Photos: Rick White
Looking for a Mopar project used to involve picking up the Sunday paper to check out the car section, and hoping you beat anyone else if there was a deal to be found. These days, most deals aren’t found in the newspaper, but rather on internet websites dedicated to advertising classic automobiles. We’re all guilty of staying up late at night and searching the internet for a deal on a Mopar, and whether we intend to buy a car or not, it’s sometimes just fun to look. There are plenty of sites to search for a deal, and while the fully restored vehicles are all generally priced at market value, deals can sometimes be found on unfinished cars. Rick White of Red Deer, Alberta (yep, that’s Canada) was searching eBay and found this ’70 Plymouth Road Runner for sale at auction, and the current bid was very reasonable.
1970 was a transition year of sorts for Plymouth B-Bodies, and the last year for the boxy styling that made the Road Runner famous. Introduced in 1968, the Road Runner was a bare-bones muscle car that was reasonably priced, powerful, and quick, with few available options. In 1969, Plymouth’s cartoon car won the title of Motor Trend’s car of the year, and the Chrysler Corporation began to capitalize on buyers who wanted a little more in the way of flash and luxury. In 1970, the Road Runner was re-styled with a new grille and taillights, and options like the Air-Grabber hood, 440 Six-Barrel engine, and high-impact colors were often chosen by buyers. The Road Runner was also available as a convertible for the full 1970 model year, and the wildest Road Runner, the Superbird, ruled the NASCAR tracks though many of the exotic looking cars sat in dealerships and were eventually sold at cost or even at a loss.
Rick White always liked the ’70 Road Runner, so when he found the aforementioned project car, he made a bid. Like many bidders, he assumed that he would be outbid but checked the website regularly as the auction progressed. When the auction ended and Rick was the winner, he realized that while he was happy to win the car, the car’s location in Byron, Georgia, was quite a ways away. Knowing it would be costly to ship the car, Rick enlisted his best friend to make the road trip with him, and they began the journey to pick up his Road Runner. The trip took five and a half days, and when Rick got home, he had a rough, partially disassembled, but numbers-matching car.
Checking his car’s options, Rick discovered that this Road Runner was originally equipped with a 383 engine, a column-shifted 727, a 3.91 ratio Sure-Grip, and an Air-Grabber hood. While the numbers-matching engine and transmission were included with the car, much of the trim, interior, and small parts were missing, so Rick purchased a ’70 Satellite as a donor to help start the process of restoring his Road Runner.
Being from Canada, Rick is accustomed to cars that need bodywork. Rather than trying to salvage the existing rusted and dented panels, he decided to build a frame table and treat the car to all new sheetmetal from Auto Metal Direct (AMD). So far the restoration is coming along nicely, and Rick continues to accumulate the parts needed to complete the Road Runner. The plan is to put the car back to original condition, including the EV2 Hemi orange paint, and black bench seat interior. We wish him good luck with his Road Runner and thank him for sharing the car with our readers. mm
|Do you have a Mopar you’d like to see in the Hidden Treasures column of Mopar Muscle?
We’re always looking for cool and unusual cars to feature in this section of the magazine, so be sure to send them in. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Slant-Six powered truck, ’50s finned car, or a Hemi-powered E-Body, our readers will love to hear about it. Submit your photos and story electronically to my personal email at email@example.com, or by snail mail to:
Mopar Muscle Hidden Treasures
9036 Brittany Way
Tampa, FL 33619