Sunday, August 31, 2014

1971 Plymouth Road Runner 426 Hemi

This week, we're taking a look at a Hemi powered musclecar featuring a cartoon character in the grill. This 1971 Hemi Road Runner is a very limited production car that still retains a full-power 426 Hemi. 

It features outstanding details like the functional air grabber hood feeding fresh air to the 425 hp, 426 cube Hemi V-8. Inside, you will find a bench seat, a four-speed handle and little else. 

The exterior styling is bold with the new-for-1971 styling and the distinctive reflective stripe. It is one of many Hemi powered cars in the Brothers Collection and it is our Muscle Car Of The Week!


Although Plymouth already had a performance car in the GTX, designers decided to go back to the drawing board and reincarnate the original muscle car concept. Plymouth wanted a car able to run 14-second times in the quarter mile (402 m) and sell for less than US$3000. Both goals were met, and the low-cost muscle car hit the street. The success of the Road Runner would far outpace the upscale and lower volumeGTX, with which it was often confused.

In 1971, the coupe bodywork was completely changed to a more rounded "fuselage" design in keeping with then-current Chrysler styling trends, including a steeply raked windshield, hidden cowl, and deeply inset grille and headlights. In a departure from previous thinking, the B-Body two-door bodies shared little if any sheet metal, glass, or trim with the four-door bodies. 

The convertible was canceled. 1971 was a high-water year for ride and handling for the Road Runner. The overall length was decreased, but the wheelbase was increased, and a rear sway bar was used in conjunction with staggered rear leaf springs, resulting in better handling and cornering without the stiff ride. It also saw the introduction of the 340-4bbl option, and a detuned 383 "Road Runner" engine with 8.7 compression, hardened exhaust valve seats, and power dropping to 300 hp (224 kW). 

In return, Road Runners with the 340 and 383 engine received a standard insurance rating without the costly premiums normally tacked onto muscle cars. The 383 would now run on regular gas. Aerodynamics were much improved over the first generation Road Runners, resulting in much-improved high-speed handling.

Sources: Youtube and Wikipedia. See also V8TVSHOW.COM