Car: Plymouth GTX 440 Hardtop Coupe
What makes it special: With the hot new Road Runner anchoring the lower rungs, a familiar name returned to top off Plymouth’s midsize muscle car ladder. For its second season in 1968, the Plymouth GTX moved to the same redesigned Belvedere platform used by the Road Runner. In keeping with its upscale mission, the 1968 Plymouth GTX featured two-door hardtop and convertible body styles; the ’68 Road Runner started with a pillared coupe and didn’t offer a ragtop.
What made it famous: While even a loaded Road Runner looked pretty plain on the outside, the GTX dressed its part with standard chrome wheel-lip moldings, tail-panel brightwork, and double side stripes. And where the Road Runner started with a fleet-grade interior, the GTX came with the well-appointed Sport Satellite cabin featuring shiny details and fake woodgrain. Instead of adopting the 383 cid V8 as its base engine, the 1968 Plymouth GTX carried over its ’67 powertrains. The 375 bhp Magnum 440 cid 4-barrel was standard, with the take-no-prisoners 425 bhp 426 Hemi the sole engine option. TorqueFlite automatic, an extra on the Road Runner, was standard on the GTX, and the 4-speed manual was a no-cost alternative. Both had similar suspension upgrades and wide-oval rubber; front disc brakes and a limited-slip rear were shared options. Nonfunctional hood vents also were common to both
Why I would want one: I love the Road Runner for it’s raw, factory drag racer tendencies. But also having creature comforts with all that power makes me love the GTX. I wouldn’t kick either out of bed, so to speak.
Fun fact: Die-hard racer types loved the Hemi, but just 450 GTXs were ordered with the $564 option. The 440, which wasn’t offered on the Road Runner, was easier to keep in tune. And unlike the rev-hungry Hemi, the big wedge churned out a surplus of low-end torque for unparalleled response on the street.