Posted Juerg Weidmann on May 23, 2011
The Plymouth Road Runner was an American muscle car built by the Chrysler Corporation from 1968 to 1980. It was a two-dour coupe built on a FR or front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The Road Runner's design was based on the B-body line, which was also used for Plymouth’s larger luxury vehicles like the Belvedere and Satellite.
As the name implies, the Road Runner was named after the famous cartoon character of the same name. Not only did the vehicle’s steering wheel picture the famous Warner Bros character, but Plymouth also used Wiley Coyote in the vehicle’s advertising campaign.
Exterior Despite the original Road Runner's unique styling and body type, the 1970 Road Runner underwent several exterior changes for its third model year. The most noticeable front exterior change was the addition of an optional Air Grabber Hood, which featured a shark-like fin hood accessory. The fin could be raised or lowered by utilizing a remote control located in the passenger compartment. Rear exterior changes included rear quarter panel redesign, which included the addition of a non-functional scoop shape.
Interior The Road Runner’s base interior included vinyl covered bench style seats, although a leather option was available. Additionally, high back bucket seats could be ordered. The 1970 Road Runner’s dash was modeled after that Dodge Charger and included a 150-mph speedometer.
Powertrain Aside from interior and exterior details, the Road Runner’s major appeal was its powertrain. Like the 1969 Road Runner, the 1970 model was available in a 383 cubic-inch V8 engine and a 440 cubic-inch V8 engine. The 440 was equipped with three Holley carburetors, which Plymouth referred to as the 440 Six Pack. In order to reduce costs, Plymouth used a cast iron intake manifold as opposed to the standard Edelbrock aluminum model. Racing enthusiasts in need of added horsepower also had the option of purchasing a 426 cubic-inch Hemi. The only mechanical change on the 1970 model was that Plymouth strengthened the engines connecting rods after experiencing bottom-end failure on multiple 1968 and 1969 models.
Transmission Like years past, the 1970 Road Runner was available in three-speed manual, four-speed manual and three-speed automatic transmission.
Performance The Road Runner’s 383 engine could reach 0-60 in 7.1 seconds and 96 mph in approximately 15 seconds. The 426 was capable of going from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds and able to reach 105 mph in just 13.49 seconds. The vehicles top speed was 115 mph.
Production The 1970 model is also notable in the fact that it was the second to last year that the convertible model was available. Aside from 824 convertibles, Plymouth built 24,944 two-door hardtop coupes and 15,716 two-door pillared coupes.
Cost The 1970 Road Runner’s original MSRP was $3,284. Today, 1970 Road Runner models can be worth anywhere from $32,300 to $59,100.
Conclusion AutoTraderClassics.com contends that the Road Runner is a popular muscle car whose value continues to increase. They also argue that the 1970 model offers better performance than almost any other 1970 vehicle based on its price. The primary downside is that the Road Runner may be expensive to restore due to its expensive restoration parts. However, AutoTraderClassics.com concludes that the 1970 Road Runner possesses outstanding investment potential.
All prices are in USD