The previously restored sheetmetal didn't need any remedial bodywork, but was treated to a new coat of PPG R4 bright red paint, along with a fiberglass hood.

With all the updates and chassis changes, what's it like to drive? "It actually rides pretty nice, and it rode nice with the stock suspension under it," Mike says. "It sits a lot lower than it originally sat. I've got 4 1/2 inches of clearance under the oil pan. It sits low, front and back."

As mentioned previously, Mike's got two other Mopar projects that'll be getting AlterKtions. "I've got a '69 Charger that we're doing a 6.1L Hemi conversion in," he says. "I'm not sure who I'm going to buy the engine from yet. I'm going to get one of those stroked motors." Also in the works in his San Luis Obispo shop is a '70 'Cuda that he's doing a similar new-Hemi-into-classic-Mopar conversion, with some different variations of the same stuff he's used on his other cars.

Fast Facts
'69 Plymouth Road Runner Coupe
Mike and Diane Bergantz
San Luis Obispo, CA

Mopar Power

  • Engine: Ray Barton-built, 472-inch Hemi. Intake is Barton's version of the Mopar cross-ram manifold, with two 770-cfm Holley carburetors.
  • Transmission: If four speeds are good, five are better. A Tremec five-speed replaced the original A-833. The shifter is a '70-style pistol grip.
  • Rearend: B-Body, Hemi...you do the math. Narrowed Dana 60 (by Moser) replaced a stock-width one.

Sure Grip

  • Suspension: Front: Reilly Motorsports' AlterKtion includes coilovers that replaced original torsion bars. AlterKtion also includes Mustang II-style spindles and power rack-and-pinion steering.
  • Rearend: Cal-Trac monoleaf springs (moved inboard for wheel/tub clearance), Cal Trac traction bars, and QA1 adjustable shocks.
  • Brakes: Big Wilwood four-wheel discs and a Caddy electric brake booster stop this Bird almost as fast as the animators at Warner Brothers' "Termite Terrace" got the 'toon to stop.
  • Wheels: Boyd Coddington Smoothies all around, with 15x8 inchers in front and custom-made 15x12-inchers in back.
  • Tires: No rubber bands here, just BFG G-Force tires in front and BFG Drag Radials in back.

High Impact

  • Body: Original '69 Road Runner coupe body built at Chrysler's Los Angeles assembly plant, Bellflower, California. The car had been restored by a previous owner, so no remedial metal work/sheetmetal replacement was needed.
  • Interior: Glide bucket seats and console installed by owner. Custom steel dash insert fabricated by owner, which houses Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges (including 160-mph speedometer and 10,000-rpm tach). Vintage Air controls are also in the dash, with a Sony XPLOD audio system head unit mounted below the dash. Budnik steering wheel, with a custom horn button that fits stock bird's head insert, tops an ididit tilt column.