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Classics SURVIVOR! This ’73 Road Runner Still Looks & Smells New!

17:21  06 november  2017
17:21  06 november  2017 Source:   hotrod.com

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The Road Runner product planners and stylists saw an opportunity to develop a new strobe stripe. The 340 small-block became an option on the Road Runner Still wearing its original paint and stripes, this 1973 Road Runner survivor has weathered nine US Presidents, the 1970s gas crises, runaway

This ’ 73 model is gorgeous with only a few flaws holding it back from a showroom appearance. This interior is as nice as anyone could hope for in a survivor . Within five weeks of placing his order, the shiny new Road Runner Still wearing its original paint and stripes, this 1973 Road Runner survivor

We all know by now that the Plymouth Road Runner came out in 1968 as Chrysler's answer to the GTO. Yes, the Road Runner epitomized the original econo-muscle car and left the competition, including its sister brand Dodge, scrambling to come up something to compete in the same price and performance bracket. With its standard robust and eager 383 big-block connected to the A833 four-speed, flocks of Road Runners with their trademark "Beep Beep" horns resonated throughout cruise spots and drive-in restaurants during this golden era of cheap, plentiful muscle for the masses.

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This ’ 73 model is gorgeous with only a few flaws holding it back from a showroom appearance. This interior is as nice as anyone could hope for in a survivor . Within five weeks of placing his order, the shiny new Road Runner Still wearing its original paint and stripes, this 1973 Road Runner survivor

SURVIVOR ! This ’ 73 Road Runner Still Looks & Smells New ! We track down one of the best surviving 1973 Plymouth Road Runners anywhere.

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And yes, we have spoken volumes about the 426 Hemi and the 440 Six-Barrel power plants that sat between the fenders of Road Runners, which came off the line and would glue the drivers to the vinyl bench upon planting their right foot on the loud pedal. Yes, we've all read those stories in books, magazines, websites, and even watched numerous cable TV episodes that go into detail on the little intricacies that made the Road Runner great.

The history of this wonderful car, which defined a generation of gearheads, has been captured. But when we get past the halcyon days of air grabbers and Hemis, what do we know about the later birds, hatched when emissions stifled performance and the engine bays became cluttered with vacuum hoses and charcoal canisters?

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As the 1973 model year was being developed, many in Plymouth's Intermediate Car Product Planning Car Group knew the Road Runner needed a shot in the arm to rejuvenate sales. Chrysler's B-Body line now had all new sheetmetal and a revised and somewhat refined suspension set-up that used rubber isolators for much-improved ride quality. The improvements, however, meant nothing to the performance crowd looking to burn rubber while seeking fame on the streets and strips of America.

To help spur Road Runner sales, the decision was made to drop the standard B-engine in favor of a 318 two-barrel. Many claimed this as sacrilege, but muscle cars were on life support thanks in part to the gestapo tactics of the insurance industry, which came down hard on anything with over 400 cubic inches making north of 300 horsepower.

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Ironically, making the paltry but dependable 170-horse, 318 two-barrel standard for the '73 Road Runner worked, as production numbers soared to 19,056 units, more than doubling the prior year's output of only 7,628. Of course, it wasn't like 1969 when a steady stream of Road Runners flowed out of three Chrysler assembly plants with over 80,000 units hitting the pavement, but for '73, the numbers were heading in the right direction.

008-1973-plymouth-roadrunner-survivor.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 008-1973-plymouth-roadrunner-survivor.jpg

Like many other young Detroit Mopar enthusiasts, Walt Pear had been eyeing Plymouth's hot car since its debut in 1968, and was waiting for the right moment to bring home a brand new Road Runner. He dug the prior Road Runners but it wasn't until he saw the 1973 models that really put him over the edge. "I loved the look of the stripe and that hood, and knew I had to finally order one," said Walt. It also helped that Walt was 31 when he finally headed down to Thompson Chrysler/Plymouth in Southgate, Michigan, to order his new ride. Walt, who was a printer by trade, had a good, steady income and was ready to do the deal. "I wanted to order the 440, but the salesman told me the insurance would be double," exclaimed Walt. "The optional 400 big-block did nothing for me so I decided to go with the 340 since it had a great reputation."

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With $50.00 in hand for a deposit, Walt sat down with the salesman and ordered his Road Runner the way he wanted. First, Walt started with the lower line coupe model with fixed rear side windows. Then, he went down the order sheet and checked off the "X9 Formal Black" paint and white body side and over-roof strobe stripe, making the Road Runner stand out. Other than the optional 340, slap-stick—actuated 727 Torqueflite, bucket seats, and power disc brakes and steering, Walt didn't get too crazy with the options.

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"I didn't like the optional racing mirrors, wheel lip moldings, hood pins, and hood stripes. I prefer the stripper look, plus it fit my budget better at the time," commented Walt. Within five weeks of placing his order, the shiny new Road Runner was in at the dealership. Walt still remembers the date. "It was March 14, 1973 and it was the first and last time I paid cash for a car. The total out-the-door price was $3,476 and once I drove out of the dealership, I went right to the local tire store for some wider rear tires to be mounted on the factory Rallye wheels."

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This 1974 Plymouth Road Runner would appear to be the latter. It is claimed to be a one-owner, 64,735 actual mile vehicle. The trunk floor looks a little crispy in some of the other pictures, but still no through-rust! For under ,000, this might be the most solid Mopar muscle car you can get into.

This ’ 73 Road Runner Still Looks & Smells … www.hotrod.com/articles/ survivor - 73 - road - runner - still - looks - smells - new . We track down one of the best surviving 1973 Plymouth Road Runners anywhere.

011-1973-plymouth-roadrunner-survivor.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 011-1973-plymouth-roadrunner-survivor.jpg

Walt's Road Runner may have never won any trophies on the drag strip, but it sure collected a few at numerous shows. One of his most cherished awards was a First- and Second-place for originality at the mother of all indoor car shows, the Detroit Autorama.

Walt's 1973 Road Runner was part of his family for over four decades, but two years ago he suffered a heart attack and decided it was time for his cherished bird to go to another owner.

After placing a few online ads, David Geromettie, a local Mopar gearhead, saw the car and immediately reached out to Walt. David has been collecting rare Mopars for over 25 years and has a stable of Super Bees and other cool rides. When David saw this Road Runner survivor, he knew he had to have it. "Once I saw what a pristine example this Road Runner was, I fell in love with it at first sight," said David.

We can say this is probably the nicest surviving 1973 Road Runner on the planet and we have to give thanks to its original owner, Walt Pear, for taking such great care of it. "I never drove it in the winter and I used to make my kids take their shoes off before getting into it," laughed Walt.

We're glad you did Walt.

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