HEMI Time Capsule: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

Ok, get really serious about finding all the coins in the couches, get Mom’s oatmeal box of stashed cash in the pantry, then find the other $99,000 and run, no RUN, to buy this time-capsule-preserved 1969 Plymouth Road Runner but FOR PETE’S SAKE don’t tell Mom about the 426 (matching numbers) Hemi.

Just tell Mom that the Road Runner was the “Motor Trend Car of the Year” in ‘69!  While you know in your heart that this mummified meep-meep has 90,928 miles on its odometer, wears its original Bronze Fire Metallic Paint, and has the correct N96 fresh air hood option.  She’ll know right then you must own this once-in-a-lifetime car.  The presentation of this RR is so understated it just takes but one little suffix–“HEMI”–on the hood and trunk lid and that’s more than enough to gain our attention and respect, even Mom.  For the VIN numbers geeks—decode RM23J9A256700.  Thanks much to Brent for tipping us off to this choice ’69 RR. You can view the complete listing by Classic Auto Mall here.  And weep.

You may very much like the H2T Tan and Copper tuck and roll interior—because it’s pretty much in factory perfect condition BUT, if anything holds this car back from bigger wampum six-figure auction sales, it may be the column-shift automatic trans and the bench seat standard picks over the bucket seat and console options. Seller reports minimal rust in a very few spots near the wheel wells and a little visible in the trunk photos but underneath–this thing is dang near spotless, solid, and hassle-free.  For fun, we could have shown you two original color-matched steel wheels that come with the car with snow tires mounted on them, but we feared that may seriously ruin the otherwise nirvana experience.

Instead of snow tires, feast your bulging eyes on this completely stock 426 Hemi engine compartment complete with the proper and original “Coyote Duster” sticker on the air cleaner.  History now: Plymouth paid Warner Brothers a whopping $50k (think $350,000 today’s bucks) for the rights to use the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote characters and Plymouth spent another $10k (think $70,000 today) to have a horn made to whoop out the Roadrunner’s “Beep-Beep.”  Control your breathing when you focus on those spark plug wires poking through the valve covers, oh, right square in the middle. Say it:  “Hemi, Hemi, Hemi.” It’s hard to imagine a fifty-one-year-old automobile in more pristine and perfectly preserved original condition.  This would be the time when you should drag out the “special” ACME cowboy boots with the ACME flashlight, pistol, extra meds, important papers, ACME catalog, and that wad of 100s, 50s, 20s, and 10s. Wile E, after so many years chasing this bird, DON’T let this one get away.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    Great car. No need for a restoration. Other than maintenance, leave it alone, including the dish mags.

    Steve R

    Like 24
  2. George Mattar

    Do not touch this car. I live 35 miles from this dealer. Might go have a look see and trade in my Corvette. I had a 70 FE5 RR in high school in 1973. Fastest car I ever owned. Had N96. Paid $1,200 for it from original owner in Middletown, NY.

    Like 18
    • Mr.BZ

      Go George, I’m living vicariously through you!

      Like 12
  3. Fred W

    Not sure why they would have to spend $70K on the horn- sounds like most any VW Bug to me. I pulled up both bug and RR horn videos on Youtube just to make sure I remembered right.

    Like 3
    • Big Grouch

      10k for the horn in 68, considered 70k in today’s money. Might be because of the decal “Voice Of The Road Runner” decal on the horn. I wonder if Mel Blanc got any of that money?

      Like 10
  4. RobA

    Nice car. Too bad the engine bay was painted black. It should be body color.

    Like 11
  5. 370zpp

    I am just imagining the sound and the feel as I move that column mounted shift lever from P, to D.
    Not to be mistaken for a 318.

    Like 10
  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice car….

    Like 6
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    They’re looking for $100K on this one. It looks pretty darn good to me. I know there are those that want a 4 speed, but I think the automatic may be the reason the oem engine is still in the car. Biggest problem I see with the car it’s likely a thirsty beast and will be hard pressed to pass up a gas station.

    Like 9
    • Dave

      Speaking of gasoline, you’ll need a higher level of octane fuel than pump gas plus a lead substitute for the valves.

      Like 10
      • Idiot Boy

        Sunoco Standard 110

    • Fitz

      If you are seriously considering this car, fuel mileage should be the least of your concerns

      Like 13
  8. Troy s

    The serious side of the Road Runner, all the cartoons and gimmicks are just there, the bench seat column shift 426 Hemi is all business. The car is “in character” as it sits and should stay that way, of course it could use some better tires. A rare gem amongst any gear head, regardless of brand loyalty we all know what this car was about.

    Like 12
  9. Roger

    Jack Smith,the father of the Road Runner, said that they paid a 47 cent penalty over what they were paying for horns to get the horn.

    Like 5
  10. JohnfromSC

    Black engine bay, cheesy red heater hoses.For 99 large you would expect the engine bay to be cleaned up, especially since it’s clear that the engine has been out before. As usual, the story is one thing, but the reality may be a bit different.

    Caveat emptor.

    Like 13
  11. George Louis

    Mel Blanc would not get the money for the horn, Warner Brothers Seven Arts would get the payment for which they did. I do not understand the high price for the horn. Original horn was made By Sparton in Flora ,Il. By the way Sparton went out of business around 1997. The Road Runner Horn was sold by Mopar Parts Division into the nineties.

    Like 1
  12. David Bailey

    Just looking over the ’72 Nova SS, and the HEMI Road Runner. If the Nova gets $49000, then the HEMI HAS TO GET $200,000. That said, the ’69 HEMI Road Runner was/is an icon since day one. The HEMI ‘Cudas were neater looking loaded up carsd, but, back in ’69 EVERYONE DREAMED OF a HEMI ‘RUNNER!! Nothing else was close!!

    Like 9
  13. Tooyoung4heyday Member

    A rare and slightly odd find indeed. Although I prefer the ’70 model best there’s no denying the iconic status of the ’68-69 versions. I’m traditionally a 4 speed advocate and not picky on bench or bucket (car pending), however this automatic doesn’t bother me. How could it when the firebreather is hiding under the hood. I just find it odd the column shift, money saver at the time to help pay for hemi?!? I am impressed however the mileage this car was able to rack up while having its correct engine. The thing that bugs me about the ad is it states this as a barn find but there is the issue of the engine. They want big money and rightfully so but should be within reason. Original engine but it was stated that they didn’t want to touch the engine so therefore we know it doesn’t run. Problem is, unless I missed it they also didnt say if engine was free spinning. Although not the end of the world I feel it should affect the price. Otherwise, just get it driveable and enjoy the crap out of it and be the talk of the car shows. Be mindful when driving that it only has drum brakes though.

    Like 5
  14. Stoney End

    Nice.

    The bench seat and column shifter/auto are classic RR and, for a collectable, just as good as the 4 speed. I don’t recall a bucket seats option on the original ’68 RR. I had a ’68 with bench seats (but then again I’m pretty old and can’t recall a lot of things) and back then, buckets were almost out of ‘character’ for the original RR. It was sold as a simple ‘poor man’s car’, not fancy. The extra bucks, went to the subtle trim and performance type options.

    I guess they may have added buckets in ’69, but not for me in a RR. The bench seat was nice when crusin’ to the drive in with a honey…and you easily carry a kids basketball team in it. (The trunk was huge too.)

    Like 6
    • Remy Bottorff

      Correct on the seats. Back in the day if you wanted bucket seats and a console order a %$#@ing GTX.

      Like 1
  15. mgreene

    I’m surprised it doesn’t have a Dana 60 rear axle.

    • Stoney End

      I think the Dana 60 was installed only on 4 speed Hemi, and 440 cars (maybe all?) in this era.

    • Camaro guy

      It would if it was a 4 speed but was an option for the torqueflight cars

  16. Mike Tarutis Staff

    This car still has the barn dust on it. Too bad a big collector or museum (maybe a cartoon museum) is not missing a ’69 RR to fulfill that complete collection. Looks to be the most well preserved car–paint, upholstery and all–that one could hope to find.

    As far as the horn is concerned, $10k for the rights to use the copyrighted sound and to have a company make the horn (I read there were many prototypes that didn’t make the grade) was a good play by Plymouth for a really recognizable sound.

    A friend in high school had the bench seat/pistol grip Air Grabber options. I bet old Ray would love to still have that ride–the horn was pretty authentic to the cartoon, at least inside the car as memory serves. It was used a LOT, mostly for fun. And I can not always remember the name of my high school physics teacher any more, so there’s that.

    Thanks for the comments, I look forward to more conversation in the future.

    MJT

    Like 1
  17. Ron

    If you wanted bucket seats and a console you bought a GTX, a little more money for the fancier trim level…

  18. Keith R

    That car needs to be running for that coin to prove there wasn’t a reason internally why it was parked, that or it didn’t crack from freezing, ect. while stored. Cool car for sure.

  19. martinsane

    Agree with Keith. Hit it with a sponge amd get it running and then we will talk dollars and cents.

    Like 1
  20. treg forsyth

    My first car was a 1969 Roadrunner with the 383, for $800 in 1980, it had bucket seats and console, I found in a wrecking yard in Whitehorse Yukon, no body damage at all, it just wouldn’t run, I was 16 at the time so it took me a couple days to figure it out, it was the copper strap running off the points grounding out on the side of the distributor, dad thought a Plymouth would be a great first car…I could see the worry in his eyes when I drove in, ha ha Boy he was right.

    Like 1

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