Jacque Longpre’s 1971 Plymouth Hemi GTX
Numbers matter. They are what they are. You must trust the numbers. At least that’s what many of our math teachers preached back in the day.
When you consider Jacques Longpre’s ’71 Plymouth Hemi GTX, you’ll understand why. First, it’s only one of 32 Hemi GTX models produced that year. Second, it’s only one of 11 four-speed Hemi GTXs built in ’71. If you are a Mopar freak, you really want this car.
Jacques bought the car as an empty shell in 1993. The fender tag that came with the car was fake, he says, but research showed that the car was an original Hemi car, thanks to the still-intact dashboard VIN tag.
After 20 years of accumulating the needed parts and reconditioning many of the original pieces, the restoration was completed. Along the journey, assistance from various suppliers and shops helped, especially the crew at Northwest Muscle Cars in Clinton, Montana, for the bodywork and applying the Tor-Red paint. The GTX features a host of cool options, including the sport canopy vinyl top, elastometric bumpers, rear window louvers, front and rear spoilers, hood pins, and the Air Grabber hood.
With a new body style at the beginning of the end for monster high-performance cars, this rare GTX features the ground-pounding 425-horsepower, 426-cubic-inch Hemi powerplant. The engine features the standard dual Carter AFB four-barrel carburetors and Chrysler Prestolite dual-point distributor. The engine is topped with wrinkle-finish valve covers and breathes through stock exhaust manifolds into a dual exhaust system, just like it did when it left the showroom. The four-speed transmission is controlled by a Hurst competition-plus shifter topped by the iconic pistol-grip handle.
Likewise, the chassis was rebuilt just as the factory intended – with a torsion-bar front suspension and leaf springs in the rear. Power disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear bring the GTX to a halt, turning behind 15×7-inch Rallye wheels wrapped in Goodyear Polyglas GT G60-15 tires.
The interior features factory bucket seats with the optional red and black upholstery as well as wood trim on the dash and doors. The stock gauge package includes a tachometer. Additional interior options include tinted windows and the pedal dress-up kit. An optional AM/FM radio provides the music.
While Jacques did much of the work himself, he credits several specialists for their help: Mike’s Transmission, Quality Body Shop and Drive Train, Sam Gambrel at Draggin’ Wagon, Timberlane Auto, and D&D Customs.
Photos by Steven Bunker