1970 Plymouth Roadrunner – The Pinnacle of Cheap Muscle Cars

The 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner was introduced as a budget, low price, basic trim level muscle car, with very few options to add to it.

Little known is the fact that Plymouth pad $50,000 to Warner Bros to use the imagery based on the Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner character, they paid a further $10,000 for the ‘Beep Beep’ noise for the specially developed horn.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner ad

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Design

The Plymouth Road Runner was designed to be a basic muscle car, based on the Chrysler B platform, using the Belverdere as a starting point.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner brochure

For 1970, the Road Runner had a new grille, seats, hood, fenders, quarter panels and faux air scoop in the rear quarters. Having said that, there was an ‘Air Grabber’ feature which lifted a hood scoop out of the hood at the push of a button on the dash; the scoop had a shark tooth style pattern on the sides of it.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Interior

Basic is the word for the day. Very few options existed for the Road Runner, a simple bench seat and the early models didn’t have carpets fitted. The idea was to bring performance to the masses.
Cloth trim was standard, but vinyl was offered on the upgraded (but still bench) seats.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner interior

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Specs

Did we mention? The car was basic.

The only options for the Road Runner were air conditioning, power assisted steering, upgraded front brakes, an AM radio and auto transmission.
Plymouth introduced a new range of what they called ‘high impact’ colors; In-Violet, Moulin Rouge and Vitamin C; what better way to shout “look at me” as you’re cruising the boulevards.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner design

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Performance

Standard was a 383 ci (6.2 liter) V8 with 335 BHP and 425 lb/ft of torque, although for a further $714, you could spec that engine up to a 426 ci (6.9 liter) V8 with 425 BHP and 490 lb/ft of torque. Plymouth also binned the 4-speed manual of the earlier cars to a three speed heavy duty manual transmission. The auto transmission option was the three speed TorqueFlite.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner engine

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Collectability and price

Remarkably, the current prices are pretty hefty for such a basic model, especially when you compare them to vehicles such as the fully loaded Mercury Marauder (which was Mercury’s luxury muscle car).

A pristine example could set you back as much as $40,000 – $45,000, but prices for a fair version are reasonable; pick a nice one up for $20,000.

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner images

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