What happens when a true steward of the collector car hobby gets to talking to our very own Drew Yagodnik? You know Drew is going to dig up some wild adventures in fabulous automobiles and live to tell those tales right here for our Classic Auto audience to enjoy. This time around, Bob, the owner of a white 1970 Plymouth Road Runner and an ultra-rare 1970 Superbird drag racer, has his ear.
Wile E. Coyote-Worthy Road Runner
After buying the Road Runner from a museum, Bob and his son spend four years restoring this gem. The exterior is in great shape but it is mechanically shot after just being parked for many years. The car needs to be rebuilt from front to back, including the suspension and drivetrain.
After restoring the Road Runner, Bob decides to take it on quite the journey. He drives it 5,209 miles up the Alaskan highway – by himself. Classic car fans would pursue him for 20 or 30 miles just to get a picture. Along the way, of course, many things on the car break. Bob thinks he is prepared for such circumstances. “I had a trunk full of parts,” he says, “none of which were the things that broke.” Isn’t it always the way?
A Close Call That Wasn’t
As Bob is driving out of Whitehorse in the Yukon, he cruises over a hill only to find a herd of wild horses crossing the road. Bob manages to swerve and dodge the horses, although the Road Runner goes into a spin, launching both itself and Bob into the frozen tundra. It turns out, though, that this isn’t the scariest part …
After Bob returns home, his son shows him video footage from the GoPro attached to the back of the car. While Bob is repairing the car in the tundra, after the horse encounter, off in the distance the footage shows a huge grizzly emerging from the tree line, heading straight Bob! Perhaps luckily, Bob never sees the bear at the time and breaths a big sigh of relief, after he does.
The Right Kind of Fool
Bob’s wife tells him before he leaves on the Alaskan adventure, “You know, it takes a certain kind of fool to do this by themselves.” Well, Bob claims he is just that kind of fool. And, of course, the trip is so rough on the Road Runner that when he returns home, Bob and his son have to rebuild the car all over again, for the second time.
Bob’s other vehicle he’s showing at the 2019 World of Wheels is a rare 1970 Superbird drag racer with a 426 hemi and a superfly paint job that wins the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Indianapolis summer nationals in 1970. “Driver Tim Edwards wins with this very car,” Bob says. “Later, he was the crew chief for Sox & Martin, the race team.” Other than receiving a paint job in 1973, giving it the appearance of a groovy paisley shirt, the car has not been modified. “This is the first time it’s been back to Indianapolis in 49 years,” Bob explains. Now that’s a long strange trip.
Passion is the Heart of a Collector Enthusiast
Bob says he is well known in the classic and collector car community as a “wing car nut” because he doesn’t sell the cars he buys. Sellers know that he is not buying the car just to flip it. He is buying the car because he wants to keep it and, most importantly, drive it. “We thank Bob for his stewardship in the collector car community, for his love of wanting to drive these cars and for showing them off for everybody’s benefit,” Drew says. Well said.
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