Tucked Away: 1974 Plymouth Road Runner

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This second generation ’74 Plymouth Road Runner caught my attention namely for its hiding spot: it looks like a cross between a car port and a highly-secure backyard; either way, I’m guessing it’s hard to spot when driving by. Although the Road Runner got heavier and slower as time wore on, this example looks nearly stock and like it could be an easy-to-live-with daily driver. 

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This Road Runner is nicely spec’d with the optional 400 paired to a TorqueFlite automatic. The 400 was the largest engine available that year with a manual transmission, and it delivered 250 b.h.p. to drivers who chose this mill over the 440. Whichever engine you chose, it would be tucked beneath a hood with a generous power bulge to let other drivers know that even as it gained weight and became tamer, the Road Runner could still pack a punch.

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The interior is fairly sedate and needs some work. I’d honestly get a bit creative here, maybe adapting some sportier buckets from a late-model Shelby Charger or even some aftermarket Recaros. The stock seats look like they offer zero support or the ability to hold you in place during high-speed maneuvers. It will need a new shift knob as well but thankfully it won’t need floors – those remain solid.

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It looks like there might be some rust issues in the back corner of the rear window. In addition, the entire trunk floor needs replacing. It’s clear this Road Runner here on eBay is far from perfect, but finding one that remains in original condition is getting harder and harder to do. I think the seller isn’t disclosing as much as he should regarding the extent of rust, and that the opening bid should be down around $1,500 – but that’s just me. Do you see a good project here or is there too much rust to make it worthwhile?

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Member

    For the Road Runner, like so many cars, I like the earlier ones more than this ’74—usually the first year of the model.

  2. Dean

    I doubt this car has been “stored” in its present location for long. The grease pencil marks on the right side windshield appear to be from an auction sale, and the “sold” on the left side windshield appear to confirm that. The area supporting the frames of both the front and back windows are severely rusted (right through in the case of the rear), and there are various other spots that appear to have been sprayed to cover rust. I have no doubt the engine is hard to start if it has some kind of a aftermarket carb, that is probably seriously out of adjustment. And just look at those far too long plug wires on the left side of the engine, tie wrapped to a support. This heap screams “RUSTY JUNK – RUN AWAY” from every rusted pore.

    • Joe

      Dean, good eye on the wax pencil details.

      • Jeff Staff

        Agreed – way to spot the red flags, Dean. I take it this isn’t your first rodeo. ;-)

  3. Franke

    No, not rusty junk, take alittle time and fix it, not a high dollar car, but something you can drive around and enjoy. Buying a 69 roadrunner and spending all that money on it for to just end up sitting in a climate controlled garage is just insane.

    • Dean

      This pile of rust wouldn’t pass inspection in my jurisdiction, so the only place to drive it around would be the yard…

  4. Chris

    Not super desirable, but pretty cool. The hood is really neat.

    You can tell from the back/side shot, this car has had a bad repaint.

    440s are pretty easy to get, worth the upgrade.

  5. ron

    any reason the links to ebay and craigslist aren’t in the first narrative i find in my inbox anymore? i do enjoy the descriptives you employ, but finding out prices and if i want to bid seem at least as important.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      @ron – We moved the links because we had a lot of people just clicking on them and never coming to the site. We may switch it back, but are testing it out to see what happens. Thanks for your feedback.

      • JW454

        Switch it back.

      • Ken

        I agree with Ron. I miss the links in the first narrative.

      • George

        I agree with switching them back. I do read your descriptions, but also want to take a quick look without having to go to the page and then have to keep scrolling down.

      • BMW/Tundra Guy

        Leave it the way it is. It doesn’t matter to me where the link is. 1/2 the time I don’t even need to go to link site. The descriptions and “color commentary” tell me more about the item than the seller will!!!!
        To all those that want to just hit the link in your In Box, I am guessing advertising revenue pays for this site and all the hard work that these guys put into each and every story. If you don’t go to this site, then these guys don’t have the “traffic numbers” needed to keep the advertisers. “Nothing in Life is Free” is not just a saying…….
        Whatever became of the “User Fee” you guys were toying with?!?! Those of you who want to skip opening this site, open your wallets!!! You cannot have both.
        All of the above is My Opinion! Now feel free to go ahead light me up!!! I have a problem – I DO NOT care what others think!!!

  6. Steven C

    Forget putting a 440 in it, get the stroker crank kit for the 400 and make it a 512! Check out http://www.440source.com, saw them make one of these on hotrod garage.

    • Chris

      Saw that too. Good point. That wagon looks like fun. 440source is awesome. I have used them before. The 440 is a bargain engine. The later truck casting were high nickel and good for muscle cars.

  7. jeff6599

    Just look at the RR piller and follow the body curve. With rust all around the backlite, I’d say the roof, RR quarter and upper decklid panel are all candidates for replacement.And it’s a ’74, not a ’68 or ’69. Avoid Avoid

  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Run from this runner…..

  9. John H. in CT

    This should be renamed a Roach Runner. By this time the RR name was basically a badge. There are still 68- 69 RRs in the under 30K range with 383’s that deliver 300HP. Just look at Hemmings. IMO those are much better starting points than this one. Put $20K into one of those and you will likely have a $50K car.

    • Steven C

      I’d be cool with this cheap, throw about a $1,000 at it in parts and what not, crank up some Montrose and drive. Way cooler than any car made in a long time.

  10. John B

    It just looks a bit too gooey for me. Lord knows what this thing’s many owners have done to it over the course of forty+ years. Darn…

  11. erikj

    I had a 73 340 /auto years ago it was loved it. not fast but fun.

    • Fast eddie

      I had 4 different 73_74 birds in high school. The red with black stripes 74 got me alot of chicks in 1989! Sold it off for a 67 gtx with a 440 4 speed for 500.00 bucks! Wish I had all my Mopar back now.

  12. Fast eddie

    Been some part swapping on this one, I just noticed. Road runners had a matte black grill that’s the satellite grill.

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