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Rapid Transit Caravan Muscle Car Collection Heads For Auction

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By Dave Ashton

Mecum will be hosting a rather special auction this May in Indianapolis featuring the Juliano collection. The Plymouths in question are custom show cars from the Rapid Transit Caravan which were used as part of the marketing for the Rapid Transit System. The collection also includes 4 original Shelby Cobras, a Cheetah race car, a Plymouth Barracuda and a Dodge Dart Swinger concept car.

Juliano amassed the collection over 30 years, which also includes plenty of automotive art. Although a modified ‘Cuda was eventually out of reach to complete the collection and with Steven Juliano battling pancreatic cancer through the 2000s, the vehicles going to auction are still amazingly creative examples of their time.

The Rapid Transit Caravan was conceived to promote the Rapid Transit System at Plymouth, who hired Harry Bradley(GM and Hot Wheels designer) and Bob Larivee to hook up customizers to make the cars more youth inspired. The Rapid Transit Caravan travelled the US visiting Plymouth dealers and car shows, showing the complete package of the Rapid Transit System from high-performance parts, racing information, the cars and accessories.

Once the promotional tour of the caravan had ended, the vehicles used fell into obscurity, mainly because they were not factory correct. However, Juliano after a meeting with Ed Meyer, started to track down and collect these obscure vehicles and slowly over time started to bring back interest into these custom cars. The car is also rarely been shown in public with two out of the three been shown at Carlisle a few years ago and all three at Muscle Cars and Corvette Nationals last year for the first time in public.

The other vehicles in the auction consist of a 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra Roadster CSX2416, a 1967 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra Roadster CSX3042, a 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra Roadster CSX3173, 1965 Shelby Factory Stage III 289 Cobra Dragonsnake CSX2427, a 1963 Cheetah Race Car No. 4 of 11 built, 1969 Plymouth Barracuda Mod Top 340 CI, 1 of 937 produced and a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger Concept Car.

1971 Plymouth Road Runner Rapid Transit, LOT R254

Job 169 and Serial No. 100016 pilot plant construction
Engine: 383 CI
Transmission: Automatic
Color: Orange Candy-over-Pearl with White Pearl break-line
Built by Chuck Miller of Styline Custom
Known as the as the ‘Chicken Head’ for the Road Runner side marker lights
Front end molded and extended over six inches
Hand-formed rear roll pan with concealed Red, Green and amber tail lenses
Ram Air induction scoops
Molded aerodynamic rear spoiler
Deck lid recessed over 4 inches
Bucket seats and center console
Custom Black pan wheel covers
OEM Interior
Miles: 1,300

1971 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner Rapid Transit, LOT R255

Engine: 426 CI. /425 HP
Transmission: Torqueflite Automatic
Color: Candy Gold with Pearl White roof
Dana 60 4.10 rear axle
150 MPH speedometer
Road Runner horn button on 3-spoke steering wheel
Enlarged air scoops
Flat Black deck lid and hood
Oversized Road Runner birds painted into the body
Rear wheel wells enlarged and flared out 4 inches
Molded rear spoiler
Bucket seats and center console
9 inch square Cibie headlights and plastic honeycomb grille
One-piece tail lens
Shaved handles
Ansen Sprint wheels
Bodywork by Roman’s Chariot Shop in Cleveland, Ohio
Restored by Ken Heckett in 2000
Miles: 1,700

1970 Plymouth Duster Rapid Transit

Engine: LA-series 340 CI. small block/275 HP, 4-barrel carburetor
Transmission: 4-Speed
Color: Green
Interior: White and Black bucket seat interior
Built by Byron Grenfel twice in 1970 and restyled in 1971
Dual exhaust with custom through-bumper exit
Functional brake air intakes
3.90 rear axle
Power brakes with front discs
Stewart Warner tachometer and auxiliary gauges
Solid State radio
Color-keyed mirrors
Dual fuel fillers
American Racing slotted Dragmaster wheels
Upper front-grille Duster psychedelic lettering
Custom headlamp enclosers
Custom OE-lensed tail lamps
green and yellow custom striping
Signed glovebox by Grenfel and RTS Show Promotions Manager Bob Larivee

Find out more here


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  1. Pingback: Rapid Transit Caravan Muscle Car Collection Heads For Auction – | Plymouth Road Runner

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