Back in the 1960s, Plymouth strategically expanded its midsize lineup, centered around the Belvedere, by introducing three distinct nameplates. The Satellite made its debut in 1964, followed by the GTX in 1966 and the Road Runner in 1968.

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Originally conceived as a more upscale version of the Belvedere, the Satellite underwent changes in late 1966 with the introduction of the GTX. This new model boasted luxurious interior trim and was exclusively equipped with powerful big-block V8 engines.

In 1967, as the Satellite lineup expanded to include four-door sedan and station wagon variants, Plymouth introduced the Road Runner. Stripped down compared to the GTX, it lacked fancy features but offered high-performance with top-tier powerplants, including the 440-cubic-inch RB and the 426-cubic-inch HEMI.

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The Success of the Road Runner

The Road Runner’s recipe proved successful, with Plymouth selling 44,303 units in the abbreviated 1968 model year. The following year, deliveries skyrocketed to an impressive 81,105 examples, making it a popular choice among car enthusiasts.

Despite the Road Runner’s overall popularity, the HEMI version, particularly in 1968, remains rare. Only 1,009 units were sold that year, constituting 2.3% of total production. However, not all have survived to the present day, adding to the scarcity of the first-year HEMI models.

A Rare Gem: The 1968 HEMI Road Runner

Captured at the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) show in Illinois, a pristine black HEMI Road Runner stands out as a rare find. Originally from a museum collection in 2022, it made its public appearance at MCACN, showcasing its untouched condition.

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The car’s flawless black paint, well-placed trim, and a seemingly untouched interior, still exuding a new car smell, speak to the quality of the restoration performed by its previous owner. The engine bay houses a numbers-matching HEMI V8, highlighting the meticulous attention to detail during the restoration.

Adding to its rarity, this specific HEMI Road Runner is a hardtop, a configuration shared by only 169 units equipped with the HEMI. Further narrowing down, when considering the four-speed manual transmission, this particular Road Runner becomes one of just 108 ever built. The possibility of being a nearly unique classic with its black exterior adds an extra layer of exclusivity.

# FAQs

## Q1: How many HEMI Road Runners were sold in 1968?

In 1968, Plymouth sold 1,009 HEMI Road Runners, constituting 2.3% of the total production.

## Q2: What makes this specific Road Runner rare?

This HEMI Road Runner is a hardtop, with only 169 units sharing this configuration. When factoring in the four-speed manual transmission, it becomes one of just 108 ever produced.

## Q3: What is the current owner’s plan for the car?

The current owner, having acquired this museum-grade classic, does not plan on driving it extensively but intends to showcase it at car events in the future.

## Q4: Where was the car spotted?

This rare HEMI Road Runner was captured at the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) show in Illinois.

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