Ebensburg twins relish prized possession: Plymouth GTX
EBENSBURG — Darcy and David Regala, twin brothers who grew up in Gallitzin, spent their youth racing a rare 1970 Plymouth GTX 440-6.
After years of embarrassing the competition on the backroads of Gallitzin, the brothers pushed the car into an old garage, where it didn’t move for years.
The car stayed in the garage, locked away and collecting dust, until the twins’ children finally got the brothers reinvested into the car a couple of years ago.
“Our boys watched the “Fast and Furious” movies and loved all the fancy cars on it,” Darcy said. “They saw one car that was a Plymouth GTX and said ‘We want one of those cars.’ What they didn’t know was that we had one just like it hidden away in the garage.”
In 1976, Darcy and David bought the 1970 Plymouth GTX 440-6.
Darcy said the vehicle was originally purchased by an area Vietnam soldier in 1970 from a local dealer.
The soldier was deployed overseas and was killed in the war shortly thereafter.
After another area resident owned the car for six years, the brothers purchased the car for $1,700.
“It was a thing of beauty even then,” David said. “We loved that thing.”
The brothers used the car for entertainment purposes. More specifically, street racing.
“We would race that thing for years when we were younger,” Darcy said. “It was one hell of a machine.”
The brothers recalled racing the car on several back roads in Gallitzin.
“That thing could go all right,” David said. “Man was it fast.”
What helped make the car go so fast, which David said tormented Mustangs and Camaros, was the vehicle’s 390 horsepower six-barrel engine.
David said when he would punch the throttle, the aft units would open up, allowing larger amounts of fuel to circulate.
Ultimately, this made the car drive much faster.
“Those Mustangs didn’t have a chance,” David said.
After years of casual racing, the brothers built families of their own.
The twins both joined the Department of Corrections and started their own martial arts studio, which consumed much of their lives.
The car was forgotten about and was hidden in a garage.
It wasn’t until their children came along that they decided to reinvest their time into the car.
“We just sort of forgot about it,” Darcy said. “We were both so busy. Our kids really brought us back into it.”
When the brothers pulled the car back out of the garage, they realized that it was going to need some repairs.
While much of the work was completed by the brothers and their two sons, Jonathan and David Jr., professional help was sought out to complete the repairs.
The brothers hired mechanic Jeff Smith in 2008 to complete the majority of the repairs.
Smith, who now owns his own garage in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, said working on the GTX was “one of the more unique cars” he’s encountered.
“That car was a survivor,” Smith said. “Cars like those were rare to begin with, and so many of them were destroyed with street racing.”
Smith invested over a year’s worth of work into the car, working on the body, undercarriage and paint.
The GTX, Darcy said, was a “one of a kind” for all of the special modifications that were made to it over the years.
“We’ve put so many of our own personal touches to it,” Darcy said. “There isn’t another car just like it that exists.”
The brothers completely redesigned the interior of the car and also had the chrome trim on the car.
Redoing the chrome, Darcy said, was “probably the most expensive part.”
Darcy recalled traveling with David to MOPAR Nationals, a major racing event in Ohio where thousands of car parts are also sold, to gather all the needed parts for the car.
The brothers planned on only buying a few small parts, but soon enough the car was full of different materials to contribute toward the car.
Smith said the brothers “didn’t cut any corners,” adding that their passion for the car had no limits.
“Those two exhausted a lot of time and money into that car,” Smith said. “Their heart was definitely into it.”
While the car has been a part of the Regalas’ lives for a long time, the brothers admitted that they have recently considered selling the car.
“College isn’t cheap, and with our boys going to college, we want to try to help them out,” Darcy said. “We would consider it if the right deal came along.”
An auctioneer estimated the vehicle’s value in a range of $139,000 to $149,000.
While cashing the vehicle in for an amount of money is obviously tempting, the brothers said that would be “one of the hardest” decisions they would ever have to make.
“It would be really hard to let it go,” Darcy said.
Until then, the brothers will continue to cherish the vehicle that created so many memories.
Darcy said the brothers welcome anyone who wishes to check the classic car out come and visit them.
The brothers and their car were recently featured on the cover of the magazine, “Hemmings Muscle Machines.”
“That was something,” Darcy said. “(But) pictures just don’t do it justice. This is a really special car.”
THE REGALA FILE
Darcy and David are fraternal twins born Jan. 23, 1957.
Education: Both graduated from Penn Cambria in 1975 and currently reside in Ebensburg.
Family: Darcy is married to Joanne (Jarvie). They have a son, Jonathan.
David is married to Sharon (Simmons). They have a son, David Jr.
Occupation: Both worked at the Cambria County Prison. Darcy was a deputy warden of operations, and David was a trainer in various capacities. They both retired from the prison in 2012 with 31 years of service. “We walked in the door the same day and walked out the same day,” Darcy said.
FYI: They’ve owned the Cambria Martial Arts Academy in South Fork
for 25 years.