Released in February 1969, Plymouth offered their potent 440 ‘Six Pack’ engine in the Road Runner with a package called A12. This included the potent 440 in³ engine, Edelbrock manifolds, three Holley carburetors, a distinctive fiberglass hood and bare H-Series wheels. With these simple changes, the Roadrunner was much more than its Warner Brothers roots would suggest. Motor Trend named it “Car of the Year” in 1969.
While the 440 was cheaper option compared to the HEMI Road Runner, it was no slouch. With a ‘big block’ 440, this Runner was rated at 390 bhp and bridged the gap between the HEMI and basic 383 in³ model. But the A19 package was much more than an engine swap. It also included upgrades to the intake system, drive line and body. For $462.80 it was a much more economical option than the much more expensive HEMI.
The A12 engine was typical of the other 440 Six Packs found on other Mopars and included a sweet set of upgrades. Aside from the three dual-throat Holey carburetors, the 440 included an aluminum Edelbrock intake manifold, chromed valve stems, magnafluxed connecting rods and heavy duty valve springs. As an option customers could order different pushrods with a more agressive camshaft. Unfortunately, this engine was only produced in 1969 over a three month period. NHRA rated the engine at 410 bhp. The fitted Edelbrock intake manifold was the first production OEM manifold produced by by Edelbrock.
All A12 440s received a signature lift-off fiberglass hood which was fastened by hood pins. It was the only Mopar to receive such a treatment from the factory. Other goodies included rare G70-15 Goodyear Polyglas tires with red stripes, 15×6 H-Series wheels with chrome lug nuts, a Dana 4.11:1 differential and 11-inch drum brakes.
Speed and Supercar magazine tested an 1969 A12 Road runner and got a 1/4 mile time of 13.88 seconds at 106.13 mph.
Sold as a $462.80 option on the base $2,945.00 Road Runner, the A12 was a popular choice. Production of the A12 Road Runner finished after 615 were built, 227 with automatics and 388 with 4-speed manuals. Color options for the Road Runner included Performance Red, Bahama Yellow, Rallye Green and Vitamin C Orange. Later in production all the Dodge colors became available and some were finished in White, Limelight and Sunfire Yellow. Interior was restricted to just black or white with an option vinyl top.