Alongside the GTX, Dodge launched the R/T (Road & Track), a rebadged version of the same car with slightly tweaked styling. But neither was the fully styled muscle car that the competition was offering. From Chrysler, that was still to come. Chrysler may have come late to the muscle car scene, but it lost little time getting in the swing, though of course with engine options like the Hemi and Max Wedge, that was not too much of a problem. Muscle cars were getting increasingly expensive by the late 1960s, and out of the reach of younger buyers, so Mopar (a division of Chrysler) led the field with the first budget muscle cars, or what Car and Driver magazine called “Econo-Racers.” It was a simple formula: take the lightest, cheapest two-door body available, strip off all the options, and stick in the most powerful off-the-shelf V8. For car fanatics who loved trawling through the options lists, this was no big deal, but the new Plymouth Road Runner did all that for one, offering a ready-made Q-car at a bargain price. The Road Runner (and its Dodge Super Bee equivalent) was an instant hit, selling well over 40,000 cars in its first year. That made up nearly one in five of all intermediate Plymouths, quite a sales feat. It certainly did not look like a

The Plymouth Road Runner proved popular with buying customers.

14 Hemis & Drag Racing Muscle Cars

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator