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Drive Or Restore? 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

The Plymouth Road Runner got some major revisions outside for the 1971 model, featuring a new shape that came to be known as the fuselage-style body.  As before, the car retained some great engine options, although this would be the final year for the most exciting choices under the hood before things really began heading on a downhill slide in the performance area.  This 1971 Plymouth Road Runner here on eBay seems quite solid, plus it’s also got a stronger powerplant than the B-Body left the Windsor assembly plant with all those years ago.  This Mopar is presently located in Waldron, Arkansas, with bidding up to $22,700 so far.

This Road Runner started life with a smaller big block back in ’71, a 383 cubic-inch V8, which was certainly not a bad choice especially when mated to the heavy-duty 4-speed manual transmission, as this one came with originally.  However, a previous owner decided that just wasn’t good enough, and in the bay now is a rebuilt 440.  The details about exactly what’s inside are sparse, but the owner describes it as muscular and says the Holley 850 on top requires 108 octane fuel running through it for the motor to run properly, so whatever combination of parts was used is providing plenty of pep for this Plymouth’s step.

Chrysler offered some of the coolest paint colors you could get for the period, and the company also put a lot of effort into giving them memorable names.  The most attention-getting choices were dubbed the High Impact options, such as the Tor Red finish this one’s wearing.  The seller is upfront in telling us a new paint job would help the outside appearance tremendously, but digging deeper than just the top layer reveals a body that’s said to remain straight, with no apparent rust or major exterior issues awaiting the future owner.  The rear bumper appears to have taken a light beating at some point, but a replacement part is also shown, so hopefully that’ll take care of the problem.

I’m not a huge fan of the aftermarket steering wheel, but fortunately, once a factory helm is sourced, this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to remedy.  Everything else inside appears to be up to a decent driver status already, with those eye-catching seats complementing the bright outside hue nicely.  Although the vent area on the passenger side is a bit warbled, the dash pad itself hasn’t developed any cracks, plus the door panels and carpeting also get a clean bill of health.  Another option the seller provides is an opportunity to own this one today for the buy-it-now price of $36,000, in case you’re ready to see this Plymouth in your driveway immediately.  What are your thoughts on this 1971 Road Runner?


  1. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    I have a hard time with this one only because I know the importance of original paint but I like when I wash a car, ending up with a nice shine. I think paint is required. Just because. In my case what would take some getting used to is the bright orange seat inserts. I would rather have original black. Also this body style looks great with deep set aluminum slotted wheels. 50’s and 60’s. I had a friend in my younger days who owned one with the aluminum slots and it looked good. Just my opinion. I know they’ll be a lot more ideas. Paying attention. Good luck to the next owner.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Troy

      Those seats were a factory option on RR and GTX models. Checked my 71 brochure to make sure.

      Like 15
      • Avatar photo Michael Berkemeier

        Yes, they were…doesn’t matter, he wasn’t gonna buy it anyway, lol!!!

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo Tom Verderamo

      I has a 71 road runner 340 dark blue with chromd cragsr ss wheels looked really good and drove well, wd as quick as any 383 b body, but much better handling and easier on gas. I miss that car, it was modern but lithe and sleek, just a beautiful fuselage mopar. Mopars were really the cats meow, I owned a 66 fairlane GT390, A 69 383 ROADRUNNER a 70 chevelle ss396 4spd and the 71 340 roadrunner, the 71 plymouyh wss the best all around car to drive oh and I almost forgot, later on I owned a 71 fury GT 440, a huge family 2 dr hardtop with plenty of road power!!

      Like 3
  2. Avatar photo Roland

    Based on the pics, at least the driver’s side seems less that laser straight below the belt line. It is also missing the lip molding on the pass front wheel opening. I love these cars, but this one seems to have more history than listed. The Tor Red is great at hiding what gloss black would expose.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Ron from Mn Member

    I love it. Drive and enjoy.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo David king

      I’m with you I like the fact that it looks like it has original paint that’s way I’d buy one I’d try find original steering wheel and find original rallye wheels probably find way to paint hood but only to match rest of the buitifull car after buffing be really fun car

      Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Christopher Wenz

    This is my White Whale. I always liked this body style. The Pistol Grip 4 speed,…..that is a “Man’s ” shifter. The price seems more than reasonable especially when you see rusty shells going for a similar price range.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo BA

    Let’s not forget this bad boy has A/C ! I’m in the south where a hot humid day can ruin any fun with that big block . I can live with everything going on with this car except the buy it now price. I do love me a fuselage mopar so this car gets my vote.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo TRUTH

    The bin seems pretty high, but definitely in the 20’s. Looks like a great driver and not too much extra work needed to really class it up.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Earl Hannah

    Id perform a reconditioning not restoration a through detail inside and out and ceramic coating of the exterior and interior to preserve the vehicle fix any safety issues and mechanical/electrical issues. And proudly enjoy it

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo stillrunners Member

    Yep….inching up to the Buy it now…..I say it finds a new owner and have fun with it to the new owner !

    Like 0

    I want it so bad I can taste it 😯😯 it’s my dream car just the way it is.

    Like 0

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