Bronze Beauty: Belinda and Jim McIsaac’s 1968 Plymouth GTX


GTX

While hunting on Craigslist one day back in 2014, Belinda and Jim McIsaac from Chilliwack, British Columbia came across a rough-looking 1968 Plymouth GTX project for sale. “We were looking at a ‘Cuda at the time that I almost bought and while thinking about it, Jim found the GTX on Craigslist so we decided to go look,” shares Belinda. She says while she wasn’t looking directly for a ’68 GTX in particular, something about this one got her attention and drew her in.

Originally from the province of Manitoba, the original owner sold the car to a couple who started the restoration process. Unfortunately they ended up filing for divorce so the car was put up for sale in the early stages of the restoration. A guy from British Columbia went out to Manitoba and purchased it. He also purchased a brand new enclosed car trailer while in Manitoba so he could haul the car home. Once he got it back to BC, he never ended up doing much with the GTX so he let it sit in the car trailer for three years before deciding to put it up for sale.

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Belinda and Jim went to take a look at the GTX and decided they liked it enough that they bought the car, parts and the enclosed trailer it was sitting in! Talk about a package deal with an easy load-up. Seeing as a lot of the parts for the GTX came with it, they decided it would be an easier restoration so they tore into it right away. While the second owners had started the restoration process by sanding most of it down, the body needed some attention but wasn’t too bad compared to most B-body projects out there.

The body was sent to Stone’s Speed Shop in Chilliwack and the repair process began. At some point, somebody decided they wanted to cut a hole in the center of the hood for a tunnel ram-type set-up so that needed to be repaired. Belinda wanted the GTX to be perfect, so they decided to replace the quarter panels, front floor and trunk pans and fenders. The car came with numerous new sheet metal pieces but being as they were very cheap and poorly made Chinese parts, they were tossed aside and the couple went with all brand new AMD (Auto Metal Direct) parts.

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They replaced one door and also made one perfect trunk lid out of two. Once the body work was completed, the GTX was shot in a coat of Copper Metallic paint. While the car came from the factory in Turbine Bronze Metallic, Belinda just didn’t like the shade of the color when they sprayed a few samples, so she chose a modern Copper version instead while trying to stick to the GTX’s bronze roots. In November 2014, the GTX returned home for re-assembly.

The interior is mostly all original believe it or not; with just the headliner, door panels and armrests being replaced with brand new pieces from Legendary Interiors. While most of the parts for the GTX were restored by Belinda and Jim, they also sourced some NOS parts for the restoration. They purchased a bunch of brand new reproduction parts as well including taillights from PG Classics.

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The 440 was hot tanked and then bored .30 over to produce 10.1 compression. They installed a pair of 906 heads, a solid .555 camshaft, Mopar Performance valve covers and a Holley 850cfm double pumper carburetor to name a few of the goodies. Providing fire to the big block comes courtesy of a full MSD ignition setup. For exhaust, they chose to run a pair of Doug’s ceramic coated headers which feed into a full 2.5-inch Flowmaster system topped off with a pair of shiny stainless B-Body exhaust tips.

The 440 is backed by a 727 automatic transmission which feeds into a Dana 60 rear end fitted with Moser 35-spline race axles and 4:10 gears. To keep the power to the ground, Belinda and Jim installed Cal-Tracs and Weld wheels wrapped in 26×8 R15 Mickey Thompson Sportsman’s on the front and 295/65R15 Mickey Thompson S/S drag radials on the rear for that killer staggered look.

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Belinda says, “While we tried to keep the car factory as much as possible, including the Copper Bronze color, we did some improvements from the original with minor performance modifications but everything is date or period correct on the car so we could easily secure the collector plates.” The GTX was back terrorizing the streets in June of 2015 and was entered in the downtown Chilliwack, BC classic car show that summer where it won People’s Choice. Belinda and Jim have entered the GTX in numerous other shows since where they have proudly took home some nice trophy hardware!

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Cody Cole

Car Feature Editor – cody.cole@shawgroupmedia.com Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '70 Coronet, '71 Charger R/T, '71 Road Runner, '04 SRT-4, '06 Grand Cherokee SRT8, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '17 Ram 1500 Rebel. Cody can truly and proudly say him and his wife are true Mopar nuts in love with all types of Mopars!

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