In the Spring of 1969 Eldon was in the market for a new car. His search had led him to Mindrup Car Dealership in Edwardsville, Illinois. There he laid eyes on a brand new 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, and the rest was history. The Road Runner was a mid-size car built between 1968 and 1980 by Plymouth that focused on performance. It was considered a more reasonable option compared to the upscale GTX and its overwhelming success would later far outpace the GTX. The Road Runner that Eldon purchased that day was an ivy green 2-door hardtop. It had power steering, AM/FM radio, and most importantly, air conditioning, which was considered quite the luxury at that time. The Road Runner was a durable and reliable car and Eldon was able to drive it for ten years. In 1979 he retired the Road Runner and found a new home for it in his family’s barn.
Over the years the thought of restoring the Road Runner was always a thought in the back of his mind. In 2011, he decided to make it happen. He began with a basic internet search of classic car restoration businesses. He came across Precision Restorations, a classic car restoration business located in St. Louis, Missouri, and was drawn to it for its convenient location. He liked the idea of being able to stop by on his way home from work to check on the progress. Eldon first met with the team at Precision Restorations and discussed his vision. He wanted a complete restoration to include body, mechanical, upholstery, and paint.
The team at Precisions Restorations began by inspecting the vehicle for alignment issues, rust damage, stress fractures, and any other problems that tend to creep up over the years. The original paint and body work was removed manually and with an in-house media blaster in order to avoid causing any additional damage. It was etch primed to protect the bare steel and rust and dents were eradicated. After it was primed all the panels were test fitted and adjusted as needed. Once passed over to the mechanical side, the technicians installed a 383 engine, 4 speed A833, 323 gears, Edelbrock 750 carburetor, and new air conditioning. During the upholstery phase, the team at Precision Restoration replaced the carpet, door panels, dash pad, sun visors, front and rear seats, and headliner. In the final paint stage it was re-primed, sanded, cleaned and masked. The body was then painted and cleared followed by a final wet sanding and buff to restore it to its original shade of ivy green.
Eldon was ecstatic when he finally got to pick up his fully restored 1969 Road Runner. These days he enjoys driving it down the highway on a beautiful day. His daughter recently made him a scrapbook that holds pictures of the car in various stages over the years. It also includes the original build sheet, title, and the actual check Eldon used to pay for it on that Spring day back in 1969.