VIDEO: HEMI-Powered Musclecars Run in the Family

Mike Musto, host of /BigMuscle’s YouTube channel admits something that most of us already know; he’s a hardcore Mopar fan, owning two classic Dodge A-bodies. Of course, he makes this known to the viewer in one of the latest videos to spring from the /Drive-sourced video network, featuring a HEMI GTX and a family’s love for big-bore Mopar musclecars.

Mike digs a little deeper, covering not only the aforementioned GTX, but a pair of first-gen Dodge Chargers; one of which is also HEMI-powered, while the other, is powered by a 440 with an aftermarket EFI system. The two similar-appearing Chargers are a story in an of themselves, but the focus of this film is the “Day 2” ’69 GTX featured here.

Back in 1976, the GTX’s current owner, Doug Stark, picked the car up to replace his ’69 Road Runner he had at the time which really didn’t satisfy his desire for speed. After running across the GTX with a “For Sale” sign in a nearby parking lot, he plucked down the $2500 necessary to put the car in his garage. What makes his car rather unique, apart from the obvious HEMI/4-speed drivetrain combination, is that this car has never been restored. Ever.

The paint and all of the trim, as presented, is original as it came from the factory. The only exception, is that the car currently sits on Cragar S/S wheels, BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires and has been upgraded with a set of headers, an aftermarket coil and ignition, a gear swap and a more aggressive cam. These days, this is commonly referred to as a Day 2 car, meaning, it’s essentially what a buyer would have done to their brand new musclecar back then – sort of like how today’s generation showers their vehicles with “bolt-ons.”

Doug’s execution is true to form, as there not only is function behind the tasteful modifications he’s made, but the modifications certainly reflect the time period in which Doug purchased the Plymouth. With pro-touring and concours restorations being all the rage, we honestly can’t recall the last time we seen somebody throw on a set of 15-inch Cragars onto a car, come to think of it…

The rest of the family is certainly passionate about Doug’s Mopar fascination as well, with Doug Jr. and Joe owning their (almost) identical white Chargers. Even Doug Sr.’s mom wanted the Mopar boys to shoot all three cars together, for a Christmas card. With all three being under the knife at any given time, it wasn’t an easy feat. It was only until a few years ago where it became possible. Some families play Scrabble, others fish or hunt together… but the Stark’s play with their Mopars.


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