1 of 375? 1969 Plymouth Road Runner Racer

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The first-generation Plymouth Road Runner was a hot commodity in 1968-70. Total production exceeded 172,000 copies, but most of them came with a 383 cubic inch V8. In 1969, in the 2-door hardtop body style, just 375 units came with the 440 V8 “Six-Pack” and automatic transmission. The seller’s car could be one of them, but it spent time as a racer and the motor is out of the car (but comes with the deal). Located in Irvington, Alabama, this once-fast Mopar is available here on eBay where only the opening bid of $50,000 has been cast (and a reserve is still in play).

We’re told this is an A12, M-code Road Runner with the lift-off hood. The fender tag (which has been removed from the car) supports this, but the VIN provided suggests this was a 383 Road Runner when new. So, we’re not sure if this is a rare automobile or not. It spent its early days at the track and used a 440 Tri-Power V8 which is sitting on a pallet and photographed behind the Plymouth. The mileage claim is less than 9,000 which could make sense if racing is all this Road Runner ever did.

The Bahama Yellow paint (sometimes called Butterscotch) might be the original finish and it’s not bad considering the age of the car. Some work was done underneath to support a racing set-up, i.e., the inner wheel tubs were moved inboard of the frame rails and the wheel arches were trimmed to accommodate slicks. An automatic transmission sits behind in the engine compartment, but its status is unknown, and we don’t know if anything is numbers-matching. We wish that more history on the car was known to help would-be buyers decide what its true value should be.

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    I know I berate these cars, as a street car, but this here is EXACTLY what these cars were made for, raw, blacktop curdling power. It’s as if Chrysler was getting back at the world from earlier 60s. We all hear “hemi” this, and “hemi” that, I read the 440/6 was ( a tick) faster than the hemi and cost less, if you could even get one, that is.. Okay, splitting hairs, really. Unbelievably fast cars, cleaned up on everyone.
    I read, this car was “rated” at 380hp, NHRA claimed 410, but like the hemi, I bet it was close to 500. It did the 1/4 in 13.88@106. Impressive numbers off the showroom. Didn’t take much to get these into the 12s, traction mostly. Didn’t come cheap, though, and added a whopping( then) $462.00 option on a base $2995. car, pushed it into the $3grand range, and better cars could be had, for the street, anyway. Didn’t last long, by what, geezers, ’71? Inexperienced drivers wrapped plenty around rural oak trees, and insurance rates soared. Gas prices too, and by ’73, it hit the skids. You couldn’t GIVE these cars away, and adorned practically every gas station corner, with a 4 sale sign. $500 bucks, TOPS.
    Sadly, the dust conveys the interest, we’re in changing times. Now Bandimere Speedway is closing, adding to the growing list of closures. Not sure what’s in store for drag racing. Quite frankly, I don’t care if these rich um,,folks, can’t blast their advertising rockets due to a list of woes. I only hope drag racing, in a more simpler form, like here, stays with us. This here is “Good old boy”( or girl) fun.

    Like 32
    • 19sixty5Member

      Bandimere has been on the “endangered” list for quite some time, family housing has been encroaching the area around the track for quite some time. The property was allegedly sold to Amazon. The Bandimere family has been searching for property to build another facility, but only time will tell…

      Like 8
    • Grant

      I agree, these were fantastic cars on a drag track, but crummy on a real world street. Anyone who had them on the street, did them to street race, and that has been, and always will be dangerous. I am 100% behind law enforcement that corrals such people and makes them pay for endangering us all.

      Like 5
      • Mark

        Good thing you have a Honda Civic.

        Like 19
      • Grant

        Mark my words, Mark(!), my turbo Civic would run circles around this and at a fifth of the price this is going to be when all is said and done. Plus be so much more comfortable, safer, air conditioned, and warranty! My Civic gets 40+ MPG in mixed driving, and hardly pollutes the air we all breath. What good can you say about this?

        Like 0
      • bone

        Here we go again – you’re probably the guy that drives in the passing lane at 40mph , and yells when people blow the horn at you.

        Like 3
    • John EderMember

      I started high school in 1967 in a somewhat affluent area of California. Over the next four years, the parking lot at my school was full of Roadrunners, Olds 442s, Z28s and the like. It seemed as if every hot rodder kid got one of these muscle cars for their 16th birthday. Most of them were jacked up in the back with enormously wide tires. The exit from the parking lot was black with rubber from the numerous after school burnouts, leading to a long straight section of rural road where the racing started.

      During this time, I was really satisfied with my 67 Fairlane Squire station wagon. It accommodated my stoner friends, my drum set and my girlfriend all quite well.

      Like 18
    • FrankDMember

      Hemi if your drag racing are expensive when they go bang to fix.

      Like 1
    • Camaro guy

      Howard the 6pac Mopar’s were usually faster than the Hemi’s because they were easier to keep in tune, plus they had a lot of bottom end torque, and when those 3 Holley’s opened they were gone. Back in the day I had a 69 Chevelle SS L78/4sp/4.10 i had way more trouble with these 6 Pac’s than with Hemi’s, Yeah the good old days indeed

      Like 2
    • Kevin

      The 440 six-barrel, plymouths version of dodge’s six-pack was rated at 390 hp, but as you did state, could of been more.

      Like 0
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Sure hope that engine not being sealed up didn’t kill it. Not enough of these drag cars left to document one weekend of racing history anymore. Too bad, it was fun while it lasted.

    Like 5
  3. robjMember

    Back in the day a friend had a 440 6 pak. Bought it new. Scary fast!

    Like 6
  4. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Ok .. cut to the chase.. It’s not a A12 runner.. fender tag shows E63 – 383-4 hp Vin number RM23H9 .. 383-4 .. most likely race the 383 till it blew or it was not fast enough. Install a 440-6 with removable hood 6 pack. It’s a clone. I knew people in my early life that done this. The Vin and Tag don’t lie. I meet people claiming A-12 runners and call them out on it. Don’t snow a Mopar man!! I just hope for the buyer that 440-6 is not in rough shape..🐻🇺🇸

    Like 33
    • CadmanlsMember

      Have to agree but also this was long before these were collector cars. No one called them clones, the were just made faster! Hot Roding was a real thing. Today you can buy 1000 HP then you built maybe 600 but weight of the cars was less. That’s why the fox Mustang is so popular, weight and availability. Go to the dragstrip today and Fox bodies with LS, Coyotes and Big block Chevys and yes Fords. Tri Five of today, just with more engine combinations.

      Like 10
    • Melton Mooney

      A12 cars got the 383 code on the bottom line of the fender tag and got A12 on the third line, which is exactly what the fender tag on the ebay listing shows, along with the 26″ radiator callout. It would be very nice if the dash vin were shown in a photo, but it’s not. Checking the vin and corresponding stampings on the core support and trunk lip would confirm the car’s original pedigree.

      Like 11
      • anthony j dipietro

        you are partly correct but the vin he lists has an H as 5th digit for a 383 car not the M it should have if its a true M code car , that fender tag being off the car should make everyone suspicious

        Like 4
      • Melton Mooney

        Also looks to be an original 4-speed car. A few more key pics would be a huge help.

        Like 0
      • Scott L.

        Looks legit to me, from what I can see here, except that it’s a sedan, not a hardtop.
        The VIN the seller listed is incomplete, but it could also have a typo. Sometimes an M (or a W) is not that easy to tell from an H.

        Like 1
    • Thomas Baily

      Your absolutely right if it were a true A12 car the VIN would read RM23M or RM21M

      Like 0
  5. A.G.

    The “raced since new” is a head scratcher. Who purchases such a new car for racing without prominently advertising their sponsorship on the vehicle? The same goes for subsequent owners/sponsors? No documentation should equal no sale especially at $50k.

    Like 4
  6. Steve Weiman

    This one perked me up at first sight! In 1982 at 17 yo I purchased a real glass hood,440 6bbl, 4 speed RR in this same 2 door post- Bahama Yellow configuration. Pretty rough car for only 13 years old but man what a car! $750 with a bad original engine. Junkyard 68 440 and she was on the road for many years of serious fun.

    If the numbers in the listing are not typos this is NOT an M code 440 6bbl. I would go so far to say the lead line in the ad is straight up fraud. A very cool 383 RR with what looks to be some correct A12 pieces. Bid accordingly ie: the current bid is already more than the car is worth…….

    Like 9
  7. mrgreenjeans mrgreenjeans

    As mentioned above about this Bahama yellow being a 2 door post, or sedan or coupe. The pillared 2 door was never considered a ‘hardtop’ back in the day and isn’t recognized as such today either.

    I own a ’71 Dart Swinger in Butterscotch; it is considered by many to be one of the rarest colors MOPAR used other than Panther Pink (Dodge) or Moulin Rouge (Plymouth). I may not consider it a very fond color within my grouping, but it is original paint in every way and it will stay. The FORD competition had a similar shade and not very popular either. It was known as just that: ‘Competition Orange’. One mostly saw them on tracks as road racing choices from that team effort, very seldom on the street.

    As to the Runners, Super B’s, Chargers, Challengers, and Barracudas, Demons, Valiants, Darts, etc., I really only remember ever seeing the Swinger I have, one BEE, and one RR in this shade of orange/yellow. It was also known as ‘baby-s**t brown’ by it’s detractors.

    Like 4
    • Frank

      My buddy worked at the overpriced muscle car dealer that was in Mentor Ohio ten or so years ago and is now down south. They had the test mule for the A12 cars there for sale and he got to drive it several times. It was originally red with crudely done repaint in Butterscotch? with the original red under the hood and elsewhere. Cool cars

      Like 0
    • DON

      I personally like the color , though I’m one for odd colors anyway – My 73 Duster 340 is also painted in a rare color , F1 Mist Green , sort of a glow in the dark toy color and only used that one year. There is a 72 Duster 340 in Bahama Yellow that shows up once in a while at local cruises , with its black stripes and interior the color really pops !

      Like 2
  8. FrankDMember

    and another $25 -30k to get in running and presentable if your lucky.

    Like 0
  9. Gary

    This is a coupe not a hardtop, the chrome pillar behind door glass shows that.
    The highest production was hardtop then coupe then convertible. It is rare for sure if it is true A12

    Like 1
  10. C Force

    My stepdad has owned his since 1983 getting it for only $1200.383 automatic,red with black interior.when he had it on the street in the mid and late 80s his ran 12.25@103 on street tires.changed to a giant isky cam,dome pistons and a 3800rpm stall converter.with 13:1 compression and 4.56 gears it got into the 11.30s even with a curb weight of 3850lbs would even lift the wheels of the ground about a foot on good launches.

    Like 3
  11. Mark

    Grant

    Haha and it will still be an eyesore Honda Civic with little to no value in 7 yrs… These cars are a valuable as a house.

    Like 4
    • Kevin

      And will always look cool, Honda Civic is a great daily driver, gas saver, not even in the same category, civics are not cool, and never will be!

      Like 3
      • Mark

        Tell that to Grant. He compares every cool car on barn finds to his superfast, comfortable, extremely valuable Honda Civic. He claims his Honda is a muscle car eater…

        Like 3
  12. Mark

    Grant,

    I would rather drive any Roadrunner even a Roadkill Roadrunner on any trop no matter how long than a Honda.

    Like 1
  13. Cooper

    I sure regret not buying that orange ‘70 Super Bee that was on Barnfind’s a month or so ago. It was a California Craig’s List car and was nearly perfect! All it needed was gas in the tank and my ass in the seat! $50,000 but it was ready to run down the road! Unfortunately, the CFO wouldn’t let me. 🥴 After I showed her what true classics were bringing, I could see the regret in her eyes. When I told her what the full auto H&K registered trigger that she wouldn’t ok a few years ago at $25k was now selling for $60k, she told me to do what I want!🤦‍♂️ Too late.🙄

    Like 3
  14. Kevin

    Respectfully,to the author, and others, tri-power, was a Pontiac designation, for 3 2-barrel carburetors,Plymouth used 6-barrel,and Dodge 6-pack.

    Like 3

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