The 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner is a muscle car that revolutionized the muscle cars segment. The stripped-down Road Runner exemplified the essence of a purpose-built muscle car: brute power and stunning acceleration. A new aggressive grille and Air Grabber hood provided an audacious yet tasteful performance statement for the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner. The back-to-basics Bird had a unique character with its iconic cartoon Road Runner graphics and beep-beep horn.
The Road Runner was known for possessing one of the best V-8s Chrysler had to offer. To transfer all this power to the ground, the Road Runner was equipped with the A-833 4-speed or Torque flite 727 automatic. With a torsion-bar suspension and heavy-duty rear end, the Road Runner handled well. The Road Runner was lighter than the Cuda and overbuilt as it was one of the toughest and most consistent muscle cars of the era. It will be ideal to examine this less expensive muscle car of the 70s so grab a seat while we take you through what makes the car so special.
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The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner received fresh new front and rear styling. The “Six Pack” hood was dropped, but all Road Runners were now available with an optional Air Grabber Hood. This consisted of an under-the-dash switch that would open a power-operated trap door on the hood, revealing a shark cartoon with the words “Air Grabber.”
The Road Runner was designed to be less expensive and weighed less, too. A no-frills muscle car, the vintage Plymouth powerhouse lacked all options including air conditioning, trims, radio, cruise control, and even carpeting. The car was all pure, raw power.
Because the car was so inexpensive and powerful, it was popular with moonshiners of the era as it could outrun the police. Whether being fast was a necessity or a preference, the Road Runner was a perfect choice all around. Who needs options and creature comforts when you can have raw, unbridled horsepower at a very reduced rate?
Engine and Performance
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The 1970 Plymouth Road Runners was distinctive from every other roadrunner based on the car’s performance. Under the hood of the iconic 1970 Plymouth Road Runner lies a 440-cubic-inch (6.2-liter) V8 engine equipped with 440 camshaft, heads, and intake manifold. With this setup, the car pumped out 335-horsepower. The 440ci topped with a four-barrel churned out 375-horsepower and the six-pack car generated 385-hp, respectively. The 7.0-liter HEMI V8 was officially rated at 425-horsepower.
Plymouth Road Runner – The peculiar Air Grabber hood was responsible for forcing cold air directly to the engine and it was operated thanks to a lever inside the cabin. The “Air Grabber” would automatically close when the engine was turned off, to keep out the elements. The engine options were not changed although the Hemi went from solid to hydraulic lifters for improved durability and the standard four-speed manual became an option as a strengthened three-speed manual was made standard.
The ’70 Plymouth Road Runner’s worth today
If you find one of these vintage Plymouth muscle cars in “fair” shape today with a little work needed to get it back to former glory, you can still expect to spend $20,000 and $30,000. According to Hagerty, a Road Runner example in pristine shape will likely go for more than $75,000. A ’70 Road Runner equipped with a HEMI V8 engine could go for over $100,000 with ease. Today, collectors are more than willing to throw down a pretty penny for a muscle car that was a complete game-changer for its time.
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