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Throwback Thursday: 1968 Plymouth GTX

Chrysler’s entries into the muscle car sweepstakes were heavier midsize coupes that relied on sheer pavement-pounding horsepower to deliver performance, and the Plymouth GTX was one of the earlier examples.

The GTX was introduced in ’67 as a performance version of the Belvedere, although the Belvedere body was restyled considerably for ’68. The GTX came standard with the 440 V8 and automatic transmission, with Sport Satellite interior trim (it was marketed as a “gentleman’s muscle car”). Its stablemate the Road Runner was a more bare-bones version of the Belvedere, with a lighter curb weight for quicker track times.

The GTX was also available with the legendary 426 Hemi V8; in stock form, the 426-powered GTX could run through the quarter mile in a blistering 13.5 seconds, at 105 mph.

In ’69, the GTX received minor cosmetic changes, and was available in a convertible body style (only 701 GTX convertibles were produced, making it a very desirable Mopar muscle car today). The following year, the 440 V8 was available with “Six Pack” carburetion, a setup with three Carter two-barrel carburetors; this performance package was comparable to the Hemi V8.

Inside, the GTX was definitely a bit more upscale; it came standard with bucket seats, a console shifter, plenty of chrome and brightwork, carpeting, and plenty of other standard features that other Belvedere and Satellite models didn’t offer. While many other muscle cars were 140 mph cars with 70 mph family-sedan brakes, steering and suspensions, the GTX featured heavy-duty springs, shocks and sway bar for at least a little more control.

The GTX continued through ’71, but the writing was on the wall. Emissions standards meant lower compression ratios and faster-acting chokes, and insurance rates were starting to put a pretty serious dent in sales of all muscle cars. Still, the Hemi was available for the ’71 model year, putting out 425 horsepower, and the GTX still came with the 440 V8 as standard equipment.

The GTX was still available as a sub-model of the Satellite through 1974, but the muscle car boom was pretty much over with by the mid 70s.