Worthwhile Project? 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

When the budget-minded Road Runner was conceived, Chrysler executives thought they might sell a few thousand a year. Not sure why they had that opinion given the success that Pontiac had with the early GTO. Instead, they sold 45,000 of them the first year and 84,000 the second. So, the idea of a muscle car with a gimmicky name and a trademarked horn sound caught on fast. This 1969 edition has been waiting outdoors for some time and needs a full restoration. The seller has priced it here on eBay at $4,500 (Buy It Now) because it doesn’t run and has loads of rust. If you wanted to look at it, you’d need to trek to Corinth, New York.

Chrysler’s marketing gurus gladly forked over $50,000 to Warner Brothers to use the names and likenesses of the popular cartoon characters, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. And spent another $10,000 for developing the famous “Beep! Beep!” sound for the horn. The car would continue in production through the peaks and valleys of the muscle car market from 1968-74 and then as a less powerful option on the compact Volare until 1980.

At first glance, this 1969 Road Runner looks to be F5 Limelight in color. But that’s until you pop the hood and see what looks like R4 Barracuda Orange on the firewall (this was before the Hi-Impact colors like Hemi Orange and Plum Crazy). Yet the interior is blue in color, none of which really go together. There looks to be a substantial amount of rust on the car, especially on the undercarriage where holes in important places can be found. The front and rear frame rails have been blighted along with the floorboards, trunk pan, torsion bar mount, rocker panels, and rear quarters. But the doors open and close fine, according to the seller, which suggests that structurally it’s still viable.

This Road Runner is said to have left the factory with a 383 V8 and a column-shift TorqueFlite automatic, which went into 13,200 coupes and 24,300 hardtops in 1969. But the big block is gone in favor of a 318 whose running condition is unknown, in the seller’s words. It has an 8 ¾ rear end with a section missing and the all-important fender tag is also gone. The whole interior is a mess, so the fact that the back seat is missing is probably not significant. A rather worn bench seat sits upfront.

We’re told the car rolls fine, so it shouldn’t pose any issues going on and off a trailer. The seller is confident about his price and says don’t bother inquiring or bidding if $4,500 sounds like too much. Hagerty says a 1969 in Fair condition is worth $20,000 and this car is currently far from that in presentation. Do you see this Plymouth as a glass half full or a glass half empty when it comes to future potential?

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  1. Gary Rhodes

    Cut the body loose from the floorpan and build a chassis. Nascar clone would be cool

    Like 6
    • Servicevet

      Yeah no kidding the frame on this is garbage.

      Like 5
  2. Chester

    Man, amazing what something that has been a generational eyesore is worth today. Don’t get me wrong, an amazing car in its day, but its day has come and gone. This is going to cost about as much as a new hemi Challenger off the show room floor to restore, and in the end you are going to have 1/100th of the car in comparison (and no warranty!) I love my old cars, but I am realistic about how much they are worth.

    Like 18
    • robert semrad

      Chester, how much value in dollars is the new hemi challenger going to lose in the first year?…..how about after 10-15 years?
      Now….how much is the restored Roadrunner going to lose in the first year?…..how about after 10-15 years?
      Are you catching on to a trend here?
      As for the warranty, your hemi-challenger will lose it’s warranty at some point….
      In my estimation, the restored (correctly) RR is a much better buy…..plus, they are easy to sell, because a lot of people want them. Thanks

      Like 2
  3. Steve R

    The colors do go together, if you are a Syracuse university fan, those are the school colors. Both the car and university are located in northern New York. Matching colors to sport teams or schools is nothing new, it’s often isn’t pretty, just look at the number of green and gold colored cars located near Green Bay Wisconsin or black and silver cars near Oakland.

    Steve R

    Like 7
  4. Hoss

    wow, e e k !!!!!!!

    Like 7
  5. Arthur

    Fix this car’s body and give it an Art Morrison or Roadster Shop chassis, it would be a good recipient for a Hellcrate or Hellephant installation.

    Like 3
  6. Arthell64 Member

    If you want to learn how to drill out spot welds and mig weld this would be the car.

    Like 2
  7. Phil D

    Since there is no consensus on the original color and plenty of conflicting clues, let me stir the pot a bit more. That door jamb in the interior pic is not, and the the shock towers in the underhood shot are not, in my opinion, light green, they’re silver. And a blue interior would likely have been an available and recommended combination with a silver exterior, but not with green.

    Like 3
    • bone

      Yup, its definitely silver !

  8. RPOL80

    Well, we`ve said it before. A fool and his money, will soon part!!

    Like 1
  9. Bubbles

    She’s ROUGH boys, shut’er down…”Bubbles”

  10. Pierre

    A road runner that doesn’t run…

  11. Lefthandlugnut

    no frame no floor no trunk no title, its a parts car and not much to salvage. If the frame and floors are that bad then the a and b pillars and roof are shot as well. no way its worth fixing. I’d pull some interior dash and trim, scrap the rest.

    • robert semrad

      Lefty, how about the glass, the bumpers, the chrome trim all around, the grill, the wheels, the hood, the trunk lid, I could go on…..but why? I think you got the point.

  12. George Mattar

    This is another Mopar dreamer. What a heap. Strip the little that is good and crush the rest. I live seeing old cars saved, but this beyond wasting money.

    Like 1
  13. Kevin

    I agree with Chester,and George,just too much money involved to bring this back,even Mark Worman from graveyard cars would probably say use as parts car only, it would be different if it was a rare 1 of a few hundred, high option machine, it is not.

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