Updated Family Heirloom – The Hyder Family’s ’68 Road Runner
Whether it’s falling asleep in the back seat at a drive-in, sliding across a wide bench seat to squish your sibling on every corner, or just pretending to drive while your dad changed the oil, old cars can carry a load of memories. Jamey Hyder’s father bought this ’68 Road Runner in 1970, so when Jamey enlisted Charlie’s Custom Creations to update the family heirloom, he had a lot of ideas he wanted to incorporate to honor his father, while also making it a modern muscle machine.
Charlie and his team were all-in for the challenge and four years later, the Plymouth earned a finalist position for Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year! There are several distinct ’68-only cues Jamey wanted to retain, such as the round side marker lights and the taillights, and the hood was left alone except for modern latches and scoop inserts. At first, the car was going to be black, but the guys went with a Voo Doo Violet from House of Kolor with a PPG clear as nod to the vibrant hues of the Mopar muscle car era.
A custom lower metal spoiler encircles the entire car, the front bumper was sharpened and tweaked, while the rear bumper was reworked considerably and complemented with a diffuser and belly pan that stretches to the axle. The front also has a trick spoiler with a belly pan, but notice the unique grille and exhaust outlets? Those were designed by CCC and then CNC machined at Jamey’s machining company.
The machined components and childhood memories continue in the cabin, with one-off door handles, pedals, and switches. The custom seats are covered in soft baseball-glove-like leather with a pattern modeled after the seats in the Millennium Falcon – both of which stir memories of Jamey with his father.
Under the hood reveals all new sheet metal forms surrounding the original 383c.i. big block. Sure, a late-model Hemi might be expected but Jamey prefers the sound of a vintage Mopar, though he upped the ante with a stroker kit to the tune of a 496c.i. The engine was assembled by Charlie’s Mopar and Edgar Allen Poe fans will smile at the “Nevermore” custom valve covers.
To harness the new power, a Stage 3 front suspension kit from QA1 was installed, which includes a tubular crossmember with adjustable coil-over shocks. A rear system was also employed with a triangulated four-link set up by Control Freaks. Wilwood brakes provide plenty of stopping grip for the Pirelli-wrapped Ferrada 20×9- and 22×11-inch wheels.
Now it’s time for Jamey and his family to build more memories in this ’68 Road Runner for years to come.
Photos by Jason Lubken & Todd Ryden