1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept Car

As the 1960s approached their end, the automotive industry saw a surge in performance figures, and one of the most prominent contenders in the muscle car scene was the Hemi-powered Plymouth Road Runner. Chrysler, although a late entrant into the intermediate-bodied muscle car market, made a powerful impact with the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner, offering an affordable and high-performing vehicle with the mid-year B-body design. Stripped of luxury and frills, the Road Runner focused on delivering exhilarating performance at a budget-friendly price.

The Birth of the Road Runner

Introduced as the little brother of the well-equipped GTX, the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was a no-nonsense muscle car designed to deliver pure power. The concept was straightforward—create a lightweight car with robust engines that could conquer the quarter-mile at 100 mph. The Road Runner quickly gained popularity and attention when Warner Brothers collaborated with Plymouth, resulting in iconic cartoon character decals and a horn that emitted the distinct ‘beep-beep’ sound.

Powerful and Affordable

Plymouth crafted the Road Runner as an accessible performance machine. While it lacked many convenience options, it provided a long list of optional performance features. Available body styles included the coupe, hardtop coupe, and convertible, with prices ranging from $2,945 to $3,300.

The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was equipped with an overhead-valve V8 engine displacing 383 cubic inches, featuring a Carter four-barrel carburetor. This powertrain generated an impressive 335 horsepower at 5200 RPM, ensuring thrilling acceleration and speed.

Performance Packages

To cater to different preferences and driving styles, Plymouth offered performance packages for the Road Runner. Customers could choose the Track Pack (an optional $143 add-on) or the Super Track Package ($256), which featured a four-speed transmission paired with either a 440 cubic-inch V8 (Superbird) or the legendary 426 cubic-inch ‘Street Hemi,’ available at an additional cost of $813.45.

For those opting for the 440 CID engine, there were two versions—a four-barrel variant with 375 horsepower and a triple two-barrel 440 CID V8 known as the ‘440 + 6’.

Customization and Options

The Road Runner allowed owners to personalize their cars further with optional features such as the Grabber hood scoop, performance hood paint, performance gauges, power brakes, and a solid-state AM radio.

The 1969 Road Runner

In 1969, the Road Runner received updates, including the addition of colorful decals. Standard equipment consisted of a 383 CID, 335-hp V8 engine, GTX-like subtle hood bulges, and a simple, no-frills interior.

A Timeless Legend

The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner has cemented its place in automotive history as a legendary muscle car. With its blend of power, affordability, and distinctive character, it continues to be celebrated by enthusiasts and collectors alike, leaving a lasting impression as one of the most iconic performance cars of its era.

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