This Hemi Road Runner broke drag-strip records in the ’70s, and it could be yours
A veteran drag racer has popped up on Bring a Trailer and we’re wishing for some one-on-one time with this beast at the drag strip. This 1970 Plymouth Road Runner looks like it comes ready to run, complete with two fenders full of contingency stickers. Don’t worry, the listing notes that those are easy to remove and reapply without damaging the paint. Best of all, this muscle machine is equipped with a 426 Hemi V-8 and still looks great after a somewhat-recent restoration.
There’s no denying the 426 Hemi was among the most feared engines in drag-strip competition in its day. Apart from a 427 Cobra, a 427 Corvette, or a Buick 455, a Mopar B-body equipped with a big-block Hemi wouldn’t have had much competition. This particular Hemi Mopar B-body has the racing record to prove it.
The 1973 AHRA record of 13.24 seconds at 110.83 mph is impressive for a stock, production muscle car, especially in that era. It would take something in the range of a 392 Charger to best that time today, and a 110-mph trap speed suggests that there was a lot more on the table if the Plymouth had had better traction.
Unfortunately, this Road Runner is no longer equipped with its original 426 Hemi. Instead, it appears to be fitted with an over-the-counter replacement of the same vintage. No doubt the car’s drag racing career took a toll on the factory block along the way; we can only speculate what kind of rod-snapping carnage might have occurred. Judging by some of the photos of the replacement engine, this block may have also been on the receiving end of a wayward connecting rod.
A nicely optioned interior reveals bucket seats with a console shifter for the three-speed auto. There’s also a Tic-Toc tach in the dash. The odometer shows just 30,000 miles, but there’s no indication that’s accurate.
With six days left, bidding has only begun. The car’s tough life of drag racing has been mostly buffed away with its mid-2010s restoration, but we’ll have to wait to see whether this car’s racing pedigree has smoothed over the fact that the original engine is not in the picture.