Monday, February 27, 2012

B-Body Mopar mania Part II: 1973-1974 Roadrunners, Satellites and Chargers



Digging up 1973-1974 B-bodies from
Minnesota’s Mopar muscle car graveyard. In 1973 Plymouth’s advertising team found ways to "beep-beep" their horn about the many virtues of the latest Roadrunner. Print ads read "400 4-barrel V8. Performance hood. Torsion bar suspension. Anti-sway bars. And now Electronic Ignition." Heady stuff for a company that built a reputation on the 1/4-mile strip. 
   Mopar was merely playing the cards they were dealt at the end of the muscle car era. Gas prices, smog, foreign cars and big government (insurance) were busy running Roadrunners off the road. It was unfortunate timing for the redesigned "fuselage" B-Bodies, which first hit the streets in 1971 and were updated in 1973. These shapely B-Bodies haven’t gained the huge following that the boxier 1968-1970 models claim. That’s bad news if your restoring a 1973-1974 Plymouth Roadrunner, Satellite or Dodge Charger. Unless your Joe Marano who found this bumper crop of Mopars in Western Minnesota.


Crushing view of a 1973 Plymouth Roadrunner at this Minnesota junkyard.

Mopars everywhere
Sometimes hard work pays off after spending a day searching for parts. Joe Marano, of Ham Lake, Minnesota, sent us these photos from “a yard out in the sticks." Marano, owner of a '69 Dodge Charger, isn’t ready to reveal all the details of this secret junkyard yet. He found dozens of muscle car era Mopars in this large rural junkyard. The name and location will be revealed in a future story, so stay tuned.


White bucket seats remain in this 1973 Rallye Red Roadrunner.

Reproduction parts - chicken or egg?
The restoration industry isn’t keen on manufacturing parts that have a limited demand. But when does a part have enough demand? Does the lack of reproduction parts keep people from restoring ’73 Roadrunners? Or does the lack of restoration projects keep the new repop parts from being produced? 
   In the meantime, finding usable junkyard parts is challenging and time consuming. Locating a yard that hasn’t crushed all the once undesirable iron is a major score. Once you find a treasure trove of hard-to-find parts you may find your willingness to share compromised. If you want to share some your prime parts picking send them my way - junkyardbull@gmail.com

Even more to come from the Mopar graveyard in Minnesota
I will have more Mopars from Joe Marano soon. Marano keeps the wheels turning on old cars and operates Junkers Towed by Joe
 in Minnesota. 

– Jody Potter, junkyardlife.com

Joe Marano rests on a 1973 Dodge Charger in a junkyard in Minnesota.

A pair of 1973 Dodge Chargers, the top an SE model.

Junkyard 1973 Plymouth Satellite in Amber Sherwood green paint.

Rallye Red 1973 Roadrunner pounding the ground at this Minnesota junkyard.

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Email junkyardbull@gmail.com