Original Beep Beep? 1969 Road Runner

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Plymouth Road Runners are among the most iconic of all muscle cars of the late ’60s and early ’70s, and the 1969 may be the best year of all. This was the height of Mopar fascination with using the trappings of pop culture and television to sell cars. With the Road Runner, they licensed the cartoon character and used its famous Beep Beep sound to promote this midlevel hot rod – aimed at those who could not afford the better equipped fancier GTX models.

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Put your go fast big block engines in your plain-Jane mid size two door Belvedere body styles, with not too many options, and you have a recipe for success. Road Runners were popular in their original incarnation from 1968 to 1970, offering lots of bang for low dollars – the lowest price models went for as little as $2,900 when first offered.

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In 1969, the Plymouth Road Runner won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award, and added a coupe and convertible to the lineup for additional sales. The 383 was the base offering, and was plenty fast for most buyers, but you could check off the option box either the 2×4 barrel 426 hemi, or three different versions of the torque monster 440, even up to the 3×2 carb “sixpack” version for ultimate off the line experience (though with so much weight up front, these cars were not known for fantastic handling around corners – off the line acceleration and highway cruising at high speeds are what they were built for).

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Road Runners are now selling for big bucks, though nothing close to the Challenger or Hemi Cuda money, it seems, thankfully for those with lesser budgets. According to Hagerty, a top line ’69 Road Runner ought to fetch around $60k and one in fair condition should go for around $20k.

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Which gets us to this rather exciting claimed original 69 Road Runner in the Mount Pleasant area of Pittsburgh for sale here on craigslist. The seller tells us virtually nothing about the car or how it managed to remain in virtually pristine original condition with only 70,000 miles driven over the last 46 years (and if I were looking to buy this Road Runner at the very reasonable asking price of $23,900, I would want someone who knows these cars intimately to inspect this one with a fine tooth comb approach, to make sure it is really what it is claimed to be, and not a rebuild, even though it sure does look nice).

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What is the history of this car? Where was it originally from and where has it been all these years? One must wonder about where it originally came from, how it was stored, and what is going on underneath the car.

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I am sure there are some Mopar experts among you, so maybe someone can look these pictures over and weigh in. The Road Runner horn button and decal on the dash look original to me. The body panels look pretty nice. The interior looks right for 70,000 miles and 40 years of use, as does the trunk. And even the black out hood looks right (though not sure about whether the trim might be missing from the bulges?).

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Are those wheels correct though? They look argent and I always thought they were chrome originally. Another mystery for me, why does a seller post an ad with great pictures, almost no description, and give no phone number to contact him?

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I sure do hope someone does check out this car and lets us know if it’s for real. If so, it’s a car worth owning and the price even seems reasonable for a welcome change. What do you think? Is this a real deal Road Runner?

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Comments

  1. Bob's your uncle

    There was only one 440 available in the road runner for 1969, 70, and 71 – the six barrel motor. I think in 72 they changed the GTX from a separate model to a road runner option package, so at that point you could get a 440+4 in a road runner.

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    • DREW V.

      Check again …440-4 was available for 69-71

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    • dave

      Here is my brother in 69 racing a 69 RR 440 6 pak
      He was 19

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      • randy

        Oops, I was expecting a 69 ss Camaro up against a RR, sorry.

      • dave

        Here is my brothers article of the 69 RR 440 6pak car that he was racing.

        1
  2. DREW V.

    I would say it’s the real deal, Survivor grade cars still turn up from time to time… I bought a sun flower yellow(a really hideous shade of pale yellow) Runner in 93 that had 28,000 mi on it. I had tried to buy it for years but the guy, a drug dealer, wouldn’t sell it… One night somebody met him at his front door with a shot gun… His mom found my card in his belongings and called me, I got the car for $3,200… All original, just like this car, 383 Auto on the column… numbers match but had steel wheels with Dog Disg hubcaps… Detailed it, drove it a lil then sold it for a tidy profit… Wish I still had it today…

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    • DREW V.

      Original RR Ad…

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      • Stinky boy

        Bring in this ad and get 50 bucks off. Best car ad ever

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  3. Rick

    $2,549,00 is the equivalent of $16,484.00 in today’s dollars (according to at least one inflation calculator website) That was a lot of car for the money in 1969 IMHO. You’d get nothing even close today.

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    • dave

      In FL, you could buy a 69 Z28 for 2300.00. Lots were full of them.
      Blow the doors of any RR and hold the value better than Any Mopar except the Hemi

  4. randy

    Many people including myself missed a lot of opportunities on these type cars. I look around and see no such opportunities for me or my children these days. How about yall?

    I think Roadrunners were among the top ten cars in my personal book.

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  5. Vince Habel

    This is not a bare bones Roadrunner.

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  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    love it – only thing that I don’t is that thing on the steering column – make a nice drive tho’ – that’s not a mental price if its real, is it?

  7. sean

    68-69 Standard engine was 383. HemI was an option. 440 was only available mid year in 69 as 6pack option.

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  8. David Wilk Member

    In 1969, the 383 engine was the standard powerplant, and the 426 Hemi was the only engine option available for the Road Runner until mid-year production. The 383 was marketed as the “383 Road Runner” engine, which is also what the air cleaner read.
    The (A12) 440 engine option with three Holley 2-barrel carburetors was added to the lineup at mid-year. 440 6-bbl Road Runners had no wheel covers or hubcaps, sporting only the 15×6″ “H” stamped steel black wheels with chrome lug nuts. It featured an organosol black fiberglass lift-off hood with 4 hood pins and a large functional hood scoop with a red sticker on each side saying “440 6BBL”. The scoop sealed to the large air breather. Production of the 440 6-bbl A12 option Road Runner was approximately 1,432. The A12 option had an “M” as the fifth character in the VIN. The 440 engine was rated at 390 hp (291 kW) @ 4,700 rpm, and 490 pound-feet of torque @ 3200 rpm, the same torque as the Hemi.

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    • randy

      Was 383 Roadrunner engine the same a s the 383 Magnum? I was told the 383 magnum had 440 heads on it to make it a magnum.

    • dave

      If GM put this engine in a lighter car, 1970 Cad-500 CI-400 HP @ 4400 RPM-550 lbs of twisting @ 3000RPN, and that is with a single 4 barrel carb and 10. 0:1 comp. It would have been a beast

  9. John H.

    Nobody has mentioned the AAR Cuda. Built for only 2 monthis in Mar/Apr 1970, it was very fast off the line and handled extremely well. Special 340 CI/Six Pak. HD suspension and fiberglass hood. Designed for CanAm series. Less than 3K of them were made.

    • Dan

      That would be built for the Trans Am series…

  10. dave

    In the Chry Museum, Michigan

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  11. MountainMan

    This is sweet, wish I had the coin to go check it out as it looks like a deal that wont last
    MoPar or no car my cousin would say is he were still alive. When I was 14 he borrowed my parents pop up camper. Picked it up in Atlanta and towed it to Florida with his Charger. He left my dad a 69 ‘Cuda while he had the camper and eventually offer is to my dad for $1500. This was in 1987. Sure wish I had that ‘cuda today. 340 car, red with white vinyl top and white interior. All his cars had black steel wheels …he wouldnt even consider any other wheel after he had a mag wheel come apart or something (cant remember the exact story)

  12. piper62j

    It amazes me watching the demand for these Mopar muscle cars increasing.. You gotta admit, they are sharp and powerful. Chrysler was always looking for ways to capture that 60’s Generation.. Now, us boomers can’t get enough..

    Great looking car..

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  13. Mark H.

    Dating myself I know, but I still remember going to the rail yard to pick up Dads new ’69 Roadrunner. He bought it at Tom Price Chrysler Plymouth here in Spokane.(Its a paint store now) He kept it for about a year, 383, 4 speed, hounds tooth buckets, red line tires. Used to uncap the headers and run around the block before hiding it in the garage in case the cops were close by. Traded it in on a 1971 Ford van so we could pull a trailer to Ohio to collect his ’34 Ford he bought just after high school. Even at 6 years old I knew that was wrong. I would love to get that car back but no one will trace it what with privacy laws and such. Great memories still!

  14. Gnrdude

    Well Is it an RM Or an RH>>???That’s the Litmus test…..??

  15. CattooButt Member

    My best friend in 10th & 11th grades had one in 1984 had a 383 and column shift 727 transmission. Not registered to him yet, just a bill of sale and signed over title. Painted it flat black. Everything flat black. Cut off the muffler and we blasted around town and did cookies in parking lots and at times run from the law. After some tickets and threats of arrest if he continued driving like he was on a racetrack he used it as a partial trade in on a 69 Sport Fury III that was a great runner and in better condition. He wrecked the Fury a week before I was to buy it from him, that was a bummer too.

  16. Howard A

    I agree with the others, there were faster cars out there at the time, but this was a cheap way to get young people into a performance car. It really should have a 4 speed, as the automatic takes some of the zing out of it. ( power shifting a RR was what it was all about) I had a friend with a car like this, only a 4 speed, and quite frankly, it was a tinny cheap car, and still a full sized car. These were beat to death, so a survivor like this is pretty rare. Great piece of muscle car history.( even though, it was cars like this that spelled doom for the muscle car, insurance wise)

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