In the world of classic muscle cars, certain models stand out as rare gems, coveted by collectors and automotive enthusiasts alike. One such gem is the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12 Coupe, a legendary mid-season release that showcased raw power and performance. This iconic vehicle, renowned for its exclusivity, is set to go under the hammer at the 2023 Mecum Harrisburg auction, scheduled for today, Friday, July 28th.
The A12 engine conversion package, a limited edition offering in 1969, was available for the Road Runner and its counterpart, the Dodge Super Bee. This performance upgrade featured the formidable M-code 390 horsepower 7.2-liter (440 cubic-inch) 6-bbl V8 engine, popularly known as the “Six-Pack” in the Dodge. The engine was fitted with three Holley two-barrel carburetors and an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold, a configuration that pushed the boundaries of power and performance.
Under the hood, the A12 Road Runner boasted a carefully selected and shot-peened forged steel crank and rods, alongside a 268/284-degree cam with low-taper lobes and new flat-faced lifters. These enhancements contributed to the A12’s remarkable capabilities on the road. Furthermore, Moly-filled top piston rings, flash-chromed valve stems, higher-load valve springs, heavy-duty rockers, and a Prestolite dual-breaker distributor were added to ensure optimal performance and durability.
The A12’s distinct appearance was equally captivating. The car featured a fiberglass lift-off hood with a striking “Super Stock” air scoop, painted in a textured semi-flat black known as “Organosol.” This unique design was retained by four pins, eschewing hinges and latches for a more race-inspired aesthetic. Additionally, the A12 Road Runner was distinguished by its TorRed paint (also referred to as HEMI Orange on the Super Bee) with a sleek Black vinyl top, further enhancing its allure.
One of the most exceptional features of this particular 1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12 is its 4-speed manual transmission, a rarity among the limited A12 models produced. Only 388 A12 Road Runners built, were equipped with the thrilling 4-speed manual option, making this vehicle an extraordinary find for collectors seeking an authentic driving experience reminiscent of the golden age of muscle cars.
Beyond its engine and transmission, the A12 Road Runner came equipped with the Dana 60 rear end and a Sure-Grip differential with 4.10 gears, providing the necessary traction to harness the beastly power under the hood. The suspension, designed to HEMI specifications, ensured a smooth ride and precise handling, making it a formidable competitor on the drag strip and a joy to drive on the open road.
Inside the cabin, the A12 was kept relatively Spartan, embodying the essence of a true muscle car. The factory-optioned thumb-wheel radio and split-folding bench seat with headrests added some creature comforts while maintaining the focus on performance. The floor shifter added to the engaging driving experience, putting the driver firmly in control.
This extraordinary 1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12, with its 4-speed manual transmission, represents a highly sought-after combination of power, rarity, and driving thrill. Preserved with factory undercoating on the undercarriage and donning classic steel wheels with Redline tires, this A12 Road Runner stands as a testament to a bygone era of American muscle.
1969 Plymouth Road Runner A12 in TorRed Image Gallery: