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The Garage Runner


Local time
8:04 AM
Oct 4, 2018
Reaction score
Cedarburg, WI
So here is the story of my '69 Road Runner. I got this car when I was 15 out of Southwest Wisconsin. I purchased it off of Ebay and the pictures did not do it justice.....for how rusty it was. Once off the trailer, my dad and I got it running and into their garage. Fast forward 19 years and the car is painted and I'm starting to get moving on it. When people say a Mopar had a "frame off" restoration I usually laugh, but in my case that is fairly true. At certain times I had a sawzall in my hands and thought about cutting it up for scrap after hitting issue after issue. 3 of the 4 frame rails, rockers, quarters, all floors, etc have been replaced along with numerous patches throughout the body. All metal and paint work was performed by myself and my dad.

The car was originally a 383, Auto, air grabber, power disc brake car in F8 green. Since it came with a non numbers matching engine, I decided to build this as a 440 6BBL clone in B3. At the moment the rear end and suspension are in the car and my next step is to either rebuild the mid '70's 440 I have or possibly purchase a running '69 440 that I know of. A lot of the other components - Dash, Transmission, front seat, etc are redone and waiting to be installed.

From when I bought the car until now I finished college, bought a house, got married, and have two awesome little girls (1 and 3.5 years old) so the struggle from having no money and a lot of time has shifted to having a little money and not much time to work on it.

Attached are some pictures of its progression. I was lucky to have a friend with a donor Charger where I was able to put the rockers, rear floor pans, and frame rails from the Charger in all at once, which helped with alignment. The picture of the car on "stilts" next to my Dad's '69 GTX is prior to going to the frame shop, where everything checked out great. The second to last picture is as it sits now, painted and ready to be completed! Realistically if I can complete it in the next 2-3 years I will be happy!






Wow. Looks nice.
You'll certainly know every square inch of the car. Thanks for bringing it back from the dead !
That's dedication to a project. It will be comparatively easy from here. Great job!
Lots of work for sure, but it really turned out nice. I like B3 blue, not that common of a color. You probably already knew this, but I will mention it anyway just in case. If you took the entire rear portion of a Charger and put it in your car. Dodge has a 1 inch longer wheelbase than a Plymouth. They accomplished that with the leaf spring hangers. The fronts are just bolt on, but the rears are welded in. Ask me how I found out about that......
Wow, nice work! I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I’ve replaced (still replacing) way more than I ever expected on my car. It can get overwhelming at times. It will be worth it in the end!
Some minor progress this weekend. I re-covered the rear seat and also installed some sound deadening to the car (fat mat). It also sounds like I have a deal on a running '69 440 out of a '68 GTX. The owner rebuilt a '68 440 for the X which is how it has become available. I need to help pull that out, but that will help speed things up!

Probably won't get to anything further on the car for a few weeks, which at that time I plan on finishing the sound deadening and installing some wiring.

Wow, you and your Dad went full on "Deep Dive" on this one, thanks for saving another one.
Minimal progress in the last few months. I purchased a running '69 440 for it that I'll put new gaskets/seals in and repaint when it gets warmer out. Transmission is in, along with some misc under hood items. The biggest obstacle currently is that 15 year old me wasn't very good at bagging and tagging - more fun to rip parts off the car and make "progress" :) - so trying to install parts with missing components is a pain.

Next up will be to install door latch assemblies, door glass, and heater core.


Nice to see seat medallions - most guys either don't know or don't bother with them.
Don't forget the rad support area blackout !
Was able to go through the engine and replace seals, timing chain, etc and have it painted. Will look to drop it in the car in the next few weeks. The best part is I now have access to a 3 car garage 5 minutes from my house. Previously I was making a hour round trip commute to work on it, so having it closer should increase the time I get to spend wrenching on it.

Excellent work; you took on a project not for the faint-hearted. Did a rusted bucket with my dear-departed dad when I was in my early 30’s. Had our first child and house by then. The memories of working with my talented dad on it remain priceless 40+ years later and the experience I gained was golden. Lol, I swore though after getting it done, nice as it came out, I’d not do another car that was that far gone again.

Sold it in ’94 when coming across a ’63 Fury that lived its life in CA. Drove it for years doing some things on it here and there, before having the gumption to completely re-do it. No rusted bolts to saw or torch off, heck brake lines were so pristine put some of those back on. There were a few rusted spots needing new metal that were hidden until stripping it down. What a different experience. But, nothing like the experience and knowledge gained doing a rusted hulk that will be helpful in your future and memories working with dad - even more.
Was able to drop the 440 in yesterday. Along with that, got the driveshaft hooked up so the whole drivetrain is in. Got a few other odds and ends installed. Next up will be the fuel system, brakes, and finishing up some minor suspension odds and ends.


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