1969 Plymouth Road Runner
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Classic American Muscle Car
In my opinion, the best, most pure, undiluted muscle cars of all time were the 69.5 Lift-Off Hood Road Runners and Super Bees, a/k/a "M Code" or "A12 Package" cars. Listed as the #3 fastest muscle car of all time on both the Top 10 Fastest and Top 50 Fastest muscle car lists behind the 427 Cobra and L88 Corvette, which arguably aren't muscle cars at all! Think about it: the only way you could get an A12 Lift-Off car was with a 4.10:1 Dana 60 rear, black painted stamped steel wheels with no hubcaps or trim whatsoever, a flyweight fiberglass hood with no hinges, 11" manual drum brakes, and the only engine was the grossly under rated 440 3x2 Holley carb'ed engine with its reported 390HP and 490 FT/LBS of torque. Umm, yeah, right ;) Let's face it, this wasn't Burger King and you weren't getting it your way unless you liked a balls-out, unfiltered, no-excuses street brawling car. Or, as Chrysler put it in their press release to dealers in January of 1969, "Effective immediately-a limited number of Road Runner coupes and hardtops will be offered with a specially modified 440 CID engine and certain performance and appearance features as standard equipment. This 440-6 BBL Package provides for unbeatable performance at a very attractive price." I love it. "Effective immediately..." That's like telling the guy who just ticked you off that effective immediately you are going to hand his a@@ to him, which is basically what Mopar did to the competition with these babies!
Of course, opinions may vary but the Plymouth Road Runner version is widely accepted as the A12 car to have. With just 422 4 Speed Hardtops built, it isn't exactly easy to find one worth talking about for the serious collector. As such, this particular example has been in my personal collection for over 5 years. It is a numbers-matching, 4 speed, Rallye Green (Hi-Impact) hardtop car with no vinyl roof and radio delete. I call it the taxi cab package with a bonus, and that bonus is under the hood! Without question this is one of the finest restored A12 Road Runners in existence, and I feel well qualified to make that statement as over the last 10 years I have owned most of them!
Restored by the renowned Mopar experts at Aloha Dream Cars of Port Washington, Wisconsin at a cost of over $180,000 (invoices in hand) there is not much to say about this Runner other than that it is simply stunning. When displayed at the Mopar Nationals in 2004 with the Aloha Dream Cars team that restored it, there was a crowd around it from sunrise until the curtains were drawn every night! It was definitely a crowd favorite - if you were there, you know! While one may ask why somebody would go through such trouble and huge expense to restore a car to this level, one look at this car in person will quickly answer that question. This car just glows - it is hard to explain, and pictures do not come close to capturing the feel and look of perfection that defines this automobile. I dare anybody to find a ripple, flaw, or imperfection in the body and paint of this car. It rivals the best paint on any car, and is light years ahead of any new exotic sold today. In addition to being absolutely perfect in every detail, the car was built to run and drive as good as any muscle car. Many hours and great care were taken in its assembly to insure that it is better than new in every respect. Modern materials and preservation techniques were employed throughout to guarantee that it stays this way for years to come.
As my intention was to drive the car and enjoy it, I wanted to do so without fear of damaging the original numbers matching engine. The solution? The original motor is rebuilt, show detailed, and serving as a coffee table currently while a Muscle Motors built 500 CID concours detailed "fooler" engine is installed in the car. So convincing is the show detailing of this monster inch sleeper motor that in countless judged concours events over the last 4 years not one judge has picked up on the fact that the original motor is in my office! Rounding out the hidden tweaks to make this Road Runner drive like no other is a Firm Feel Inc quick-ratio steering box, Polygraphite suspension bushings throughout, a custom DTS 3.5" driveshaft, hidden Mopar Performance electronic ignition, TTI mandrel-bent performance exhaust connected to Extrude Honed ported factory manifolds, and numerous tuning and component details that really bring the car to life. Obviosuly, all of the factory components are neatly boxed and included. Personal preference additions that are apparent to the naked eye are a steering column mounted tach and oil pressure gauge, along with a white Hurst shift ball in place of the OE walnut grained one. Should the purchaser desire to have the car in 100% stock form, I will install the original engine at no charge and return the other items to stock as well in exchange for keeping the aftermarket parts.
In addition to having its original factory numbers matching engine, this A12 also has its mint original A12 hood, original "054" radiator, original air cleaner, "H Code" wheels, and original vin tags, stamps, priceless original Goodyear G70-15 redline spare (a 6-month only tire that has never been reproduced), and original fender tag. The car is very well known to and has been visually inspected and certified by Galen Govier who rated it as a condition 1.1 car. His full inspection report is available for serious buyers. This car was also featured and road tested by Automobile Magazine in 2006 (after which editor Erik Johnson who did the road testing of this car sent me a letter saying that he "wanted to have my Road Runner's babies"), in numerous books and magazines, as well as featured on Musclecar TV with yours truly track testing it. Please follow the link below to watch the video, and crank up the sound!
This is without question a car that must be seen to be appreciated, and good enough to be the "Crown Jewel" of any collection. Due to the insane amount of money it takes to do it, very few A12 cars have ever been restored to this level of perfection. The quality of the car is second to none, and its mechanical fitness is beyond reproach. Bring a clean pair of shorts and visit Milwaukee, I'm happy to let you ride shotgun on a test flight!
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