1969 Plymouth Road Runner
8-cyl. 383cid/335hp 4bbl Hi-Perf
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The 1969 Plymouth Road Runner scored Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award, and the range was expanded to three models with a convertible added to the lineup. Styling changes were minor, as just the grille and tail were altered. Sales doubled regardless, with 48,549 Hardtops, 33,743 Coupes and 2,128 Convertibles finding buyers. Luxury Plymouth GTX sales declined to 14,902 hardtops and only 700 convertibles.
The Road Runner Coupe started at $2,945, the Hardtop $3,083 and the Convertible $3,313. 1969 Plymouth GTX prices began at $3,416 for the Hardtop and $3,635 for the Convertible. The standard engine remained the 335 bhp 383 cid V-8 with a 4-speed gearbox, but the 375 bhp Super Commando 440 V-8 was available for another $164, the 390 bhp, triple carburetor “Six-Pack” 440 V-8 cost another $250 and the 425 bhp, 426 cid Hemi V-8 with dual 4-barrel carburetors a hefty $813.45. The base GTX engine was the 375 bhp 440, with the 390 bhp Six-Pack an extra $119 and the Hemi and extra $700. The Hemi was a serious car, but it cost serious money. For example, the car tested by Car and Driver cost $4,362.05.
Car and Driver recorded 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, a quarter mile in 13.54 seconds at 105.14 mph and top speed of 142 mph. Meanwhile, Motor Trend tried out a GTX with the base 440 cid V-8 and managed 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds, a 13.7-second quarter-mile at 102.8 mph, and top speed of 130 mph. Motor Trend also tested a base 335/383 V-8 4-speed car and came up with 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds, a quarter mile in 14.34 seconds at 101.5 mph and top speed of 122 mph.
Popular Road Runner and GTX options included an automatic transmission ($299), air conditioning ($358), Road Runner stripes ($27), blackout hood ($18 for Road Runner and GTX), AM/FM stereo tape ($195), vinyl top ($79), air-grabber scoop $55, Track Pak option required with 4-speed $143, heavy duty Sure-Grip differential ($146), Super Trak Pack with 440 or 426 $256, Super Commando 375 bhp 440 V-8 ($281 for Road Runner), 426 cid Street Hemi ($813.45 Road Runner, $700 for GTX).
Plymouth offered 18 mostly metallic colors, and seven interior shades. The colors and codes were Silver (A4), Ice Blue (B3), Blue Fire (B5), Jamaica Blue (B7), Frost Green (F3), Limelight (F5), Ivy Green (F8), Sandpebble Beige (L1), Seafoam Turquoise (Q5), Scorch Red (R6), Honey Bronze (T3), Bronze Fire (T5), Saddle Bronze (T7), Alpine White (W1), Black Velvet (X9), Sunflower Yellow (Y2), Yellow Gold (Y3), Spanish Gold (Y4). Interior colors included Laser Gold, Buckskin Tan, Pampas Tan, Bayou Green, Baltic Blue, Regatta Red, and Jewel Black.
Plymouth’s production fell only 4 percent in 1969, with 651,124 sales, but the division slipped from fourth to sixth place in the market, being overtaken by Oldsmobile and Buick.