Everyone knows 60s Plymouth’s were designed to be low cost, high performance muscle machines. And since the earliest days of hot rodding, engine swaps have served as a means for sophisticated gearheads to continually satisfy their need for more speed, better times and less weight. It should come as no surprise then that many Road Runners have, like this striking green hardtop, been upgraded to heavy hitting 440 powerhouses that are very affordable and equally stylish. And this stunning tribute, complete with a tweaked Chrysler big block, an A833 4-speed transmission and a classic black interior, has been built to run with some of the nastiest hardware on the street! If you’re looking for a super cool muscle car that’d rather chew up pavement than stare at a sidewalk, you’ve definitely come to the right place.
Completed by the pros at Hodge MOPAR Restoration in Inman, South Carolina, this slick Road Runner’s high quality, frame-up restoration began with what appears to be a straight, rust-free body. When you take a long look down the sides of that body’s tall profile, you’ll see clean panels that are finessed far past anything that rolled down Plymouth’s bygone assembly lines. When you pull that profile into the sun, its cool Limelight-esque pigment accurately reproduces Chrysler’s bold, planar lines, all the while protecting them under a tough and durable clearcoat. And when you step up close to that glossy two-stage, you’ll find clean gaps that are devoid of any sloppy patches or second-rate finishing work. It all boils down to one unique, fully detailed pavement pounder that inspires comments and elicits stares every time it hits the road!
In selecting Chrysler’s hallowed A12 option, it’s not what you got, but what you didn’t get that made the car so cool. And this bare bones tribute is probably one of the best recreations of “stripper” on the classic car market. At the front of its body, a restored, pot metal grille hangs four clear headlights above a good looking chrome bumper that’s equipped with clear, square parking lamps. At the sides of that grille, multi-faceted panels are detailed with a correct driver’s mirror, traditional chrome door handles, clear square marker lights and colorful Road Runner call-outs. Above those panels, a reproduction A12 hood anchors bright “440 6BBL” decals in front of like-new glass that’s cleared by satin-finished wipers, shielded by straight chrome drip rails and framed by well-maintained stainless trim. And opposite that hood, a sculpted decklid hangs a third Road Runner call-out between traditional, silver-trimmed tail lights, a second chrome bumper and polished stainless exhaust tips.
Make good use of this Plymouth’s four hood pins and you’ll find a hot, 440 cubic inch V8 that was installed at the time of the car''s restoration. Fully rebuilt and ready to roll, this thoroughly detailed big block is the kind of headstrong powerplant that’ll take its driver from ‘confident’ to ‘scared stiff’ in a matter of seconds! At the top of the 390 horsepower mill, a familiar trio of 2-barrel carburetors ride inside a fully-functional induction system that inhales just as well today as it did 44 years ago. At the base of those carburetors, an Edelbrock aluminum intake spans factory Mopar heads that are decorated with stamped and painted valve covers. At the front of those valve covers, an MSD Pro-Billet distributor sequences spark between an MSD Blaster 2 coil, an MSD 6AL-2 ignition box and high quality MSD Super Conductor plug wires. And at the sides of that distributor, ceramic coated, long-tube headers funnel spent gases into great sounding, true-dual pipes. Aesthetically, this Plymouth’s body-matched engine bay is exceptionally impressive, from its clean fender tag and accurately duplicated decals all the way to its Hemi Orange block paint and purple ‘Beep-Beep’ horn. And a great combination of new and reproduction pieces ensures operation is both reliable and fun, with correct components like an old school Chrysler washer tank and reproduction Mopar battery co-existing with items like crisp hoses and a fresh squeeze clamps.
The car’s chassis specs leave little question as to what its B-Body architecture was engineered to do best. Take a step under our lift and you’ll find a drag strip-proven bone structure that, based on quick visual inspection, has seen neither rain nor puddle. Behind the thumpin’ Chrysler RB block, a tough A833 18-spline 4-speed twists a tagged Dana 60 that’s equipped with big, 4.10 gears. Below that proven drivetrain, a heavy duty front torsion bar and rear leaf suspension has been completely rebuilt to include factory power steering, a correct A12 sway bar, staggered leaf springs and heavy duty drum brakes. Above that proven drivetrain, solid floors have been layered in a smooth coat of flat gray paint and dressed with everything from a fresh stainless fuel tank to new stainless brake and fuel lines. Exhaust is handled by 2.5-inch, free-flowing pipes that jettison cooked dinosaurs via an X-style crossover, Dynomax mufflers and spotless stainless tips. And power flows to the pavement through reproduction H-code wheels which spin authentic looking G70-15 Goodyear Wide Tread Polyglas redlines around chrome lug nuts and traditional black paint.
Open this Road Runner’s big, solid doors and sit down inside a cockpit where legendary Mopar power melds seamlessly with a no frills, no-nonsense driving environment. At the center of the car’s floors, firm bench seats have been stuffed with fresh padding and topped with correctly pleated covers. In front of those seats, an expertly restored dash frames rebuilt factory gauges beside a correct Plymouth radio. At the sides of that dash, fresh door panels hang new armrests under bright stainless trim and glossy black frames. At the bottom of those panels, like-new carpet centers a chrome Hurst shifter between carpeted and color-keyed floor mats. In front of the driver, a large-diameter steering wheel spins a cool “BEEP BEEP” branded horn button around a fully rebuilt steering column. And behind the cockpit, the car’s professionally restored trunk is complete all the way down to its plaid mat, space saver tire and fresh decklid decal.
This awesome tribute is an extremely impressive road warrior that’s been carefully restored to very high standards. It looks good enough to turn heads all day. It rides like an old school muscle car. And best of all, it’ll run the tires off most of its traditional stoplight competition. If you’re the kind of enthusiast who likes to drive your classic, this Road Runner will make you feel like a kid again!