Star Of The Show: Original ’71 Road Runner Rapid Transit

With everything from total classics to brand new high-dollar exotics, there’s no denying that auctions draw in some serious eye candy for us car enthusiasts. One of our favorite past times is scrolling through the different lots at upcoming events. There’s never a lack of beautiful vehicles to check out.

This time around, though, we found something a little different. Unlike 99% of the cars we see, this one is unrestored. It’s original, and it’s just plain awesome.

Part of the Steven Juliano Estate Collection, it sits alongside a slew of other badass rides – notably, a couple of other rare Plymouths and a few mint Shelby Cobras. But that’s beside the point. This one’s special, being referred to as the late owner’s favorite and most cherished possession. Understandably.

Back in the day, the RTS Road Runner was plastered all over–in multiple publications as well as Chrysler’s very own high-end studio portfolio. This vehicle is signed on the inner fender by Larivee, confirming this is the one. The only RTS version ever made. It’s unique on almost every level—origin, modification, preservation and how it sits now.

Its story starts with Chuck Miller, a man who was asked to create a new concept design for vehicle displays across the country. His company, Styline Custom, built this car for the Chrysler Corporation’s “Rapid Transit System (RTS) Caravan” back in 1970. When its cross-country tour wrapped up, it was returned to Chuck, and it sat until Steven Juliano came along.

Its fender tag is brief and nearly completely option-less. It’s notated as job number 169 with the serial number 100016, meaning it was likely a pilot plant creation that was given to Chuck prior to finalization of codes in 1971.

Chuck Miller’s show-quality modifications mainly effected the exterior, with the car’s overall body length being extended six inches with a custom-molded front end. The front of the car features a built-in roll pan, upgraded mesh grille, ram-air induction scoops and covered headlamps, while the rear features a hand made rear roll pan with red, green, and amber tail lights. The trunk’s lid was recessed downward roughly four inches and then topped with an aerodynamic rear spoiler.

The car’s orange candy-over-pearl paint blend features 3D, custom painted, Road Runner heads that serve as side marker lights on all four corners. It seems custom black pan wheel covers were its final finishing touch.

Its interior was kept simple and stock with bucket seats, a Rally3 dash, and an AM radio.

Under the hood, sits a 383 cubic-inch V8 with the dual-snorkel air cleaner. Its backed by an automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and, most importantly, the signature Road Runner horn sound.

The car is approaching is 50th birthday but, in our opinion, looks better than a lot of the cars on the road today. With only 1,300 miles on the clock, and its obvious great, yet unrestored, condition–this thing is sure to go for some big bucks when it crosses the block at Mecum in a couple of months.

You can check out other vehicles, and see more of this one, on Mecum’s website.

 

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