Most of us would sacrifice our eye teeth to get our hands on a quality 440 Six-Pack Road Runner. The opportunity to place not one, but two of these cubic-inch warriors in the garage might give one pause to sacrificing additional body parts. Of course, there would be the obligatory spousal considerations.
"What do you want with another one?!"
Such problems never arose between Alan and Eileen Kerns of Ft. Jennings, Ohio. After Alan picked up a '70 model about three years ago, another opportunity arose to buy a matching car a year later, and there was never any question as to whether they should or who should get it. Yes, they should, and Eileen would be the fortunate recipient. Being a hard-core Mopar family, this was a foregone conclusion.
Some years earlier, Alan had sold off a black 440 Six-Pack Road Runner, and had been seeking to correct that minor lapse in judgement. In early 1998 a friend spied an ad for a '70 model 440 sporting a Burnt Tan Metallic topcoat instead of black. No problem. Alan was on it like a moth on a porch light.
The car had originally come from California, travelling throughout the West before ending up in Long Island, New York. The four-speed Road Runner was in pretty good shape both inside and out, needing only some maintenance and detailing work, which you would expect from a 70,000-mile-plus musclecar. With such desirable features as an Air Grabber hood, hood pins, matte hood paint, Duster stripe, rear stripe, road wheels, a 3.54 Dana rear, bucket seats, console, Deluxe interior, and Ralley gauges, Alan knew right off that he had found his replacement.
He traveled to Long Island to purchase the car in April 1998, and drove it the following summer. That "little smoke" he noticed as the driving time increased hinted that the Road Runner was not exactly a turnkey purchase. Over the next year Alan and friend Bill Garberson tended to the drivetrain, with Bill rebuilding the 440. Part of the rebuild included adding a three-angle valve job to the heads along with hardened valve seats, installing a Pertronics ignition, Mopar Performance lifters, Flowmaster mufflers, and a fresh Centerforce clutch behind the A-833 tranny.
Now about the time Alan and Bill were putting the polish on this car, up pops another '70 440 Six-Pack Road Runner for sale-this time dressed in black. Another friend found this one on the Internet, and was quick to give Alan and Eileen a heads-up.
Like Alan's car, this Road Runner came to the party dressed to rumble. Factory options included the Air Grabber, pinned and matte black hood, side and rear stripes, and boasted dual mirrors and wheel lip moldings. With its 1-inch lowered front and 2-inch lowered rear suspension, manual steering, and 4.10 Dana rearend, it was obvious that this '70 model was purchased as a genuine street brawler. It also featured an early aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold and, like Alan's car, an A-833 manual tranny with the Hurst pistol-grip shifter. The major difference between the two, however, was that this Road Runner had Eileen's name emblazoned all over it.
"Eileen had listened to so much whining on my part," says Alan regarding the regrettable sale of his first 440 car, "that I felt she deserved this car more than me."
Also like Alan's ride, Eileen's car came from California.
"The car spent its whole life in California until we purchased it," says Eileen. "We are the third owners. The second owner was a CHP officer in northern California, and he had owned it for about five years. We just about weren't able to purchase the car due to the family attachment they had for it. It was in very good condition, needing little attention to be in show-car shape."
Aside from the California upbringing, part of the reason this jewel was in such top form was its low mileage. Right now the odometer is pushing just over 22,000.
Understandably, Alan and Eileen find themselves behind the wheels of their respective Road Runners all summer long, taking in shows and cruises whenever possible. The Mopar scene is even more of a family deal than before.
"Our children-Stephanie, Ryan, and Renee-have become car enthusiasts as well," says Eileen. "They enjoy going to all the shows, and this has become a great family quality-time hobby."
With three more Mopar fans waiting in the wings, we have to wonder if this pair of "his and hers" 440s will eventually become a "his and theirs" thing in the not-too-distant future. Anyone out there have a few big-block '70 Road Runners for sale? We've got the Kerns' number!
His & Hers