Now here's something you just don't see every day. I know that everyone looks at the mid-1970s as the black hole of automotive performance, but maybe if more people had known about cars like this 1977 Plymouth Volare Road Runner, things would have been different. 360 cubic inches, T-tops, and enough attitude to fill a hockey rink? It's time to re-evaluate your thoughts on Mopar performance in the '70s.
This is a heavily optioned car, too, with two fender tags' worth of information. It was also one of the tougher ones we've had to decode, since so little information exists on these cars.
E57 360 2-barrel engine
D33 Torqueflite 3-speed automatic transmission
HL29 Volare 2-door coupe
K7B 360-2 BBL 5.9L,
267098 Sequence number
MV1 Paint color: Spitfire Orange
D6XW Deluxe black and white bucket seats
000 Upper Door Frame: Full Door Panel
B18 Build date: November 18, 1976
161209 Order Number: 161209
MV1 Top color: Spitfire Orange
A57 F-Body Road Runner Package
A66 F-Body Super Pack Package
B41 Front Heavy Duty Disc Brakes with 10" Rear Drum
C15 Deluxe seat belt group
C56 Dual reclining bucket seats
F18 65 amp HD alternator
G01 Electric heated rear window defroster
G11 Tinted glass-all
G54 LH Outside Race Mirror
G76 F-Body Dual Remote Mirrors
H51 Single Air Conditioning with Heater
J52 Inside Hood Release
M21 Roof Drip Rail Moldings
M31 Belt and Hood Moldings
CTD Continued on 2nd tag
M43 Grille Surround Moldings
M55 T-Bar Roof
P25 Power Left Seat Bucket or 50/50, Power Driver's Seat
R11 AM radio
26 26-inch radiator
So this is definitely a high-option car with a good pedigree. Someone took a lot of time and money restoring it, and it is full of NOS parts to make it possibly the nicest '77 Road Runner in the world. Tell me this - have you ever seen another one this nice?
The body work is straight and clean, with no signs of massive surgery. There aren't any reproduction panels available for these cars as far as I know, so any patches would be immediately obvious. I'm seeing none. The panel gaps are factory equivalent, which is amazing considering how much this body must move around with those T-tops. The 2-stage Spitfire Orange paint was well applied, and I'm guessing those are NOS decals on the body, because I can't find any reproduction stuff on the Internet. Where the heck did they find things like that?
As a product of the wild '70s, you there's a lot of chrome and other trim on this car, and it is all present and in good condition. The bumpers have obviously been rechromed, since they're nicer than factory chrome ever was, and things like the grille and headlight bezels must be NOS or perfect originals. The glass is probably a combination of new and original stuff, but the T-tops are definitely originals and seal up very well with new weather stripping. The rear quarter windows are also likely original, and the original plastic louvers over them are excellent and undamaged.
Mechanically, this car has had some serious upgrades in the horsepower department, and that's a good thing. Originally an emissions-choked 360 2-barrel, the car now sports a built 360 topped by an Edelbrock intake manifold and 4-barrel carburetor, all underneath a correct 4-barrel air cleaner with authentic decals. An expert will be able to spot the difference, but the builder went the extra mile to make it look factory authentic under there, despite the upgrades. The engine is dressed in the correct turquoise paint, and like the muscle cars of yore, the ground cable was attached to the engine before it was painted, so there's correct overspray on it. You'll also note the giant factory A/C compressor and lines, all of which have been restored right down to the decals and tags on the compressor housing. The hoses are NOS pieces with the correct clamps, the correct electronic ignition module is mounted on the fender, and the original emissions equipment is all present, although without the original 2-barrel carb, it is not currently connected. Seriously, do you really want it sucking the horsepower out of the engine?
The transmission is a dead-reliable Torqueflite 3-speed automatic that was rebuilt at the same time as everything else, and it seems to have a high-performance torque converter and shift kit in it, because this isn't a mushy luxury car transmission. The rest of the chassis has been restored to much better than factory new, and there's no undercoating hiding any of the details. The same base/clear paint used up top makes the floor pans look like a million bucks, and the suspension has been highly detailed in a variety of authentic colors and finishes. The suspension and brakes are fully rebuilt and ride like it just rolled off the showroom floor, and there's a new true dual exhaust system without catalytic converters that sounds great and really lets the small block under the hood breathe properly. Rolling stock consists of 14-inch Rallye wheels with 215/70/14 Goodyear Eagle ST radials.
Open the doors and find a great-looking white interior that was restored in the not-too-distant past. The seat covers, carpets, door panels, headliner and even some of the trim pieces are either new or NOS pieces. The dash pad and visors are original, and the gauges have been rebuilt. The steering wheel is a NOS “Tuff Wheel” and there's a new Mopar Performance tach on the console ahead of the shifter. The console has been refinished, and the AM radio works perfectly. The power driver's seat has been replaced with a lighter and more reliable manual model. In back, the trunk has also been restored to new condition with a new mat.
If you're into the unusual, the overlooked, or the just plain rare, then you really should take a second look at this Volare Road Runner. No, it's not Hemi powerful, or Superbird outrageous, but I guarantee you'll never see another one at a show. With the warmed-over small block under the hood and a nice restoration, it will be something unique and an absolute blast to drive and own. I'm quite certain that they spent more on the restoration than we're asking for the car, so it's a very inexpensive way to get into the Mopar club in a big way. This is exactly the kind of car that doesn't last long here at RK Motors - reasonably priced, ready to drive and show, and rare enough to make it worth collecting. If you're one of those guys who grew up in the '70s like I did, then give us a call on this rare piece of nostalgia.
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