Source: Sherman Publications

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Plenty of muscle

by David Fleet

February 13, 2013

Groveland Twp.-Beep-beep.

For less than $3,000 in 1969, muscle car enthusiasts could land a brand new Plymouth Road Runner with the trademark horn in their driveway.

While prices, styles and horns have changed over the last four decades—at least one local resident has vowed to keep the "muscle" on the road.

Township residents Keith and Karen Wiederhad purchased a 1969 Road Runner from a California owner in 1995.

"I've always been a MoPar man," said Keith. "We were looking for a Chrysler Barracuda and they were getting hard to find. So when this Road Runner came along we bought it. The West Coast car had just a little rust, but still needed some body work—we replaced the floor pans. We even found a bullet in the car where someone shot it."

The Wiederhads drove the car, which came with a 383 cubic inch engine and Vitamin C color paint, in its original condition for about five years.

"About 94,000 Road Runners were built in 1968—so there are many out there, however, very few have the original engine still running. It seems the engines burned up on the roads—they were defiantly a muscle car."

In 2000 the Road Runner was completely restored, keeping the paint color but replacing the engine with a 500 cubic inch Wedge (Mopar)— scorching the quarter mile at 10.96 seconds, added Keith.

The car was part of the 2009 Autorama, Hot Rod Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit where it received the Chrysler Top Eliminator award. On March 8-10, the public can check out the Wiederhad's Road Runner at Autorama 2013.

"The Road Runner started out as a restoration project, then a race car," said Keith. "Now we are going back to a more street friendly version, replacing the 500 Wedge (engine) with a little tamer 440 (Wedge). The Road Runner will be more fun for the family and more for the streets."