Good Bones? 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

After launching the GTX in 1967 as an upscale performance car, Plymouth decided to go after the budget muscle car market in 1968. The Road Runner was a hit out of the gate, with its low price and gimmicky name and horn (beep beep). Sales ramped up further in 1969 before softening a little in the third year. This ’69 Road Runner has matching body numbers, but not the non-running powertrain. From Everest, Kansas, this once-hot car is available here on eBay where you can take it home for $8,100 (bidding stands at $3,950 without triggering the reserve).

Standard equipment in the Road Runner was the 383 cubic-inch V8 that produced 335 hp. The VIN on the seller’s car verifies that it once had one of these and the brake pedal configuration says a 4-speed was once there, too. But the latter is gone and so is the 383, replaced by a 1970s 400 V8 that’s not complete or hooked up (though we’re told it turns by hand). The seller has zero knowledge about the motor, so it might need its internals refreshed.

Unfortunately, the fender tag is MIA so verifying how the car was built would be difficult. For example, was the car originally finished in Hemi Orange, and did this deteriorated repaint come later? As a former Florida car, the tin worm has had its way with the external sheet metal, while leaving much of the undercarriage alone. Bondo is present from earlier repairs. The interior is pretty much a mess, too, and the front bucket seats look to be wearing different vinyl than the back (GTX seats?).

If your goal was to restore this car to factory-like specs, it won’t be rare. Plymouth built 21,278 Road Runner 2-door hardtops in 1969 with a 383 and a 4-speed. While I usually prefer original over restomod, in this case, the car may offer the opportunity to try something different.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Crusty Ramblings, what gives edition,,
    Got to hand it to Russ, or all the writers, for that matter, I can just see it, preparing the text, “what a POS, must remain professional, just write the piece”,,for the record, 99.9% of most Road Runners, looked just like this,,except they ran. While today it may seem, these are todays hot button, in the day, they were merely cheap, lightweight beaters that could lay a strip, or 2, of rubber,,,PERIOD. Wait,,,they had a good heater too. All this shows, is the level of desperation, or deception, we’ve gotten to.

    Like 19
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice to have the bigger engine but it’s going to have to be torn apart just to get the vermin out of their condo. Other than that, this looks like a money pit on wheels. Too bad. Had a fellow working for me buy a new yellow Road Runner with the big engine and it did haul the mail.

    Like 13
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    I remember one that my sister’s boyfriend had.I was shocked
    at how bad the finish on the paint was,& how uncomfortable the
    front seats were.
    That said,I really like the looks of them,but would never buy
    one,especially for the crazy stupid money they’re going for.

    Like 14
  4. Melton Mooney

    I think my b-body days are over, but if I did another one it would be a 69 383 rr or super b with a 400 based motor.

    Like 7
  5. gaspumpchas

    This basket case will be a money pit. That 400 was a smogged down dawg. These cars were stripped down base models, as Howard said, built to haul @$$ and that was it. Amazing they lasted this long, although some of these shouldnt be rebuilt. This one is up to 5 large and it hasnt hit reserve. Guy probably thinks he has gold. Good luck.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 11
  6. OldSchool Muscle

    Another nightmare… Id pass

    Like 3
  7. Dan

    The right person with tons of cash could potentially buy this car bring it back to its former glory. Who knows, we may see this car in a Barrett Jackson auction. It will be a lot of work but for someone it I’ll be their dream car nd will be willing to build it the way they want.

  8. Robert Eltrich

    I myself am a big Mopar fan of the 60’s cars inevitably my dream car someday to own the 1969 charger known as the General Lee and also for you other fans of the late 60’s early 70’s for Mopar lovers I a relative who has a 1965 Chrysler imperial labaron with suicide doors that needs a total restoration price for it is $5000.00

  9. Chris Cornetto

    I remember being 5. I would stand on the transmission tunnel of our 67 Continental with my arms over the front seat. To this day I vividly remember that brand new yellow road runner turning left in front of us and my mother t boning it with the lincoln. The brunt of the damage was the right wheel and door post. The runner’s glass was all over the front of our car. There was very little damage to the lincoln. Aside from minor fender, headlights and the upper corner was busted fr the grille. To save money on repairs the shop made a stainless steel corner which became the place for the AAA badge. The lincoln survives to this day still wearing the scar from 50 plus years ago.

    Like 9
  10. space GREGORY POLLACK

    I have a 1969 383 with 906 heads for sale needs cleaned up and reassembled

    Like 4
  11. RSparks

    Cool car but probably lots of bondo. Rear window corners look sketchy. Undercarriage looks fairly solid but it’s going to be expensive to make nice again. If the prices on classics rightfully decrease, as I’m sure they will, a restoration will become possible on cars like this but as it stands, if it could be bought for $5k or less it would be a good candidate for a driver quality hot rod.

    Like 3
    • The Other Chris

      That’s what I was thinking too. Just get it mechanically good, then put some cheap interior parts in it to make it habitable, and drive it. Probably not worth all the money to restore the body at this time, but looks good enough as it is. In the ’90s, I drove WAY worse muscle cars than this, and some of them weren’t even in anything near safe-to-drive condition. The arrogance of youth.

      Like 5
      • RSparks

        I personally was a stickler for mechanicals and safety back then, but I know what you mean. My younger brother daily drove some real heaps. He always got where he was going but usually had to plan repair time into his commutes.

        Before I could “legally” drive, I remember our dad having to work on our cars, either before we left, midway or after we got where we were going because he just grew up not having much so being reactive instead of proactive was just what you did. This is probably why when I bought my high school car at 16, every penny I had left over from my car payment, insurance and gas went into the car. My brother never really experienced that so he looked at it like an adventure while I had had plenty of those adventures already.

        I remember driving my mom 7 hours to see her sister, staying several days and then driving 7 hours back home in my Mach 1, which I also raced on the weekends because it was well maintained and the most reliable car any of us had. She saved up and paid for all the gas because I didn’t have the cash for that at 5 mpg, even though gas was only 79 cents per gallon.

        Like 5
  12. Jimbosidecar

    My first and only expoerience in a Roadrunner was when I was 15 hitch hiking to work after school. I got picked up by a guy in a Roadrunner. 383 and 4 speed he told me. Then he lit it up just to show me what it could do. I liked it, but at the gas station where I worked, was a A&W Root Beer stand next door. On Friday nights the parking lot was packed with hot rods, Roadrunners, Hemi Cudas, Shelby Mustangs, and Big Block Chevelles and Novas. I was a grease monkey’s dream night

    Like 3
  13. George Mattar

    How times and prices have changed. In high school, 50 years ago, we were buying mint, one owner RRs for $1,200. I paid that for a 70 FE5 hardtop with N96 and plenty of options from the original owner in 1973. I worked at a gas station, remember them, where we actually pumped your gas, cleaned the windshield and checked the oil? I made $1.95 an hour, but managed. These cars were cheaply made, but yes, fast. They would rot in a few years. After all, we drove them daily. They were just cars, not museum pieces some of them have become.

    Like 1
  14. angliagt angliagt Member

    And don’t forget what insurance would be on one
    for a male teenager.

  15. Biff Grouter

    My brothers and I always call the RoadRunner “boat anchors”…worthless unless underwater…

    • RSparks

      I’m not trying to be cheeky at all. I’m just curious because I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t like Roadrunners unless they just hate all Mopar. Was that your opinion of all Chrysler products or just the Roadrunner. If not, why the Roadrunner and not the 69 Charger? It’s the same B body platform so why single out the Roadrunner?

      I’m a Ford guy at heart but I do love all old cars and I’ve owned all different brands and loved them all. Not sure I would consider any Classic a boat anchor. I reserve terms like that for the Yugo and the Proton.

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