On a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the comedian and car guy returned to muscle cars in a big way. Literally.
The star of the episode is a 1971 Plymouth GTX, which was otherwise known as the “businessman’s muscle car.” Road Runners of the day were stripped out with beefy engines. The GTX packed a 440 cubic inch V8 with around 375 horsepower, as well as comforts such as air conditioning. The car shown here has been modified by its owner to include an air grabber hood, which meant putting non-factory air conditioning in. However, it’s probably the only 1971 GTX with both.
Otherwise, the car is totally original inside and out. The owner said he did a little bit of touching up on the paint, but the color remains the same. That’s alright because it suits the land yacht of a muscle car very well.
When it’s time to fire the massive engine up, we remember why this era is so special. The no-frills approach with just a lump of a V8 ahead of the driver is refreshing to see. Yet, the owner doesn’t go for a ride with Leno. Instead, the GTX owner invited his high school shop teacher to the show, who ends up going for a ride with Leno. It’s a wonderful gesture after the owner credits his shop teacher for influencing him so many decades ago.
The 80-year-old retired teacher is still sharp as can be and gets a few laps in with Leno.
This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.