My 1971 Road Runner

The year was 1984, I was out of high school just the year before and working at a diesel machine shop. My buddy, Mark, had just started dating a girl named Patty, when he called me up, saying her dad had an old car in a barn that he wanted to get rid of, and Mark thought it was a Mopar. We jumped in Mark’s car and jammed out to see it.

Upon arrival, we find a 1971 Road Runner, originally 383, 4 speed, Butterscotch with a brown interior. The original motor & trans are long gone and the 8 3/4 rear was replaced by an 8 1/4. I chatted with the owner and he said he just wanted it gone. I bought it for cheap ($150 or so) and said I’d get it moved out asap.

I had no way to move it, but another friend of mine had a tow bar and a hitch on his Monte Carlo. We went back the following weekend and limped the car approximately 10 miles to the shop I was working at. My boss wasn’t happy, but he said the car could stay parked out back for a little time, while I looked for a more suitable place to park it. Soon after, I met a guy named Carroll, who had a barn for rent. We agreed on $200/month and once again the tow bar was employed to move the car (this time 30 miles). With no weight in the front, the car did not like to track through corners in the road, but we made it in one piece. My ’73 Charger was in storage for the winter and I was driving a $500 VW Bug as my winter beater car.

For the next 6 months, I spent my weekends at the barn, disassembling the car and sanding down the paint. There was a little bit of rust showing, but of course the paint was hiding a LOT more rust. So much so, that I realized the car was in worse shape than I had expected and I did not have the skills to fix it. I ended up having the car towed to a local junkyard that gave me $35 for the shell as scrap metal. Looking back at these photos, the car was not nearly as bad as many that I have fixed through the years. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

About hemibill

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