The Mighty Mopar

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The Mighty Mopar Mopar has always been first in the automotive industry. Chrysler, which includes Dodge and Plymouth, started out to be family oriented vehicles but soon became the performance car of choice.

Mopar always had some type of new idea brewing around in their heads .For instance, the cars that I have chosen to write about are the two most prized Prototypes that Chrysler has ever created.

These cars are very rare, but of course they would be, there Prototypes.

The first of theses great and unique automobiles is the 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner with a 426 Hemi Engine and dual exhaust .Now there of course was a production of this model car for some years but it never again looked like the prototype.

The prototype Roadrunner had flared rear quarters panels (Jenkins14-18). It also had one continues taillight across the back. The production model had the taillight separated with a strip of chrome.

The exhaust tips were also different on the prototype. They were small and oval in shape Page 2 where as the production model had a circular baffle type tip (Jenkins 14-18). Another big distinction on the prototype was a large rear wing that was down sized on the car that was produced (Jenkins 14).

The motor in the 70 RoadRunner Prototype is the one that ended up in the production car. Although detuning modifications were done due to emission standards. The motor was the 426 hemi, hemistanding for "Hemispherical." The motor produced 425 horse power and over 450 ft lb. of torque still one of the most powerful production V8's today (Jenkins 15).

The 1971 Plymouth Road Runner was also a Prototype because in 1971 the RoadRunner underwent a restyling. This car as well had different wheels, spoiler, and engine. But the engine in the 71 was a 440 4-Barrel motor. Also putting out 425 horsepower with 425-Ft lbs. of torque. Both cars were automatics and had special paint schemes (Jenkins 15).

Another great car was the "Newport dual-cowphateaon, which was the most uniquely styled official Pace car ever, used at Indy prior to World War II. Briggsbeson with Ralph Roberts responsible for classic car design Page 3 Constructed six of these cars. It's believed that four of these cars still exist, including the official pace cars (Pippart 59).

Now we're to my favorite The Winged Warriors. "The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird were built for just one reason - to dominate stock car racing" (Noffsinger).

The Daytona Charger and Superbird will be the highlight of my research. These two cars were also a prototype before they became a Indy race car. They too were put into production but a very limited number were produced.

These cars are what the essence of stock car racing was in the early 70's. I like the history of them. They're exotic cars as always ahead of their time. They had styling lots of it. Their most outlined characteristics was the huge rear spoiler or wing in the back as well as the pointed front fascia.

"Winged cars were and always will be the greatest car Chrysler designed" (Young 61).

Page 4 As I always say there's no car like Mopar. So next time you sit behind the wheel of a nostalgia muscle car think about the roots of the car and where it came from. You'll then appreciate it more.