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Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

By Mark Savage
Published: June 30, 2014
American muscle came in various shapes and sizes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before the first oil embargo put the nix on giant V-8s and the awesome grumble and power they delivered.

Now Auto World creates a beautiful 1971 Plymouth Road Runner in Petty Blue with white vinyl top (remember those?) in 1/18 scale. This is party of the aptly named American Muscle lineup that retails at roughly $80-85 — a good price for this scale, considering some 1/43 diecast and resin models approach that price range.

An advantage is that the doors, hood, and trunk open, so you can easily see the interior — a bright blue in the sample car — plus the well-detailed V-8 under its long hood with black Air Grabber scoop.

Road Runners were fast, on- or off-track. And yes, Richard Petty, the King of NASCAR, successfully raced one in 1971. Auto World makes that one, too.
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This is the second-generation Road Runner, with its lean fuselage body style and steeply raked windshield. The wheelbase increased to 115 inches, and the car was 203 inches long. It weighed in at approximately 3,600 lb.

Under the model's hood is a nicely detailed replica of muscular 440-6 pack. This was one of six engine choices in Road Runner that year, and Auto World's model features a pink horn, black wiring and hoses, a giant orange air cleaner cover, and black battery under the hood. Oh, and the small Air Grabber vent in the hood scoop can be raised or lowered. Very nice!

Up front there is a small purple-and-yellow Road Runner cartoon character head, center grille, and the twin dual headlights are inset in the already-indented-and-blacked-out grille. Love the little black winglets below the bumper, too. Those added downforce in the raced versions. Auto World includes amber running lights, too.

Unlike most models with full painted bodies, this one puts a white vinyl-loop roof on the Road Runner. Back in the day, many cars had black or white vinyl tops, so this is an appropriate throwback feature.

The sample car sent to us by Replicarz also features chrome mirrors, door pulls, and an antenna on the passenger's-side front fender and chrome pins on the hood. In back is a small black spoiler, a round Road Runner logo on the trunk, and five-lens taillights in the chrome bumper.

There are also Road Runner logos over the rear wheel wells, and underneath is a well-detailed underside, including transmission and chrome dual exhausts.

Tires look realistic too, with treaded Goodyear RWL Polyglas GT G60-15 labeling. The car also features W21 Rallye rims, providing accurate detail to the design and in keeping with then-current Chrysler styling trends.

Auto World creates a well-detailed interior too — bright blue on the sample car — and it looks like the shiny vinyl of the day. I also like the slick-but-massive standard four-speed manual floor shifter with wood-look handle, along with a three-spoke wood-look steering wheel. The dash features four round deep-set gauges, a light stalk to the left of the wheel, and a wood-grained console and dash. The steering wheel turns the front wheels, and there's carpet and a moveable driver's seat back.

This is an attractively priced, well-detailed model that has the heft you expect from a diecast 1/18 model, and all the functioning features you usually won't find in smaller scales.

Auto World's models are available at www.autoworldstore.com, or through Replicarz at www.replicarz.com.

Vital Stats
Product: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner
Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AMM1012/06
MSRP: $79.99-83.99

Prefer 1:1 cars? Visit www.savageonwheels.com to read full-size new car and truck reviews and see videos by Mark Savage.
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