The car was used for clinic and occasional driving demonstrations until Don sold it in August 1970, since he no longer was promoting that body style. It was then accidentally "preserved" by two other owners who had limited chances to race it. In 2003, Fred Engelhart latched onto the original masterpiece. Fred in turn sold it to a collector in Las Vegas, and after a few years out there, it ended up with collectors Clark and Collene Rand, who proudly added it to their collection of authentic Chrysler drag cars. What is most important is that this car is a survivor; while it has been cleaned up and detailed, the Road Runner still has the original paint, interior, and race motor with speed parts Don himself had built. The numbers-matching factory 440 Six-barrel engine was also with the car.
"We wanted an original unrestored car," says Clark, "one that had a solid trail of ownership and documentation. This one was perfect in those respects. But for us, we've also gotten to know Don and Joan Grotheer very well, and that made this car really special for us to own and display."
There are other A12s out there in more perfect shape, and there are other drag cars with more notoriety, but for the Rands and Grotheers, this example could never be improved upon. A special agent, indeed...
Special thanks to the Midwest Mopar Club and the Mopars in the Park show; www.midwestmopars.com, for arranging this location onsite in Farmington, MN.
'69 1/2 A12 Road Runner
Clark and Collene Rand, Springfield, Missouri
- Engine: The original numbers-matching 440 was replaced by Don Grotheer back in 1969, by a fresh block with full blueprinting. It was then outfitted with forged 13.0:1 pistons, an Isky 1012B cam, chromed hooker headers, a Prestolite ignition, and careful assembly. The four-speed was modified for "slick shifting" and stirred with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter with Reverse Loc-Out and Roll Control, and a 4.89 ring was in the Dana
- Suspension: There weren't a lot of modifications done to the stock suspension, as this car was not intended to be competitively raced.
- Wheels and Tires: Keystone mags installed by Don back in 1969. Bias-ply fronts and slicks out back are replacements.
- Body: Original in every way.
- Paint: The Don Grotheer specific colors are the same paint that Don had applied back in 1969.
- Interior: Bone stock original with Don's additions from 1969.
Details abound on the car,...
Details abound on the car, and all of them were installed by Don himself back in the day. The spartan original bench seats are accompanied by aftermarket gauges and a Hurst shifter with reverse lockout.
The engine seen here was the...
The engine seen here was the replacement that Don built so he could drive the car. Note the big Hooker headers, cool can, and chrome. The original stock motor was still in Don’s possession when Fred Engelhart came asking about its history. The Rands own it as well.