While driving through a car lot in Bismarck, North Dakota, in July 1984, Ken Feist spotted this '71 Road Runner sitting in the back row. The motor had a slight noise and the driver seat was torn, but the body was straight with no rust, so he bought it. Ken installed a new cam, lifters, and pushrods, and had the heads reworked. That took care of the noise, and he had a nice driver. Then in 1985, it received a new blue paint job. In 1986, he moved from North Dakota to Wyoming and started a new job in aircraft maintenance. In 1987, he and his wife, Sandy, moved again, this time to Arizona. A year later, the Road Runner delivered his wife to the hospital and returned with a new addition to the family. This was Gina's (the new addition) first ride. According to Ken, she is now 16 and his biggest helper. Oh yeah, did we mention she's all Mopar, as well?
From 1986 to 1988, the Road Runner was the Feist's only means of transportation, and the miles added up. Not only that, but the Arizona heat took its toll on the paint job. In 1989, they moved to California and bought a couple other cars to use as daily drivers. So the Runner was finally given a break and was parked. We'll sum up the next five years in one sentence. In 1992 they moved to North Carolina, in 1993 to Kansas, in 1996 to Florida, and in 1997 to Georgia. Selling the Road Runner was never considered. It always seemed to fit on a trailer to tag along to the new digs.
In 1998, Ken decided it was time for the Road Runner to get some attention. Every bolt, nut, and screw came off, and he started ordering parts when finances would allow. Ken became financially friendly with places like Year One, Summit Racing, and Jeg's. The car was chemically stripped and taken to Allan Shepley in Byron, Georgia, for bodywork and paint. The special-mix yellow paint job was completed in early 2002. then came the task of putting everything back together.
In May 2002, he had it all back together and running. Then he added a set of 3.73 gears to the Sure Grip and an aluminum driveshaft to connect it to the Gary Marshall-built 727. The 440 has been bored .030-over, and 10.5:1 TRW slugs fill the holes. A Comp camshaft with a .480/.480 lift and a duration of 230 at .050-inch lift slam the valves open and closed in the Stage V heads. The Edelbrock intake supports a trio of Holley carbs, and, just in case, a Cheater NOS kit was added.
According to Ken, "This car has been a family project, as my daughters, Laci and Gina, and my wife, Sandy, have helped with it. Last year our oldest daughter Laci graduated from high school, and the Road Runner was there to take her to the graduation. This car is part of our family."