This Isn’t a 1971 Plymouth GTX: What Is It?
If you remember the last Plymouth Baracuda and original Dodge Challenger or are a fan, then you also know about the 1971-1972 Plymouth GTX/Road Runner. In some ways, they were the most extremely-styled muscle cars from that bygone era. The Plymouth coupes continue to garner interest, and also increase in value, as many enthusiasts rediscover the iconic cars. But if you’re crafty enough, you can have a new one, 50 years after the last GTX and Road Runner rolled out of the Plymouth Lynch Road plant in Detroit.
What did this Plymouth GTX start as?
That’s what Hendrick Motorsports’ Steve Mirabelli did. He took a totaled 2010 Dodge Challenger and re-bodied it to look like a 1971 GTX. Unfortunately, this Challenger was no creampuff. According to the CarFax data, everything was good until the driver hit a deer in 2013. From there, it saw extensive fire damage on the passenger side in 2017.
That’s the year Mirabelli began blowing the Challenger apart to begin its transformation. Four years later, it reemerged the way you see it here. It’s a complete conversion and totally one-off creation. And it just found a new owner who paid $63,000 for the Tangelo Orange muscle car featured at Bring a Trailer.
How did they make the Plymouth body?
Mirabelli began the transformation by stripping the old body off from the beltline on down. To tie into the upper Mirabelli used sliced and diced reproduction 1971 GTX sheet metal. What is surprisingly apparent is that the top profile and side windows are almost identical to the 2010 Challenger. Even the angle of the windshield is almost the same.
Other than the front tire centerline being closer to the firewall on the Challenger, even the proportions are extremely similar. The length of the doors and the rear quarters have almost the same dimensions. But that doesn’t infer this is a simple swap.
Did they change anything else?
That also doesn’t mean the Challenger part of the equation was left alone, either. The GTX received SRT-8 spindles, power steering, traction control, stability control, and Eibach springs to lower it from stock height. Staggered 20-inch Coys five-spokes and Nitto NT555 G2 tires complete the rolling stock. In place of the stock brakes, there’s the addition of new Brembo discs. Of course, it has the 5.7-liter Hemi and five-speed automatic transmission for power.
The cabin now features white Katskin leather. It contrasts with the black carpet and trim. This combo of orange exterior and white/black interior was commonly found inside cars of this era. The Challenger originally came equipped with air conditioning, power-adjustable seats, cruise control, and premium audio.
With 97,000 miles on the ticker, the car has led a rough life. Before 2017 it was registered in five different states. It received a Reconstructed and Rebuilt title in 2021. But none of that matters if you’re behind the wheel of the only modern GTX in the world.