Gallery: Tony Bilich’s 1968 Plymouth GTX Restomod

There is nothing like the design style of classic muscle car era Mopars. This was a time when it was impossible to confuse a Mopar with anything else. They were unique and distinctive and they have only gotten better looking with time. Tony Bilich grew up in a Mopar household. His dad was a working-class man who owned a number of them so it was natural for Tony to grow up liking them too.

Of course, Tony grew up dreaming of owning his own classic Mopar, and about ten years ago Tony took his first step toward realizing that dream. He managed to locate an original unrestored ’68 GTX in running and driving condition which is not an easy thing to find these days. The numbers matching car looked in pretty good shape and so about a year later, Tony dove into the restoration himself.

Above: Though this GTX was originally red, the factory color wasn’t bright enough for Tony. When he was younger, he had a bit of an obsession with Vipers and liked that Viper red so MCR was more than happy to make that happen. The black accents only serve to enhance it even further.

Above left: The black theme continues underneath but not so much for the look as for the ability to keep it clean. Tony plans to put lots of miles on his dream and the Raptor coating makes it much easier to keep it looking fresh. Above right: Shhh! Don’t tell anyone about the exhaust cutouts. Though Tony likely won’t be able to keep quiet about it anyway. Nothing like the sound of a big block with open exhaust. 

He got the engine off to a shop to be rebuilt but that soon proved to be the easy part. About the time Tony had the car torn down to a rolling chassis, he was quickly realizing that he was way over his head. It’s not that the car was in terrible shape (it was better than most) but rather he was finding out just how much work it was going to take to finish this project and that he didn’t have the time or the skills to complete this thing, especially while running a profitable construction related business.

So he found a resto shop in his area and delivered the car there. The short version of the story was that three years later nothing had been done and he had to bring a friend with him to repossess his car from the shop. At about that same time, Tony’s wife spotted a Muscle Car Restorations, Inc. (MCR) truck on the road and noted enough info for Tony to check them out. The result of that chance encounter is what you are looking at now.

Above: Even with stock suspension, the proper stance is important to the overall look. Just enough attitude here to garner the respect it deserves. Note that the rocker and wheel lip moldings have been deleted. Much cleaner.

Above left: The blackout theme continues under the hood with a blacked-out 437 HP 440 sitting in a sea of Viper red. Above right: The blacked-out theme under the hood is further enhanced by a Black Diamond Holley 780 carb on top of a black Edelbrock Torker manifold.

While Tony certainly had some idea of what he wanted to do with his GTX – he liked the blacked-out look and was a fan of the basic look of the A-12 cars, MCR’s design service was able to provide a rendering of the finished car.

Being able to see and approve the finished product from the beginning helped Tony to make the crucial decisions up front and give MCR a solid blueprint to make it happen just as Tony envisioned it. The result is that the original look is preserved with just enough nuances to make it uniquely Tony’s.

Above: The interior is all black and stock except for the door panels which normally would belong on a ’68 Coronet R/T.

Above left: The R/T door panels are a perfect fit of course. They are similar to the GTX panels but minus the wood inserts. Only the most observant Mopar fanatics would notice but what matters is that Tony likes them better than the originals. Above right: While the body color emblem looks amazing against the blacked-out tail panel.

Above left: Factory brakes from the sixties are generally lacking so with 510 lb/ft pushing you around it’s smart to have some decent brakes to absorb that energy when necessary. MCR has disc brake conversions down pat so powered Wilwood units (with the red calipers) at all four corners are pretty much a standard upgrade. Above right: Blacked-out emblems also look awesome against the red. The car rides on 15 x 10 Chrysler “Steelie” Wheels are wrapped with Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T tires. 295/50R15 in the rear with 215/70R15s in front on 8-inch rims. Raised white letters and chrome lug nuts complete the period look.

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Mark Ehlen

Mark Ehlen is one of the most prolific writers and magazine editors in the past 35 years, producing articles for the entire Motor Trend family of publications. Mark's technical acumen is always on-point, delivering easy-to-follow tutorials, inspiring many do-it-yourselfers to pick up their tools and dive into their own projects.

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