Unrestored 4-Speed: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner

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This 1969 Plymouth Road Runner is at one of those stages that’s getting harder and harder to find as time passes, as it’s still all numbers-matching and remains unrestored.  Granted, this Mopar would benefit from some TLC, but I’m enjoying that this is one of those cars that can still be driven and enjoyed while the next owner decides what pace to do whatever work he chooses.  Of course, not doing anything is also a viable option, or at least not for a while.  We thank reader Tony Primo for spotting this second-year Road Runner and sending us the great tip here!

Even though this one is equipped with the base engine, a 383 cubic-inch V8 making a very respectable 335 horsepower in stock form, two additional items found here should bring a smile to just about any potential buyer’s face.  First, the Road Runner sports a 4-speed manual transmission, and that’s not to say that the TorqueFlite wasn’t an excellent choice for those who desired an automatic back in the day.  However, there’s just something magical about being able to shift your own gears on a B-Body, and it’s even cooler when the car comes from the factory in this configuration.  Second, this one’s also got the Air Grabber hood, with this set-up also said to be all original by the seller.

A few areas of rust can be found outside, with the lower quarters mentioned as containing the brunt of the corrosion.  Judging from the photos, it appears that the driver’s side panel might be salvageable, but replacing the one on the other side may be a better choice than all the labor required to repair it.  Unfortunately, this Plymouth came with a vinyl top, so who knows what will be found underneath once it gets pulled off.  Some excellent news is that the owner states that the frame rails are still 99% solid.

The interior seems fairly entry-level, but it’s always fun to find a bench on a muscle car when there’s a shifter coming through the floorboard.  Sure, buckets and a console are nice too, but the basic one-piece seat just adds to the no-nonsense feel this one is blessed with.  Things are nowhere near perfect inside, although for the age the condition appears fairly good in there.  This 1969 Plymouth Road Runner is in River Falls, Minnesota, and can be seen here on Craigslist, where the seller has posted an asking price of $32,900.  Is it a better idea to leave this one as-is and just enjoy driving it, or immediately begin a complete restoration?

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  1. HoA HoAMember

    Eeeep, remember I told of a fellow co-worker that had a ’69 RoadRunner? THIS, was his car. I’m not making this up either, he had a green ’69 RoadRunner, exactamente, right down to the Hurst T handle.( try and find one today) I don’t recall the hood thing. He drove it rough, as it was intended to be. A basic car, I mean, look at it. This car cost just under $3grand. The 4 speed was standard, automatic was a $299 option, but the 4 speed needed the sure grip rear axle, at $179. The air grabber hood scoop was $55, vinyl top was $79 and that’s about it for options on this one. This car was intended for the up and coming motorhead, with some grass cutting money set aside, anyone with a job could have one. We paid the price for that later, but was a heck of a toboggan ride while it lasted. I had a ’70 Charger with this setup, 383/4 speed, and can attest, they had plenty of steam. An amazing find, they made 84,000 of these in 1969. This has to be one of maybe 10 that survived.

    Like 27
    • Stan

      🎯 Howard

      Like 5
      • HoA HoAMember

        How and who is able to give a “thumbs up”? I appreciate them all, but me and several others are having trouble with that.

        Like 7
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

        The thumbs up thing is hit or miss. Sometimes I can do it and sometimes I can’t.

        Intermittent problems – the hardest to figure out.

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

        Perfect example, I gave HOA’s comment a thumbs up, then I replied to his post and now I can’t thumbs up.

        Like 1
  2. Mike76

    As I get older, I appreciate cars like this more and more. Although I respect the dedication, time, energy and effort spent on complete restorations, I’m a bit over all of the over-restored trailer queens. Besides, they’re out of my tax bracket! I probably am biased, as my 442 is in similar condition (even a 4 speed and the same color combo minus vinyl top) but old muscle cars like this Roadrunner are refreshing to see, flaws and all. If it were mine, I’d eventually source a correct color vinyl top and replace the original, but other than that and detailing / maintenance items, I’d leave it alone. Just drive it and enjoy the ride.

    Like 10
  3. Robert Woodward

    I had a very similar 69 Roadrunner. Same everything except mine had the automatic, no vinyl top and no air grabber. We turned it into a “death mobile” for our high school homecoming parade and accidentally burned the interact club float to the ground with a smoke bomb during the parade. Funny memories now, but school suspension etc at that time.

    Like 4
  4. PL

    A rare condition find, for sure. We’d have to be selective as to what we’d fix, or just leave on this one. It will take too much time and money for all of them.
    Patina being such an over-abused word today… you’ll find lots of it here. Some caretaker in the coming years may justify a full resto, but for now, we’d just cruise it.

    Like 4
  5. Nelson C

    Whata time to be alive. Plymouth pulled a rabbit, well maybe a bird, out of its hat and the rest is history. This car literally reinvented the GTO. Cheap to buy street stormer. I used to like the hub cap and steely combo but seriously it ain’t no sleeper. Everyone knows these got wheels on day two. Add some style and show up at the scene. Just no spoiler, please.

    Like 3
    • PL

      We agree about the wheels. I don’t recall many muscle cars back in the day running around a couple of years later, still in poverty caps. It’s not a sleeper look anymore, anyway. We’d put some nice Day 2 period look wheels on it, at least.

      Like 1
  6. Steve R

    The pictures make the car look good, but they don’t show much detail. The pictures of the trunk hint at well established rust and probable prior repairs, the description tells you the lower rear quarters are rusty and so do the frame rails. A thorough inspection is a wise idea.

    Steve R

    Like 0
  7. C Force

    My stepfather bought his in 1983 for a mere $1200.Clean,straight,rust free 383 auto,after 41yrs.Cheap and plentiful Mopars in the 1980s….He knew they would go up in value someday…..

    Like 3
  8. Frog

    I owned an orange one in service in the 70s . Manual steering 4spd that would scorch the tires all day long. Probably the cars weakest point was the light ass end. But just a basic spartan car meant to perform.

    Like 0
  9. CarbobMember

    I graduated from high school in 1969 and a couple guys in our class managed to buy these brand new. Part time job and maybe a little help from the bank of dad. These cars were fast. Probably too fast for young inexperienced drivers. Being 18 year old male drivers; the monthly insurance payment cost about as much as the monthly car payment. The party would pretty much end a few years later. But it sure was fun while it lasted.

    Like 2
  10. Gerald Ramey Jr

    Gary Lockwood drove a 1970 Road Runner in the movie “Bad Georgia Road.” There’s a scene where he climbs in, and with the driver’s door open, 8 racing decals are visible. I can make out some of them. Does anyone know what all 8 decals are? That would be a big help. Thanks.

    Like 0

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