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We Build a 1973 Plymouth Road Runner Off-road Muscle Car

Posted in How To: Tech Qa on October 6, 2015
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We like weird 4x4s, and it’s time to build our own. Even though we love 4x4s we grew up with TV shows like Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazzard and movies like Mad Max and The Road Warrior, so building a crazy off-road muscle car seemed like a great idea. We approached the folks at Maxxis Tire to see if they wanted to be a part of our wild build with an end-of-the-world theme and giant Maxxis tires, and they jumped on board to help promote their new tire, the Razr MT.

Everyone has seen off-road cars, a cross between trucks and cars (what we refer to as trars). An auto is dropped on a truck frame (usually a K5 Blazer) and then the car becomes a giant lifted mud machine. We wanted something a little different, something that would bring together all our favorite old cars but still be capable off-road. Something with an insane engine, the gnarliest tires we could find, and a look that would scare old ladies. And we wanted to start with a good old American muscle car.

The muscle car goal isn’t easy. Some muscle cars are going up in value so much that our chopping one up to be a wacky wheeler would have been fiscally irresponsible. Plus Hot Rod readers would lynch us! But after watching the local classifieds for some time we realized that there were some cars nobody seemed to want. Before you know it we drug home a rusty 1973 Plymouth Road Runner with a dead 318 V-8. All we can say is this thing was on Craigslist for months before we bought it for next to nothing, so don’t blame us for what we’re about to do to it. You could have saved it yourself if you hate our project.

We were hunting for a muscle car to build when we found this rusty brown 1973 Plymouth Road Runner. We waited and waited for it to sell, and when it didn’t we finally figured no one wanted it and we drug it home. Some may say the 1973 Road Runner is the ugly muscle car, but we’re excited about making it our own road warrior (er, off-road warrior). Coincidently the movie hero Mad Max Rockatansky drove an Australian-only model Ford Falcon, presumably a 1973, so even though ours is a Mopar, it is just about the correct era of muscle
The Road Runner is rusty. The 318 isn’t running, and we’re not looking to reuse it. Nor will we keep any of the stock drivetrain. So we took the car to Chappelle’s Exhaust and Kustoms in El Cajon, California, and began stripping it down for full makeover. Find out the whole plan in Part 2.
The new tire coming from Maxxis is the Razr MT. This is the new flagship mud tire and was designed after strong research with the Maxxis off-road race teams. The tread was developed for maximum mud and stone self-cleaning and uses a compound formulated to resist tearing and chunking. The Razr MT also has “dual cord” ply construction and beefed-up sidewall tread for abuse off-road, puncture resistance, and additional traction. We’ll be putting at least three in on our Off-Road Runner.


Chappelle's Exhaust And Kustom
Suwanee, GA 30024

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