Blue BeeperIn 1968, the Plymouth Road Runner was introduced and took the musclecar market by storm. These cars were lightweight, bare bones, and economically priced machines with great power from the factory. By adding a few hundred bucks to the purchase price, the Road Runner could be had with the potent 426 Hemi engine, making the combination virtually unbeatable at the track. When Norm Barringer decided to restore his Hemi Road Runner, he wanted a combination of show and go. Staying with the factory look was important, but Norm also wanted his car to stand out, so brilliant Viper blue paint was applied. The engine in Norm's Plymouth was rebuilt to factory standards and mated to the original A-833 crash box. Out back, highway friendly 3.54 gears transfer the power to the period-correct Keystone classic wheels and street tires. Driving such a beast on the track can be difficult, and traction was limited by the small tires out back, but Norm still managed some respectable 14-second e.t.'s in the quarter-mile.
A bench seat and a four-speed shifter is the way most Road Runners came, and this car is no exception. The factory inland-style shifter can create a problem when attempting full bore runs down the quarter-mile, but Norm rowed through the gears with ease, netting mid-14-second timeslips. The only add-ons in this Road Runner's interior were aftermarket gauges to keep track of the vital signs.