Restore that car, don't let it rust away!
I would agree, too, that it is possible to get performance out of a 318. But, it depends on what your objective is, and what level of performance and reliability is desired. Also keeping in mind that a '71 block is more conducive to modifications, before the smog stuff was put on. It's easy to put an aluminum intake and four barrel on a 318, with dual exhaust, and it will really wake it up. Relatively speaking. If you want to get more serious than that, though, by the time you pump up the 318 you might as well just drop in a built 360, or better yet a 340 if you're lucky enough to find one. The 318 is a great engine, but you'll wear it out prematurely if you try to get the same feel as a 383 from it. Why abuse an otherwise good, reliable, comfortable engine?
Yeah, absolutely restore it! Send your kids to Harvard when you sell it 10 years from now. LOL.
I had a gray with red stripes Roadrunner in 73, it was a headturner! Don't let it rust down, and to respond to the comment that it wouldn't run, they don't know what they are talking about.
My husband and I have a 73 Roadrunner. It also has a 318 in it. It starts up great, but needs body work. We would love to restore it, but that is too costly. We may decide to sell.
I also have a 1973 road runner 400 4 speed b5 blue, owned for 20 years been restoring for last 5 now I'm done.2 pints of blood 3 gallons of sweat maybe a shot glass of tears. but I am positive its the nicest 73 400 4 speed on the planet!!!all #s matching tons of nos, no bondo, currently have 6 pack on it, but I have orig carb and intake also mint, when I go to shows I put them in the trunk. so in a nutshell I've got about 50k into a 40k car not counting my time. moral of my story don't restore let someone else do it then buy that car!!!
Agreed. The '73 and '74 Roadrunners and Chargers have not taken off in value like the '68-'70 years, although the '71 and '72 are starting to come along.
It's amazing to see the drop in value from 1972 to 1973 for these cars. There's bound to be a trickle down effect, though. With '71 big block Barracudas fetching over $50,000 routinely, even the 318 Barracudas are bringing $20,000, and Mopars that used to be ignored like the '73 Chargers and even '76 Aspen R/T's are finally attracting some attention because they are all that's available at a reasonable price.
They probably won't stay reasonable for long. But for now, you'd be hard pressed to see a mint big block '73 Roadrunner that would fetch $15,000. Better to let somebody else do the work, and for $5,000 you'll have a pretty nice daily driver.
You kind of have to be careful with valuing old cars. The only reason that certain vintages of old cars get so valuable is because of the current 'power' generation. Back in the 70's- 90's, 1950's cars were hot. The Bel air got so popular in the 90's that now every car show in the US is overrun with them. They've actually started to lose some of their value simply because the generation that grew up with them are now getting too old. The same thing will probably happen to early 70's muscle cars.
I find it ironic that old Mopar stuff is getting to be so valuable. I had a Plymouth Fury that was eaten alive with rust. Most Mopars from this vintage rusted a lot and back in the day, these weren't considered terrific cars even when they were new. Basically cheap speed. Wish I'd kept mine though. It's now worth a lot of dough!
I think you're right about how whoever the current generation with disposable income is defines what is valuable.
In my opinion, though, I thought that Mopars of the '60's and '70's always were terrific cars. Everybody always talked Ford versus Chevy, and I always thought Mopars were better than either in those decades.
For instance, Chevies were so utilitarian, with bland interiors, cheap window cranks that were loose and rattled, cheap plastic door locks, spartan gauges, and Fords just didn't seem to have the reputation as muscle cars.
On the other hand, Mopars had little extra details that I always appreciated, like the toggle switch map light that said "Map" under the dashboard, the little pentastar on the lower fender, the little cartoon stickers and "beep beep" horn, the crazy colors, and bulletproof engines like the 318, 340, 383, and 440, and other neat little details. I honestly never understood why they always lagged behind Chevy and Ford because they were a better car, in my opinion.
I'm glad to see the values taking off for Mopars, it's nice to see them finally getting recognition that they never seemed to get. A person gets tired of seeing nothing but Camaros and Mustangs, and magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft might just as well have been named "Super Chevy" or some such. But then, I've always been drawn to cars that are unique and different, and Mopar offered that in a way that Ford and Chevy never did. I suppose some people just like being part of a crowd, whereas I liked something more distinctive.
How many 1973 Roadrunners were made in black with the red stripes and Hurst 4 speed shifter? I had one and have been looking for another one with that set-up ever since I was dumb enough to let it go. Anybody seen one in this color scheme?
I Have a Blck on red 73 road runner, but with a 340 727 slap stick auto car if your interested firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are considering a restoration do a google search for rocketman 1973 road runner. It's a site about a partial restoration with all kinds of pictures of the process. you will get an idea of whats involved and what you get for the money. You can also take a look at NADA or Hemmings or Manheimgold or eBay to see what the cars go for. I agree with the earlier comment about putting more into the car than it could ever be worth - but then again are you restoring it for yourself or are you trying to make a profit
The biggest thing is to make sure you get all the rust at the same time. Whatever the cost. I've seen lots of body work and paint jobs gone bad, and it's because the people who restored them cut corners. Nothing turns my stomach more than when the car looks good on the outside, but as soon as you go to work on the vehicle, you start to discover rusty hood hinge mounts, inner fenders, where the wiring is routed near the rocker and up the firewall, the floor boards and deck, under the head liner and especially between the over laps on any sheet metal. The more you spend on a quality restoration, the less you will spend in the future, which actually makes any car worth more to me. 40k, 50k is apples and oranges to me. If my Barracuda was done properly the last time it was worked on, I wouldn't have it stripped.
Tens of thousands of dollars will come and go, but a great restoration will last a life time. Of course even a properly restored vehicle can deteriorate rapidly if it suffers from neglect.
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