We know what you're thinking, "great, another Hemi Road Runner. What makes this one so different? " We're glad you asked that question. What makes this one different is, it's a '69 Road Runner Coupe with a Hemi engine, a four-speed tranny, and a Dana 60 rearend with 3.54 gears. The interior consists of bucket seats, no console around the Hurst shifter, and an AM/eight-track. The exterior boasts Magnum 500 wheels with BFGoodrich radials on the front and drag radials out back, and the exterior color is Omaha Orange. You heard us-Omaha Orange. Look it up, that color was not available according to the sources we checked. In a product bulletin from Chrysler, Vitamin C was announced as an available color on February 1, 1969. This particular car was built on Monday, February 3, 1969, and received paint code 99 (special order) with an additional paint style of 98E.
The car's second lease on life began in 1991 at the Mopar Nationals when Joe and Lee Saunders found it in the car corral and bought it. At the time, the car had a 440 with an automatic tranny. they decided they were going to drive it home. After driving approximately 10 miles, they realized the front suspension was too worn out to continue. They parked the car behind a diner for the night, removed the "Hemi" emblems from the car, and left it there until they could return with a trailer the next day.
The car sat in the Saunders' garage until 1995. That's when current owner David Kirchgessner of Oldsmar, Florida, got a phone call from friend Lee Pritchard. He told David about a '69 orange Hemi Road runner with a four-speed he was going to sell. It turned out to be the same car David had seen years before at the Saunders' home. After seeing the car and discussing the purchase with his wife, a deal was made. There was one problem though. David's family was growing, and they needed a bigger home. David already owned another '69 Hemi Road Runner, that was in the process of a restoration. he had finished everything except the drivetrain on the green '69. he decided it was time for one of the Runners to go, and they were both advertised in Hemmings Motor News. David was aware of the rarity of the orange car, and advertised as such. He also mentioned it needed major restoration. He had videos of both cars, and, after many inquiries, the green car sold first. Apparently, most people were afraid of the amount of work needed on the orange car, and David got to keep it.
Fast forward to 2000. The car was towed to the new Kirchgessner homestead, where restoration work finally began. It took 30 months of weekends and nights, and nine weeks of vacation time to get the car to this state of completion. The body was completely stripped and straightened, with new quarter-panels, a trunk floor and driver's floor installed, as well as some frame patch repair pieces from a '69 GTX donor car. Then it was covered in that oddball 98E Omaha Orange paint. According to Dave, " A lot of new parts were needed, so every part from Year One that had the words '69 Road Runner next to it was acquired." The seats were covered in new skins, the floor covered with new carpeting, and a new headliner was installed. Knowing the AM/eight-track wouldn't cut it, an AM/FM cassette player was mounted under the driver seat.
When our story began, it was mentioned this car had a 440/auto combination. Since a number-matching drivetrain was not going to happen, Mopar Performance was called, and a new 528 crate Hemi was ordered. Likewise, a tranny was built by Brewer's Performance, and the power ends at the Dana 60 out back, still sporting 3.54 gears and a Sure Grip center.
As of yet, no quarter-mile times are available because David says he needs more practice at launching it. It seems, for some reason, he has trouble getting traction.