Throw Back: 1972 Roadrunner 340 Manual Edition.

1972 Plymouth Roadrunner


The other day I spotted this 1972 Roadrunner for sale, and today I had the opportunity to examine it up close.  What I encountered was a 2 minute emotional rollercoaster.  From 100 feet away, this car screamed “Buy me! I’m everything you’ve ever wanted“.  From 10 feet away it snickered “LoL, April Fooollzz“. Then when I peeked into the interior, my brain was thrown into a dense fog. 

Up close,  this sad looking 2 wheel’ed bird needs some serious work.  Being in Massachusetts, its got rust and rot, which is always disappointing but never surprising.  It’s also got some older body work that was attached with rivets.  Rivets are wonderful for planes, boats, race cars, buildings, and bridges, but have absolutely no business holding your street car together.  (Yes, I realize you’re friend probably has them on his hotrod and they look totally sweet. He is the one exception.)  The radically cool factory hood on this car is nothing less than a tragedy because somebody cut a hole in it for that scoop.  Granted, it was probably done back when those hoods were still rust free and plentiful in junkyards.  Lastly, on the negative side of things, the once stunningly beautiful chrome front grille surround is twisted up like a pretzel.  I will just assume that the other car in the accident is in much worse shape. Ouch.

Now on the other hand, from 100 feet away, this car looks outstanding.  It’s got a sweet throw-back paint job, one of the meanest hoods to ever come out of the muscle car era, enough character to make you sick, and the right price tag.  Once up close, you can see the 340 emblems, and the fact that it is a very complete car (okay, minus the two drivers side wheels…you’ll replace those anyway).  Most importantly though, it appears to be a 4-speed car.  One more time in case you missed it… it “appears” to be a 4-speed manual transmission car.  Worst case, is that it’s definitely a manual on the floor.  Factory option?  I have no idea.  Regardless, that means that if you buy it, you can row gears in a potentially very rare bird like it’s your job.  You’ll be the talk of the town and a hero on your block.

Great buy?  Awful buy?  You decide.

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

7 thoughts to “Throw Back: 1972 Roadrunner 340 Manual Edition.”

  1. My first car here in Michigan, around 1981, was a 1974 Roadrunner. So the car was six or seven years old when I got it. It cost me $800 plus $300 for the wheels and tires (14×7 Cragar SS up front, 15×10 out back). It had air shocks. Its original engine had already been replaced with a 318. The rear quarters had rusted away and there were new half-quarters riveted on, with thick Bondo slathered over all the repair work. The front suspension was so worn that the car would track on its own in rutted asphalt, even around curves. The paint job was horrible, as it had not been rubbed out, and was painted over the original RR stripe that went along the sides and over the top.
    On the plus side, it was a great blue color, the wheels were awesome, it still had both machine gun exhaust tips after the Cherry Bombs, I installed a tape deck and booster/equalizer and four 6×9 speakers, it had the console shifter and that thick steering wheel. It sounded great, ran great, would spin those steamroller tires a bit, and it was perfect for a 17-year-old. There was a spot under the dashboard for me to hide a flat bottle of hooch, the ashtray was huge, and when the front extra-tall buckets were flipped forward, the back seat was large enough for relaxing and exercising with a friend.
    The engine seized up and I traded it for a ’69 Dart Swinger 340. I don’t wish I would have kept that Roadrunner, but I sure did love it.

    1. My Dad had a Dart Swinger 340 when I was a kid, that was his peak of cool cars though. When he sold it he bought a Beetle, then an Omni, then an Ares…

  2. that is a total shame and some one needs there head cracked for destrying such a time piece it almost makes you want to cry doesnt it we had a 1972 dodge dart swinger and a 1972 plymouth scamp both were fun the scamp was a much faster version though than the dart they looked the same except of some badging and stripes

    1. Michael – that car is long gone unfortunately. I wrote that post 4 years ago, and I’m not sure where the car is now. Hopefully it is getting restored by somebody and not parted out or crushed!

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