A dare. A throwdown. A call out. If you think you've got a '67 GTX nicer than this one, better than this one and more correct than this one we want to see it. We're not looking for urban legend-type stories or friend-of-a-friend stuff: RK Motors Charlotte presents this as THE FINEST restored Hemi '67 GTX on the planet, and we're not backing down from that title unless YOU show you have a nicer car! Are we being brash to the point of conceit? Absolutely. We built this car to show what we can do with time, determination and research, and to show we can build cars like this for you, too. But don't just take our word for it - this car was awarded 1st place in the Classic American Performance class at the 2009 Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Cars, an invitation-only car show that features the finest cars in the world.
When you're restoring a car of this caliber to the level you're seeing it, you have to start with an unmolested, clean car. That way, reproduction parts can be used only when necessary because the originals can be restored and reinstalled. The car here is not just a GTX with its original fender tag and broadcast sheet; it was an original paint survivor Hemi car that was VERY well taken care of. Originally from just north of Wilkes-Barre, PA, the car was sold in 1977 to its (very) long term owner, Robert Uhouse. He and his wife kept the car, driving it sparingly and tending to it carefully, for thirty years. That's commitment! When he finally put it up for sale, we had no choice but to buy it - it was so clean and so original finding another in its condition would have been nearly impossible! ALL of the original body panels, exterior trim, interior trim and the original drivetrain were still with the car!
Check out the ORIGINAL build sheet. This car was born at Lynch Road in Detroit in WW1 White with a P6K Copper interior. There were no stripes, fancy wheels or exterior adornments of any kind - the Hemi did the talking. The drivetrain consists of the 373 Hemi engine, 395 heavy duty automatic transmission and the 404 3.23 geared 8 ¾ axle with a Sure Grip. 456 Power steering makes life a lot easier while items like the 478 heavy duty 11 drum brakes, 365 special body style, 648 Hemi suspension and 626 heavy duty battery are all Hemi car standards. Inside, there are comfort items like the 564 bucket seats, 514 center console, 421 AM radio and the 511/514/516/517 light package group.
We've managed to gather a cool group of materials for the car. Start with the car's original owner's manual in its original sleeve. Add in a '67 dealer brochure and many of the print ads for the '67 X. We have vintage magazines showing road tests when new and articles about the car years later. We have a full set of ORIGINAL '67 dealer training manuals listing all of the improvements from 1967 such as the dual circuit master cylinder. We even have an ORIGINAL dealer color and trim selector! Of course, we documented the restoration and have 4 CD's worth of pictures.
On to the restoration - we'll start under the hood. We sent the motor to noted Hemi expert Larry Shepard for a full-on, no-expense-spared concours restoration. While he and his crew had the elephant in pieces, he sent the original transmission and torque converter to Turbo Action in Florida for a full rebuild using only the best parts. Not far into the engine's disassembly, Larry gave us a call and told us not only was our Hemi a clean one, it was a factory Super Stock piece! Now, the fender tag shows this car was scheduled for build on June 28, 1967, making it most likely the very last '67 Hemi X built. Did Chrysler simply run out of 'regular' Hemis and substitute the competition mill? Ma Mopar sure has done stranger things! Shepard's went through the Hemi leaving no part untouched. On the inside, the stock crank was magged and ground, the rods were resized and have ARP bolts installed and the block was finished to .020 over for the new Ross pistons. Smith Brothers pushrods, a Crane restoration cam and other top shelf pieces are inside the fully machined block. On the outside, both of the original carburetors were restored, as was the original air cleaner. The original starter, power steering pump and water pump were rebuilt and reinstalled while a date coded fan assembly and alternator were sourced. Street Hemi Orange coats the block while the original valve covers sport perfect wrinkle finish. Stainless lines run from the fuel pump to the Frank Badalson-sourced correct fuel filters with proper KV fuel hose and Corbin clamps. Original hardware, replated or refinished, was used on the exterior of the block down to the motor mount bolts. Reproduction belts run in the refinished original pulleys. All of the correct heat shields are in place from the oil pressure sending unit to the starter shield. Reproduction spark plug wires connect to the original dual point distributor and reproduction coil in its replated bracket. You'll find an NOS noise suppressor bolted down there, too. The PCV hose is a correct reproduction while the breather hose is an original. The PCV holder is the rechromed original while the breather cap is an NOS piece. All throttle and kick down linkage is original and refinished. The throttle cable hold-down pieces are refinished originals. The original exhaust manifolds, choke assembly and heat pipes are in place and restored. This is one of the finest detailed Hemis on the planet. Refocus your eyes on the rest of the engine compartment. You'll find new harnesses from Evans Wiring, new, correct battery cables, an NOS starter relay and the original, refinished horn relay. That's the original, restored ballast resistor on the firewall next to the NOS voltage regulator with correct lettering by Performance Car Graphics. Jules Daddio handled the original wiper motor while we rebuilt and detailed the original master cylinder. Fine Lines stainless brake and fuel lines are in place. The original radiator has been recored and is in its place, connected up with hoses from Frank Badalson. A new Year One transmission cooler and Fine Lines tube set are up front. The original battery tray holds a correct, early style group 27 battery in the left corner while the original, restored horns are in the right, held down with NOS bolts. Original steel and REM rubber alignment covers are in held in place with original, refinished hardware. The bulk of the fasteners you see in here are the original pieces from the firewall bolts to the screws holding down the fender tag. An NOS Certicard and holder are on the core support while the correct overflow hose and radiator cap top the cooler. A correct, 1967 only reproduction washer fluid bottle and NOS pump are on the passenger fender. The hood is held down with the original hood latch hardware, which was correctly refinished. Correct hood bumpers (including vintage NOS pieces on the adjusters) are in place. New, correct serrated washer nuts retain the heater box while an NOS smooth washer nut is on the restored brake backing plate. The master cylinder is held on with the original nuts, as is the original, rebuilt proportioning valve. Literally, days were spent researching the correct finishes on parts through examination of original parts, other GTX's and phone calls to experts such as Frank Badalson and Dave Wise.
Move to the exterior. We replaced the wheels and tires (the car was wearing Magnum 500's by the time Robert bought the car in 1977,) the antenna and base, the windows, rocker and wheel lip moldings, lock set, marker light lenses, fender turn signals and the taillights and bezels. Every other part is original to the car. The date coded, 1967-only wheels are fully restored and carry a spring date code. The '67-specific hubcaps are outstanding originals which were fully restored. ALL of the body panels are the originals. The grille and headlight bezels are the originals, restored by King of Trim in California. The four correct GE headlights are excellent originals. Both bumpers and all other chrome trim parts were restored by Advanced Custom Chrome in Erie, PA. The bumper bolts are NOS, capped with stainless steel while the original bumper brackets were media blasted and powder coated. PS Auto Glass in WI supplied the date coded, correctly etched window set. We rechromed the outer door handles as the reproductions aren't exact, and we media blasted the mechanisms, strikers and door latches before sending them to Techniplate, Inc. in Cleveland. The antenna, base and wiring are NOS. The stainless reveal moldings and vent window stainless were polished. The lock set is NOS while the taillight bezels and lenses, marker light assemblies, reverse and parking light lenses are stellar reproductions from BE/A. Metro supplied the rocker and wheel lip moldings while R/T Specialties came through with the proper fasteners. BE/A also refinished the original tail panel. Metro Soft Trim supplied all of the weather-stripping from the door and trunk seals to the vent window gaskets. New backlight and windshield gaskets and NOS trim clips frame your forward and rear views.
Of course, much work was done before a single part was bolted back down. Tim Wilhelm and our restoration crew first documented the car before carefully taking the car apart, labeling and bagging every nut, bolt and screw. (If you do nothing else when restoring a car, tag EVERYTHING so you can find it later!) After chemically stripping the entire car, Tim and company took the gracefully aged body to task. Before, during and after photos reveal the extremely minimal work needed to patch the bottoms of the quarters and one rocker - NO other sheet metal was cut out, including the perfect trunk floor. Those are the original quarters, doors, hood, roof, deckled, Dutchman panel, cowl, inner fenders, floors and frame rails. This is a CLEAN car. After weeks of sanding, primer went down. Those coats were allowed to sit, untouched, for days so that they would settle and not show in the final product. Slowly, as the panels received more and more attention the body was ready to paint. DuPont Chromapremier paint was chosen, and the carefully matched WW1 white was laid down. Layers of clearcoat were added, and the paint was allowed to set for a couple of weeks before it was wet sanded and buffed to its current condition. So far we've only gone over the car with Griot's Garage Speed Shine and no wax - there will be no gremlins underneath coming back out of this paint job. A bare minimum of suspension parts were reinstalled, and the car was carefully taken to our Heisley Road location for assembly and intensive research by our restoration team.
Once there, the K frame and rear axle were removed for restoration. The K frame, torsion bars, rear axle housing, brake backing plates, upper control arms, center link, transmission crossmember and brake drums were sandblasted, sanded and powdercoated black. The lower control arms, spindles, strut rods and rear leaf spring shock mounts were powdercoated in cast steel. The leaf springs were re arched and parts gathering and refinishing went into full swing.
After the spring company was done with them, the original leaf springs were disassembled, individually blasted and painted. New nylon pads, new spring inter liners and new clamps were put in their places before the spring packs were bolted back together. Reproduction leaf spring hangers and front perches were hand sanded and clear coated for an as-new appearance while new rear and spring eye bushings assure a good ride quality. Correct fasteners front and rear as well as correct axle U bolts came from Frank Badalson. The axle flanges were blasted and clearcoated before new wheel studs (finished in black oxide) and Green axle bearings went on.
The 742 case 3.23 Sure Grip was disassembled, cleaned, blasted, checked and reassembled with new carrier and pinion bearings and a new pinion seal. Once assembled, the axle was mounted to the leaf springs and bolted into the chassis along with the original pinion snubber mount and new bumper. On the ends, brand new brake shoes, hardware kits and wheel cylinders are inside the machined drums while NOS adjuster cover plugs are in the backing plates. We even blasted and coated the parking brake and adjuster hardware. Fine Lines supplied all brake and fuel lines, and all are stainless steel. New gas charged shocks finished properly in black are bolted in with more NOS hardware from Frank Badalson. The original chassis mounted axle bumpers were cleaned and reinstalled - the reproductions simply aren't up to snuff. Inline Tube's parking brake cables are new from front to back, and there's an NOS grommet in the wheel well. Behind the axle is the new fuel tank and new sending unit hanging from the restored original strap and hanger bolt. New rubber fill and vent hoses connect to the restored original hard lines and the reproduction fuel filler cap assembly. Correct KV fuel hose and crimp clamps connect the tank to the chassis lines while a reproduction dampener mat cushions the tank from the trunk pan.
The sheet metal underneath was treated to the same care as the top, and sports a fresh coat of white paint. While this was originally an undercoated car we elected to paint the car white everywhere. It would take very little effort to apply the coating if you wish: We prefer the clean look.
Moving forward you'll find the original brake and fuel line clips, glass beaded and black oxide coated. The original driveshaft was media blasted, painted and with new U joints. Original shifter linkage pieces were restored, adjusted and reinstalled with a new speedometer cable on the rebuilt, original transmission. There's a new isolator mount in the original crossmember, which is bolted in with the refinished original bolts. You'll find the original torsion bars, stripped, smoothed and powdercoated wearing NOS dust boots and a full pocketful of grease. The K frame was reinstalled with the original, restored N head bolts and the original, restored power steering gearbox. Lower control arms went on next, featuring new bushings and a coating of Cosmoline as original. The original torsion bar adjusters were finished correctly with black oxide coated bolts and clear zinc plated nuts. The upper control arms have new bushings and ball joints and are held down with NOS alignment cam bolts. The spindles were bolted up next with new lower ball joints. To finish up the steering, new tie rods, a new Pitman arm and a new idler arm were coated in dull clear and installed with the powdercoated center link and black coated tie rod adjustment sleeves. All mounting nuts are the proper three-point units while the tie rod adjuster nuts and bolts are as close to correct as possible, and all are from Frank Badalson. The cotter pins are bent backwards over their respective parts, and one end was trimmed per original. New Timken bearings and seals join all new brake components in the machined original front drums. Both drums feature the 11-specific dampener springs as well as NOS dust caps on the front and NOS backing plate plugs behind. The restored master cylinder wears a new BE/A cap and hold down set while the original proportioning valve was cleaned, inspected and installed on the driver side frame rail. After confirming everything was tight, DOT 5.1 silicone brake fluid went into the entirely new system to avoid any possibility of paint damage.
The refinished strut rods feature new bushings and NOS washers, nuts and roll pins. Another pair of new shocks is up front with NOS hardware top and bottom. The original steel splash shields were cleaned, media blasted and painted correct satin black. They carry reproduction hardware and rubber seals. New control arm rubber jounce bumpers are in place. New from the H pipe back, Accurate Exhaust Products pipes and Year One date coded mufflers feed the restored original exhaust tips. Reproduction muffler and tip hangers replace the worn originals. The original exhaust tips were replated and reinstalled with Frank Badalson-sourced, 1967-only tip clamps.
Open the door and examine the interior closely - you're not likely to find a nicer one anywhere. First and foremost this is due to the condition of the car when we started and to the diligence in labeling every part by our body shop. After we disassembled the interior, we sent all of the chrome trim around the windows, the roof rail moldings, vent window frames and levers, clothes hangers and other chrome pieces for their show quality restoration. We have never seen another car with such nice trim, and likely you haven't, either. The gauge cluster went to Auto Instruments, a sample of the original headliner went to SMS Auto Fabrics and the seat belts went to SSnake Oyl Products. New Legendary upholstery and door panels were ordered, new window cranks and armrest bases are from Van's Auto and the new center console, top plates and the shift knob are from BE/A. Auto Custom Carpet supplied both the rug and the logo floor mats. Mega Parts provided various small parts from the firewall insulation to the glove box liner to the sill plates.
Starting with a completely bare interior, Doug and the assembly crew first restored the gas, brake and emergency brake clusters. Individual parts were removed, blasted and cleared down to the fasteners. After reassembly, we finally had control over the brakes and throttle again - that hadn't happened for over a year now! The freshly and fully restored heater and driver side fresh air boxes went in next along with new firewall insulation. The restored and clearcoated wiper linkage bolted up with NOS red lock nuts and new seals. The dashboard and steering column were completely torn down, media blasted, cleaned and sent over to the body shop for paint along with the kick panels, center console, rear seat crown, dash pad, speaker grille, steering wheel center cap and steering column trim. Premier Paint in Eastlake, OH matched the original interior colors for the dashboard and interior trim perfectly. The body shop also refinished the original armrest pads, door jamb windlace, seat backs and side panels in the proper P6K code copper dye. With the dashboard shell in hand, the assembly crew reinstalled the fresh gauges, heater control cables, the original, mint radio with its rechromed bezel, the rechromed glove box door, a new speaker, all of the original switchgear and the excellently restored chrome trim. The original dash harness was perfect so it was cleaned and reused. The assembly was then fitted to the car, and wires and cables from the heater box, dome light switches, brake light switch, bulkhead connector and more were connected up and checked for operation. Having connected everything the easy way we installed both halves of the glove box. The original dome light, center console and trunk light wiring went down next along with a reproduction taillight harness. The original shifter met with its restored linkage and we had control over the transmission.
This was an exciting time - we had enough of the car together to finally fill the tank with 93 octane gas and fire over that Shepard-built motor! We cranked over the motor while watchful eyes checked for fluid leaks. When the fuel filters filled up, we gave the gas pedal a couple taps and the motor roared to life. No drama, no issues - you certainly get what you pay for! For the home stretch, we called in local Mopar guy and upholstery specialist Ralph Farinacci to get the soft trim squared away. He installed new jute padding on the ceiling before installing the NOS fabric without a single ripple, wrinkle or fold. He transferred the polished door panel trim to the new door panels on the front and duplicated the original supplier crayon marks on the backs. The crew set up the new, date coded glass in the cleaned and lubricated window mechanisms, aligned them perfectly and installed them with new front channel guides, roof rail weather-stripping, vent window gaskets and hardtop seals on the rear side glass. We cut and fit the carpet to show no ripples and installed the gas pedal and SSnake-Oyl belts next, and then the package tray, rear seat crown, and rear upper trim panels with their fresh cat whiskers. New sill plates went in with the fresh console assembly. We installed the freshly restored wood grain wheel from Gary's Steering Wheels along with an original center cap from Mitchell Motor Parts. Along with the undercoating the upgrade to the wood grain wheel from the standard piece are the only changes from stock. We like the wood wheels better, too. We were excited when we finally bolted in the seats, attached the armrest assemblies and clipped in the door panels - after more than a year this Hemi GTX was finally done!
Was this a long read? You bet - it took three days to write! I wrote the description to spell out EXACTLY how we built this car so we can show you what will happen to your car when you bring it to our shop for its return to glory. If you want to read more, pick up a copy of the November, 2009 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines, which features an 8 page color spread on the restoration of this GTX!
Of course we can do a simple repaint or some minor body work - any shop with half an ounce of talent can. This car is here to show we can build a no-excuses, no B.S. show car, which few in the world can rival. We know a ton, and what we didn't know we asked the right people - there's no guesswork in this car, and there won't be in yours. Come and look as closely as you'd like at this car, and then call Tim Wilhelm and decide how far you'd like us to take your prized vehicle.
Incredibly documented, long term ownership, numbers matching, original sheet metal, award-winning and near flawless in every way - want to own the finest 1967 Plymouth GTX HEMI on the planet? They don't get any better than this!