel free to PM me or chime in here....I will do my best to answer any and all questions!

                                    As far as vendors utilized there is too many too list......but there are very few not utilized.....Most will be discussed throughout this build.

                                    I will list a few:

                                    Performance car graphics
                                    Bill Meerholz BME Cuda
                                    Totally Auto
                                    Bill Overcash
                                    National Moparts
                                    ECS
                                    Tony's Parts
                                    Air Grabber Restorations
                                    Instrument Specialties
                                    Frank Badalson
                                    Bill Rolik
                                    AMS Obsolete
                                    Len Dawson Mopar NOS
                                    Gardner Exhaust
                                    Dixie Restorations Jim Ridge
                                    Hilltop pat Mopar NOS
                                    Pauls Chrome
                                    Restorations by Rick
                                    Brewers Performance
                                    Passion Performance

                                    Dang it is about 1 am....gotta catch some ZZZZZ....Stay tuned!
                                     
                                    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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                                    • dieseldazzle

                                      dieseldazzle Well-Known Member

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                                      I've used most your vendors. Special note to frank. He is amazing. Look forward to this.
                                       
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                                      • moparnation74

                                        moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                        My friend thanks for the kind words! Good ole Frank B...you are correct!
                                        Also, any and all input is welcome along the way....I can easily miss something and eyes like yours are great to have around!
                                         
                                      • polywideblock

                                        polywideblock FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                        great story :thumbsup: even better resto ,absolutely beautiful car . you should be very proud of your results

                                        I envy you guys that had a close relationship with your dad ,mine was a mechanic but had no time for me whatsoever .
                                        it was only when his health deteriorated that I suddenly became " his boy " when he wanted something done or a lift somewhere , oh well that's life
                                         
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