Unearthed: 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner

Classic Cars

When it comes to muscle cars, the Plymouth Roadrunner ranked right up there with the best of them.

At CarBuzz, we just love a good story about a muscle car. The idea behind them was simple: inexpensive and powerful two-door coupes. They quickly became synonymous as an era of cheap speed, burnouts, waving goodbye, and endless memories for countless fans. So when we came across this 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner, we were immediately impressed and wanted to share it with everyone. According to the owner, it took six years of hard work and lots of cash to restore this Roadrunner to its current pristine condition.

It's powered by a 440 cu in 7.2-liter 390hp V8 that wasn't available until midway through 1969. Originally launched back in 1968, Plymouth's goal was to create a muscle car that could run a 14 second quarter mile time and sell for less than $3,000, as some muscle cars at the time became more expensive due to added options. Plymouth also had to supposedly pay $50,000 to Warner Brothers for the use of the Road Runner name, which was taken from the cartoon character. It came standard with a 383 CID 6.3-liter Roadrunner V8 with 335hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. For those wanting to splurge a bit more, another $714 would buy you a 426 CID Hemi with 425hp and 490 lb-ft.

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A four-speed manual was standard and a three-speed automatic was optional. When the Roadrunner was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year in 1969, sales nearly doubled and it even outsold the Pontiac GTO. The Roadrunner featured here has the new front and rear ends that were introduced in 1970. Although we're in a new era for muscle cars, it's still somewhat sad that brands such as Pontiac and Plymouth are no longer with us. At least there are plenty of enthusiasts, such as this owner, who keep their memories alive. Pictures courtesy of Ken

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