It's 1986; can you remember what you were doing? Chances are you were watching the new movie Ghostbusters II or the TV shows Miami Vice or Cheers. If you ask Rodney Wilcox of Clearwater, Florida, he'll tell you exactly what the high point of that year was for him. That was the year he convinced his friend Bill Corn to sell him the '70 Road Runner you see here. It may have taken two years of talking, but perseverance pays off. Granted, the car was not in the shape it is now, but he handed Bill 45 Ben Franklins (that's $100 C-notes to you wise guy types), and took possession of a classic 'vert that needed some serious TLC.
When Bill owned the car, it spent most of its time sitting outside; in Rodney's diplomatic words, "The car was in neglected condition." Rodney used it as daily transportation until 1996, then brought it back to drop-top glory.
Restoring the car would be a costly matter, so he decided to make the best of his investment. All the sheetmetal that needed to be replaced, including the floors and lower quarter panels, received much-needed attention. Also, a pair of frame connectors helped stiffen the topless beauty. It was then bead blasted and handed over to Creative Custom Cars in Clearwater, Florida, where it was covered in a factory shade of Tor-Red in PPG base/clear.
Rodney brought the interior back to new with parts from Legendary Auto Interiors. The only deviation from stock is the AM/FM/CD player from Custom Auto Sounds and the upgraded air conditioning unit with a Sanden compressor from Classic Auto Air in Tampa, Florida. With the appearance and the creature comforts addressed, it was time for some go-power.
The 383 engine parts were given to Harrison Performance in Dunedin, Florida, and bored .030 over, line bored, honed, and everything balanced. Rodney then assembled the engine himself, using the stock rods and crankshaft to control the movement of the TRW pistons. The 915 heads were filled with Mopar Performance valves and springs, while the Weiand four-barrel intake supported the Carter 750 carburetor. A B&M reprogrammed 727 transmission sent the power to the 3.55-geared 831/44 Sure Grip rear. To keep the Runner on the road, 15x7 Magnum 500s were shod with BFGoodrich sneakers. They say if you don't like the weather in Florida, wait five minutes, it'll change. Regardless of whether it's hot or not, Rodney's runner is one very cool ride.