Unveiling the Captivating Story of a 1975 Plymouth Road Runner – A One-Year Marvel with Dominant Big-Block Power


Introduced in 1968 as a low-priced muscle car, the Plymouth Road Runner was a hit. Available with Chrysler’s top-tier V8 engines and sporting Warner Bros’ Road Runner cartoon character and “beep, beep” horn (for which Plymouth paid $50,000), the two-door moved 43,294 units in its first year on the market.

The nameplate became even more popular in 1969 when Plymouth delivered almost 79,000 examples. But as insurance rates for muscle cars became more expensive, muscle car sales went down. The Road Runner was no exception and deliveries decreased to 35,029 units in 1970.

The downward trend continued as Plymouth redesigned the two-door for 1971 with only 13,664 cars sold. 1971 was also the final year for the iconic 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8. 1972 saw Road Runner sales drop even more to 6,860 examples ahead of a slight recovery at almost 16,000 units in 1973.

The second-gen Road Runner eventually went into the history books in 1974 with 9,636 customers getting one.

That year also marked the end of the line of the Satellite-based Road Runner, mainly because the former was discontinued. But Plymouth chose to keep the Road Runner around and moved it to the more formal-looking B-body, which was called the Fury.

In 1976, however, the Road Runner was relegated to a package for the F-platform Volare, a move that ended its stint as a stand-alone nameplate.

While the 1976-to-1980 version is not considered a true Road Runner by Mopar enthusiasts, the 1975 version remains somewhat controversial. While some consider it an authentic Road Runner and a continuation of the second-gen B-body, others dismiss it as a fancied-up Fury. Technically, it’s a true Road Runner, a designated car with its own VIN.

Controversies aside, the 1975 Road Runner remains a one-year gem and, more importantly, a relatively hard-to-find classic. Not only Plymouth sold only 7,183 units that year, but many of them rusted away because they never got as much love as their late 1960s and early 1970s sibling.

All told, chances are you won’t see a 1975 Road Runner in pristine condition nowadays unless you attend an event like the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN). And that’s exactly where classic car enthusiast Lou Costabile discovered this fine example in Aztec Gold.

A two-owner car that was restored sometime in the late 1990s, this Road Runner is in outstanding condition; the kind of car that would win awards at a high-profile event.

And you probably won’t see another one like it anytime soon. But how did it end up like this in an era when Mopars fans favor 1968-to-1971 Road Runners?

Well, it got lucky enough to end up with Harold Schutz, a guy who’s so crazy about Road Runners that he bought one of every model year and body style. Yup, his collection includes at least eight different Road Runners and the 1975 coupe gets as much love as the more sought-after ones from the golden muscle car era.

And it’s not a run-of-the-mill example either, because it packs the big 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8 under the hood. The nameplate’s range-topping mill at the time delivered 160 horsepower with the two-barrel carb, 185 horses with the four-barrel carb, and 235 horsepower when also fitted with the high-performance cam and dual exhaust system.

Now fitted with an aftermarket dual exhaust, this Road Runner left the factory with a single pipe, so it doesn’t have 235 horsepower to play with. But it’s still potent enough for a Malaise-era classic and it has that cool exhaust burble from the golden era. Plus chrome Dodge Challenger tips for extra swag.

By the way, did you know that a few 1975 Road Runners were fitted with the 440-cubic-inch (7.2-liter) police interceptor V8? Part of the A38 Police Package, which also included a heavy-duty suspension, the mill delivered 255 horsepower.

But that’s a different story for another time. Until then, check out this cool Aztec Gold gem in the video below.

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