Original 383/4-Speed: 1968 Plymouth Road Runner

This 1968 Plymouth Road Runner is a two-owner classic that still retains all of its original drivetrain. It runs and drives, and has only minor rust issues for the next lucky owner to address. Barn Finder Ikey H has had his radar working and spotted this beauty for us. Thank you for that Ikey. The Road Runner is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The sale price has been set at $28,000.

The Code R Burgundy paint that the Plymouth wears is all original. It is looking tired now, but its beauty in its current state is that it allows us to make a proper assessment of the car’s overall condition. What it reveals looks extremely promising. Rust appears to be confined to the lower rear quarter panels and the trunk pan. The pan could potentially be patched, but on a classic like this, I would bite the bullet and replace it entirely. The rust in the quarter panels is minor, and that is something that I would patch. There are a few dings and dents, but none of these appear to be significant. The grille is damaged, but a replacement is included in the sale. The rest of the chrome is very presentable, and the glass appears to be in excellent order.

With the Burgundy exterior, the Silver and Black interior trim combination would have made this a striking looking car in its day. It could be once again, but the interior will require some significant work. Most of the upholstered surfaces have seen better days, and the door trims have been cut to accommodate speakers. All of the trim pieces are readily available, but they aren’t particularly cheap. To restore the interior properly, a buyer will probably need to set aside $2,500 by the time they replace the upholstery, seat foam, dash pad, carpet, and headliner. However, when you are talking about a car of this potential value, that would be money well spent. The only item that the seller identifies as missing is the knob off the shifter. Otherwise, everything down to the original radio appears to be present.

The Road Runner is a numbers-matching vehicle, and it is one that packs plenty of performance potential. What we find is a 383ci V8, capable of pumping out 335hp. This is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission and an 8¾” Sure Grip rear end. In its prime, this combination would have ensured that the Plymouth could romp through the ¼ mile in 14.4 seconds. The owner acknowledges that the air cleaner is missing, as is the lower bellhousing. Everything else is original to this car, right down to the carburetor and power steering pump. The Road Runner runs well and will move under its own power. However, the owner suggests that it should not be considered roadworthy at this point in time. It isn’t clear what it might need, but I would hand it to an expert to ensure that all is well before hitting the road.

If this 1968 Plymouth Road Runner had rolled off the production line with a Hemi under the hood, then in fully restored form, it would have the potential to threaten a six-figure value. It didn’t, but that is still no bad thing. Its needs seem to be relatively minor, and if a meticulous restoration were performed, then a value north of $50,000 would be on the cards. If the right person came along, a canny seller might even be able to extract a few extra dollars from them. When you consider the asking price versus that potential value, this is a restoration project that seems to have a lot going for it. The Road Runner has been on the market for little more than a day, and I suspect that it will probably find a buyer quite quickly.

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Comments

  1. Hank

    Adam-
    Can you do us old farts a favor and start calling the “door trims” door panels. The other word that gets my goat is “door cards”. This is predominantly an American audience, after all. Good write up otherwise!

    Like 40
    • karl

      Lots of guys have asked that, but he wont .

      Like 3
  2. Turbo

    What bothers me worse than that is that I could have purchased a bunch of these cars at 3500 bucks each or less. Of course I would have had to insure them, store them, maintain them, etc. But it seems like I would have gotten my money back and then some at these crazy prices. Who knew? They were just old cars.

    Like 14
    • Chris M.

      Hindsight is 20/20.

      Like 9
    • Alexander

      In 1970 I saw a 427 cobra and a Ferrari 275 GTB , 9000 each ! But who knew ?

  3. Steve R

    One of my first cars was nearly a nearly identical 68 Road Runner except for the color, wheels and lack of Posi. In Northern California cheap original paint cars filled the pages of Auto Trader in the early to mid-80’s. I paid $1,000 for mine because it had a dent in the passenger side front fender. I wish I was smart enough to to have kept it or some of the other cars that passed through my hands. But don’t regret cutting any of the loose since they were replaced by a different cool car.

    Good deals are still plentiful for those that keep an open mind and are willing to put in the work, just like it was back then. Those that hustled always got the best deals, that hasn’t changed.

    Steve R

    Like 9
  4. bone

    I’ve got the correct dog dish caps and the left taillight housing for this Runner , the only thing I dont have right now is 28G to spend on another car

    Like 8
  5. Troy s

    Replace the hood with a non air grabber one and it looks like a nice police car or even a sweet taxi cab. No frills, outside of the name itself, good power out of the hopped 383, 4 speed with a Very tall shifter…knuckle cracker into third I bet, and there you have it. The cheap muscle car that gave Pontiac fits in sales. All the other guys made eye candy out of the new cheap thrills market,
    none came close to the Road Runner as a sales success. Love that color, and it looks kinda neat as is. The price is high but that is not news, fake or otherwise.

    Like 5
    • Phil D

      That’s the correct hood for a ’68 Road Runner or GTX, and it’s not an Air Grabber hood (the Air Grabber option didn’t exist until 1969). The hood skin is actually the same for both years, and for Air Grabber and non-Air Grabber ’69s, but the “scoop” inserts vary depending on model year and the presence or lack of the Air Grabber option.

      The ’68s have a fake side scoop, with 383, 440, or HEMI on the black insert, depending on engine. The ’69 scoop turns up vertically and is either solid with a black insert on top on non-Air Grabber cars or has a Hemi orange-painted screen on top on Air Grabber-equipped cars, with an emblem on the side calling out which engine is underneath.

      Your point about it looking like a two-door police car is dead-on. That’s essentially what a Road Runner was: the police package/GTX suspension stuffed under a Belvedere coupe (the hardtop model came later in the year), with cartoon decals all around and 440 Super Commando heads and exhaust manifolds on a 383 four barrel (good for an extra five horsepower over the non-Road Runner 383 four barrel).

      Like 7
      • Troy s

        Dont forget the horn, Phil! Maybe that’s why they sold so many. No,,,,,at least I hope not.

        Like 1
  6. Steve Bush Member

    Wow-$28k for this? Yes it’s numbers matching and apparently intact. But it’s not running and will take lots of time and money to make it right. Also, the seller claims everything underneath is intact, but doesn’t provide any pics. In the end, I agree with Steve R that there are better alternatives out there.

    Like 6
    • Tim

      Yeah it’s really hard for me, to think of spending $28k on something that a restoration hasn’t even been started on.
      Just a paint job is around $10k or more. So now it’s $38k

    • Joseph Marks

      All you need to know is a Mopar Nats Bronze trophy 990/1000 winner 68 383 roadrunner on eBay recently couldnt fetch 50k. I think it came close…maybe high 40s. Insane restoration. Window sticker. Build sheet and provenance. 28k for this? Ill let you do the math.

  7. Bob Gubner

    I think even being a numbers matching 383 is a little rich on the price. Maybe if it was a 440 in that rather pedestrian state the car appears might be closer to fetching it.

    Like 3
  8. Big Bear

    Why do people think it’s number matching but paint gone, interior a mess,parts missing and no air cleaner!! Want $28,000!! Sorry too much work. This is a $12,500 car. I bet the engine won’t last long and needs a total rebuilded. And the milage low 50’s. Sorry I think 150,000. Going to need another 25,000 to fix this runner up. Good luck to the next owner.🐻

  9. Kevin Kollman

    After you put 25,000 into it’ and you got him down to 23,000 you still wouldn’t make a good enough profit, for it to be worth you time. But you would have one bad car //

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