Ah yes, who could ever forget the classic Road Runner TV cartoon, pitting the hapless Wile E. Coyote against the speedy Road Runner? The cartoon was originally conceived as a parody of the very successful Tom & Jerry cartoon, but soon became a hit in its own right. Although it’s hard to believe, according to Wikipedia there were only 48 Road Runner cartoons ever made! You can still find the complete episodes being shown on TV, and of course you can watch some of them on YouTube. For those who want a bit of nostalgia, here is the classic Road Runner TV Show theme song:
As you may have guessed, today’s remarkable find does just that. Take a look at this 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird 426 HEMI V8:
Stunning, right? Apparently the Superbird was a little too avant-guarde for the sensible consumers of the early 1970s, and for that (and other) reasons, not too many of them were made. But of those that survived, this one has had a full restoration and looks like it is ready to leap off the computer screen and onto the street. The listing gives prospective buyers five words (or so) to describe the car:
“Five words: Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi… That’s all I really need to build excitement for our latest investment grade Mopar. Of course, the car HAS benefitted from a professional, frame-off restoration. So I guess that bumps the word count to seven with: professionally restored Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi. Then again, it’s also a fully documented piece, which lands us at: fully documented, professionally restored Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi. But wait, I almost forgot about its gleaming coat of High Impact Tor-Red pigment. So how about: fully documented, professionally restored Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hemi that’s covered in correct Tor-Red two-stage? Yeah, that sounds good. But trust me, if you like the sound of that sentence, you’re going to LOVE the car it describes!”
If you are unfamiliar with the Superbird, the listing also helps clear up any confusion:
“Contrary to popular belief, Superbirds were an entirely different animal than their Dodge-built predecessors. Instead of being rushed and outsourced, Plymouth’s winged warrior program was a well-planned project built on a solid foundation of track-proven success. And that means more of these cars were produced, more survived the mid-years, and more remain completely intact thanks to avid Mopar collectors. This ‘bird, a highly optioned New York native, features an exceptionally straight, all original body that was perfected over a multi-year, frame-off restoration commissioned by Wellborn Muscle Car Museum. And presently, it sits as an outrageous culmination of one of Detroit’s meanest engines and some of Detroit’s coolest, attention-grabbing style.
Despite its endearing aesthetics, that style is a direct result of one thing: Chrysler execs’ disdain for Monday’s headlines touting Ford’s Sunday win. The boys in Auburn Hills had decided that, no matter how garish or impractical, they were going to design the ultimate race car. After all, Ma Mopar need only assemble 2,000 of said race cars to be approved for NASCAR homologation. And, as you can probably tell from this Superbird’s slick profile, the program’s main purpose was creating a platform that would lap large tracks at a very high rate of speed. At the front of the car, a downforce producing nose hangs sleek, flip up headlights above a small grille, hidden parking lamps and a body-matched chin spoiler. Behind that nose, drag reducing air extractors ride between standard hood pins, like-new glass and a clean combination of straight stainless trim and fresh black vinyl. At the sides of those extractors, prominent fender lines and Superbird-specific C-pillars frame bright marker lights, a stylish chrome mirror and familiar Chrysler door handles. And at the back of the car, a Superbird-specific wing rides above a small “road runner” emblem, clear tail lights, a prominent “P L Y M O U T H” script, bright exhaust tips and a new chrome bumper.
Toss this coupe’s long hood and you’ll find an original, 426 cubic inch Hemi V8 that’s authenticated by a famous 2468330 casting number and matching 176669 partial VIN. As Plymouth’s top option for power hungry gearheads, Chrysler’s legendary elephant block utilizes cast iron heads, an oversquare bore, a forged steel crank, forged steel rods, forged aluminum pistons and a hydraulic cam to twist stout 10.25 to 1 compression into a stated 425 horsepower and 490 lb./ft. of torque. All that high performance hardware spins in a glossy, Hemi Orange block that hangs attractive, Organisol-coated valve covers over correct, low-restriction exhaust manifolds. A perfect mixture of fuel and air is supplied by large 4-barrel carburetors and a high performance, cast iron intake. Compression is sparked by high quality Chrysler Electronic Suppression wires, which are snapped onto a correct points distributor. And resultant combustion is cooled by a correct 26-inch radiator that’s fitted with fresh, Chrysler-branded hoses and old school squeeze clamps. Visually, the car’s Tor-Red engine compartment is clean and understated… Well, as understated as a classic Hemi can be. The car performs just as well as when it rolled into Courtesy Plymouth’s showroom 43 years ago. And naturally, details like factory decals, a reproduction Mopar battery, a familiar Chrysler washer reservoir and a correct Road Runner horn have been professionally restored or completely replicated.”
There is a lot more details about the car on the listing page, so head on over there to read all about this work-of-art on wheels.
Oh by the way, in case you were wondering – the tall tail spoiler was added to help keep the rear wheels on the ground at high speeds. Yes, it is that fast!
“If you’re on the highway and Road Runner goes beep beep.
Just step aside or might end up in a heap.
Road Runner, Road Runner runs on the road all day.
Even the coyote can’t make him change his ways.”