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July 3, 2014

Die-cast: Auto World 1971 Plymouth Road Runner

by Mark Savage

1971 Road Runner creates an eyeful of muscle carrr main

American Muscle came in various shapes and sizes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before the first oil embargo put the nix on giant V-8s and the awesome grumble and power they delivered.

Now Auto World creates a beautiful 1971 Plymouth Road Runner in Petty Blue with white vinyl top (remember those?) in 1:18 scale. This is part of the aptly named American Muscle lineup that retails at roughly $80-85, a good price for this scale considering some 1:43 scale diecast and resin models are approaching that price range.

An advantage here too is that the doors, hood and trunk all open, so you can easily see the interior, a bright blue in the sample car, plus the well detailed V-8 under its long hood with black Air Grabber scoop.

Road Runners were fast, on- or off-track, and yes, Richard Petty, the King of NASCAR, successfully raced one in 1971. Auto World makes that one too.

The model:
This is the second generation Road Runner with its lean fuselage body style and steeply raked windshield. The wheelbase increased to 115 inches and the car was 203 inches long, so a looong car. It weighed in at roughly 3,600 lbs.

Under the model’s hood is a nicely detailed replica of the orange 426 HEMI engine that kicked out an impressive 425 horses. This is one of six engine choices in Road Runner that year and Auto World’s model features a pink horn, black wiring and hoses, a giant orange air cleaner cover and black battery under the hood. Oh, and the small Air Grabber vent in the hood scoop can be raised or lowered. Very nice!

Auto World delivers nice detail, including the HEMI in this 1971 Road Runner.

Auto World delivers nice detail, including the HEMI in this 1971 Road Runner.

Up front there is a small purple and yellow road runner cartoon character head center grille and the twin dual headlights are inset in the already indented and blacked out grille. Love the little black winglets below the bumper too. Those added down force in the raced versions. And Auto World includes amber running lights too.

Unlike most models with full painted bodies, this one puts a white vinyl-loop roof on the Road Runner. Back in the day many cars had black or white vinyl tops, so this is an appropriate throwback feature.

The sample car sent to me by Replicarz also features chrome mirrors, door pulls and an antenna on the passenger-side front fender and chrome pins on the hood. In back is a small black spoiler, a round Road Runner logo on the trunk and five-lens taillights in the chrome bumper.

There also are Road Runner logos over the rear wheel wells, while underneath is a well detailed underside, including transmission and chrome dual exhausts.

Tires look realistic too with treaded Goodyear RWL Polyglas GT G60-15 labeling. The car also features W21 Rallye rims providing accurate detail to the design and in keeping with then-current Chrysler styling trends.

Auto World creates a well detailed interior too, bright blue on the sample car and it looks like the shiny vinyl of the day. I also like the slick, but massive, standard four-speed manual floor shifter with wood-look handle along with a 3-spoke wood-look steering wheel. The dash features four round deep-set gauges, a light stalk to the left of wheel and a wood-grained console and dash. The steering wheel actually turns the front wheels too and there’s carpet and a moveable driver’s seat back.

This racy Road Runner even looks good in the box.

This racy Road Runner even looks good in the box.

This is an attractively priced, well detailed model that has the heft you expect from a diecast 1:18 model and all the functioning features you usually won’t find in smaller scales.

Auto World models are available at http://www.autoworldstore.com, or through Replicarz, which provided the review model, at http://www.replicarz.com.

FAST Stats: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner
Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AMM1012/06
MSRP: $79.99-$83.99

Prefer 1:1 cars? Visit http://www.savageonwheels.com to read full-size new car and truck reviews and see videos by Mark Savage.

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