The Fairest of Them All
Larry Dickson’s’71 GTX comes to the Wellborn CollectionBy Geoff Stunkard
“That guy came back from Vietnam and simply wanted the baddest car he could find, and he kept the car flawless. He didn’t change out the wheels, didn’t really change the suspension, but he know a few racer tricks, and that is what was done to this car. Just some parts and painting the engine black to get rid of heat, and that car has been that way since 1972.”
Tim Wellborn was talking about what has become a big attraction at the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, a 1971 Bahama Yellow GTX that is the highest-priced Hemi car of all the machines built in the supercar era. The car, through a set of interesting circumstances, came to the collection showing just over 49,000 original miles and is unrestored, though modified.
“That GTX is one rare automobile, and most people would want to bring it back to absolute stock. But being here in the museum and seeing so many people coming in and looking at that, they talk about the changes. The owner put the valve covers on it, put the headers on it, all things that could easily be changed back. In truth, hardly anyone left their engine bay stock back then. You wanted to open the hood and show people what it looked like with your changes; it’s not like today where there is a big plastic cover over the engine. Back then, it was just an extension of the car and how you might personalize that car.”
For Larry Dickson, whose service in southeast Asia had been heroic to the point of being awarded some of the nation’s highest honors such as the Purple Heart and multiple Silver Stars, the car might have been the culmination of a dream of owning a Hemi car while he was busy with much more serious business. He had purchased a new 1970 383” Road Runner when he returned, but went looking for a Hemi car to replace that in early 1972. One way or another, he found out about a highly-optioned ’71 GTX in early 1972; this car would be sold to him through Courtesy Chrysler-Plymouth in Davis, with an added destination charge of 57.00 from Bayshore, New York. We do not know if Larry had them find this car for him or if they already had it on their lot. We do know a bit about what he bought, though.
Indeed, any aficionado of American muscle would have been drawn to this machine.Read more