1971 Plymouth GTX
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Jet-X 1971 1/2 Plymouth GTX Concept

John Herlitz started sending sketches to Chrysler as a 13-year-old boy. At age 26, he brought the world the 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda. He also ushered in the age of fuselage styling for the 1971 B-bodies- including Road Runner and GTX. For 1971, Herlitz also had the opportunity to incorporate some of his original Formula SX Barracuda elements into both Road Runner and GTX. The rear quarter window contour, C pillar shape, and Jet inspired rear taillights of the '71 GTX can all be traced back to the Formula SX Concept. It is important to note that the SX was the first concept entirely designed and executed in house. Chrysler had confidence in John Herlitz.

GTX was considered by many as “the gentleman's race car”. John thought of it more as a jet fighter for the young professional. You always wanted to go to flight school but ended up with a business degree instead? The GTX was the car. Herlitz wanted to design cars since he was a boy, but he also loved jet fighters, and you can see it in GTX's design. Herlitz introduced down-turned shoulders, reminiscent of the fuselage of SR-71 Blackbird and the F4 Phantom II fighter-bomber. Fuselage styling was the hallmark of the '71 B-bodies and the rest of the Plymouth line.

Moving to the front of the car, the open grill and wraparound bumper evoke the aggressive leading-edge intake of the F4 Phantom. The functional hood intake you may recognize from the AAR Cuda, also a jet inspired Herlitz design. The taillights, styled to resemble afterburners, are shaped like the vectoring thrust exhaust nozzles of the then new Harrier Jump Jet. Rear window louvers and twin pedestal wing complete a look ready to take flight.

The front fender gills and rear quarter strakes pull the fuselage styling together and give a nod to those found on the 1971 Cuda. The “GTX” logo standing in the grill, the “Plymouth Exterior Styling” front tag, the chrome taillight bezels, and the W23 “Warrior” Kelsey Hays Cast Road Wheels all of these elements are on the '71 GTX clay mockup in Studio A of the Plymouth Design Studio in 1968. John Herlitz's jet fueled vision which began with the '67 Formula SX Concept was realized in the '71 GTX.

The jet fighter theme continued in the interior with a cockpit gauge pod design, a proper Astrotone silver finish, Tuff Wheel with padded horn, and rudder stick style Pistol Grip shifter just as Herlitz originally envisioned. And much of it made it to final review on the Parkay Floor turntable at Highland Park.

The side marker lights were a fight that John won with production engineers for 1971, but they wouldn't survive beyond the model year. Out aft, Herlitz stated in an interview that the '72 bumper was always intended for the '71 GTX redesign but was delayed a model year because engineering was still working out collision impact points. The original bumper design and “Jump Jet” taillights finally made production in 1972, but the hand painted chrome bezels that give them the upscale GTX look, never made it past the bean-counters. Out front, the floating GTX moniker also got the axe. It is a shame, because it really adds gravitas to the forward view.

The lightweight fiberglass hood with the center cold air intake also landed on the cutting room floor. One hood stamping was all Chrysler was willing to invest in. The blackout treatment was then transferred to a bolt-on Air Grabber hood assembly, making it a cost-effective option for any bodycolor. The functional air extractors over each fender top were omitted all together. The rear quarter strakes substituted for model specific badging. As usual, economies of scale won out. The cockpit inspired Astrotone interior accents were dropped in favor of the simulated woodgrain already approved to Dodge's Charger. As a result, the fighter pilot feel of the interior was diminished.

All of this would make consolidating two models, Road Runner and GTX, into one, with GTX simply being a trim option. The public didn't take well to this new consolidation. Sales dropped to an anemic 7,628 for 1972.

The JetX Concept GTX is a testament to what would have been, if John Herlitz's vision had been brought to full fruition. Gary and Pam Beinecke put their considerable skills, honed by bringing the '71 Wing cars to life, to deliver on John's original vision. The result is nothing short of stunning. The car was even featured on the cover of Mopar Action.

The 440 +6 engine is balanced and blueprinted, making a pump gas friendly 450 horsepower. It is also equipped with electronic ignition and a stock appearing extra cooling radiator. Four-wheel power disc brakes are standard, and the Pistol Grip works a Tremec TKO600 5 speed manual transmission. The buddy, bucket seat interior with folding armrest is the most ergonomically enjoyable layout Plymouth offered in combination with the Pistol Grip. The Dana 60 rear-end, a DTS Custom Services unit, turns 4.10 gears for maximum thrust on a short runway.

It is important to understand one thing about this and all the G Series '71 Wing Cars, they are not just design exercises. The '71 JetX GTX Concept and all the others are engineered to run fast, hard, and reliably. They are as just as home on the open road, the racetrack, or the invitation-only show field. They are uncompromising in every sense of the word.

Please inquire for complete build specifications and details.

Principal Use

Driven Show Car

Conditional Grade

Excellent Plus
90%-96% of showroom condition. Exceptionally nice. May have slight wear on exterior and interior finishes but visible only under close inspection consistent with years of show detailing, climate controlled storage, enclosed transport, and indoor display. Most cars in this class are not driven more than a few miles per year.

REV's 5 Keys to Investment Collectability

* Concept/Prototype build based on historical photos, factory drawings, and designer interviews

* 1971-72 Plymouth GTX as originally envisioned by Plymouth Design Studio Supervisor, John Herlitz

* Fully operational air flow management, vented front wheel wells, ducted fresh air hdod, rear window louvers and front and rear spoilers

* Original "jet fighter" inspired design details- Astrotone cockpit interior finish, dark argent grill with floating GTX moniker, billet aluminum rear quarter strakes and chrome bezele "Jump Jet" afterburner tail lights.

* 450 horsepower 440 6bbl, backed by Tremec TKO 600 5 speed, 4.10 Dana 60 rear, and four wheel power disc brakes

Engine

Engine Type
Gasoline
Engine Size
440 3x2bbl SIX PACK
Fuel Specification
92/93 Octane

Body

Body Color
Silver
Body Style
Coupe
Doors
2
Paint Type
Basecoat/Clearcoat

Basic

Year
1971
Make
Plymouth
Model
GTX
Miles
70,757
Stock
580

Interior

Interior Color
Black and Charcoal
Secondary Interior Color
Seating Type
Buckets With Folding Armrest Seat
Seat Material
Vinyl & Cloth
Shifter Type
Floor
Center Console
Yes
Figure based on a stock vehicle with OH rates with $100/$300k Liability/UM/UIM limits. Rates vary depending on the state, coverage selected and other factors. Policies underwritten by Essentia Insurance Company. Some coverage and discounts not available in all states. Call 877-922-9701 to speak with a representative or apply online. Get Quote
Engine Size
440 3x2bbl SIX PACK
Transmission Type
5spd Tremec
Body Style
Coupe
Principal Use
Driven Show Car
Conditional Grade
Excellent Plus
Current Location
Sharon, MA 02067
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