Forget the niceties. Plymouth wanted a bare-knuckle, muscle-car fighter.
With all the subtlety of a jar of nitroglycerin, the Plymouth Road Runner Hemi was pure explosive brawn. It’s one of the all-time great performance-car names. With a 425-horsepower, 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 engine, the Road Runner struck fear into the hearts of the Saturday night country-road, drag-racing crowd.
Before unleashing the first Road Runner in 1968, Plymouth licensed the Road Runner name and likeness from Warner Brothers. It went a step further in capitalizing on the cartoon character’s speedy image by developing a horn sound imitating the cartoon bird’s “beep-beep,” according to HowStuffWorks.com.