BEEP! BEEP! 1969 Plymouth Road Runner – Sold?

by | Apr 2021 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

May 20, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this Road Runner “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Equipped with perhaps the best horn sound ever, Plymouth paid a reported $10,000 to have a special “Beep, Beep!” horn developed for its back-to-basics Road Runner muscle car the Chrysler division launched for 1968. On top of that, Plymouth paid Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for the rights to use the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote likenesses from the cartoon.   A prime example is this sliver-over-white 1969 two-door sport coupe once listed on Craigslist in April 2021 in BaldwinPlace, New York appears to be a finely restored, extremely low mileage car offered at $36,500 currently. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Road Runner priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $29,100 and its #2 “Excellent appraisal of $43,000.  Interestingly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool indicates the seller has their Plymouth priced four hundred dollars less this guide’s #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $36,900.

Hard to believe, but already by 1968, some famous muscle cars were already moving away from their original bare-bones performance roots to more luxurious and higher trim models with bigger profit margins. The primary example was Pontiac’s GTO. Plymouth’s market research indicated muscle car buyers still wanted a no-frills, back-to-basics option, and so they developed the Roadrunner based on the division’s two-door post coupe Belvedere.

The standard engine was an exclusive “Roadrunner” 383 cubic inch V8 topped with a 4-barrel Carter Carburetor rated at 335 brake horsepower at 5200 rpm and 425 pound-feet of torque at 3400 rpm. The base transmission was a floor-shifted four-speed manual, with a column shifted automatic optional.  For that first year, Plymouth expected to sell 20,000 units. However, the car proved so popular that the division ended up producing over 45,000 Road Runners. Of course, Plymouth offered several performance engine options that even included the 426 cubic inch Hemi.

The 1969 model kept the same basic look, but with slight changes to the taillights, grille, and side marker lights. Bucket seats became an option optional along with new Road Runner decals.  Plymouth introduced the Air Grabber option (N96 code) for 1969, which consisted of a fiberglass air duct assembly bolted to the underside of the hood that connected to twin rectangular upward-facing vents in the hood with Rallye red vent screens. The fiberglass hood box had an “Air Grabber” sticker on the front. When the hood was closed, a rubber seal fitted over the large-oval unsilenced air cleaner. A decal with Wile E. Coyote saying “Coyote Duster” was on the air cleaner lid.  The assembly ducted air directly into the engine. The vents in the hood could be opened and closed via a lever under the dashboard labeled “Carb Air.”  The new features combined with the model’s popularity had Motortrend magazine award the ’69 Road Runner its Car of the Year award.

Who can forget the commercial tie-in of the Road Runner cartoon with the ’69 Road Runner such as this TV spot currently posted on YouTube illustrates:

The seller only provides a one-sentence description, so you will have to interview him a bit to learn the story of why his Road Runner only has 17,000 original miles and how he came to own it.  Back when this Road Runner was new, every single nice-to-have was an option on these “No-Frills” muscle cars, so it’s funny to see how the original owner paid for the Air Grabber, Torqueflite automatic, and bucket seat options, but did not spend even more to replace the standard column shifter with a console-mounted unit.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1969 RoadRunner. Numbers matching. Air grabber hood. Automatic on the column. 17,000 miles. Calls only, no texts- 

Show or go: what would you do with this restored Road Runner?  Comment below and let us know!

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