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Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner
Stock No: AMM1158/06
Scale: 1/18
MSRP: $99.99
Pros: Opening doors, hood, and trunk; accurate markings; detailed engine; functioning "air grabber"
Cons: Less detailed suspension and undercarriage

Launched late last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mopar’s legendary Plymouth Road Runner, this Curious Yellow (really a vibrant green) Auto World die-cast metal 1/18 scale model features absurdly good detail for the price.

As the muscle car war raged on in high-gear, Plymouth entered a player into the game that was designed to pack a punch without punishing the wallet.

Originally based on Plymouth’s B platform — specifically the Belvedere — the first Road Runner sped into dealerships in 1968 offering a 383, 426, or 440 cid V8 coupled with a four-speed manual or an optional TorqueFlight automatic transmission.

The interior was crude, lacking even carpeting, to keep build costs low, like the car’s quarter-mile time. Outside, the Road Runner wore badging and decals reflecting the car’s inspiration, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner from the popular Warner Bros. cartoons.

The first generation Road Runner was sold from 1968 through 1970 until the second generation model arrived as a 1971 model, fully redesigned, including its curvier exterior styling to its upgraded interior, handling, and aerodynamics (hence the car’s ironing board-sized black spoiler).

The Road Runner’s heart also got a new beat, a 330 cid four-barrel V8 alongside three others, including a detuned 383, the grand 426 HEMI, and the famous 440 “six-pack,” with three two-barrel carbs.

For 1971, the Road Runner added new options like powered seats, soundproofing, a carpeted interior, along with a sunroof (not on the model though). The front window received a steeper slant, the rear end widened, the black grille and headlights were more recessed, and there was even a hidden, vacuum-operated pop-up scoop called an “air grabber” complete with toothy shark mouth decals on either side.

Auto insurance for most muscle cars skyrocketed that same year, hence a reduction in the 383 V8’s horsepower. Just 14,218 Road Runners were sold, a precipitous drop from prior years.

Auto World pays tribute to this second generation Road Runner with an impressively replicated 1971 model.

Bold black dashes crest the C pillars and make their way up and over the roof, while the rear spoiler and bulging hood (complete with the functional “air grabber” scoop) are painted in a flat black finish.

Authentic Warner Bros. Road Runner decals are slapped on the trunk lid, rear fenders above chrome-lined wheel arches, and as an emblem on the grille. The opening hood features chrome hood pins and 440-6 decals above the front side marker lights.

Speaking of the those numbers, plopping the big hood skyward gives eager eyes a look at the ginormous 440 “six-pack” engine that’s fully wired and plumbed. It also has decals for the air cleaner and radiator, silver exhaust manifolds, and ... the full-size car’s iconic pink “Beep, Beep!” horn, which actually did go “Beep, Beep!” That’s a little Mopar magic trick that makes this car so special.

Underneath, you can see decent suspension detail, the red lower portion of the engine block, transmission tunnel and drive shaft, dual exhaust, and some factory fresh paint overspray. 


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