The Bird wore the same B5 Blue that went on in 1969, and much of the race lettering—but virtually no rust, save for two minor spots at the base of the rear window trim. Dave Ley, from the Exotic Car Workshop, was tasked with resurrecting and preserving the original paint. The car looks remarkably good in its 43-year-old patina.

The engine did suffer from years of storage and many years of hard racing. Ted—helped by lifelong friend Mark Becker (who helped him built it in 1970) and Tom Hemphill, from Hemphill Racing Engines—rebuilt the Hemi, using its 1966 block, crankshaft, and rods. "It's real healthy," says Ted, "but it's now a .030-inch over, 10.3:1 compression engine. The iron heads were swapped out for Mopar Performance aluminum ones, CNC-machined, cc'd, and fitted with stainless valves. The wild roller cam was replaced with a milder flat-tappet stick."

This Hemi also has parts with a past. "We discovered that the intake and carburetors had been on Dick Landy's car," Ted says of the magnesium cross-ram and Holley 860s. "They don't even have a Holley list number on them—all they had was a Chrysler parts number." Ted says he learned that when Landy tried running these 1964-vintage carbs on his '68 Super Stock Dart, he got DQ'd. Still, it's a rare setup" adds Ted.

What's in store for the '69? "I may return it to the track, but I want to resist putting a cage in it," says Ted, pointing out track and sanctioning-body rules that now require rollcages in cars that run quicker than the 12s. "I might even do a 'bragging rights' 606-inch Hemi, or something like that."

Wed go out on Interstate 79 south of Pittsburgh, and there would be 100-120 cars out there at 12:30 at night on Fridays and ...

Fast Facts
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
Owned by: Ted Brine, Monroeville, Pennsylvania

Mopar Power
Engine: Not the Bird's original 426 Hemi, but Ted and Mark Becker (with machining and dyno help from Tom Hemphill) built this one based on a .030-inch bored '66 block with a forged-steel crankshaft and rods, JE forged 10.3:1 pistons, solid-lifter Engle camshaft, Mopar aluminum heads, two 860-cfm Holleys on a magnesium cross-ram intake and Hooker Headers...all good for 501 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque on pump gas. "We have some leads on the original block," says Ted.
Transmission: A Passon-built, slick shifted, aluminum 833, with a Hurst DPFX shifter (like Ronnie Sox and Dick Landy used), with a Lakewood scattershield and McLeod twin disc clutch.
Rear: The car still carries the original Dana 60, but with 4.10 gears replacing the OEM 3.54s (and 4.88 Zoom gears the car was raced with).
Sure Grip
Suspension: Modified stock '69 Road Runner, with Slant Six torsion bars and Mr. Gasket 80/20 shocks up front, and Mopar Super Stock leaf springs, Mr. Gasket shocks and a Mopar pinion snubber in back.
Brakes: Just like it came from the Lynch Road assembly line: non-power 11-inch Mopar drums at all corners
Wheels/Tires: Installed in 1970 Keystone Kustomags (15x4-inch fronts and 15x8 in back). Wear skinny 7.75x15 Dayton Thoroughbred bias-plys in front and Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro 29x12.5X15s in back
High Impact
Paint/Body: Original '69 Plymouth B-Body wears its original B5 Blue acrylic enamel paint that Chrysler's Lynch Road assembly plant sprayed on the car back then. The '69½ A12 hood is matte black fiberglass with the same lettering painted on by Ted in 1969. According to Ted, the starburst HEMI covered up the outline of the 440 6 BBL decal that came off when that hood went on to clear the race induction system and reduce weight. (Ted still has the original steel hood.)
Interior: Base1969 Road Runner black bench, in all its Spartan glory except for the Stewart Warner cable-driven mechanical tach and SW oil pressure and water temperature gauges.