Monday, December 13, 2010
Musclecar Monday - Plymouth Road Runner
The Plymouth Road Runner was a no-frills muscle car built between 1968 and 1980 (but those were lame). In 1968, the first muscle cars were, in the opinion of many, moving away from their roots as relatively cheap, fast cars as they gained options. Although Plymouth already had a performance car in the GTX, designers decided to go back to the drawing board and reincarnate the original muscle car concept. Plymouth wanted a car able to run 14-second times in the quarter mile and sell for less than $3,000. Both goals were met, and the low-cost muscle car hit the street. The success of the Road Runner would far outpace the upscale and lower volume GTX, with which it was often confused.
The standard engine was a 383 CID Roadrunner V8 rated at 335 bhp For an extra $714, Plymouth you could order a 426 CID Hemi rated at 425 bhp. Combined with low weight, the 6-passenger Road Runner could run the 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds at 105 mph. It would prove to be one of the best engines of the muscle car era, and the Road Runner one of the best platforms to utilize it. Plymouth expected to sell about 2,000 units in 1968; actual sales numbered around 45,000. This placed the Road Runner third in sales among muscle cars with only the Pontiac GTO and Chevy's SS-396 Chevelle outselling it.