Easy Project? 1977 Plymouth Road Runner

Update 1/2/19 – This one has resurfaced here on eBay with an asking price of $6,300 and the option to make an offer. Will it sell this time around?

From 4/30/19 – Road Runner fans of yore – as no Road Runner fan ever said – often lament the days when the Plymouth Volare took over that famous name. But, as much as we keep trying, we can’t change history. This 1977 Plymouth Road Runner can be found here on eBay in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. The current bid is just over $1,500 but the reserve isn’t met.

In October of 2017, our ol’ friend, Todd Fitch, showed us this same car here on Barn Finds when it was with a different owner in Hibbing, Minnesota. It appears to be not much different on the outside but they have done work elsewhere.

Yep, it’s the same car, the unmistakable slightly-darker-LF-fender, the rust, the worn graphics, the missing gas door. It has different wheels and the next photo shows quite a difference inside. The Road Runner name transferred over to the new F-body Volare in 1976. It was available with an optional 360 V8 which went away for its final year in 1980 when the standard engine was the 225 slant-six carried over from 1979. A 318 was still available until the end. Was this the start of the graphics-and-stripes engineering that we all know and love (love = hate) today? I can see why “classic” Road Runner fans and owners look upon the Volare era as a pox on society. I still like these cars, though!

Whoa, that’s quite a change from how the interior looked a couple of years prior to the owner taking possession of this Road Runner! This car has been stored in the owner’s heated garage for the last couple of years, or since they got it most likely after the October 2017 eBay listing. They restored the floor pans which is a much-appreciated task that the next owner won’t have to worry about now. It also has new brakes (rotors, lines, calipers) in front as well as new front shocks. The wheels were also restored as was the gas tank.

This is the optional 360 cubic-inch V8 which would have had 160 hp in 1977. Those Prestone jugs are actually filled with gas as the restored gas tank hasn’t been installed yet. Talk about range-anxiety! The next owner will have a fair amount of work left to do with a lot of it being on the body and, as you can see, under the hood. Have any of you owned a Volare Road Runner?


  1. NotSure

    This has a place in the history books! But due to my poorly developed personal character it leaves me as cold as yesterday’s fish. Someone please sign the adoption papers and give this a home!

    Like 12
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      That was perfectly said, NotSure! It was polite and nice and not mean or angry in any way or pointing fingers at anyone or anything. And, to top it off, it had a nice dose self-deprecating humor. Absolutely perfect! If you aren’t in politics now we could sure use you in that field.

      Like 17
      • NotSure

        Very kind of you to say!

        Like 8
    • TracRat

      Totally boring! In 1977 Pontiac came out with what would become “the Bandit Trans Am”. Total character, beautiful lines, gorgeously functional instrument panel and gauges. The exterior accented with a great shaker hood scoop, air extractors and fender flairs. Even with the woes of EPA strangling the life out of what wanted to roar with horse power the comparison between GM line to the Mopar line was not even close. And yes, Mopar fans will curse me, but even today a Hellcat or even Demon compared to the new Vette or even the Camaro ZL1 is boring and dull interior and lackluster exterior lines to eye pleasing features paired to better functionality of GM overall.

      That said, I will say that performance may be the better dual with Mopar coming out on top from the factory in most years. HOWEVER, with enough time, expertise and money you can make any car out perform another. You can also modify the looks too but the basis from which you build is always better with Chevrolet and even Ford than Mopar.

      At the end of the day the Mopars of old fetch more money too when sold. I think that is market craze much like the iPhone compared to other better phones.

      This is only my opinion owning versions of all of them going back to the early 70’s, just sayen.

  2. Bakyrdhero

    I wonder if there is solid reasoning behind not installing the recently restored gas tank and listing the car with those Prestone time bombs?

    Like 8
  3. JoeNYWF64

    When Chrysler changed to this odd rectangular speedo in the early ’70’s on some of its cars, did it ever offer a factory tach? I don’t think i ever seen 1 with this speedo.
    Odd they didn’t stick with the better looking circular gages(& optional circular tach) used in the 1st year duster.
    Buckets & COLUMN shift look odd in this sporty car & on some rare ’70’s t/a & 1st gen camaros. I wonder on these cars if chrysler could have used much less bulky bumpers & 2 big black bumper guards each on front & back, like on ’74 challengers that still met tough bumper standards.

    Like 2
    • don

      This was the cluster the 76-80 Volare and Aspens used .The higher line models would have had wood grain instead of the silver . they had knockout plugs on the face panel if the car had A/C , clock, etc. ,but no Tach .
      The big bumpers were used on everything after 75 because the 74 Challenger style bumpers wouldn’t meet the tougher standards , which is one of the reasons they were discontinued ; it would have been a major restyle for the front and back of the E bodies and Chrysler decided it wasn’t worth it.

      Like 3
  4. Angel Member

    She’s decent looking… til you see her parked next to her 68-’72 Roadrunner friends.

    Like 4
  5. TimS Member

    Yeah, I know, any “car guy” in the stereotypical TV auction sense is supposed to hate these, and the people who’d want one. But I don’t. Great cruiser when finished. Plus, who’d have another just like it at any local show?

    Like 16
    • robert semrad

      Who’d bother to stop and even look at it? It’s an insult to early RR fans, and it’s a no brainer that they should have stopped making them when they were in their glory days, so the RR wouldn’t have this botch on it’s family tree. What a shame.

      • Jerry Brentnell

        you guys whine about roadrunners so be it me I would drather have have 64 to 70 sport fury with a 383 4 speed or a say 66 dodge monaco or vip, any day over a runner! some guys can’t see the forest for the trees!

        Like 1
      • KARL

        Its much less of a blotch than :
        Omni based Charger
        Sundance based Duster
        Dawoo based Lemans
        Holden based GTO
        Toyota based Nova
        Mitsubishi based Challenger
        1992 -98 Skylark GS
        At least there’s a decent platform to add some real muscle

        Like 7
  6. Geebee

    When this was a new car, I would have said I hated it. But, now, I think it’s pretty cool, and definitely has potential. That 360 is a decent base to work from.

    Like 15
  7. John Oliveri

    Friend of mine owned a new 77 Dodge Aspen R/T black blackw orange stripes, 360, pulled the 360 I believe he had structural work done, put a worked 440 in it, balanced blue printed, long time ago

    Like 3
    • Del

      Nice car.

      I would not have tried selling it without a new gas tank. Its an easy fix.

      I never understand sellers

      Like 5
      • David Ulrey

        I love the early ones and haters can hate. I like these very much. I myself would like to replace the factory 360 with a nice Magnum 360 and drive it with a smile on my face and happy feeling in general.

        Like 3
  8. karl

    I’ve had several Volare/Aspens, and despite their bad reputation, I had good luck with all of them. Mine were 78- 79s as I stayed away from the earlier ones as they rusted out horribly in New England . This one is rough ,it needs bodywork, paint and the stripe kit done, its missing a couple of flares, I’m assuming the side pic is where the gas tank is out since there is no gas cap or even the filler neck showing , and the engine bay looks like it was rewired by Stevie Wonder – which is more worrisome with the prestone jugs used as fuel tanks !

    Like 2
  9. Bill

    Crush it please, shames the name…

    Like 1
  10. Bobby Longshott

    This sweet rod is worth every bit of $500.

    Like 1
    • robert semrad

      I’m not sure scrap brings that much.

  11. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $4,200 and no sale.

    Like 1
  12. steve sammut Member

    it’s not that it’s a bad car, but rather, that it is badged a Road Runner. Get past that….oh…and the Molotov cocktails hiding in the engine compartment….oh…and the rust bucket engine…and it’s not bad. I just don’t think I could even drive this thing to a Coffee and Cars for the Blind event. Although, it might bring vision to some. I somehow think that the Road Runner name hurts it, rather than helps it.

  13. Brett Becker

    My first car was a 1976 Volare Road Runner. With a fresh white paint job around the decals, it looked the part, but it didn’t play the part very well. It handled poorly, the 904 transmission was sloppy and the electrics were iffy.

    Two years later, I owned a 1969 Road Runner with a 440, which was better looking and much faster. It, too, had the awful old-Chrysler electrical gremlins, among other nuisance problems. I sold it after one year and about eight alternators. At that point, I swore off old Mopars and haven’t owned one since.

  14. James Martin

    It is a volare. Plain and simple. So why did he buy it 2 years ago put new seats in it and nothing else. Would have taken almost as much time to install gas tank as to rig up two prestone bottles so you can cruise around. Something is fishy. Maybe the mopar weed wore off and he realized he dumped a ton of money on a pos volare. And now in a sobering attempt to dump it off to another high mofo.

  15. CJinSD

    When I was about nine years old, a teenaged neighbor managed to scam a low mileage Volare police car from a public auction. A friend of his put a dead battery in it so it wouldn’t start and he got it for the opening bid. Your tax dollars are someone else’s found money, but the point is that the early 360 police Volares would outrun some cars that you might not expect them to. I believe they were practically emissions-exempt though, having more in common mechanically with the L’il Red Express Truck than the Volare Road Runner.

    Like 1
  16. Superdessucke

    Love the Carly Simon 8-track! I’d consider buying this for that alone.

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