Best Muscle Cars

Why The 1969 Road Runner Was Amazing

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roadrunner

By Mark Weisseg

I have one of these particular kinds of cars and they’re very popular. Generally the Road Runner came with a 383 engine which provided 335 hp. Many of the cars came with a 440 engine which provided 375 hp. On a few rare 1969 Plymouth Road Runners some opted for the 426 hemi engine and received 425 hp. The vehicle came with bias ply tires but today you can buy radial tires that look like the old-style bias ply tires.

A great source for those type of tires is Coker tires out of Chattanooga Tennessee. As you look at the 69 rear end you will notice that the tail lights are square and very different from the 68 and from the 1970 taillights.

The interior could be anything from bucket seats with an automatic, bucket seats with a stick shift on the floor, or a bench seat with an automatic or a bench seat with a four-speed transmission. These were big bulky heavy cars but could be purchased brand-new for less than $4000 plus tax. Many came standard vinyl roofs and as the years went by many restorers removed the vinyl roofs. The wheels came like this pictured – standard steel wheels with what was known as dog dish or moon hubcaps. Some cars used the magnum 500 wheels along with redline tires.


The cars were prone to rust especially in the quarter panels, floor pans, and front fenders. However back in the day these were very highly desirable cars that were considered very fast. Like most cars they have a full size spare and a jack to change the tire. Under the hood like most cars of the day there was plenty of room to work on them.

However today one must know how to set a carburetor, adjust the points, know where the ignition condenser is, know how to read the firing order, and know how to set the timing using timing marks and a timing light. A timing light is more or less a strobe light that flashes on the front of the engine at the crank area. One week area of these cars was the ballast resistor or just the resister that was plugged into the firewall. They were made of porcelain and burned out frequently and many owners carried a spare resister with them.

The gas tanks generally were 20 gallons and the oil crankcase with an oil filter carried 5 quarts of US oil. One of the known experts for these 1969 Plymouth Rd., Runner’s is a gentleman by the name of Wes Eisenschenk. He has written many books about the 1969 Road Runner. Over the years many have fallen to the junkyard or crusher. There are however many still out there that need your help.

Restoration is not difficult for these cars but slightly expensive. Parts are available for these cars at numerous locations. My 69 Road Runner is a matching numbers car which means the numbers on the Vin plate under the windshield match the fender tag which is on the left front inner fender and that all matches with the engine number on the block and on the transmission. Also you can find numbers on the front cowl, under the hood and also in the trunk left-hand side below the rubber gasket numbers are stamped on that piece as well. Numbers matching cars bring more money at auction or sale.

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1 Comment

  1. PAUL BIE

    January 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE ROADRUNNER IS MOSTLY RIGHT, BUT NOT TRUE OF EVERY ROADRUNNER. IN AUGUST 1969 I BOUGHT A BRAND NEW ROADRUNNER LIST PRICE WAS $2,985.00. I HAD A 1968 FOUR SPEED HARDTOP THAT I WAS A LITTLE RUFF ON SO I WAS LOOKING FOR A COUPE. MY RUNNER IS HEMI ORANGE AND IT WAS THE FAMILY CAR, VACATION CAR, AND DRAG CAR THAT I TOOK TO MID-WEST DRAG STRIPS.
    LAST YEAR THERE WAS A COMPLETE ARTICLE WITH SEVERAL PICTURES OF MY ONE OWNER BIRD HERE ON “FASTMUSCLECARS.COM”. I DON’T DRAG RACE ANYMORE BUT YOU CAN SEE MY CAR AT SHOWS IN THE MID-WEST.

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