If you are over 40, chances are you are familiar with how the Plymouth Road Runner got its name. Every Saturday, we'd get up and watch Warner Bros.' rapid little bird outwit the hapless Wile E. Coyote, who seemed to have a bottomless supply of military surplus rockets, bombs, poison bird seed, and anvils from Acme Products. Mr. Coyote never did catch the Road Runner, as his products always seemed to work too well-on himself. Troy Brumbalow loaded up his Road Runner with some high-tech surplus too, and the ol' Coyote doesn't have a chance now.
The Road Runner was likely named after some Plymouth marketing guys spent a Saturday morning watching the cartoon, but it became a serious street legend during its initial production run between 1968 and 1974. While 1970 found an array of optional engine possibilities, the Hemi was, as always, the benchmark mill for the "beeper." When Troy Brumbalow, a 32-year-old homebuilder from Cumming, Georgia, decided that his '70 Road Runner project could use a few fortifications, the Hemi was where he started.
"I had a '68 Road Runner, painted red with the '69-type 6 BBL hood and a 600-horse 440. I've also had a couple of '73 'Cudas," he says. "Plus, I've had Camaros and a '37 Ford street rod, but this is the first time I've ever taken a car down to the bare essentials."
After four years, the Road Runner project ballooned into the piece of art that you see here. The Acme details began with Troy's cousin Chad Matthews, who did all the lettering and painted a small mural on the dash. The interior was customized with other gizmos and gadgets, including a custom console hosting a B&M shifter. Other interesting touches include the stainless steel dash with a full selection of Auto Meter gauges and a DVD player featuring Road Runner exploits.
No project of this magnitude is accomplished without some help. Troy got his whole family involved in building, painting, and touring the Road Runner to several Mopar shows around the country. The car has already picked up a First Place win in Pro Street at the Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals.
We saw Troy's Plymouth just after its debut appearance, and he had not had a chance to get it down the track. The engine is good for 8,000-rpm blasts, but it has not needed to be wound that tight yet. Regardless, we have a feeling that any coyotes slinking around Cumming, Georgia, will be finding out the hard way that this Road Runner is no joke. Beep-beep!