The Case of the Wayward Beeper

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Is this the first ’69½ 440-6 B-body built by the factory? Is this the 6-Bbl Road Runner tested by Ronnie Sox for Super Stock magazine? Sherlock Action aims to find out.

By Cliff Gromer Photos by Bill Erdman


Billed as the first A12 produced, and the Ronnie Sox test car, this ’69½ 440-6 Road Runner had no concrete proof to back up its claim—until now. Ralph Farinacci restored the beeper, but did not have any documentation at the time as to how it originally was
equipped. All he had was the fender tag that indicated it was a factory A12 car

What’s the difference between a nicely restored ’69½ A12 (6-Bbl) Road Runner, and the one Ronnie Sox tested for Super Stock and Drag Racing magazines back in 1969? About 120 grand, give or take. The Sox test car, also reputed to be the first A12 (maybe pre-production?) screwed together by the factory, recently had surfaced on eBay (the listing subsequently was removed when the owner changed his mind about selling) at a price just shy of 200 grand. Owned by Best of Show Automotive (bestofshowautomotive.com), the Road Runner was debuted at this year’s All-Chrysler Nats at Carlisle, PA, where we photographed it. Quite a piece of his- tory, if the ’Runner was indeed as advertised.

But there were some questions. Best of Show Automotive (BOS) president, Joe Carroll, admitted that he based his claim to the car’s pedigree on its lowest known 440-6 (VIN RM21M9A239232) according to the A12 Registry, and the lowest Shipping Order (R/A329-AR-949001) in the first batch of A12 cars released for production on 3/29/69. A second batch of A12s were released for production on 4/26/09, and these had lower S.O. numbers than the first group. Go figure. Carroll also told us that Jim McCraw, Super Stock editor back in ’69 saw the beeper two weeks before its Carlisle debut and verified it as the one Sox tested for his magazine. Carroll conceded that he couldn’t be 100% certain that this was the

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