How It Started
This 1969 Plymouth Hemi Roadrunner shop project started out as a customer’s car, who approached us about it around 2 years ago. We had worked for this particular customer for a couple years, off and on; we had no idea he owned this car. One day, he brought his Camaro back in for some work. At one point, he started talking about a car he bought when he was 18 years old in 1969. He ended up holding onto the car for years until it changed hands with us. Originally, he had wanted to keep it for his family, for his son specifically. But over time, things didn’t work out that way, so he came to us. He told us he liked our work, so he knew we were the guys to put this car back together.
Putting It Back Together
The Roadrunner was in pieces, and had gone through a fire. It had been sitting in a field, and was buried halfway underground. On July 27, 2017, we closed the shop, drove up to Santa Barbara and dug this car out of a field, not knowing if we were going to be able to save the motor and keep it numbers-matching. As it turned out, we were able to do that. In the end, we went through a year and a half process of tearing it completely down, cataloging everything while doing so, and took the car to have it chemically dipped and stripped. Afterward, we did 500 hours of metal work to rebuild the body, including redoing the original lead seams. Finally, the Roadrunner was handed it off to our painter to let him do his magic, and he did all the bodywork and finish paint.
While that was being done, we finished restoring the motor back to its original condition, along with the drive line. The only things that are not original on this car are the wheels, tires, and a set of gauges. Other than that, it’s what you would have got on a Hemi Roadrunner in 1969.
The Final Touches
We rebuilt it the way we did to pay homage to the original owner. He took this car off the road in 1978 with 25K miles on it, and we kind of put it back the way he had it. We put the Hang Ten foot pedal back on the dimmer switch the the original owner had installed day one, We put the gauges back in the way he had it, we put the tires on it – a bigger diameter wheel this time, 17s instead of 15s. In the end, we have a correct, documented, restored 1969 Hemi Roadrunner.