Plymouth Roadrunner

PLYMOUTH ROADRUNNER, THE BARGAIN MUSCLE CAR
The Roadrunner came out in 1968 as Plymouth’s attempt to create a low-priced muscle car. The goal was a $3,000 car that could do a 14-second quarter mile. Unlike the GTX, which came with loads of equipment standard and cost more for it, the Roadrunner would come stripped of nearly everything that wasn’t essential, bringing the price way down, and leaving it up to the customer to order the options that were important to him. It was a winning strategy and a market niche that no one else seemed to be serving. Although it went 3 generations, we are concerned with the first two, because they are the only ones with muscle car cred.
PLYMOUTH ROADRUNNER HAS ATTITUDE
The 1st-gen was really a thinly-disguised boxy old Belvedere with different front and rear facia, wheels and trim. Yet somehow, they pulled it off very convincingly. The Plymouth Roadrunner was a tough looking car. And it was loaded with attitude, not just badass attitude, but playfulness also. The cartoon figure of Warner Bros. “Road Runner” as the car’s logo was wild enough. But the horn actually made the same “meep, meep” that the cartoon character did on Saturday mornings. What a kick! They also came in all sorts of bright, flamboyant colors and stripe packages.
BELOW: 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Convertible.
PLYMOUTH ROADRUNNER ENGINES
At launch, the standard Roadrunner engine was the 383 big block V8 making 330hp. The only optional engine for the first year was the 426 Hemi with 425hp. By 1969, they added the 440 Six-Pack with 390hp, and the Air Grabber hood became an option. The Super Commando 440 with single 4-barrel was available only on the 1970 Superbird, along with the 440 Six-Pack and the 426 Hemi. When the 2nd-generation came out in 1971, smog laws and crappy gas were killing performance, and so performance shrank quickly. The Six-Pack and the Hemi went away at the end of the 1971 model year, and what 383s and 440 remained were low compression smog-dogs. The small block LA-series 318, 340 and 360 made their appearance in the 2nd-gen. By 1973 the base engine had gone from the 383 big block to the small block 318 wheezing out all of 170hp. 1974 was the last year of the 2nd-generation. The 3rd-generation isn’t worth considering in our muscle car discussion.

Plymouth Roadrunner YEAR-BY-YEAR



1968 ROADRUNNER

First-year Roadrunners came with 383 Magnum. The 426 Hemi was the only other engine option. Our photo car has the Hemi.



1969 ROADRUNNER





1970 ROADRUNNER





1972 ROADRUNNER




Check out these MOPAR BOOKS

MOPAR VINTAGE 2017 Calendar, by Mopar



DODGE CHARGER 2017 12X12 Calendar



MOPAR MUSCLE: THE COMPLETE STORY


COMPLETE BOOK OF DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE


MIGHTY MOPARS 1960-1974


MOPAR PERFORMANCE


HOW TO BUILD MAX-PERFORMANCE MOPAR BIG BLOCKS


BIG BLOCK MOPAR ENGINES


HOW TO HOT ROD SMALL BLOCK MOPAR ENGINES


HOW TO REBUILD THE SMALL BLOCK MOPAR


HOW TO BUILD BIG-INCH MOPAR SMALL BLOCKS


MOPAR B-BODY RESTORATION, 1966-1970


MOPAR B-BODY PERFORMANCE UPGRADES, 1962-1979


DODGE 100 YEARS


MOPAR HEMI & WEDGE V8 CASTING NUMBER & CODE GUIDE


MOPAR SMALL BLOCKS: HOW TO BUILD MAX-PERFORMANCE


HOW TO REBUILD THE BIG BLOCK MOPAR


MOPAR SIX-PACK ENGINE HANDBOOK


MOPAR: THE PERFORMANCE YEARS


BIG BLOCK MOPAR PERFORMANCE


MOPAR MAGNUM ENGINES


HOW TO MODIFY YOUR MOPAR MAGNUM


MOPAR MUSCLE: FIFTY YEARS


MOPAR SUSPENSIONS


TORQUEFLITE A-727 TRANSMISSION HANDBOOK


MOPAR MUSCLE CARS 1968-1971


MOPAR PARTS LOCATING GUIDE


HOW TO REBUILD MOPAR MAGNUM V8 ENGINES


HEMI: HISTORY OF CHRYSLER’S ICONIC V8


SIX PACK: MOPAR STREET MUSCLE IN THE 60s


MOPAR BROADCAST SHEET DECODER


MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE: MOPAR SUPER STOCK & DRAG RACING


DODGE CHALLENGER & CHARGER: HOW TO BUILD & MODIFY


DODGE DYNASTY: THE CAR & FAMILY THAT ROCKED DETROIT


DODGE BROTHERS: THE MEN, THE CARS, THE LEGACY


DODGE DAYTONA & PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD


PLYMOUTH 1946-1959


DODGE, PLYMOUTH & CHRYSLER POLICE CARS 1956-1978


PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CARS 1966-1971


DODGE CHALLENGER & PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA: CHRYSLER’S PONY CARS


TOP SPEED: DODGE & PLYMOUTH STOCK CAR RACING


ILLUSTRATED DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CAR BUYERS GUIDE


CHRYSLER, PLYMOUTH & DODGE STOCK CARS




DODGE, PLYMOUTH & CHRYSLER POLICE CARS, 1979-1994


DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE CARS, 1964-2000


DODGE DART & PLYMOUTH DUSTER


CHARGER, ROAD RUNNER & SUPER BEE: 50 YEARS OF B-BODY


CHRYSLER, DODGE & PLYMOUTH MUSCLE


PLYMOUTH FURY LIMITED EDITION EXTRA 1956-1976


CHRYSLER’S TURBINE CAR: THE RISE & FALL


STANDARD CATALOG OF CHRYSLER 1914-2000


CHRYSLER CLASSIC CARS





Auto Parts Warehouse

PLEASE LOOK AROUND AMERICAN-MUSCLE-CARS.NET:

HOME PAGE
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
SITE MAP
CLASSIC CAR SHOWS
CLASSIC CAR EVENTS CALENDAR
CLASSIC CAR MUSEUMS
CLASSIC CAR AUCTIONS
CLASSIC CAR DEALERS
CLASSIC CAR VIDEOS

AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS:

GENERAL MOTORS
.....CHEVROLET
...............Camaro
...............Chevelle SS
...............El Camino SS
...............Corvette
...............Impala SS
...............Nova
...............Tri-Five Chevy (1955-1957)
...............Nomad (1955-1957)
...............Chevy Small Block V8
...............Chevy Big Block V8
.....PONTIAC
...............Firebird
...............Trans Am
...............GTO
...............Grand Prix
.....OLDSMOBILE
...............Olds 442
.....BUICK
...............Skylark GS/Grand Sport
...............Grand National/GNX
...............Riviera
FORD MOTOR COMPANY / FOMOCO
.....FORD
...............Mustang
...............Thunderbird
...............Fairlane
...............Torino
...............Galaxie
.....MERCURY Cougar
...............Ford Engines
.....SHELBY-AMERICAN
MOPAR/CHRYSLER PRODUCTS
.....DODGE
...............Challenger
...............Charger
...............Coronet
...............Super Bee
...............Viper
.....PLYMOUTH
...............Barracuda
...............Duster
...............Roadrunner
...............GTX
...............Superbird
AMERICAN MOTORS / AMC
..........Javelin/AMX
MODERN MUSCLE CARS, 2000 and newer
MUSCLE CAR ENGINES
COP CARS

STORES:

.....Car Books
.....Car Magazines
.....Car Calendars
.....Diecast Cars

CONTACT US


Do you like Classic British Motorcycles? Check out our sister site at:

www.Classic-British-Motorcycles.com



Back to top - Plymouth Roadrunner
Last updated 12/26/16

Learn how to build your own WEBSITE, like I did.