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Home Pick of the Day Pick of the Day: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, the cartoon-based muscle car

Pick of the Day: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, the cartoon-based muscle car

The Mopar hardtop in blue has a few style and performance upgrades

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Saturday morning cartoons during the 1980s and ’90s in America were never complete without Looney Tunes, and no Looney Tunes conversation could ever omit mention of Wile E. Coyote and the roadrunner. 

Surprisingly, the rivalry between those two characters started more than 70 years ago in 1948, when animation director Chuck Jones and writer Michael Maltese pieced together the first of what ended up being more than 50 episodes featuring the duo. 

Even the automotive community embraced those iconic cartoon characters, and Plymouth went so far as to pay Warner Brothers $50,000 for the rights to use the likeness and name of the roadrunner in the late 1960s on its mid-size performance car.

Plymouth reportedly paid an additional $10,000 in development costs to create a “beep-beep” horn that mimicked the cartoon roadrunner’s famous greeting. 

The Pick of the Day is a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner hardtop finished in metallic blue and offered for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Sacramento, California. 

It seemed fitting that Plymouth would pick such a name for its performance car, as the roadrunner branding conveyed a sense of speed and agility.  When the Road Runner launched for the 1968 model year, it was offered initially as a two-door-post body style, but a hardtop followed shortly thereafter. 

road runner

For 1969, there were changes to the grille and taillights, and the first appearance of the now-famous cartoon logos fitted to the body.  Three available engines ranged in size from a 383cid V8 to a 440cid V8, as well as the 426 Hemi, with both automatic and manual transmissions available.

The Road Runner featured in this listing has some custom equipment, including a raised roadrunner in the rear back panel and emblems on the seats.  There is no indication in the ad as to which engine is under its hood.

The seller indicates that the vehicle was last sold two years ago from a dealership fittingly named Coyote Classics. 

road runner

The Road Runner has since undergone a number of upgrades including installation of a performance Flowmaster exhaust system, a custom stereo, and a disc brake conversion. 

“I promise the car is the real deal,” the seller states.  “The car has been meticulously cared for.” 

At $30,000 or best offer, the car will probably speed away as quickly as the roadrunner himself. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

21 COMMENTS

    • Mine had the 426 Hemi 425 HP from the factory and they boasted that it would do 125mph in the 1/4 mile. Mine was automatic and I got 128 in the 1/4 mile at the Roxboro NC Drag Strip. They listed the car as Hot Stock. Boy I wish I still had it.

    • 426 HEMI, and that was THE only option in ’68. 383 335hp was the base engine. The 440 4bbl and the 440+6 (A 12) was introduced in ’69.

  1. Had a 69 Roadrunner my senior year in high school. 383 & four speed with Hurst shifter. This car would run & held its on against the other muscle cars of that time period. Tor red with flat black hood stripes. Car was a looker & a blast to drive.

  2. From the factory the 440 had more power and was faster than the Hemi. However you could get more horsepower out of the Hemi once you started to modify it . The Hemi cars ran high 13’s to low 14’s stock. I owned a 69 Hemi & the best I could do was in the mid 12’s and that’s after I added headers & a few other upgrades from that era.

  3. Thanks for picking this beautiful metallic blue 69 Roadrunner as your pick of the day. What memories does this muscle car stur up from an eara of pure drag racing on Telegraph and Woodward.

  4. I have had my B5 blue hard top, bucket seat, console floor shifter, dash tach, 383 cid 727 since Oct 19, 1975. It has been with me everywhere I’ve gone except when I was stationed overseas. My 383 would give the 440 cars a good ran for the money.

  5. I always like the 68 and 69 roadrunners I thought they was cool but but my 69 Mach 1 Mustang used to bust their butts they’ll get out and kick their fenders kick your tires but they still pay me back anyway I always thought they were School what can I say

  6. I always like the 68 and 69 Roadrunner I thought they were very cool Easter bus driver they would get out and kick your fenders kick their tires but they still pay me cuz they lost what can I say

  7. Owned a 68, 69, and a 70 (still own, project car) and they were all a blast to own and drive . All 3 where 383 vehicles, ran mid to high 13’s with basic performance upgrades. Always liked the Road Runners from the time I was a kid in the 60’s.

  8. I had a ’69 – Canary yellow; 383 Super Commando, automatic; No mods; CONVERTIBLE with a black top. Car would fly. Never lost a race – not that I raced big-time. Anyone who ‘looked me up’, got their tail handed to them! Loved that car! Every time I think about it – like now – I give myself a big kick in the back-side!

  9. My first new car was a 69 red Roadrunner, followed by a 68 gold GTX, then a 70 red Dodge RT, among many others. Miss the Roadrunner most of all.

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