Plymouth Road Runner
|Road Runner History|
|Body versions :||Coupe , convertible|
|Engines:||Petrol engines : 6.3-7.2 liters
|Wheelbase :||2,946 mm|
|Curb weight :||1681 kg|
Plymouth Road Runner Chrysler realized muscle-car fans of the 1960s wanted a all frills car at reasonable costs, they responded and came up with Road Runner.
The company paid Warner Bros $50,000 to use the cartoon name and logo on the car, and although the forecast was sales of the Road Runner was such a success. It used uprated torsion bars at the front and leaf springs on the live axle, which had 3.23:1 gears though higher ratios for better acceleration were available. The engine was the basic cast-iron big block which had been in production since the 1950s, in this form displacing 383ci (6,276cc) but putting out tremendous torque. The heads, camshaft, and exhaust were all from the 440ci (7Llitre) motor. Despite its size, the Road Runner in basic form was relatively lightweight and performed well, making it an instant classic.
Early in 1967 , a journalist from the magazine Car and Driver came up with the idea of building a vehicle that was significantly different from what had been built so far. It should be on the basis of a coupe be developed, equipped with a 440 Super command or 426 Hemi engine (8 cylinders - V-engines ) as a standard engine, front seat and sporty rim; but without unnecessary external changes such as Hood scoops (air intakes on the hood), stripes (the popular with muscle cars "rally stripes") or other "gimmicks". With his idea he turned to Plymouths Development office, where the idea was welcomed, but not considered profitable.
After this conversation, however, further considerations were made at Plymouth on how to implement such a model with simple but functional features, which should primarily appeal to 16-20 year olds.
They opted for the cheapest and lightest weight body variant, the 2-door pillar coupe, so the coupe with B-pillar based on the Plymouth Belvedere Coupe. As a standard engine put the 383-4bbl-V8 fixed (6.3-liter V8 with quadruple carburettor). To increase the performance he wanted to give him cylinder heads and valves of the 440-V8 (7.2-liter V8). However, it turned out in retrospect that this modification resulted in only 5 hp more - but that was enough to suggest a performance increase for the buyer.
When the technical questions were resolved, the question arose as to which name the new vehicle should carry. The choice fell on Road Runner the name of a fast running bird, who lives in the deserts of the southwestern United States. The naming ceremony was triggered by the American animated series Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote : One afternoon, one of the Plymouth managers and his children saw this series on television and saw the Road Runner racing through the picture. From then on it was clear to him that "Road Runner" should be the name. Having the rights with the Warner Brothersbought for over $ 50,000 and therefore allowed to portray the bird on the cars, looking for another detail that should remind of the cartoon character. One of the distinguishing features of the figure was the "beep beep" that made the bird sound. So, an old horn of the military was developed to reflect that sound.
Models by year
Model year 1968 (First Generation)
In the fall of 1967 it was time for the first Road Runners to leave the bands. They were based on the new B-body models and were thus sister models of the Plymouth Belvedere , the Plymouth Satellite and the equally sporty, but better equipped and more expensive Plymouth GTX . For an additional charge, the Performance Hood option was available for all of these models.
This year, the cartoon character was still pictured in black and white on the vehicle, because the time had been missing for a color version. That should change then in the following years.
After the Road Runner initially only as a B-pillar coupe, then after some time the hardtop coupe (without B-pillar) was introduced. It was based on the higher-altitude Plymouth Satellite . Single seats were not yet available, nor a convertible version.
It was powered by the revised 383 hp 335 hp engine and 425 ft. Lb. (576 Nm). The standard tires consisted of F70x14 on 14x5½ "rims.
1969 model year
In 1969, the cartoon characters Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote were then used to advertise the entire Plymouth range.
This year, the convertible was added to Coupé and Hardtop Coupé; The latter remained a rarity with almost 2000 copies. The engines were the same as last year, d. H. a standard of the 383 (6.3-liter) and an optional 426 Hemi-Siebenliter with 425 hp and, from the spring of 1969, a 7.2-liter (440 cui) with three double carburetors, the so-called 440 Six-Pack. If you ordered these engines, you got the Air Grabber Hood (hood with retractable air intake) with the same.
Model year 1970, Superbird
1970 was then actually the last year of muscle cars, because insurance companies stormed the over-powered vehicles, which is why the official performance figures often deviated from the actual values down.
To revalue the 1970s model, and because motorsport demanded it, they hired rider Richard Petty , who insisted on a more aerodynamically-priced Road Runner for the NASCAR oval race. In the animated film Cars , this vehicle plays a minor role.
That was the Plymouth Superbird. With a huge rear wing and an aerodynamic, elongated and flattened front, this should bring in the NASCAR racing series the success that was denied its predecessor Dodge Charger 500 . This goal was achieved, but the Superbird was banned later by regulations.
Model year 1971 (Second Generation)
1971 was the last year of the big engines. The insurance companies finally refused to insure these vehicles. After all, the engines ran in the Chrysler Group that year with premium gasoline , while GM and Ford converted all machines to regular gasoline, and had to accept no or little performance losses compared to the previous year.
The Plymouth mid-range models, including the Road Runner, were given completely new, softer and rounder bodies, which stylistically strongly from the angularity of the models 1968-1970 stood out.
Model years 1972-1974
In 1972, the Road Runner was offered in the "best" equipment only with 250 net hp. Environmental awareness had increased and gasoline was expensive for US conditions. The 426 Hemi did not exist anymore, with the 440 Six-Pack only a handful of copies were made. In this form, the Road Runner was built with the usual annual detail changes until 1974.
Model year 1975 (Third Generation)
In 1975, the Road Runner based on the newly introduced two-door version of the Fury . The car was a slightly further developed version of the 1971 Plymouth Satellite and used like this Chrysler's well-known B platform .
Model year 1976
As of 1976, the Road Runner was a trim level of the new Plymouth Volare of the new F platform , which replaced the Plymouth Valiant . In 1976, the Road Runner package consisted of a 5.2-liter V8 with 152 hp (on request, 5.9-liter with 172 hp), sports suspension, three-speed gearbox with middle and sporty interior. In the model year 1976 created about 7300 Road Runner.
Model year 1977
The Road Runner package included decorative trim, rally steel wheels, sports suspension, black grille and, of course, the characteristic Beep Beep horn. 6975 copies ran off the tape. There were new, especially based on the Road Runner "Fun Runner" outfit packages in the form of the Sun Runner (with sunroof) and the Front Runner, which was available only in orange and glued with eye-catching decorative strips available. For all Volare there was a surcharge T-Roof (removable roof halves) and sunroof. The Road Runner tinkered with the 5.2-liter (318 cui) with 147 or the 5.9-liter with quadruple carburettor and 177 hp.
Model year 1978 to 1980
Minor changes to the Road Runner, 5.2-liter now with 142 instead of 147 hp. Model year 1979 .No major changes, the 5.2-liter now made only 137 hp, but strengthened the 5.9-liter with quadruple carburetor to 198 hp. Only 1122 Volare coupes received the Road Runner package. Model year 1980. Last year for the Road Runner, so no further changes. There were a whole 496 pieces off the line. With the production end of the Volare in the summer of 1980, the Road Runner disappeared from the Plymouth program.
Technical Data (6.3 L)
Top speed: 130 mph (208 km/h)
0-60 mph (0-95 km/h): 6.7 sec
Engine type: V8
Displacement: (6,276 cc)
Transmission: 4-speed manual,3-speed Torqueflite automatic
Max power: 335 bhp (250 kW) @ 5,200 rpm
Max/ torque: 425 1b ft (575 11m) @ 3,400 rpm
Weight: 3,400 1b (1,545 kg)
Economy: 12 mpg (4,2 km/h)
Engine First Generation
383 cu in (6.3 L) 335 hp (250 kW) V8
426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) V8
Engine Second Generation
318 cu in (5.2 L) V8 (1973, 1974)
340 cu in (5.6 L) V8 (1971-73)
360 cu in (5.9 L) V8 (1974)
383 cu in (6.3 L) V8 (1971)
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8 (1972-74)
426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi V8 (1971)
440 cu in (7.2 L) V8
Engine Third Generation
318 cu in (5.2 L) V8
360 cu in (5.9 L) V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8
440 cu in (7.2 L) V8