Everything came together just in time for the MATS show in Vegas, where Jason, Todd, and the crew at Big Hemi Customs made their debut as a vendor for the event. "We really wanted people to know that we could build a car like this for them," says Jason. "The amount of positive feedback that the car generated was overwhelming." The MATS solicited their company in a positive light and had several leads for future business while they took home best-in-show B-Body modified, and were even featured on the television show Chop, Cut, Rebuild.
"My Uncle Bob got to see the car recently and everything came full circle." Says Jason. "I told him it was because of him that I loved the '69 Road Runner, and I thanked him for taking me under his wing when I was young and teaching me about working on cars. He smiled and nodded. After looking over the car and catching up with me, he said 'The entire car is unbelievable, but the big rims have to go.' I laughed and thought, even my Uncle doesn't get the Pro Touring thing." Pro Touring may not be for everyone, but if it's something you enjoy, this '69 BigHemi Runner certainly is a delight!
'69 Plymouth Road Runner
Owned by: Jason Bair, Fort Wayne, IN
- Engine: The Muscle Motors Racing-built 472 Hemi starts off with a Mopar Mega Block and is filled with a Muscle Motors forged-crankshaft, forged rods, and forged Diamond pistons. For the camshaft, Muscle Motors chose a Comp hydraulic roller with .560-inch lift and 240/248-degrees duration. A Mopar Performance Dual Plane intake manifold with a FAST EZ EFI kit sends air and fuel into the aluminum Mopar performance heads. With the 2 1/8-inch tti headers and 3-inch exhaust using Flowmaster Super 44 mufflers, the Hemi made 568hp at 6,000rpm and 535ft/lbs at 4,800rpm.
- Transmission: Keisler five-speed manual transmission with a carbon fiber pistol grip shifter.
- Rearend: A Moser Dana 60 with True-Trac sure-grip and 3.73 gears.
- Suspension: A Reilly Motorsports AlterKtion kit with power steering and sway bar control the front of the Roadrunner with Hotchkis leaf springs out back. Front QA1 coilovers and KYB rear shocks replace the tired original '69 Road Runner parts.
- Brakes: The front and rear are brought to a halt with four-piston Wilwood calipers and drilled and slotted rotors. A Red Bore master cylinder with stainless steel brake lines disperses brake fluid properly throughout the car.
- Wheels: American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels were chosen to deliver the Pro Touring look with a taste of classic style. They measure 20x8.5 front and 22x9.5 rear.
- Rubber: The Torque Thrusts are wrapped in Nitto NT555 245/35ZR20 and 295/25ZR22.
- Body: Todd and Dave Safran from Sherwin-Williams block sanded the car for a week straight before moving onto the paintwork. In order to get the best results from the show-all black paint, extensive bodywork was necessary on the new sheet metal from Auto Metal Direct. New glass was also used, in addition to stainless bolts and skull inserts in the headlights.
- Paint: Sherwin Williams "Back in Black" two-stage basecoat/clearcoat paint from their Barrett-Jackson collection.
- Interior: The team at Big Hemi Customs fully restored the interior and added a few custom pieces to the black and silver color scheme. An extensive amount of Hush Mat was used inside the cabin to ensure that the car is very quiet when Jason takes the 'Runner on the Road. A Flaming River steering wheel and full Kenwood stereo featuring a 1000-watt amp, 12-inch sup, and 6-speakers add a custom touch. The stereo was carefully hidden throughout the car.