|The way it was supposed to work, was that the Rapid Transit System Caravan—a traveling car show that set up at Chrysler-Plymouth dealers across the country—would boost Plymouth sales to young people. The idea, according to the brain trusts at the former Chrysler Corp., was that most kids wanted to customize their cars, make them more individualized (you know, Joe Blow from Kokomo wanted his 70 Road Runner to look different from yada, yada).
So, working on the above premise, Chrysler hired Bob Larivee, honcho over at the International Show Car Assoc. to oversee the project. Chrysler gave him four Plymouths to customize: a ’70 ‘Cuda, a Duster, a replica of Don Prudhomme’s funny car and a loaded ’70 Hemi Road Runner. Of course, the factory had to approve any design before any lead was melted, or paint gun filled. Larivee was a good choice, connected as he was to some of the best custom shops on the planet. He called in Roman’s Chariot Shop, the Alexander Brothers, Chuck Miller (touted to be the “greatest painter of all time), and Syntetex Corp. This last outfit already had two major Chrysler factory show cars to their credit, both Dodges: the Supercharger and the (pre-Diamante) Yellow Jacket. Larivee worked with Chrysler designers and his cadre of radical customizers to finalize the concepts. Then, he let the Sawzall guys loose.
The modified beeper (details in the print article) along with the other show cars in the Caravan were sent to dealers across the country. After 1970, the cars were mothballed. The Road runner was purchased by a Detroit Lions football celebrity who wanted to make a race car out of it. A divorce and being cut from the team ended those plans, and the car languished at the race car shop where it was eventually bought by a mechanic who worked there.
Noted collector, Steve Juliano began a quest to find and reunite all the cars in the RTS Caravan, and he eventually bought and restored the Road Runner. The 1,700-mile Hemicar now resides along with two other RTS cars in his collection of special vehicles and memorabilia.
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