Outdoor Project: 1975 Plymouth Road Runner

The 1975 model year would be the last for the Plymouth Road Runner as a B-body Mopar. Through 1980 it would be a trim package on the new compact Volare, a move many considered a demotion. That change was likely predicated by low production numbers for the one-year, third-generation car which only saw 7,183 copies, a fraction of its heyday. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, this project is a stalled restoration looking for someone new to take charge. It’s available here on eBay where the opening bid of $1,600 has yet to be placed. Hats off to Larry D for finding one of the rarer Road Runners that were made.

Road Runner would share its more formal for 1975 with the Fury, which had moved from full to mid-size trappings that year. Unlike the budget car that the Road Runner once was, it could now be ordered with plush interiors, a rally instrument cluster, power seats, and electric windows. “Big Bird” would be distinguished from the Fury with some exterior stripes, a blacked-out grille, and a heavy-duty suspension that included front and rear sway bars and Rallye wheels. A variety of motors could be chosen, but half of the Road Runners built for 1975 would have your basic 318 V8 (my, had things changed since 1968!). The seller’s car has the next step up, a 360, which would have put out 170 or 220 hp, depending on carburetion. A TorqueFlite automatic was the only transmission choice.

The seller bought this car about three years ago to restore but only got as far as taking some of the interior pieces apart before losing interest in the project. So, the passenger compartment is a mess at this point and some of the glass will have to be replaced. The body looks to have its fair share of problems, including a big dent in the right front fender which will have to be replaced. We’re not sure of the timetable of when the pictures were taken, but if the car has been covered outdoors, the partially torn blue cover is probably doing more harm than good.

We’re told the Plymouth was in running condition as recently as a year ago. The motor is in the process of being wrenched and some parts have been replaced, while others are stored inside the car. That includes a new radiator, water pump, plugs and wires, hoses, PCV, and the timing module. There is no mention if anything is missing or if at least the mechanical side of the car is complete. This is a well-used machine, meaning that every one of the 127,000 reported miles was probably well-earned.

Being that this is a single-year, low production muscle car model, that would usually translate into a higher resale value. In the case of the 1975 Road Runner, the jury’s out as Hagerty says a top-drawer example would top out at $36,000 (one from 1968-70 could easily run twice that amount). By the mid-1970s, they weren’t the hustlers they once were due to permanent changes brought about by the insurance industry and the EPA, which was formed in 1970.

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Comments

  1. PaulG

    Rare Bird indeed, but not really valuable (yet…) in this condition. Could save another though.
    Always thought the rear graphic was inspired by Timothy Leary!

    Like 12
    • Skorzeny

      Who WOULDN”T love that rear graphic, wow…

      ‘I asked Bobby Dylan
      I asked The Beatles
      I asked Timothy Leary
      But he couldn’t help me either’

      Like 12
    • Dave

      I always thought that the rear graphic was a subtle nod to the cartoon where the Coyote hangs an Acme Instant Tunnel on the side of a mountain and, attempting to follow the Road Runner through, runs smack dab into a stone wall!

      Like 16
      • Kevin

        Yes Dave,looks like the rt.front fender hit the side of the tunnel,I suppose if it runs,and it’s not all rotted out,it could live again, and be a conversation piece,but as much as I love mopar, I’m not that guy.

        Like 1
  2. Steve Clinton

    “…the opening bid of $1,600 has yet to be placed.” And probably never will.

    Like 21
  3. Patrick Curran

    The tunnel graphic on the trunk was one of the coolest ever designed. That’s about all I can say about this particular car. It may be good for some parts, but the cost would be excessive to restore.

    Like 7
  4. Brian K

    For the love of God, crush this thing.

    Like 17
  5. Gerald Ramey Jr

    I always liked the rear graphic on these Road Runners. I’ve always thought they’re cool. I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about the Volare Road Runners, we used to own one and they are pretty cool little cars. My Uncle Gary bought a 1977 Volare Road Runner, Spitfire Orange, 360 2-bbl, and automatic. He sold it to buy a 1979 Camaro Z28, 350 4-bbl. Years later I asked him which of the two was faster, he said the Road Runner. He said it was quicker, and with a new set of Uniroyal Tiger Paws, and a front end alignment, it handled like you wouldn’t believe.
    My Dad bought it a couple years later and my sister drove it in high school. I also drove it for a while, it did handle good.

    Like 7
  6. XMA0891

    Thank you Barn Finds – Until today I did’t know Plymouth made this car – And I like Plymouths! Neat car, neat find!

    Like 4
  7. Steve R

    Looking at the trunk, we now know where George Lucas got the idea of scrolling the introduction for his first Star Wars movie.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  8. tom

    I had a new one almost like this, but mine sure better than this one. This is toast.

  9. mopar king

    PLEASE…put this car out of its misery

  10. CenturyTurboCiupe Member

    I wonder if this is when the word “gaudy” first appeared in an English dictionary…..

  11. Chris

    Sorry Charlie this ride is a parts mobile

    Like 1
  12. Kh4fan

    This is a example of the manufacturer refusing to let go of things that were. This car was a turd when it was sitting on the showroom floor. It’s even a bigger turd now. Forget about it. Absolutely not worth restoring. Unless it’s somebody who has money to burn so they take it to a car show and have people say”Why did you bother?”

    • MrBZ

      Either that or a purely sentimental reason. A lot of us have oddball cars that we fell in love with early on and can’t get out of our heads. ’75 “RRs” don’t do it for me, but I could see it happening.

  13. Tiberius1701

    “In Philadelphia, it’s worth fifty bucks.”

    Like 1
  14. Charles Sawka

    Maybe someone could use some mechanical bits. Then crush it.

  15. MrBZ

    Either that or a purely sentimental reason. A lot of us have oddball cars that we fell in love with early on and can’t get out of our heads. ’75 “RRs” don’t do it for me, but I could see it happening.

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