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68 GTX CLONE



Lance GTX
Lance GTX

Starting with what appears to be a fairly rust free 'California' 68 Sport Satellite 318 car. Showing real nice paint on original floors, all original paint in barf green, and had a vinyl top at one time. Trunk floor has a bit of surface rust from the trunk seal going bad but nothing major. Previously, another shop has installed a very stock early 440 and automatic and painted the engine compartment before installing. It came to us as a running car but needed paint, interior, front suspension, brakes and exhaust. We had a few ideas...

Gutted the inside and took out all the glass and chrome. Sent it to the wizards at Advanced Autobody (Emporia, KS 620-343-7870) and they started in on it. The left front fender and door had been smacked and fixed so long ago that there was little evidence of it being worked on, due to the paint fading evenly. The fender was replaced with a new one from AMD and the door skin had to be pulled and straightened. The wheel opening molding on the drivers rear had trapped enough gunk in it over the years that it needed the arch rebuilt, and that was all hand fabricated. The light surface rust in the trunk was filled and is now undetectable.



While it was away to the body shop, we sent the seats off to Eddie at Joes Upholstery in Cottonwood Falls KS (620-273-8557). The front bench was replaced with a correct set of low back buckets that were absolutely blown out. Took Eddie a picture of a 68 GTX seat pattern and picked out the color and grain we wanted, and he freehand stitched this amazing set of cover in light gray and black. We re-worked the dash frame while the cluster and gauges were off to Dashworx. They took the 120 speedo and refaced and calibrated it to 150, and added a 150 lens for the GTX look. We also installed a factory style electronic tach. A new black dash pad was also installed from Just Dashes, along with a good set of lower pads and glove box door.

Let me take a moment to tell you about some of the 68 GTX specific parts. They used a wood grain radio bezel and dash face above the glove box door that is specific to this one car. You cant duplicate it and can only use an original to look right. Sport Satellites had wood grain that year but they said 'Sport Satellite' in the right corner, where the GTX said 'GTX'. The GTX emblem in the right corner of the tail panel is the same way, along with the grille. All these parts are super hard to find and VERY expensive when you do find them. If you are looking at an original car to restore, or want to clone one, keep this in mind. 150MPH speedos aren't cheap either. Hood louver call outs can cost stupid money if you dont have them also.

Once the dash was in, the soundproofing went in, headliner, package tray, then the carpet, new seat belts and door panels. Sounds quick and easy when you say it all in one sentence. This car came to us with nothing more than a nasty set of bumpers--no other chrome or stainless. Bumpers and window chrome came from AMD, and most of the rest (side markers, lenses, rocker/drip rail/wheel openings) came from Vans. Rear finish panel, tail light bezels and headlight rings were redone by our staff hand craftsmen.

This car was originally a 318, and came to us with a stock 440 installed that would start and make the car move in and out of the shop. We could hear it run with stub pipes but never had the chance to drive it. The bottom side of this car was steam cleaned and re-undercoated before we installed a complete 2.5" TTI exhaust with coated headers and X pipe for a trouble free system. It had the original Kelsey-Hays 4 piston crapola disc brakes that needed tons of money spent on them to make them work, so we replaced the whole works with a later model disc brake conversion, and complete polygraphite suspension rebuild, adding a Hellwig monster sway bar. Rear end was treated to a fresh Eaton Trutrac with 323 gears and 'green' axel bearings. Back brakes were shot so they were replaced. We then built a set of Magnum 500's (15x7 front and 15x8 rear) that would hold 245/60's on the front and 275/60's on the rear. Had to change a driveshaft that was too short, service the transmission, replace a cracking radiator, and replace a carb that wasn't drilled for an accelerator pump port.

Had to find an/or manufacture all the pieces it takes to make factory a/c work on the car, as it arrived with nothing more than a compressor. Here is another tip: that weird water valve on the firewall on 68-9 b bodies with air are usually junk or real close to it. Don't ruin your new carpet and rust your floor! Let me know if yours is questionable and we can rebuild it for $300. We keep one ready to ship in stock. NAPA used to make a kit to 'rebuild' them, but without a special jig to work on it, you will destroy it trying.

Now that all the bugs are worked out, the car drives like a dream and handles like a slot car. With the stock 440 it has enough torque to rip the tires off from an idle, but still act like a normal car any other time.  

 


68GTX