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Identity Crisis: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

1971 Plymouth Road Runner 440

I’m sure as you look at this Road Runner, you’re asking yourself what I’m thinking calling it a Road Runner while it proudly wears GTX badges! Well you see, this Mopar is having a bit of an identity crisis. Someone decided being a Road Runner just wasn’t cool enough, so they turned it into a GTX clone. It’s packing a 440, which was available in both cars, so this could very well be the original engine. You can have a closer look at this bird in wolf’s clothing here on eBay in Foster, Rhode Island with a BIN of $15k!

1971 Plymouth Road Runner

I’m not going to lie, I’m really confused why someone would slap GTX badges onto a car that was already a performance model. The badges certainly don’t improve quarter mile times, nor do they drastically change the look of the car. Did they think it would give the more street cred? Can someone please explain this one to me?

1971 Plymouth 440 Engine

Alright, let’s just move on from that for a moment and take a look at the car! Here is the 440 V8, which the seller claims runs well. It has clearly been upgraded, well at least had some cosmetic upgrades. The Edlebrock carb could be a performance upgrade, depending on which model it is and if it is dialed in correctly. I highly doubt the M/T valve covers add any power, but they do look cool! I’m going to guess whoever added the GTX badges also added the valve covers and the ignition system.

1971 Plymouth Road Runner Interior

The seller states that the interior needs some work, but it looks usable as is to me. I can see how someone would want to fix any issues it has, but the moment that 440 fired up I wouldn’t be too worried about any interior shortcomings. Look, it even has a 4 speed to row through! The only way this could get better would be if it had a 426 Hemi in it. Actually I think I’d be happy just having the Six Pack carb system strapped to the 440.

1971 Plymouth GTX Clone

I still don’t get why you would turn this into a GTX clone, when the Road Runner and 440 powered GTX are essentially the same car. I could understand if they looked drastically different, but outside of a couple badges you really can’t tell the difference. Is there something I’m missing here? Personally, I’d turn it back into a Road Runner and track down a Six Pack setup for it! So would you leave it as a GTX or turn it back into a Road Runner?


  1. Sean

    Not original motor it was a 383 car.

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  2. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    He’s suffocating that 440 with that tiny air cleaner.

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  3. Walter Joy

    I’m guessing he’s trying to go for a subtler look that the Roadrunner.

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  4. steven

    Roadrunner was NOT available with a 440 unless it was a 6pak or a superbird. Writers need to do basic research.

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    • Bob's your uncle

      The subject car is a 71. There was no superbird in 71.

      There was a roadrunner with GTX trim package combo in 72. It could have a 440.

      Commenters need to get down off their high horses.

      Like 1
      • David Frank David Member

        Whatever the case, there’s always a lot to be learned about cars in these comments from folks who know their cars. Wikipedia is not always right and sometimes even car guys get it wrong. It’s all good.
        Cool car! Loose the wheels, go with something more original looking, and drive it! Perhaps those GTX badges will just fall off.

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      • JW454

        In the book I’m sitting here looking at, it clearly states for Road Runners:
        1968 L code = 440 4V 375 hp.
        1969 L code = 440 4V 375 hp.
        1969 M code = 440 6V 390 hp.
        1970 U code = 440 4V 375 hp.
        1970 V code = 440 6V 390 hp.
        1971 U code = 440 4V 370 hp.
        1971 V code = 440 6V 390 hp.
        1972 P code = 440 4V 255 hp.
        1972 U code = 440 4V 280 hp.

        Of course these are only the 440 engines. there were other engine options too.

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  5. Rando

    If it were me, I’d get rid of the wheels – I’m sure SOMEONE would want them. Rallyes or Magnum 500s. And as for interior issues? If I were sitting in the driver’s seat with my lady in passenger seat, no one would know it’s got issues… LOL

    Engine compartment painted black – should be body color I believe. And I’m figuring this isn’t original paint nor color. So fix it up however the heck you want, put some factory black stripes on it, and drive it. And not care what the haters think.

    Like 1
  6. Rick

    I always liked the look of the ’71 Roadrunner/GTX/Satellite/whatever – just put in the earlier high compression 383/440 and it would snort right along. But I’m with Rando, lose the wheels on this one for sure.

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  7. Steven C

    Those wheels ruined my appetite looking at this on my lunch break.

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  8. JW

    Not my favorite year Roadrunner but lose the wheels, pop the GTX badges off and drive it as a daily driver.

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    It’s not numbers matching so that’s why it’s only $15500. Very cool cruiser though and it’s the right yr.

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  10. Jack

    Like the first comment @Sean said, it is not an original numbers matching car. This Roadrunner was originally a 383 4 bbl. I would just fix up what needed it to make it safe and burn rubber in all 4 gears! $15k might be on the high side. And by the way, 1971 Roadrunners did have 440’s as an option in 4bbl and 2x6bbl, as well as the “R” code 426 Hemi 2x4bbl

    Like 0
  11. keith

    Whatever if this car hadnt been purchased already I gladly would have boiled many.sets of good rubber off this bad girl

    Like 0

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