Fresh 383: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Don’t let the tired exterior fool you because this 1969 Road Runner has many factors in its favor. Its rust appears to be limited to one small spot, and it has a freshly rebuilt V8 under the hood. Its needs appear to be cosmetic, making it a great project to tackle during the winter months. With that thought in mind, you will find the Plymouth in Jacksonville, Florida, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $25,100, and with the reserve now met, a new home is just around the corner for this classic.

There can be no arguing that the Barracuda Orange paint on the Plymouth is looking tired. It appears that someone has commenced some form of exterior restoration, but this hasn’t proceeded very far. The owner identifies a small spot of rust in front of the rear wheel opening on the driver’s side as the only issue. I admit that the rest of the panels look clean, but I can’t help but wonder what might be hiding under the primer in evidence around the vehicle. That might demand a closer inspection by potential buyers. He says that the floors and frame are sound, and the photos of the inside of the trunk would seem to support this claim. The hood has some rust on the underside, but a replacement is included in the sale. The owner has purchased all new weather-stripping, and this is also included. The trim and glass appear to be in good condition, while the original wheels appear perfect.

Apart from the column-mounted Sun Tach and an oil pressure gauge, the Road Runner interior appears to be original. The front seat has several splits, but a new cover is on order. Its delivery has been delayed due to Covid-19, but the seller has undertaken to forward this to the buyer at his own expense when it arrives. The carpet looks like it might be slightly faded, but the rest of the trim, the headliner, and the dash, all seem to be in good order. A few painted surfaces would benefit from a refresh, but the owner could complete this task at the same time that the exterior repaint is undertaken.

Lifting the hood of the Road Runner provides one almighty surprise. I’d be willing to bet that you weren’t expecting an engine bay that looks this nice when you looked at the rest of the car. Nestling in there is the original 383ci V8, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. This is a car that should be capable of some pretty respectable performance. The dash down the ¼ mile should take 14.5 seconds, and if it is given enough room, the Plymouth should haul all the way to 132mph. Those figures aren’t too shabby. The spotless presentation is courtesy of the fact that the engine has been freshly rebuilt. I suspect that the engine bay was painted and detailed while the 383 was away, which was a smart move. The owner claims that the Plymouth runs and drives well and needs nothing more than some minor tuning to have it spot-on. Included with the Road Runner is the original Owner’s Manual, Purchase Contract, Fender Tag, Broadcast Sheet, and Window Sticker.

The Plymouth Road Runner is a classic that continues to increase in value, and early examples are highly sought. This one shows a lot of promise, and returning it to its former glory should not be a difficult task. Once this process is complete, there is no reason why the new owner couldn’t find themselves with a classic that would fetch something north of $35,000 if offered for sale. Of course, money isn’t everything, because that same person would also own a car that would be a blast to own and drive. Fun. Isn’t that what owning a classic car is supposed to be all about?

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Comments

  1. Phlathead Phil

    Looks like it needs a new Heater core.

    Like 8
  2. Woody

    Thanks goes out to current owner for keeping up with cosmetics. When this Plymouth is finished in eye-catching orange paint it’s going to look great! Price is right and solid project and backed by a 4-speed!

    Like 10
  3. Stangalang

    That heater hose bypass looks so out of place with that beautiful under hood shot

    Like 6
  4. ellen dyer

    how can you tell??

    • Phlathead Phil

      As a general rule, heater cores just LEAK period.

      It’s a common reason windshields ‘film’ or ‘condensate.’

      They need to be changed on a frequent basis. Not back flushing the entire system on a radiator service can lead to failure.

      I put 3 of them in my 1988 E.B. Bronco. One core exploded on me in my 1977 Camaro, and in my once Dodge Ram you had to pull the entire dash to get it out.

      I suspect a R/Runner of this year and age had a “Leaker” on board. Hence the horse shoe bypass hose.

      Hey Detroit: Here’s a novel idea; why not press the firewall with an indentation and a drain return leak sensor. Then add a trap door cover with quick release bolts so the core can be changed in minutes.

      Like 2
      • DON

        My Duster was an easy change out , just some plastic spring clips and the box split in two . My buddys Nova ,however was a real PITA to change out !

  5. Troy s

    Another cool Road Runner!! Not quiiite as cool as that Hemi RR a day ago, but this is great.
    That hose looks like a horseshoe on an otherwise good looking engine, whatever works I guess.
    Run that thing hard, as it was meant to be.

  6. MDCustom

    It could just be that bypass is there for the rebuild and the hoses havn’t been hooked back up to the heater core yet? It is Florida after all…and it is a ‘fresh install’ of the 383. I would give the seller the benefit of the doubt (but definitely check just to be sure! 😉)

    Like 6
  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Was that an actual RR color: “Barracuda Orange”?

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