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Restore Or Parts? 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible

The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner had a unique body style among the first generation cars, and while an impressive 43,404 were produced for this one year alone just 824 were of the droptop variety, making this one for sale here on eBay quite a rare bird.  Unfortunately, it needs a major restoration, but if you’ve got a strong set of skills and a really positive attitude maybe you can bring this car back to life.  The Road Runner is in Belfast, Maine, with 27 bids so far raising the price up to $3,150 with the reserve not met.

It appears the seller is realistic in knowing his B-Body might be an equal candidate for parts to save another car rather than getting this one back on the road, as he mentions several of the pieces alone are of considerable value and might be just what someone needs to restore their own car.  But I have to agree that would be a shame, so maybe if you’re a DIY guy you could make this your own viable project, but I shudder to think what hiring a group of workers to fix this auto would cost.

A fender tag is still under the hood, but not the 383 V8 4-barrel (E63) and heavy-duty automatic transmission (D32) it reveals were once present.  The rear-end is also MIA and the car is sitting on a pallet, that is when it’s not being lifted by a chain, but some good news is it’s a factory air-grabber hood car (N96) and many of those components appear to still be there.

The floorboards, trunk pan, frame rails, plus just about everything underneath are all listed as compromised, not surprising considering the condition of the body panels, and although the top canvas has all but deteriorated the convertible railing is still intact, so maybe those can be salvaged or removed to help another car.

A factory tach (N85) is still in the dash, but whether or not it will function again after all this time in the elements is a mystery, and other than perhaps some of the seat framing I’m not spotting a whole lot inside that will be of much use.  This is one ill Road Runner in need of serious surgery, and it’s way, way past my doctoral skills.  Are you seeing any hope here?


  1. Cadmanls Member

    Man that was a beauty many moons ago. Now it’s as the author points out a few pieces that are maybe salvageable for another project. Of coarse nobody ever thought these would be worth what they are today. Just a used old Roadrunner and it’s drivetrain went somewhere else at least for a while.

    Like 12
  2. Darren

    Save what parts you can and scrap the rest…..too far gone!

    Like 12
    • I_cant_drive_65

      I feel like I’m reading the newspaper obituaries. This guy had an amazing life that should be respected for who he once was. Alas…..

      Like 12
    • George Mattar

      Agree Darren, but at least it appears to be the original fender tag, not some cheap repo. In 1973, I bought an original owner 70 RR hardtop this color with N96 hood. Near perfect shape. Paid $1,200. As mentioned here, it was just another 3 year old used car. Today, the hood is worth more than I paid for my car.

      Like 1
  3. Mark

    That’s a tough one. With only 824 made if you really want a Road Runner convertible it could be hard to find another one that’s not already restored and about $75k or more. But this is really really rough. I don’t mind floor pans and trunk pans, that’s almost expected on a convertible that hasn’t been restored anyway in my part of the country, but when it’s so bad that the frame is toast, then usually if it’s an easier to find car, I’d say no. It’s that rarity factor that could save this car though. You are not going to just find another one right down the road unless you live in an unusual neighborhood. I don’t want a Road Runner convertible that bad so for me personally I’d pass, but there could be someone out there that’s been looking for one of these for years and would see this as better than nothing.

    Like 11
  4. Roland

    In 1985 I looked at one of these in the Boston area, also a rag top and still driven at that time. The owner wanted $200 and I passed because the starter was bad so I could not hear it run. If only….

    Like 8
  5. Rustomodrob


    We’ve all been down that road. Thing is..do it now…find that car you wanted..maybe not a $70k restored car, but perhaps something you can afford that needs fixing the way YOU want it. Not how it was when new, but something on a budget. This car maybe to far gone, but anything is fixable…all you need is patience, time and $$$ you’re willing to put in it.

    I’m doing it…I purchased a 63 GP “Trailer find” as Russ Dixon described in an article here a few months ago. Got here cheap enough and cleaning her up to get her back roaring down the road here in a few months.

    Like 7
    • Mark

      Basically what I was thinking with my response. I could see someone who couldn’t afford a nice one buying this, but it would have to be someone capable of doing most of not all of the work themselves, and it would have to be something that they really want bad for themselves. Not with the idea of being able to sell for a profit.

      Like 11
    • Mark

      My 1970 Chevelle was one that most of the people on this site would have passed on. Purchased for $1,000 5 years ago. No drive train, no front end, needing new quarter panels and floor work, but I really don’t have that much in it because I was able to do the work myself. But I was willing to take it on because of the ultra low initial price and it will never be a restored to factory specs show piece, but it will turn heads at the local shows and I can have fun driving it, and I still have a reasonable amount of money in it.

      Like 14
      • Falcon Fever Member

        Mark, that is the smartest logic!

        Like 1
  6. Big C

    Put a couple more pallets under it, to steady the car. And to provide more fuel for the bonfire. She gone.

    Like 7
  7. Rick

    Yeahhhh, I’d have to say it’s way to far gone.

    Like 1
  8. JW454

    In my neck of the woods, if its savable, the hood alone could be worth 3000~3500 bucks.

    Just sayn’

    Like 4
  9. Chris Cornetto

    Buy 2 door body from rustless area and remove convertible items and wa lah, a convertible. Install inner rocker items before roof removal and In a week or so time you will have a convertible. Did a 60 Fury and a Cuda and that’s the way this one needs to go.

    Like 6
  10. Russ Ashley

    This one is debatable to me. If I hadn’t been watching Graveyard Cars recently and seen some of their restorations I would say this one is beyond hope, but it’s actually not as bad as some of the cars they restored. Virtually every body panel you would need is available, so due to it’s rarity and the options it came with I suspect that it will be restored. I hope the right person gets it.

    Like 6
  11. Not Again

    Actually, I do understand the concerns regarding repairs, and time. Props to the owner for showing actual pics of the car and what remains. With that being said and every one has a right to their opinion, I acquired a 70 Chevelle SS about in the same shape, setting out in the woods, and the farmer just wanted it gone. Needed everything, pans quarters etc, engine tranny long gone but still had a 12 bolt buckets dash. Been offered bank for it. Refused to sell, holding it. This car is rare regardless, buy it store it, see what the market says, or a individual who cannot afford the 75k plus to have a car they always wanted…you would be surprised what offers you will receive down the road. One thing for sure, they are not building them any more, and fewer remain.

    Like 6
  12. Hammer

    Parts car. Enough said.

    Like 0
  13. Dave

    Don’t kid yourself, Graveyard Carz has all the skills and equipment to fix anything, they make it look easy for TV, this is a parts car, a rare parts car,
    still a heavily rusted parts car, changing the body shell would be the smart
    way to do this, but removing body and VIN tags is a felony, very illegal

    Like 1
    • Eddie Dee

      It’s only illegal if you get caught!

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

        Eddie Dee,

        It’s very risky to create such situations without going thru the correct channels.

        We did a major restoration of a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible with severe rust, so we ordered a rust free main body shell from a well-known vintage car junkyard in Arizona. The car body [a Pontiac LeMans convertible] came with a title that matched the body VIN tags. On completion of the car, we would provide the title to the body shell so the owner could file the info with the state, to bring the VIN into compliance.

        When the car was almost finished, the owner’s weekly checks started bouncing. Over a weekend while we were vending at a large vintage car flea market, the owner came with a set of keys and took the car. The police said it was a civil situation as it was his car.

        So we reported the car as having a non-matching VIN situation, and we showed we were in possession of the title matching the body VIN. The state ordered it seized after the owner failed to bring it in for inspection. Once it was under state control, we went thru the court system, showing the bounced checks, as well as the Arizona title, signed over to us. He was found guilty of check fraud, and the court ordered a lien be placed on the title.

        The car’s owner had to negotiate with us to obtain the LeMans’ title, and that involved paying all our back bills, our legal expenses, and of course he had to “buy” the LeMans from us. He also had to pay fines to the state, then apply to the state police after he got the title, and that ended up taking almost 2 years. All that time the car sat outside in a state impound lot.

        I should point out that one part of the unfinished work involved installing various weatherstrips, including doors & trunk. By the time he got the car back, the entire brand new interior was covered in mold, and the carpets were partially submerged due to rain.

        Like 1
  14. bigbird

    I have to say “How’s that Ziebart rust proofing workout for ya”….Chrysler products were always prone to rusting, but there maybe some usable parts, especially in the drop top area.

    Like 0
  15. BrianC Member

    Not sure I understand this – COMPLETE BUT NEEDS MAJOR,MAJOR, RESTORATION. How’s this car complete? It’s missing major components (the drive train) but it’s still complete?

    Asking for a friend

    Like 2
  16. Virgil Durst Member

    There is really No hope in selling this Engine Less piece of Rusted Metal. Shame on you! Virgil

    Like 0
  17. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Hey Mike Stephens,

    Nice touch in your report text — a Roadrunner that’s “quite a rare bird”!

    Like 1
  18. SEAN

    I had a 70 RR HT I bought in 73 at 16 years old $1000.00. It was like new, 383, 4sp, went into the Navy in 77, had my dad sell it. Suppose to be running around still, wish I’d never sold it.

    Like 0

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