15 Stunning Photos Of Plymouth Roadrunners That Were Restored
In the early s, Subaru and Mitsubishi set off a horsepower war with the STi and the EVO. Both cars were high-horsepower econoboxes that offered cheap thrills and fairly reasonable accommodation.
They allowed owners to modify them and get even more power and speed for next to nothing. They weren't the first to offer such a car though, all the way back in Plymouth recognized the same gap in the market.
As the '60s had progressed, muscle cars had gone from cheaper fast cars to more expensive, luxury laden land-barges. The Roadrunner was the answer in many ways. It was more affordable than most muscle cars and offered the same tunability mentioned above with regard to those Japanese cars. The Roadrunner had one major advantage, a bevy of large engines that could handle far more power than any four-cylinder.
15 Black Tie Affair
The Roadrunner seen here is set to do anything you could need it to. They say that black goes with everything and it's clearly correct about this car. Not only could you take this on a quaint date night but also to the drag strip. You'd look great doing either.
14 Going To Work
Speaking of the drag strip here's a great example of how comfortable these cars are in such a setting. What a magnificent looking blower this particular car has going for it as well. Really the Roadrunner is a favorite at many tracks thanks to its cost and capability.
This is a historic car. Clearly one driven by the amazing racing driver Richard Petty, this car helped him become the first NASCAR driver to earn over a million dollars in one season. It was also one of only two factory-backed cars that year in the racing series.
12 Lighting Them Up
The Roadrunner wasn't always a small and nimble muscle car. Originally it was a bit bigger and heavier and that's what we're looking at above. The amazing thing Plymouth did was remove as much weight as they could to give it a little more capability.
This Roadrunner was part of Plymouths "Rapid Transit" roadshow. A traveling auto-show that featured four of the hottest cars they could make with a bunch of special features that showed what owners could do with these when they let their imaginations run wild.
RELATED: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Plymouth Roadrunner
10 Jagged Bird
An often missed feature of the Roadrunner was how jagged those front headlights truly are. The angles that Plymouth sculpted into the body are hard to see when you're looking at the car from the front or sides. Over the top though we can see the W formed between those headlights, a feature that is unique to the Roadrunner.
9 Roadrunner Red
The Roadrunner is such an infamous cartoon character that there was no way Plymouth could sell the car without using its signature red color. That black cowl on the hood sets it off even more. It has such a presence everywhere it goes on the road.
8 Fully Restored
It may seem like an odd color but these days the rarer colors are worth quite a bit of money. This car has had a full restoration. The engine looks like it's never been run. The paint is perfect and the value has more than tripled since the day it came off the line.
7 Topdown Style
Topless birds from this time period are actually fairly rare too. As one of the less expensive options, adding pricey features like a convertible top wasn't the norm. The yellow and black are well matched and there are few cars that have all the abilities this one does.
6 A Nice 69
In '69, there were very few examples of the Roadrunner sold with the motor this one has. The old saying is that there's no replacement for displacement and this car certainly makes a case for that being true.
RELATED: 15 Surprising Facts About Kevin Hart’s Long-Gone Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda
5 A Rare Paintjob
Another rarity in the Roadrunner family is this pseudo-two-tone paint job. While we're used to seeing it on the Superbird and a version of it on the Hemi Cuda, to see it on the Roadrunner demonstrates where it came from.
4 Two-Tone Down To The Headlights
The two-tone paint continues on here with this particular bird. The mustard yellow even makes its way onto the headlamps you see here. At the time there were lots of cars that would have two different colored lenses at the front. The black shaker hood scoop is a great way to set it off. It's actually for sale right now if you're interested
3 1 Of
This Plymouth was also a rare bird. Not only were few sold in this golden color but this was one of only ever sold in 71 that came with the engine and the six-barrel carburetor.
Another convertible, this was fully restored so much so that the engine bay looks clean enough to eat off of. This angle shows that subtle but important "AirGrabber" hood scoop found only on the Roadrunner.
1 For Sale
This Roadrunner was a car featured on Counts Customs and recently sold from there as well. The paint, wheels and hood scoop are all bits that weren't found on the original cars making this bird truly one of a kind. There's even a video all about it.
NEXT: 10 Car Companies No Longer In Production
The Road King is an archetypal Harley-Davidson motorbike with a vintage appearance that genuinely appeals to purists.
Read NextAbout The Author
Rivers is an automotive enthusiast and writer working for our news and features team. He loves all things built with passion and can be found both on twitter and Instagram at SRiversCars.
Plymouth Road Runner
It was a solid car and a favorite among moonshiners. It was faster than most police vehicles and due to its sturdy construction, was very reliable.
The RoadRunner came equipped with a cubic-inch V8 engine capable of producing horsepower. A four-speed manual transmission was standard equipment. For about $ USD, a Hemi could be added making it the fastest vehicle on the road.
Plymouth paid Warner Brothers $50, to use the Road Runner cartoon image. Due to the short production time, the decals were grey. Along with the image, the horn went 'beep-beep'.
In , Plymouth sold 45, examples.
In , bucket seats became available. The decals were now in color. A convertible option joined the line-up. An inexpensive engine, when compared to the Hemi, became available. This was a three-two barrel carbureted, cubic-inch V8, dubbed the Six Pack. Nearly 90, RoadRunners were sold during
In , an Air Grabber hood was added. Operated by remote control from the passenger compartment, this would open and close a vent in the hood, creating a hood scope. The three-speed manual gearbox became standard while the 4-speed was now offered as optional equipment.
Due to increasing government safety regulations and emission controls, the engines began to decrease in size during the model year. Fuel prices and insurance costs also contributed to the demise of horsepower. The four-barrel cubic-inch engine was no longer offered. The horsepower ratings for all engines decreased. The wheelbase of the vehicle decreased from inches to The convertible was no longer offered. A little over 14, examples were sold in
In , cubic-inch V8 engine was now available. This engine was powerful and light. Less than 7, Road Runners were sold during the model year.
In , a cubic-inch engine was standard, producing horsepower. The and cubic-inch engines were still offered as optional equipment. The vehicle received styling updates.
In , the cubic-inch engine replaced the V8. The , two-barrel engine now produced a miserable horsepower.
In , the RoadRunner was changed to the Fury body.
In , the RoadRunner was changed to the Volare body. The standard engine was the cubic-inch engine offering horsepower. The cubic-inch engine produced horsepower. The RoadRunner package included a three-speed floor shifter, interior trim, and an improved suspension.
In , an on-board engine computer called the Lean Burn system, adorned the interior of the RoadRunner. Spoilers, stripes, and Ralley wheels, and window louvers became part of the RoadRunner package.
In , production was just over units.
The model year was the last one for the Volare and Road Runner.
by Daniel Vaughan | Aug
The Plymouth Superbird was introduced in and shared many similarities in design to the Dodge Daytona. The Superbird was based on the Plymouth Road Runner except for the airfoil and nose. The Road Runner was based on the Belvedere but given Warner Brother cartoon figures and a horn that made a 'Beep Beep' sound. To inspire sales and to compete with the other muscle cars of the day, these vehicles were given large and powerful engines.
The spoiler on the Superbird was higher and more angled than the Daytonas. Part of the reason for mounting the wing so high was to allow better access to the trunk. Under 90 mph, the wing was basically useless.
Rules changed on the NASCAR circuit for , making it hard to homologate a vehicle for racing. The rules for the year prior stated that examples had to be produced before being allowed to race on the stock car circuit. For the rules stated that at least one example had to be built for each dealership.
There were three engine choices available. The Super Commando V8 with a single four-barrel carburetor was the most popular of the engine options. With horsepower and foot-pounds of torque, the Superbird could accelerate from zero-to-sixty in just under six seconds.
With the cubic-inch V8 with Six Pack, the quarter-mile was achieved in 14 and-a-half seconds at mph. The most expensive and most powerful engine available to the Superbird was the Hemi. The horsepower engine carried the Superbird from zero-to-sixty in just seconds and reduced the quarter-mile time by almost a second.
During its production run lasting only one year, examples were produced. The vehicles outfitted with the Hemi engine are the rarest, with only 93 examples produced. 1, examples were outfitted with the and single four-barrel carburetor. examples were built with the Six Pack.
Part of the reason for the low production figures was the controversial oversized wing and angular nose. Also, the cartoon characters and 'beep-beep' horn were 'love-or-hate'. The performance was undisputed and the top speed was unbeatable. Throughout the early part of the 's, Plymouth continued the production of the Road Runner. Though, due to increasing emission and government regulations, the horsepower era of the 's was coming to a close. Insurance premiums were costing more and many felt that these high-powered machines were unsafe for the road. This would bring about a whole new trend of fuel-efficient luxury machines replacing the bare-bones, high-performance, muscle cars.
When the nose on this 'Bird was stuffed, it was repaired by Richard Pettyand then autographed. This impressive muscle car is a Concours 1st place winner.
by Daniel Vaughan | Feb
Chassis Num: RM23U0A
New streamlining and aerodynamic downforce techniques helped the winged Mopars achieve new successes in Racing regulations dictated that at least examples of the Dodge Charger Daytona's be constructed to qualify for racing.
For the fo[continue reading]
Chassis Num: RMROA
The Super Bird version of the Road Runner was an effort to dominate NASCAR racing with Chrysler products in The Plymouth and Dodge Daytona only saw one season of racing before it was felt the sloped nose and giant rear wing gave these cars an u[continue reading]
Chassis Num: RM23U0A
Plymouth was required to produce nearly Plymouth Superbirds for to satisfy homologation requirements for NASCAR racing at Daytona and Talladega. The rules stated that at least one example needed to be provided for each manufacturer's US dea[continue reading]
When it comes to discussions about over the top Muscle Cars, there is no double the Plymouth Superbird and its brother the Dodge Daytona are always at the top of the list[continue reading]
If the Plymouth Superbird, with its extended nose and sky-high rear wing, is unusual, then adding one of the 'High Impact' colors to the mix certainly takes things a step beyond![continue reading]
Plymouth created the outrageous Plymouth Superbird to lure Richard Petty back. When the powers that be refused to let Petty race a Dodge Daytona since he was a 'Plymouth Man,' he turned to Ford. The famous No. 43 would then briefly adorn the doors of[continue reading]
While the wild-winged Dodge Daytona took the automotive world by storm in with its long, pointy nose and mile-high rear wing, the Plymouth Superbird took things further. Based on the cartoon-inspired Roadrunner, Plymouth added a bit of color to [continue reading]
Originally purchased in by M.H. Brown, this is a column shift car, so there's no bothersome console in the way, and only an AM radio was on board to whistle along with. Almost immediately, the Superbird was taken in to have a factory cruise con[continue reading]
Chassis Num: RM23UOA
For the past twenty-four years, this Plymouth Superbird has been in the ownership of individual. It has had only three owners since new. Since new the car has been treated to a re-paint in its factory-correct livery of Lemon Twist. There is a[continue reading]
This Plymouth Road Runner Superbird was delivered to a dealer in Kentucky with the cubic-inch 'Six-Pack' engine producing horsepower and an automatic transmission. It sat on the dealer's lot for eight years until the dealership was close[continue reading]
This Superbird is 1 of built for the model year. The Plymouth Superbird was built to compete in NASCAR Racing. All Superbirds were built between October 23 and December 15, This particular one was built on November 13th of [continue reading]
The Super Bird was a sub model of Plymouth's popular Road Runner muscle car. Its special sloping nose and astoundingly tall rear spoiler were special modifications to make the model more competitive in the popular NASCAR racing circuit. The original [continue reading]
Plymouth wanted a car that could be sold for less than $3, and could travel the quarter mile in less than 14 seconds. The car that accomplished these goals was the Roadrunner. The Road Runner was named after a cartoon character that had been mad[continue reading]
This car is one of 1, made, with the only year of production. The Superbird was a highly modified Road Runner conceived as a homologation special for NASCAR. It turned out to be something of an engineering and political tour de force. Plymout[continue reading]
This racing Superbird was built by Nichols Engineering, Chrysler Corporation's factory stock car builder. It was delivered new to factory-supported driver Ramo Stott of Keokuk, Iowa. Ramo immediately took the car to Daytona in February , winning [continue reading]
This is one of two Superbirds built by Petty. The car won seven races, all on the super speedway tracks of over miles. This car has been on display in the den of its current owners house in Virginia and the Amelia Island Concours was the fir[continue reading]
This Plymouth Superbird was purchased by the current owner at Altman Kramer Chrysler-Plymouth Dodge in Huntington, Indiana during late March It is mainly original, barring the one repaint that was executed many years ago. The car was repainted [continue reading]
This vehicle is Richard Petty's #43 Superbird which was constructed from a Plymouth/Nichols chassis body-in-white vehicle shell at Petty Enterprises race shop in Level Cross, NC. It is the #43 Superbird that Richard Petty raced throughout the se[continue reading]
Chassis Num: RM23U0A
All Superbirds were built between October 23rd and December 15th of The actual build date of this Superbird is about December 12th of It is number on the NASCAR list of VINs. It is number 58 in the 26th batch of 28 batches of Su[continue reading]
Chassis Num: RM23U0A
Engine Num: 0A
Streamlining and aerodynamic force was brought to new heights in NASCAR in with the winged Dodge Charger Daytona. racing regulations required that Dodge build only examples. Plymouth decided to emulate the success of the Daytona by intr[continue reading]
For , the intermediate body car line of 'B-body' underwent a total body transformation. What started out as a base model in was transformed into a higher line 'muscle car' in the Plymouth 'Rapid Transit' offering in At the time of its [continue reading]
Chassis Num: RM23U0A
This Plymouth Superbird was completed at Chrysler's Lynch Road assembly line on November 30, It was finished in extra-cost High Impact EV2 Tor-Red paint over H2X9 black vinyl interior with a high-back front bench seat. The current caretaker acq[continue reading]
In Plymouth went all out with the most outrageous car it ever built. Richard Petty left Chrysler and went to Ford after being told he could not drive the new Dodge Daytona. This car brought him back into the Plymouth fold[continue reading]
When it comes to outrageous muscle, nothing tops the Superbird. Purpose-built to dominate the NASCAR super speedways, the Superbird and Dodge cousin Daytona were, quite simply, over the top. Knowing that what raced on Sunday drove showroom traffic on[continue reading]
Chassis #: RM23U0A
Chassis #: RMROA
Chassis #: RM23U0A
Chassis #: RM23UOA
Chassis #: RM23U0A
Chassis #: RM23U0A
Chassis #: RM23U0A
Plymouth Road Runner
Type of muscle car manufactured by Plymouth
The Plymouth Road Runner is a mid-size car with a focus on performance built by Plymouth in the United States between and By , some of the original muscle cars were moving away from their roots as relatively cheap, fast cars as they gained features and increased in price. Plymouth developed the Road Runner to market a lower-priced, basic trim model to its upscale GTX.
Plymouth paid $50, to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts to use the Road Runner name and likeness from their Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons (as well as a "beep, beep" horn, which Plymouth paid $10, to develop). The Road Runner was based on the Chrysler B platform (the same as the Belvedere and Satellite), as a back-to-basics mid-size performance car.
First generation ( to )
The earliest of the models were available only as 2-door pillared coupes (with a B-pillar or "post" between the front and rear windows), but later in the model year, a 2-door "hardtop" model (sans pillar) was offered. The Road Runner of was based on the Belvedere, while the GTX was based on the Sport Satellite, a car with higher-level trim and slight differences in the grilles and taillights.
The interior was spartan with a basic vinyl bench seat, lacking even carpets in early models, and few options were available — such as power steering and front disc brakes, AM radio, air conditioning (except with the Hemi) and automatic transmission. A floor-mounted shifter (for the four-speed) featured only a rubber boot and no console so that a bench seat could be used.
The standard engine was an exclusive "Roadrunner" cuin (L) B-seriesV8 engine with a 4-barrel Carter Carburetor rated at bhp (PS; kW) at rpm and lb⋅ft (N⋅m) at rpm of torque. Its extra 5hp (4kW) rating was the result of using the radical cam from the Super Commando and a raise in compression to (vs. with the hp (kW) ). When air conditioning was ordered, the cars received the hp (kW) version, because the radical cam specs of the bhp (kW) version did not create enough vacuum to accommodate air conditioning. A $ option was the cuin (L) Hemi with 2X4 Carter AFB carburetors rated at bhp (PS; kW) at rpm and lb⋅ft (N⋅m) at rpm of torque.
The standard equipment transmission was a 4-speed manual transmission with floor shifter, and the three-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission was optional. Early four-speed Road Runners featured Inland shifters, which were replaced by Hurst shifters during the course of the model year.
Plymouth expected to sell about 20, units in ; actual sales numbered around 45, This placed the Road Runner third in sales among muscle cars, with only the Pontiac GTO and Chevy's SS Chevelle outselling it. Dodge debuted the Road Runner's cousin, the Super Bee, as a mid offering after seeing Plymouth's success with the Road Runner.
The model kept the same basic look, but with slight changes to the taillights and grille, side marker lights, optional bucket seats, and new Road Runner decals. The Road Runner added a convertible option for with 2, such models produced that year. All were cuin (L) engine cars, except for ten which were equipped with a cuin (L) Hemi.
An Air Grabber option (N96 code) was introduced this year; it consisted of a fiberglass air duct assembly bolted to the underside of the hood that connected to twin rectangular upward-facing vents in the hood with Rallye red vent screens. The fiberglass hood box had an "Air Grabber" sticker on the front. When the hood was closed, a rubber seal fitted over the large-oval unsilenced air cleaner. A decal with Wile E. Coyote saying "Coyote Duster" was on the air cleaner lid. The assembly ducted air directly into the engine. The vents in the hood could be opened and closed via a lever under the dashboard labeled "Carb Air."
The (A12) engine option with 3X2 barrel Holleycarburetors was added to the lineup at mid-year. The " Six Pack" had no wheel covers or hubcaps, only the 15x6" "H" stamped steel black wheels with chrome lug nuts. It featured a black fiberglass lift-off hood with 4 hood pins and a large functional hood scoop with a red sticker on each side saying " 6BBL". The scoop sealed to the large air breather. All cars had a Dana 60rear axle with a gear ratio. Production of the 6-BBL A12 option Road Runner was approximately 1, The A12 option had an "M" as the fifth character in the VIN, rated at hp (PS; kW) at 4, rpm and lb⋅ft (N⋅m) of torque at rpm, the same torque as the Hemi but at a lower engine speed. The Plymouth Road Runner was named Motor Trend Car of the Year for  Domestic production for the three body styles was 81, with an additional 3, deliveries in Canada and other countries.
The model year brought new front, and rear end looks to the basic body, and it would prove to be another success. Updates included a new grille, cloth & vinyl bench seat, hood, front fenders, quarter panels, single-piston Kelsey-Hayes disc brakes (improved from the rather small-rotor Bendix 4 piston calipers of '68 - '69 ), and even non-functional scoops in the rear quarters. The design and functionality of the Air Grabber option was changed. A switch below the dash actuated a vacuum servo to slowly raise the forward-facing scoop, exposing shark-like teeth on either side. "High Impact" colors, with names like In-Violet, Moulin Rouge, and Vitamin C, were available for that year. Although a heavy-duty three-speed manual became the standard transmission, the engine lineup was left unchanged, relegating the four-speed to the options list along with the TorqueFlite automatic. This was the second and last year of the Road Runner convertible, with only made. The new high-back bucket seats were shared with other Chrysler products, which featured built-in headrests.
The Six Barrel remained an option for A factory-produced cast iron piece replaced the "M" Code Edelbrock aluminum intake; however, some early cars built before January 1, , were equipped with the left over aluminum Edelbrock intake from the year prior.
Sales of the Road Runner dropped by more than 50 percent over the previous year to around 41, units (about 1, ahead of Pontiac's GTO but still about 13, units behind Chevy's Chevelle SS/). This would also be the last year of the Road Runner convertible with total productions. Only 3 Hemi (R) code Road Runner convertibles were built (plus 1 to Canada). The declining sales of Road Runner and other muscle cars were the results of a move by insurance companies to add surcharges for muscle car policies - making insurance premiums for high-performance vehicles a costly proposition. Also, Plymouth introduced another bargain-basement muscle car for , the compact Duster which was powered by a hp (kW) 4-BBL V8 which in the lighter-weight compact A-body could perform as well if not better than a Road Runner. Furthermore, the Duster was priced even lower than the Road Runner, and its smaller engine qualified it for much lower insurance rates.
Plymouth Duster I
The Plymouth Duster I was a high-performance concept car version of the Road Runner produced in the late s. It featured the usual low-curved racing-type of the windshield and had airplane-type flaps on the top and sides. A set of adjustable spoilers on the rear fender's side (near the gas tank filler cap) helped prevent side-to-side yaw when slipstreaming in a race, with two more of them on top behind the driver, plus spoilers in the front as rock shields to reduce frontal lift. It was powered by a 4-BBL V Plymouth never built any for commercial sale. However, a version of Duster was introduced in , with a scaled-down version powertrain, including a ci engine. The Dodge Division produced a sister car, which was the Dodge Demon, and it, too, included a smaller powerful ci V8. However, it was only on the market for two years before a name and body style change.
Main article: Plymouth Superbird
During the NASCAR "aero wars," Chrysler first fielded the Dodge Charger that featured aerodynamic improvements to a standard Charger. Later in the season, Chrysler and Dodge debuted the Dodge Charger Daytona. The Daytona featured an elevated spoiler raised 23 inches off the trunk deck by upright pylons and an aerodynamic nose cone. The Charger , especially, and the Daytona to a lesser degree struggled to equal the fastback Ford Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II in Dissatisfied with the Road Runner, Petty Engineering had asked the Chrysler managers for Dodge Charger s and Charger Daytonas for the season. The Chrysler managers told the Pettys that they were "a Plymouth team." The Pettys signed with Ford in days, and Richard Petty and Petty Engineering won 10 races in and finished second in the NASCAR points championship.
To meet NASCAR homologation rules and also to bring Petty Engineering back to Chrysler, it was decided that Plymouth would get its own version of Dodge's winged wonder for the NASCAR season. While spectacular[peacockprose] on the track, consumer response was lukewarm, leading a few dealers to remove the wing and nose, making them appear more like normal Road Runners. Significantly, all public sold Superbirds had vinyl tops, while the Charger Daytonas did not. NASCAR only required copies to be built in , but in , NASCAR required a manufacturer to build one unit per dealer. Production was 1, for the US market. Superbirds were available with three different engines. The most popular was the basic Super Commando V8 with a single four-barrel carburetor rated at bhp (kW). Next up was the Six Barrel rated at bhp (kW). At the top, and ordered by just buyers, was the Hemi, rated at bhp (kW). Hemis (58 4-Spd and 77 Automatics), 1, - 4-BBL Super Commandos ( 4-Spd and Automatics), and - Six Barrels ( 4-Spd and Automatics).
According to Road Test magazine, performance was around 0 to 60mph (97km/h) in seconds, 1/4mile in seconds at mph with the Hemi. Although similar in appearance, the Superbird was actually quite different from the Daytona. The Superbird was based on the Plymouth Road Runner, and the nose, airfoil, and basic sheet metal were different between the Daytona and Superbird. The Superbird actually used the front fenders and a modified hood from the '70 Dodge Coronet that lent themselves better to the nose design. It was an easy fix since the mounting points for fenders on both cars were identical. The special nose added 19 inches (mm) to the overall length (the Daytona's was 18 inches or mm), and the trunk spoiler was more angled and higher than the Daytonas. On both models, the spoiler was two feet high. Although it created quite an impression on the street, the wing was not needed at normal highway speeds; it was designed for speedways to keep the rear wheels to the ground at mph (km/h) and higher speeds. The reason for using such a tall spoiler was to access 'clean air' according to the engineers who designed the spoiler. In the test, the spoiler didn't need to be so tall. The spoiler was this tall to clear the trunk lid. The tallest the spoiler had to be was the same height as the roof.
Despite the success of the Superbird on the track, would be the only year it was made.
Second generation (–)
In , the coupe bodywork was completely changed to a more rounded "fuselage" design in keeping with then-current Chrysler styling trends, including a steeply raked windshield, hidden cowl, and deeply inset grille and headlights. In a departure from previous thinking, the B-Body two-door bodies shared little sheet metal, glass, or trim with the four-door bodies. The convertible was canceled. The interiors could be ordered with 6-way power leather seats, thick deep-pile carpeting, and additional sound-proofing was installed. A/C and power steering could be had, except on the Hemi. was a high-water year for the ride and handling for the Road Runner. The overall length was increased, but the wheelbase was shortened an inch. It also saw the introduction of the 4-BBL option and a detuned "Road Runner" engine with compression and power dropping to hp (kW). In return, Road Runners with the and engines received a standard insurance rating without the costly premiums normally tacked onto muscle cars. The would now run on regular gas. The +6 and Hemi were available, though this would be the last year for them. The tall axle ratios with the 8 3/4" Chrysler and Dana 60 rear ends, as well as the wide and close-ratio 4-speed transmissions, could be had with any of the engine choices, though few cars were built with the six-pack or Hemi engines. Aerodynamics were much improved over the first generation Road Runners, resulting in much-improved high-speed handling.
saw new emission regulations drive power down and 1/4mile times up.
The model was nearly identical to with a few minor changes. The grille design was cleaned up, and the taillights were changed to match the grille's new aerodynamic look. Side marker lights changed from the flush-mounted side markers to the surface-mounted units adopted across the entire Chrysler line-up for the model year. The optional bumper guards for included a rubber strip surrounding the taillights and a rubber strip below the grille. The big differences came in the cutting back of performance options for the car. The suspension, rear axle ratios (a ratio was the tallest available), and most noticeably, the engines changed. The big-block was replaced by a larger-bore (and lower performance) CID version as the standard engine. The small-block CID and the performance version of the CID engine (with a 4-barrel carburetor, performance camshaft, and dual exhausts) were also available, and for the last time, a 4-speed manual transmission could be paired with any of the three engines. All of the engines suffered a drop in compression ratios to allow the use of low-lead/no-lead gas and to meet the first round of emissions regulations. The hp (kW) engine was the basis for the Road Runner GTX (the GTX was no longer a separate model) and was available on Road Runners from to The Road Runner sheet metal was used by several NASCAR racing teams for their racecars and ran well on the circuit during the seasons. Richard Petty won the championship both in and using the Road Runner-based cars, winning 30 races over the two seasons.
For power ratings on all engines looked much lower on paper due to the new SAE net measurement system. The famed Hemi was discontinued for , and only five Six Barrel equipped cars were produced before this engine option was dropped (it was determined the six-packs could not meet the stricter emissions regulations) in the fall of
The models received completely new sheet metal and had more conventional squared-up front-end styling and changes to the rear that closely resembled the four-door models than the s. The interior options included retaining power seats and windows and offering plusher carpeting and seat covers, moving the car to a slightly higher level of luxury. The restyling helped sales, which were up 40% over the models. In testing, 1/4 mile times were getting close to the 16s, top speeds had dropped to barely over mph (km/h), and the car moved further away from "muscle car" status. The base engine for the models had dropped down to Chrysler's workaday CID V8 but equipped with dual exhausts which bumped the power up to hp (kW). After , no with four-speed manual cars were built. The code E68 cu in hp engine was the biggest Plymouth offered with the 4-speed, which could also be had with the (), and () engines. The was equipped with a 3-speed manual transmission as standard (though very few were built), and the TorqueFlite as an option, though at least one engine car was built with the 4-speed manual transmission equipped with a Hurst shifter. The cu in engine, boasting hp was still available for and , but only mated to the TorqueFliteautomatic, with sure-grip 8 3/4 rear axle gearing available. (Some info from the Dodge and Plymouth Muscle Car Red Book, by Motorbooks International.)
Plymouth Road Runner
Plymouth Road Runner (rear)
Plymouth Road Runner
Third generation ()
The model was based on the newly restyled, more formal-looking B-body, which was now called the Fury (the former full-sized Fury being called "Gran Fury"). Like Fury, the Road Runner could be ordered with plush interiors, a rally instrument cluster in the dashboard, power seats as well as windows. The Road Runner came with a blacked-out grille and a special stripe treatment to distinguish it from the Fury, as well as a heavy-duty suspension with front and rear sway bars and Rallye inch or inch wheels. As before, the was the standard engine, but it was now just with a single exhaust and hp (kW). The engine options were however extensive; with a two-barrel/single-exhaust hp (kW) , a high-performance four-barrel/dual-exhaust (Code E58) hp (kW) , and three CID offerings; a two-barrel/single-exhaust hp (kW), a four-barrel/single-exhaust hp (kW), and a high-performance (Code E68) four-barrel/dual-exhaust/moderate cam hp (kW) were also available. In Car and Driver magazine testing of a car with the Code E68 engine; happened in seconds, the quarter-mile times were solidly in the second range, and the top observed speed was mph (km/h). While just a shadow of the figures, this performance was at least respectable for the times. All engine choices were limited to the 3-speed Torqueflite automatic, with the E58 and the engines being available with the axle ratio gearing. Plymouth's most powerful engine; the , was restricted to police models, though it has been rumored that a few Road Runners were built (via special factory order by checking off the A38 Police Pkge option) with the hp (kW) police spec , along with the police spec suspension and wider (7") rims. Only 7, Road Runners were built in , and most (just over 50%) had the engine.
Although the name of the Road Runner model was based on changed from Belvedere to Satellite to Fury, the Road Runner remained a B-body through While the Road Runner name was planned to be on a B-body in Plymouth's published literature for the model year, the name was transferred to an optional appearance package for the all-new Volare.
– F-body trim package
In the Road Runner name was switched to the 2-door model of the replacement for the compactA-bodyValiant/Duster series. The new F platform was marketed as the Plymouth Volaré, and the new Road Runner became a trim and graphics package primarily. The standard engine was the V8 with the CID V8 offered as an option (with a two-barrel carb for '77 and single exhaust) producing hp (kW) and only paired with the three-speed automatic transmission. Suspension parts were borrowed from the police packages.
In and , the was offered with a four-barrel carb and, for , dual exhaust, bringing power up to hp (kW). The standard engine for the model year was the CID "Slant 6" six-cylinder. For , the was no longer offered, and the was the top engine.
The Road Runner continued as part of the Volaré line until its discontinuation in
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Well, it will touch, of course. It will twist it, turn it over, and let it go. The station is coming soon.