Air Grabber 4-Speed! 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Plymouth struck gold when branding its Road Runner. A $50,000 deal with Warner Brothers bought the rights to the popular speedy cartoon character’s “Road Runner” name and its “Beep Beep” horn sound. The cartoon Road Runner beat its opponent every time with clever skills and pure speed. This 1969 Plymouth Road Runner in Palm Springs, California needs a complete makeover before taking on any challengers, but it left the factory with some interesting options including a 383 cid V8, four-speed manual transmission, and the N96 “Air Grabber” fresh-air hood. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least 10 bidders and a market value above $6000. Thanks to reader Larry D for spotting this once-potent Plymouth.

Buyers would love to see the car’s original E63 383 cid (6.3L) four-barrel V8 instead of an empty hatch, but the proper N96 setup helps. Time may be running out to cash in on these previously forgotten and parted-out car husks, but hope springs eternal. Auction prices on all but the rarest classic muscle cars trend downward lately, but we still see rusty Mopar memories sell for $15,000 or more while perfectly-restored specimens trade under $50,000.

Respray the original T5 Bronze Fire Poly and V21 black stripe hood treatment and you’ll draw a crowd at every fill-up. Credit the seller for persevering with their camera of choice until the entire vehicle appeared in the pictures, a surprisingly daunting achievement these days. Only the screen-shot of the fender tag challenges the human eye. Under-car pictures show solid metal with some rust. Thanks to the VIN and fender tag decoders at MyMopar, and to the seller for the due diligence of including the key information.

Three pedals and a four-speed bump-out support the fender tag and seller’s four-speed claim. The budget-minded Road Runner appealed to those who wanted a new car that left the factory with street-ready mechanical bits and (if so desired) little else. Most high-rollers looking for a fast ride left the dealer in the upscale GTX. Not every ’69 Road Runner needs the full journey back to factory perfection. Picture this ride with a shiny T5 Bronze in base / clear and a 21st-century Hemi five-speed powertrain, air conditioning, and a killer stereo. How would you re-create this long-forgotten Road Runner?

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Comments

  1. Steve Bush Member

    Looks to be a decent start for a restomod if the reserve isn’t over $10k. Of course, as always throughly check it out in person.

    Like 1
  2. Al

    As I said I couple years ago, hang in there. These cars, all of the muscle cars actually, will be dropping in value within the next 5 yrs. Us boomers retired or soon will be & there’s a TON of these sitting in garages all over the country. Some sold for RVs & retirement, others will be at estate auctions for widows to finally rid something that got more attention in a dark garage than they ever got in a bikini on the beach! No love lost. But make no mistake, that $50k Chevelle SS today around the corner will be dropping down to $30k or less by ’26. Supply/demand as well as lack of interest from the Gen RX’ers to millennials will make your dream car a reality soon enough. For the prices of 15+ yrs ago. Patience.

    Like 13
    • Steve R

      I have friends that have been saying the same thing for 30 years, so far they’ve even proven wrong. Muscle cars are still popular with younger people and are still relevant in popular culture. That’s not likely to change anytime soon.

      Steve R

      Like 7
      • Al

        But 30 yrs ago, kids then had an interest to keeping their dads muscle going. The boomers that made the muscle what they were are sadly dropping at the rate WWII vets were 10 yrs ago. Todays kids like Fast & Furious series cars, the 500hp Turbo Subaru’s w/12 speakers, USB ports & the like. How many of those movies made? Look at what Smokey done for the Trans Am. Their driven by what’s trending. No more remakes of the Gumball Rally or Canonball Runs to give the classics a lift. If my son pulled up in my ’69 Z while after figuring how to shift it to pick up a girl I haven’t even met yet, I could hear her now “Let me guess, your cars broken down so you took your fathers”? The back seat will have the same miles as when it left the house!

        Like 7
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        To add to Steve – all it takes is a young one finding a picture of his parents – as a baby in the arms of his parents – beside a car like this – when they took them home from the hospital….and it’s on to the hunt !

        Like 2
    • Newport Pagnell

      Yep,the three boys that live next door care only about video games and the latest iphones. They don’t know the difference between a torque wrench or a box wrench. The only six-packs they know of exist in Dads fridge. Sad but true…

      Like 7
    • George

      I agree. My 73 year old friend was out with his 26 year old son recently when they happened upon a beautifully restored 67 GTO. While my friend was drooling over it his son commented who the hell would want that.

  3. Bill

    It’s a rusty piece of crap bury it look at it girls let it rest

    Like 3
  4. DON

    Rusty ?? It needs a lot, but from what I see, the one thing it doesn’t have is rust ! its a very solid car to start a restoration .

    Like 2
  5. George Mattar

    Al is correct. Today’s punks can’t even put air in a tire. My ex’s two useless lids could not. Sad but true. I am 65 and have lost nearly 20 percent of my high school class that I know about. I still work and all I see are idiots making $800 a month car payments on new Dodge trucks and Jeeps. We haven’t sold a new car in 3 months, just gas hog trucks and Jeeps. In 1973, while looking for my first car, I found a T5 Turquoise 69 RR 4 speed near our house in NE PA. NE PA has salt covered roads from Dec to April. The salt truck just drive by as another 2 inches of snow fell last night. Anyway, of course dad went with me to check out the RR. N96, four speed, front discs and buckets. But one look at the quarter panels and trunk and he said no way are you buying this heap of rust for $1,200. Yes, California cars don’t rot, but the cost to make this 69 road worthy far exceeds its value. Prices will drop sooner than most think. I watch almost every Mecum auction and if you pay attention almost every seller is a fat old white dude cashing in. But in almost every case, even for valuable C2 Corvettes, the reserve is pulled because they can’t get their price. My best friend just finished restoring his 69 GTO conv he bought in 1989 for $800. It was a total heap. He told me he has more than $60,000 in it and it still needs a*nother $10,000 to sort out numerous problems . Up here in PA, high test gas is almost $4. Combine that with liberals destroying our economy and muscle car prices will sink like the Titantic. Patience and you will be able to afford a real car you actually have to shift.

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