Drive and Restore: 1973 Plymouth Road Runner 400

After spending at least the past year sitting in a warehouse, this 1973 Road Runner is out on the streets once again. It appears to be a running and driving vehicle that you could take on as a restoration project. Barn Finder Pat L spotted the Road Runner for us, so thank you for that Pat. Located in El Segundo, California, it is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $16,000 for the vehicle, but the option is there to make an offer.

What you see here appears to be the worst of the body damage or issues on the Road Runner. These few small dents on the fender and door on the passenger side and the rust in the lower fender appear to really be about it. The rest of the body does look to be fairly clean and straight, and photos of the trunk floor also seem to be quite encouraging. The Amber Sherwood paint is looking a bit tired, but a fresh coat of paint would make the world of difference to the appearance of the car. It’s good to see that the original Rally wheels and trim rings are present and in good condition and that the original Polyglass spare tire is still in the trunk. So far then this all looks pretty positive.

Under the hood are the original 400ci V8 engine, and the 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. Even here the news is pretty good. This Road Runner runs and drives, and the owner says that it could be driven exactly as it stands now. He also says that the odometer shows 12,539 miles, but he doesn’t believe that this is correct. What I will say is that the engine and its surrounds look really clean and tidy, and if the new owner decides to take this on as a restoration project, then it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a lot to do under the hood.

The white vinyl interior is also said to be original, and just looking at this photo is making my palms itch. I so want to get in there and give it a clean, because I think that the trim is actually in really good condition. The only obvious major problem visible is some cracking of the dash pad. The rest of the interior is original, and everything is said to work exactly as it should, including the rear speaker fader control for the AM/FM radio.

This ’73 Road Runner shows a lot of promise, and these have really become a popular classic car. This one needs a bit of work, but nothing major. It is a car that you could buy and drive, and then undertake any restoration work at your own leisure. It appears that the single most expensive task on what is a fairly short list would be a repaint. With good, similarly equipped Road runners commanding prices in excess of $25,000 on a regular basis, that makes this one a very tempting proposition.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Oh, the end was drawing near, my friends. ’73-’75 Road Runners were the last of the great muscle cars before they faded into oblivion. ’76 they went with the Volare platform, and while still a nice car, lost most of it’s zing. Even this, with the 400 was a bit tame, compared to some of the beasts of the past. These kind of started to turn the corner toward luxury, with a mild kick. Probably the nicest Road Runners ever.

    7
    • Boatman Member

      I had the Satellite Sebring cousin to this, same powertrain, and there was nothing tame about it! Lots of fun.

      7
    • Ed H

      I would say it was over after ’72.

      1
  2. Troy s

    Nice ride, whether it had the snap of the older Road Runners or not, probably not but what else did in ’73? (besides the SD455) It’s sporty, inside and out, and the 400 could be coaxed to run stronger.
    I like to see these kinds of cars a bit worn like this one here, just seems to have more character.

    5
  3. Greg St Pierre

    I’ve owned several of these and loved them all. They handled surprisingly well for their size and never failed to get comments everywhere I went (including, unfortunately, the dreaded “Nice Torino” or “I like your Charger” courtesy of the less educated among us).

    8
  4. Woody

    These are in high-demand lately due to being part of the “blast from the past”! Had a ‘73 Dart 340 Sport with this same paint and stripes but before I could get to making more power for the small block I sold it to start a family,but now looking for a family project!

    2
  5. gto4ever

    A friend of mine had one of these in high school, was a really coool car but he an electrical issue with it. As I remember, he started it one morning and smelled that nasty electrical smell. By the time he disconnected the battery, the entire harness had fried. After many weeks of re-wire, he finally finished it . It happened again, so he sold the car. I always wondered if that was a common problem, but in the 70’s it was a smaller world with no internet. Has anyone ever heard of this problem?

  6. Steve M Member

    Yeh, I also had a 340 dart sport that was tan with black stripe. Dated my wife in it, drove till the mid 90’s. Sold it for $800. Cried when it drove away. A year later it was in the impound yard in bad shape. The guy never put it in his name, tried to get it out of the impound yard, but since I released it in his name , I couldn’t get it. Found it was crushed later. Still trying to find one that’s not a rust bucket.

  7. Doug

    I bought one of these new in 73. Almost identical except mine was a 4 speed. I miss it and this one tempts me.

    1

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