Yellow Bird – 1974 Plymouth Road Runner – 440

Plymouth’s Road Runner began in 1968 as a stripped-down muscle-car at a time when marketing often forced buyers to step up to a higher model or package to get the big engine they wanted. This 1974 Road Runner in Russellville KY represents the final-year of the B-bodied Road Runner. By ’74 the cartoon-inspired muscle car had lost some luster as horsepower numbers dropped both on paper (due to the change from gross to net ratings), and in reality (thanks to falling compression-ratios and early smog-control changes). Still, here is a stylish mid-sized coupe delivered with a 400 cid V8 (an enlarged version of the famed 383) and a four-speed manual… pretty sporty for its day. Listed here on Nashville, Tennessee Craigslist, this speedy yellow bird can be yours for $3950.

This Road Runner currently packs a 1971 G code 440 and Torqueflite automatic. The seller reports that the car retains its original clutch pedal mechanism. The 1971-1974 Road Runners gained some rear track and suspension upgrades to make them more sure-footed than the original 1968-1970 versions.

Note the manual transmission hump forward and left of the aftermarket automatic shifter. In keeping with their low-budget roots, Road-Runners came with rubber floors instead of costlier, heavier carpet (thanks to for some details).

The 1971 RB 440 last ran two years ago, and could prove entertaining until the new owner locates a date-correct 400 and four-speed. The original owner might have checked a different box on the order form and received either of two 440s that year, which would have obligated an automatic transmission. This car’s P code 400 was the top engine available with a “stick.” Power steering and brakes indicate this was not a complete bare-bones stripper. What do you think of the $4000 price of admission on this recently-running Road Runner and its replacement power train?


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  1. Phil Barry

    Needs work of course but this bird has some potential!

  2. Troy S

    Was a nice car at one time, could be again if a person put their mind to it. Forget the 400 and keep the 440 in there for serious motivation.

  3. 68 custom

    four speed yes, 400 no keep the 440. looks like plenty to work with and the price only seems a little high provided it is not a total rust bucket.

  4. Will
  5. Steve R

    Rubber floor covering almost guarantees a rusted out floor pan since it would trap moisture and would not breath like carpet.

    Steve R

  6. Nova Scotian

    If there is wiggle room on the price, and a through inspection for rust indicates otherwise, this is a sure bet for good times and a car that’s (IMHO), gonna rise in value.

  7. Brian

    I do believe the B body’s ended in 1970. The E body was 1971 on.

    • KennyD

      No. The E body refers to cudas and challengers.

      • Brian

        You are correct.

  8. Del

    No fender tag ?

    Probably a 400 auto originally.

    Mish/Mash of junk

  9. Ronald Reagans Grandson

    Sorry, I don’t see a 4spd. Two pedals(brake pedal is wider type for auto trans equipped) and Hurst or similar auto shift on floor. (Hurst sticker on leading edge of shifter)

    • hans

      the last picture in the ad shows the fender tag

  10. Dick Sputum

    You don’t read either. 4-speed (or 3-speed) cars have the obvious hump and shifter hole. Current drivetrain was swapped in.

    • Ronald Reagans Grandson

      Must have missed that line somehow and only read the 4spd part. Oh well, that’s probably why I never made the Captains List after taking the exam.

  11. Fritz T.

    400. Pop the 440 crank in and make a 451 stroker at minimum…
    Very, very torquey

    • Ronald Reagans Grandson

      Fritz T. Do you know how to do that? or did you read it can be done somewhere? Just curious.

  12. russell spreeman

    Not a desirable year or body style for that car, and the condition it is in, it’s no more than a template to hang replacement parts off of. It’s a sure buy though if you’re a glutton for punishment and have lots of cash to invest in something of relatively low potential return.

    Like 1
  13. Steve

    Not sure if anyone cares anymore but….

    I have this car now.
    Fender tag did indicate 400 4 speed.
    440 in it now runs. 727 shifts.
    Car has way more rust now in low body areas.
    I bought it in November 2017 and have been working on it for a year in my “free time”. Lots of new parts and work.
    I’m making it a dirty bird rat rod.
    Probably not worth the trouble for serious collectors. Would probably never get investment back if sold. I’m building it go drive it hard so I don’t care about that.

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