Roll Cage Roller! 1970 Plymouth Road Runner

It’s a rough start, but this 1969 Plymouth Road Runner outside Atlanta, Georgia has more potential than some we’ve seen. With no engine or transmission, this “roller” sports a roll cage, custom-fabricated rear structure with a tubbed rear, and tubular reinforcements in front as well. The listing on Craigslist asks $5000 for what you see here, a cool third of the asking price of some rusty Road Runners. Thanks to reader Chuck F. for spotting this once-potent Plymouth.

Additional chassis strength may help with a pro-tour or autocross build. Embracing the modifications makes more sense than considering a return to stock. Originally Lemon Twist yellow, the well worn classic might make a hot modern re-write of the ’69 Charger in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.

Dreaming won’t get you down the road, but consider vision a prerequisite to putting put this rusty Road Runner on the path to self-propulsion. I love how the listing details the car’s interesting original options and features then caps off the rundown by saying “All of that is gone.”

Mopar lovers would prefer to find a car like this themselves, but give the finder credit for offering the car in as-found condition without slapping a fictional TV auction-fueled price on it.

Relegating your B-body muscle car to a two-seater takes commitment. A brutally fast drag car renders back seat room a non-factor, though something multi-purpose would be more interesting. I could see a low-budget entrant in the Silver State Classic Challenge taking form in a year or less. It’s hard to make a ’70 Road Runner *not* cool unless you lock it up like this for decades with no idea what it might become. That would be decidedly uncool, so let’s hope the new owner immediately attacks it with tools, parts, and a healthy credit line. How would you build this roll-caged Road Runner?


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    Petty NASCAR Superbird clone. 43 on the side, stance, wheels,Hemi and all.

    Like 4
  2. Mike Roberts

    I thought that it was Wile E Coyote who always got thrashed while chasing the Roadrunner. I think you are buying just a roll cage and partial drag setup if you pay for this pile of rusty feathers and Satelite bits.

    Like 7
  3. Terrry

    ‘From rust ye were made, to rust ye shall return”..and this thing has just about returned. The only thing keeping it from its destination and also holding it together, is that roll cage.

    Like 5
  4. Doug

    It’s a 70 model

    Like 3
  5. Joe Machado

    Who ties down over the body to trailer.
    Scenerio: Tight, loose, tight, loose, as you hit dips, bumps, etc.
    Reforming sheetmetal.
    A quick way to untie a vehicle as you tow.

    Like 2
  6. John Oliveri


    Like 1
  7. Steve R

    The only people that think this is a viable race car project have never spent much time in the business end of a racetrack. Turn key race cars are too inexpensive for consideration.

    Steve R

    Like 1
  8. Sam Shive

    Another (M)ostly (O)ld (P)arts (A)nd (R)ust…..Sacap it and make it a Honda.

    Like 2
    • Joe Machado

      Then a fender will make a complete honda.

      Like 2
  9. gaspumpchas

    Looks like a parts car that was stripped like a turket carcass after thanksgiving. Worse have been fixed but this ruffian needs to go to the crusher. Good luck and happy motoring!

  10. George Mattar

    Again no editing by your editors. You write about old cars yet call a 70 model a 69. Body is very different. I had a 70 FE5 hardtop in 1973 and it was a very good car. This one is a boat anchor.

    Like 2
    • Gary

      Ahh give the kid a break, its a typo. Maybe he drank too much Red Bull as he was up late, trying to entertain you, you old fart. Besides, the heading says 1970, isn’t that good enough? Those of us mature enough to actually have driven these cars in those crazy days, we all know better. But, then again, at our ages, are we too far gone senile to not know better then to run away from something as much of a rip off as this? This obviously was stripped, prob in a junk yard, for decades. How much is a full front end, bumpers, dash board, and interior going to cost? Will it ever be worth anywhere near what you put into it? Now, I am very much against the old car hobby being about money, but common sense has to prevail. In the end, buy one compete, it will be cheaper. Or better yet, watch your copy of Vanishing Point and close your eyes, you can relive your glory days in your head, so much easier and cheaper. With the money you save, do something nice for someone else. It will make you feel much better in the long run. We need more of that in this tired world.

      Like 4
  11. RalleyeRimRay Member

    So against the advice of some of my gearhead friends, I did buy an ex- drag car that was a class champion for many years at Phoenix Raceways and the surrounding tracks. I bought it in May of 2020, to return it back into a street car and to keep me busy during this pandemic locked my shop. What I bought was a true, drag racing, purpose built 1965 Valiant Signet as a roller, with full roll cage, reinforced frame EVERYWHERE, tabbed, void of wipers/heater/turn signal switch / backseat/door panels, etc… was a former drag car that had a very strong running 440 that propelled it to a best 10.27 @130mph. But I bought it as a roller so I could my 505 big block in it to turn it into an obnoxious little Valiant that a old retired guy like me could terrorize the local Chevy guys with….it’s just a Valiant after all !! So after a year of rebuilding a strong 727 trans for it and fiddling and fabricating a location for the bigger master cylinder, I’ve missed this year’s fun of cruising here in the Seattle area. Oh well, I’ve still got wiring to sort out….but I will be ripping it up on the streets in my little Valiant
    …old race cars can be a huge challenge if you decide to bring them back to street duty….challenge yourself, I did and I’m a foolish ’67 year old gearhead. Take care everyone and God Bless !!

    Like 1
  12. RalleyeRimRay Member

    My former purpose built drag car from the Phoenix area I bought in May 2020 as a roller. It had a strong racing 440 that propelled it to a best time of 10.27 @ 130mph. It is a 1965 Plymouth Valiant Signet, with full roll cage, tubbed, frame reinforced EVERYWHERE, etc. I put in my 505 stroker big block Mopar in it now, just so I can play hardball with the Chevy guys here in town. I’m a 67 year old foolish Mopar gearhead with no intention of growing up. Not an easy thing to turn a old race car back into a street car….I’ve still got alot of wiring to do still but will be ready for cruising duties in summer of 2022. I know it’s a stupid thing to do, but I lost my mind along time ago….besides, it’s just an old Valiant, how dangerous could it be ?? Take care everyone & God Bless !

    Like 1
  13. RalleyeRimRay Member

    Sorry, forgive me for babbling and posting twice, thought I lost the first posting. – Ray

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