1972 Plymouth Road Runner
2dr Hardtop Coupe
8-cyl. 340cid/240hp 4bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Plymouth Road Runner barely survived among performance models for 1972. It was little changed from 1971, but muscle car fever had evaporated. Power was now calculated in net terms, which had the effect of knocking a huge chunk off previous figures. The sole Road Runner Hardtop listed at $3,080 with a new 400 cid V-8, generating 225 bhp. Sales totaled 7,628 units, which was off 50 percent from 1971.
Alternative engines ranged from the 240 bhp small-block 340 cid V-8 for an extra $64, or a 280 bhp 440 cid V-8 for $153. The 440 engine could not be ordered with the base 3-speed gearbox. You had to spend an extra $201.85 for the 4-speed or $231.65 for the automatic. Five such cars are believed to have been delivered with a 330 bhp, 440 cid “Six-Pack” engine.
The Road Runner was equipped with heavy duty suspension and brakes, performance hood with engine size indicated, and an “air grabber” cold air intake for an extra $67. The Rally instrument cluster included a 150 mph speedometer, and a tach could be added for $52. High-back bucket seats were fitted, with a power option at $91 per side. A split-bench seat with center armrest was available for $56, as were air-conditioning ($378), Road Runner stripes ($22), AM/FM stereo tape ($366), vinyl roof ($96) and front disc brakes ($28).
Plymouth had figured out how to monetize the V-8-powered Satellite Coupe (10,507 sold), Sebring Plus Hardtop (21,399) and Satellite Sebring Hardtop (34,353). These were softer versions of the Road Runner and could be optioned with a number of Road Runner extras while avoiding insurance penalties. The program was equally successful in 1971 when sales of those three models totaled 63,060 units, and it hinted at the “sheep in wolf’s clothing” stripes-and-stickers approach of coming years.
Plymouth offered 29 mostly metallic colors, and six interior shades for the 1972 Road Runner. The colors and codes were Gray (A4), Silver Frost (A5), Charcoal (A9), Blue Sky (B1), Basin Street Blue (B3), True Blue (B5), Evening Blue (B7), Regal Blue (B9), Rally Red (E5), Mist Green (F1), Amber Sherwood (F3), Sherwood Green (F7), Forest Green (F8), Meadow Green (J3), Sahara Beige (L4), Coral Turquoise (Q5), Mojave Tan (T6), Chestnut (T8), Tor Red (V2), Spinnaker White (W1), Formal Black (X9), Lemon Twist (Y1), Sunflower Yellow (Y2), Honey Gold (Y3), Honeydew (Y4), Golden Haze (Y6), Gold Leaf (Y8), and Tahitian Gold (Y9). Interior colors included Blue, Green, Gold, Black, White and Dark Green. Vinyl roofs tended to be White, Black, Green or Tan.
Plymouth sold 708,587 units in 1972 and remained in sixth position in the U.S. sales. The decision was made to promote “Easy Order” packages, which combined a number of popular options for between $500 and $550.