In late 1966 or there abouts, the guys at Plymouth saw a definate market opening up. A market in the muscle car area. A niche was opening up in the car market for the "just turing 16 and just getting out of high school" market, which needed to be filled, and FAST! Well, the answer to this need came in the form of the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. A very affordable car that came standard with low weight, great looks, and great power.

     The car came standard with a sparce "Taxi Cab" interior, with very few options, if any. There was the bench seats, front and rear, with no radio, no trim, and right in the center of it all was the 4-speed A833 manual tranny shifter,  and all in black, everything in black.

     For modivation the car came standard with a 335 horse power, 383 cubic inch big block, with extra high performance goodies from the factory to dub this engine the "383 Road Runner" engine. Shifting through the standard 4 speed manual tranny, into the standard 3.23:1 sure grip rear end, you had some serious tire smokin power!

     The outside was just as sparce in classic "Taxi Cab" trim. Very little chrome with exception of the stainless steel grill, and bumpers front and rear, and the tail lights. Small Road Runner badges adorned the doors, with little stickers of the infamous cartoon bird just above.

     Color optioins were slim, inside and out, infact all the optioins were slim, but the best option of the times was avaliable, the 426 HEMI with heavy duty package was avaliable, which put you in control of one of the fastest rocket ship rides ever avaliable from the show room floor, for less than 3 grand. Now how about that!

     In later years, options being increased was about the biggest change. In 69 the 440 6bbl option was introduced. This package included the 440 cid motor, w/ 3 2bbl carbs, a 4 speed manual tranny, HD rear suspension, a Dana 60 rear end with 4.10:1 sure grip, and to top it all off a fiber glass HUGE air gulping hood! All standard on the 440 6bbl beast!
     In 70, the RR was a one of a kind, with the basic 68/69 body style being there, but no panels fittin anywhere... same options applied, with even more basic options being avaliable. Also in 70 there was another "one off" design, the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Super Bird. This Bird, designed to make the super aerodynamic body Nascar legal, was produced in limited quantities, and sold even less when first produced. Many stories of Super Birds sitting for more than one year on the show room floor have been heard.

     In 71 a major body change took place, more confortable insides, and smoother lines outside... a very beautiful car by it self. This body style continued into 1974 which was the last year for the B-body Road Runner. Along the way to its B-body death, many engine options died off, the Hemi died, the 440 6bbl died, but as with all other Chrysler car lines, Hemis still made it through when they shouldn't have, and so did the 6bbls.

     In 1975 the Road Runner took a one year trip over the the Plymouth Fury line. Trying to hold onto its mucsular roots, but the emisions crunch took the looks and power of the once awesome bird down a notch, to a lower end "luxary" passenger car optoin. Basically it was trying to be a muscle car, but just couldn't quite get the job done. Not to put down the Bird, no one else even continued anything else resembling a muscle car either.

     From 1976 to 1980 the Runners took their final years on with the Plymouth Volare line. Being down graded even more to little more than a "beauty" package, which consisted of stripes, and window loubers, and rims, with little to no oomph avaliable, except for the 318 2bbl over smoged engine.

     1980 brought about an end to the Road Runner era, an era I only caught the tail end of, but still value to this day, wishing and dreaming that I could have been around for some of it... maybe when I invent my time machine :)

-Clay (pics to follow later!)

This page last updated December 1, 1997.