Over the past decade, Chrysler has built up a reputation for stunning custom concept cars based on production vehicles for the SEMA show and the Easter Jeep Safari. But the company's custom tradition has much deeper roots, including this collection of muscle car concepts that went to Mecum & # 39; s Indianapolis auction in May. The collection includes three Plymouths displayed on the traveling screen, the Plymouth Rapid Transit System, and a Dodge that appeared during the 1969 Chicago Auto Show.
The possible crown jewel of these cars is the 1971 Plymouth Road Runner, and that is simply because the car is completely unrestored with only 1,300 kilometers on the clock. Apparently the owner of the store that built the car for Chrysler came back after the Rapid Transit System tour and cared for it until he later sold it to the late Steven Juliano, whose estate now sells this collection of cars. . Like all these cars, the adjustments were mainly visual, but they were extensive. A modified nose and headlight lenses were mounted that added six inches in length, according to Mecum. The car's bumpers were completely removed, as well as the external door handles. Built-in bonnet blades were installed in the bonnet and the tailgate was lowered by four centimeters to create a rear wing. The rear lights were given red, yellow and green lenses such as traffic lights. But the best additions were cast Road Runner marker lights. The interior is largely unchanged and the engine is a stock 383-cubic-inch V8 with an automatic transmission. It also has power steering and brakes and the Plymouth Road Runner horn, which is a "Beep! Beep!" sounds like the cartoon the car was named after.
Then there is the 1970 Plymouth Duster in the collection with perhaps the best color scheme. It is bright green with a groovy "DUSTER" lettering on the hood and various contrast panels. It is actually the second scheme that the car used, because according to Mecum, the car was built for the 1970 tour and then redesigned for the 1971 tour. The paint is matched to color coordinated wheels and blue and green floral pattern floor mats. There are also unique bodywork changes, such as the modified headlight housings, functional air control channels in the front, fake extractor openings above the rear window, racing wheel cap and rectangular exhaust. Mechanically, it has a stock 275-horsepower 340-cubic inch V8 and four-speed manual transmission.
Although not as lurid as a paint system, the older 1970 Plymouth Road Runner is still fat and has more body styling changes than the Duster. At the front it has a custom-made grille and rectangular headlights. The door handles have been removed along the side and thick quadratic splash guards have been fitted. The tail has a cast-in rear wing and a unique one-piece rear light lens. The paint of the car is a triple tone of black, white and an orange gold that reflects the colors in the dust path of the cartoon Road Runner. The character is prominent on the doors with its track that extends into the side spoons. The color scheme is reflected inside with adapted floor mats. Under the hood is a stock of 425-horsepower 426-cubic inch Hemi V8 supported by an automatic transmission.
The last of these concepts was not really a Plymouth Rapid Transit System car, but it was built in a similar style and made its debut at the 1969 Chicago Auto Show. include rectangular light boxes and near-mounted fog lamps on the grille. It has what looks like a large inlet that pierces through the hood, but it is actually a dummy without mechanical couplings or even a channel to the inlet below. The sides are streamlined with the door handles hidden behind the edges of the doors. A subtle spoiler has been cast into the body at the rear, and one-piece rear light lenses have been added. The interior is in stock, just like the 340-cubic-inch V8, 4-speed manual and power steering and brakes.
All these cars can be seen at the Mecum Indianapolis auction from 14-19 May. And if you have some serious money, you can even take one of these things with you.