Unrestored ’69 Hemi GTX

Mopar Action Article ExtraGTX-CELLENT

Jim Bodanis’ 13,000-mile unrestored 1969 Hemi GTX survivor shows many details that surprised even some of the resto “experts” in the hobby. Just goes to show there’s always something new to learn. While we featured many of the important details in our April ’08 issue, we couldn’t show them all, or we would have had to eliminate some of the jokes and off-color remarks that make Mopar Action the sterling example of journalism that it is. In the future, if it’s worth our while, we will consider showing all the details in the car feature and relegating all the jokes and assorted wiseass and inflammatory remarks to our website.

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Jim found his GTX around the corner from where he lived.
We’re positive a similar find awaits you around the corner from where you live.
You can speed things up by sneaking into your neighbors’ garages while they are sleeping or away on vacation.

Engine compartment is all original with the exception of hoses, plug wires and coil. Jim replaced these in the interest of reliability, as he drives his X on occasion and didn’t want to get stuck, like on a railroad crossing. Note how the heater hoses cross over one another—this is correct. The front carb has a black tag, the rear carb has a red one. Note the green thingamabob at the rear of the engine. The back half was masked off, but the front of the bracket shows orange engine paint (are you getting all of this?) You can blow up these images to full-screen size and scrutinize all those teensy weensy details. Then, if you’re so inclined, you can go out and blow up other stuff.

Hey, if you think getting these pictures without a lift is easy, go try it sometimes. We had to lie down in mud up to our nose (the things we do for you readers). Anyway, this is the bottom of the car (we say that for the benefit of the Chevy owners out there). You can see what was painted and what was not. The clutch fork boot obviously was installed after the fork and bellhousing were sprayed.


The oil dipstick has an off-white rubber on the handle. The tube itself is not painted.
The check valve on the brake booster was painted. Note the red clamp on the booster hose.
Entire exhaust system (with exception of original owner-added dump tubes), is all original and date-coded.
Paper tag with part number is visible on rear axle. It’s in remarkably good shape considering its age (Ehrenberg wished he looked that good at that age).

The front end adjusting rocker on the lower control arm (the pivot that the torsion bar adjusting bolt goes up against) shows an orange daub on pass side, and a blue daub on the driver’s side. Original cars have been seen with both sides bearing daubs of the same color, which goes to show that a little daub will do ya.


Tie rod ends and lower ball joints show “broken-off” Zerk grease fittings. According to the factory service manual: “The four tie rod end ball joints and the steering gear arm ball joint are semi-permanently lubricated (is that like being semi-pregnant?) with a special lubricant. Remove threaded plug from each ball joint and temporarily install lubrication fittings. Inject lubricant until it flows freely from the seal bleed area. Stop when seal begins to balloon, remove fittings and reinstall threaded plugs.”
While not obvious in overall exterior photos, this shot plainly shows the factory sloppiness in applying the rocker stripe. A tip to all you high-dollar restorers out there: You can achieve the correct factory look if you down 10 or 12 beers before applying the stripe.
Paint inspection mark is stamped inside the glovebox instead of being stamped on the inner fender—typical of early Lynch Rd. cars.
Driver’s side torsion bar shows two brown daubs. Pass side shows one. Paint drips are on the top of the bar.

The rear engine negative wire was on the engine when it was painted. The connector itself was taped off. Evidence of this tape is still visible.

Door shows white inspection mark. Jim believes that this indicated that the door had been aligned.

Original owner had intended to turn his X into a race car, and started the with performance decals of the day. Also intact is his college parking sticker.

Original trunk mat is still in great shape,
and the P/N on the back is plainly visible.

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