'73 340 Automatic
There's a 318 sitting in this rusty New England '73, but the H-code in the VIN tells us it's an original 340 car. With 240 net horsepower, the high-winding small-block was still a potent performer despite a reduced 8.5:1 compression ratio. Plymouth offered an optional sliding metal sunroof, but the hand carved hatch seen here is strictly aftermarket. The front bench seat and column-shifted TorqueFlite are cool, but we'd prefer a four-speed. With 17,443 built, '73 Road Runner sales nearly tripled the 6,159 sold in 1972.
'73 340 Automatic
Wow, another brown '73 340 Roadrunner. The difference is this one's in a Phoenix boneyard so rust is virtually non-existent. Still wearing its original paint and faded white roof stripe, this one reeks of squandered patina. 1973 was a landmark year for the Roadrunner-but not in a good way. The standard P-code E68 400 big-block base engine of 1972 was replaced by the G-code E44 318 two-barrel small-block. The optional U-code E86 440 was no longer available with a four-speed, and the optional N96 Air Grabber hood was gone. At least N41 dual exhaust and N42 chrome bazooka tips were still standard on all Road Runners (except for cars sold in California which used dual down-turn tailpipes).
'73 340 Automatic
This FE5 Rallye Red '73 is another original paint E55 340 car with factory H51 A/C and D34 727 TorqueFlite. Other goodies listed on the fender tag include R21 AM/FM radio, J52 inside hood release, N41 dual exhaust, N42 chrome exhaust tips, C16 console, and V8W white sport stripe tape. What a shame to see it on its last legs. Again, a swapped-in 318 two-barrel resides where the mighty 340 once lived. No doubt, hard use caused its demise.
'74 318 Two-Barrel Automatic
Its original JY6 Golden Haze Metallic paint is covered with gray primer, but the J54 power-bulge hood and 14-inch Road Wheels tell us a closer look at the VIN is in order. Yep, it's an RM21 Road Runner alright, but the G-code signifies it's a lowly E44 318 car. Thanks to standard dual exhaust, the Road Runner E44 was rated at 170 horsepower, 20 horsepower more than the 318 two-barrel installed in other Plymouths that year. We love the traces of red paint on the rear brake drums, a standard detail when the five-spoke Road Wheels were specified. The trim tags list the R11 AM radio, V8W white sport stripe tape, L31 fender-mount turn signals, N41 dual exhaust, N42 chrome exhaust tips, J54 sport hood, B41 front disc brakes, C16 console, and D34 TorqueFlite automatic. Its 318 has been beefed with add-on Edelbrock carburetor and headers.
'74 400 Big-Block Automatic
It pays to take a close look at the small details. Otherwise the small-block and column-mount automatic shifter in this primered '74 could trick us into thinking it's just a Satellite with a Road Runner hood swap. Not so! The RM21P VIN sequence proves it's a factory E68 400 big-block Road Runner, a vanishing breed by 1974 as fuel economy concerns drove most of the 9,656 Road Runner buyers toward E44 318 and E58 360 small-blocks. The fender tag codes show D34 automatic transmission, KB5 Lucerne Blue Metallic paint, B41 power disc brakes, C21 front bench seat, E18 65-amp heavy-duty alternator, H51 A/C, and N41 dual exhaust. The real shocker is the original dual exhaust and N42 chrome bazooka exhaust tips were retained when the puny 318 was swapped in.
'75 360 Two-Barrel Automatic
1975 was the final year for Road Runners based on the B-Body platform, and the final year for the specific RM21 VIN sequence. As Detroit scrambled to adopt catalytic converters, damage resistant bumpers, and looming CAFÉ regulations, there was little humor for high-performance hardware development. Bold graphics were substituted for horsepower. A one-year body style with 7,183 built, the '75 Runner was the first without a special domed hood, but at least it had a standard (and optimistic) 140 mph speedometer. Engine choices included the G-code E44 318 two-barrel, K-code E57 360 two-barrel, L-code E58 360 four-barrel, M-code E63 400 two-barrel, and P-code E68 400 four-barrel. Add it up and that's five possible engines for 1975, the biggest number of choices of any Road Runner year. A final glimmer of hope-the 360 and 400 four-barrel engines were available with a catalytic converter-delete option and true dual exhaust. Several hundred were built. This FE5 Rallye Red relic packs the K-code E57 two-barrel and original white tape graphics. We dig the massive "tunnel deck" trunk logo!
'77 318 Three-Speed
The Spitfire Orange paint gets us thinking this '77 Road Runner is one of the 2,398 cars built with the Super-Pak option, but the lack of bolt-on lower fender flares, window louvers, and trunk spoiler rule it out. Still, with only 4,575 built, any '77 Road Runner is a rare bird. This one has the base G-code E44 318 two-barrel mill, but instead of the boring 904 TorqueFlite, there's a D24 four-speed O/D stick under the floor. Though more powerful K-code E57 360 two-barrel and L-code E58 360 four-barrel engines were available, they could only be teamed with an automatic transmission, so the 145 horsepower 318 was as good as it got for stick junkies. Volare-based Road Runners are great looking cars. Too bad they came along after the Street Hemi and 440 Six-barrel era was over. Wouldn't a factory Hemi Volare be cool?