Can’t Get No Respect: 1977 Plymouth Volaré Road Runner

I jumped at the opportunity to write about this sharp Mopar F-body based Road Runner because these cars play the part of the 1970s so well! Orange and black stripes, louvers on the windows and T-tops! And for the cynics among us, lower performance than its muscle car heritage would suggest.  This Road Runner is actually a trim package Plymouth applied to the Volaré and not it’s own model. But these cars just don’t get the respect that the 1968-1970 Roadrunners got so one of these in perfect condition will be far less expensive than a first generation in the similar condition. Find this one here on craigslist in Greenville, South Carolina for $18,000.

I’m a fan of the A-body Plymouth Duster which has similar looks to the Volaré coupe so I think this is a pretty good looking car.  It makes me wonder what would have happened if Plymouth would have made a Road Runner package for the Duster. The Aspen/Volaré got a bad reputation for quality early in the first year of production due to rust and drivability issues with the Lean-burn system. But the rust problem was quickly corrected and this 1977 shouldn’t have any issue. The seller took care of the Lean-burn system with Edelbrock intake, carb, and heads.  It has the stout 360 V8 with 4-barrel carb which is a far cry from the fire-breathing 426 and 440 V8s from the late ’60s, but it held its own compared to its peers in the late 1970s.  That monster AC compressor still works too!

This Volaré Road Runner has a new leather interior with the Warner Brothers Road Runner logo. I know my kids would love the Road Runner graphics and the T-tops, and honestly, I’d enjoy them too!  Do you think that these cars will ever get the respect that the older Roadrunners receive?

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Comments

  1. Classic Steel

    Respect given! I like it 👍👍👍

  2. Rock On

    You found a rare one there Aaron.

  3. Madmatt

    I always thought these were cool looking,
    and they were kinda scarce even when new…
    for every 10 Mustangs,10 Camaros that you saw,
    you might have seen one of these..!I always thought
    that these had a 318..?,360 sounds like a lot more fun!
    I do believe these will grow in value..,as they are some of
    the last attempts to sell a “muscle”car package by the big 3.
    I really love the colors and the t tops! takes me back..to my youth!
    Really nice car, and usually I don’t care for most Volare’s.

    • Madmatt

      I also meant to say that the big 3 didn’t “promote”
      performance like earlier years,and it was a long time
      before “performance” marketing was going to make a comeback.

    • Superdessucke

      318 standard or 360 optional. They were both 2-bbl and only 20 horses apart so most probably just stuck with the 318.

      • Neil

        Say’s it’s a 4 -bbl right on the air cleaner.

  4. Rich

    I’d love to own this although, to me at least, this’s the top of the market price. It’s a cool car but $12,000 seems more reasonable. Maybe it’s the Volaré connection to the song.

  5. Steve R

    It may be rare, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth $18,000. It’s a shadow of the earlier Roadrunners even before you factor in questionable choice of seat upholstery. The inclusion of the undercarriage LED light kit, suggested there may be some tacky surprises waiting for potential buyers.

    Steve R

  6. John Newell

    I had no idea until recently that these cars had any value or interest from collectors. Seems I was wrong. I guess I’ll make some floor pans and see how far the interest really goes. I guess I’ll have to find some samples to work from.

    • Miguel

      No, you were right.

      Anybody can ask anything for what they have.

      I doubt this will sell at anywhere near 5 digits.

  7. Michael

    Love the car. Not crazy about the rims. Originals would look better IMO.

  8. Mr Firth

    Love it , change the rims n tires and drop a large stroker in it

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      That stroker would force a lot of “fast cars” to give up some respect.

  9. XMA0891

    Ah; the mid-to-late ’70’s… I too, thought these only came through with a 318! I always found these to be so over-the-top from a design perspective; but I do love them for just that reason. ’77 was the last year, or did these retire after ’78?

    • Miguel

      I had a Dodge version that was a ’78 or a ’79. I can’t remember which.

  10. John D

    I had a 76 with the 360 2 barrel. It seemed to have better performance than the 77 318 5 speed I got to replace the 76 after that one was sold. Although not the same level of performance as the Duster 340s that I had driven, but quite acceptable for the times. I ran across the 76 about 8 years later at a body shop that I was delivering parts to. It looked a little forlorn sitting there waiting for the body work.

    • Loco Mikado

      The original Duster 340’s with the 6 pack were mean cars. I rode in one that a girl at work had just gotten and with 5 people in the car when she took off the car turned sideways for 1\2 a block and the smell of burning rubber inside the car made me about puke. She was crazy and everyone knew it. The good old days.

  11. LAB3

    NADA website says top value on this car is $7175, for the price difference you could buy a lot more go-fast parts.

  12. Grenade Motorsports

    Love these. I’d do a modern drive train, but this car is easily worth 15. If you’ve got them out there- start saving them! (book values mean very little. It’s worth what someone is willing to pay)

    • Glen

      Plymouth called it Spitfire Orange and it is not officially one of the High impact colors.

    • Miguel

      The book gets their values by actual sales, not what people are asking for them.

      I doubt these will be worth much ever.

  13. John T

    According to Wikipedia.org, 1980 was the final year for the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare and for that model year only it could be specifically identified by its square headlights versus the round headlights on the 1976-1979 model years … Hope that helps!

    By the way, Did you have any luck on that green AMC Pacer Miguel?

    • Miguel

      I haven’t been to Guadalajara yet. It is on my list. I am anxious to see it.

      Here in Mexico the 1980 front end from the Aspen was used until 1982 and put on the front end of a 2 or 4 door Dodge Diplomat.

      In 1982 the K car was introduced so most people moved away from the rear wheel drive car.

      What was the K car called in Mexico, you ask? Well Dart of course.

      • Michael

        Miguel,
        Where in Mexico are you? I have a place in Puerto Vallarta. We have a 74 VW Safari down there.

        Michael

      • John T

        In the U.S. we got stuck with the downsized front wheel drive K-Car Dodge Aries / Plymouth Reliant as the replacement for the Dodge Aspen / Plymouth Volare starting with the 1981 model year. While the K-Car saved Chrysler financially, It was a reliability nightmare for the consumer. Nothing can beat the old reliable MoPar Slant Six although the AMC straight-6 came pretty damn close and was available in the Jeep for many years. Good Luck Miguel on your pursuit of the Pacer.

      • Miguel

        Michael, I am in Sinaloa, but I plan on buying a house in Guadalajara. There aren’t enough old cars around here. They have all rusted away.

      • Miguel

        John T, the Aries here was called the Dart while a little later the Plymouth version was called the Volare. The Volare was the bigger version of the K car like the Dodge 600.

        It bothers me that the state of Jalisco has changed the make of my 1963 Plymouth to read FCA…

        It was not made by FCA but I couldn’t get them to change it back to Chrysler.

  14. Bill

    A Roadrunner only by virtue of a sticker package. Already priced well above its worth.

    • ccrvtt

      I’m with Bill here. Anything less than a 383 in a car called a Road Runner is not legitimate. This car is in nice condition, but it is also a too painful reminder of the nuclear winter of performance in America.

      • Miguel

        18,000 for a sticker package seems a bit out of line.

      • Beatnik Bedouin

        Ditto from me re Bill’s, ccrvtt’s and Miguel’s comments. I’m sure it would make a nice collectable for someone, but not at that price.

  15. Troy s

    Good looking ride, I’m happy to see the 360 has been worked a bit so it should have some get up and go. I don’t know, 383’s and 440’s definitely have their respected place, but those 340 and 360 engines are very capable performers and respond well to mods.

    1
  16. PRA4SNW Member

    If the bargain basement price isn’t enough to sell it, then the amazing number of photos surely will.

    Sarcasm switch now turned off.

  17. Jim M

    Am I the only one who see’s a white seat in the top photo, and black ones in the bottom? I know it’s a new interior, as it states, but does the body still look as good as in the top (older) photo? Just sayin’

  18. Dallas

    I had a 1979 Plymouth Roadrunner in black/gold over black with the 360, Canadian car. Not a super-fast car but surprised a V6 Fiero with it BITD. May she rust in peace!

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