Part of our Most Sought After Muscle Cars Series
How can you go wrong with a name like Road Runner?
The Plymouth Road Runner was first introduced in 1968. It was a very popular car with more than 80,000 units sold in 1969. And for good reason!
It’s hard to believe the jaw-droppingly low price tag of $3000 for the base car, and the cartoon tie-in was part of Plymouth’s ingenious effort to seduce young people. Previous marketing had never considered the youth market, and the opportunity that Plymouth seized with this car proved to be groundbreaking and game-changing for the car industry, and so many other industries too.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, the Road Runner car completes the cartoon theme with the Warner Brothers’ character's signature "beep-beep" horn.
It wasn’t just the gimmick and the lower sticker price that made the Road Runner such a notable car. While the basic, no-frills design stayed mainly the same, this car knew how to bring muscle into the equation with more and more power. Though the car started out at $3K, if you were willing to amp up your budget (to almost double the price) you could upgrade to more power. The car started out at 383 horsepower. Add one of the terrific packages like the "six-pack" and you could boost the horsepower to 390.
Just how fast was the Road Runner? Try up to 140 miles an hour at the top variations, and it could reach a quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds.
It’s been more than 40 years and the most coveted Road Runner is the ragtop version from 1969—few were produced. Only 2,200. Collectors love the hardtop version, particularly the one without the center post.
These are vehicles that were meant for the road, and because so many of them were driven hard, until they just wouldn’t drive anymore, the ones that are still around are even more cherished.
For more information about all of the Road Runner models, be sure to read the very thorough rundown on Wikipedia.