The Plymouth Rapid Transit System

rapid transit cars

With muscle car mania near its peak, Dodge created Scat Pack. There were no actual changes to the cars, aside from some graphics, but Dodge collected the 1968 Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, Swinger 340, and Super Bee, with a program that included ads, brochures, a club, decals, and wearables.

rapid transit system logoTwo years later, Plymouth set up a similar program, presumably basing their Rapid Transit name on the R/T (Road and Track) title; perhaps it was simply a clever bit of wordplay. They used the GTX, Road Runner, Sport Fury GT, ’Cuda, and Duster 340. Their marketing people wrote:

Those of us at Plymouth who design and build high-performance cars have been inspired to go beyond just offering cars with big engines, good suspensions, great brakes and fat tires.

We now have a system. An integrated program... It’s a total concept in high-performance transportation which combines the lessons learned in competition, an information network, people who understand high-performance, trick parts and great products. The Rapid Transit System is years of racing experience at Daytona, Indianapolis, Riverside, Irwindale, Cecil County. It’s the race cars themselves drag racing cars, Grand National stackers, rally and Championship cars. And it’s the input (and output) gained from all this racing.

The Rapid Transit System is information — the straight scoop from us to you — on how to tune and modify your car, which equipment to use, and how to set the whole thing up for racing. (The subject matter covers everything from this high-performance car catalog, to Supercar Clinics, to Road Runner decals, to tips on full-race Hemis.) ... The System is high-performance parts -- special cams, manifolds, pistons, bearings, etc. -- which are now more readily available through parts centers strategically located across the country.

air grabber hoodThe System is even a piece of the action for beginners. Let’s say you’re still a few years away from a driver’s license, but that hasn’t dampened your enthusiasm for cars. Your favorite cartoon is Road Runner, your favorite car is Road Runner, and you only wish your driveway were a couple of miles long. Well, maybe you’re not old enough to drive, but you sure can wear a Plymouth racing jacket. And you can also pick up or send for a handful of our decals, stickers, catalogs and brochures. ...

Above all, the Rapid Transit System is the product, Everything from a “sleeper” Plymouth Duster with a 340 cubic inch V-8, to a giant 440 cubic inch Sport Fury GT, all the way up to a Hemi-’Cuda with a Quivering Exposed Cold Air Grabber.

And, in between, there are Road Runners and GTXs available with 6-barrel carburetion, and vacuum-controlled induction systems. And ’Cudas with light-weight, high-winding 340 V8s. Each one is a complete high-performance car. With suspension, brakes, driveline and tires to match. (The system doesn’t allow for a car that won’t corner or stop or stand up under the strain when you stand on it.)

Specifications for the 1970 cars are at the bottom of this page.

plymouth rapid transit system

In 1971, the Rapid Transit System included the Road Runner, ’Cuda, GTX, Duster 340, and Sport Fury GT. A 1971 brochure spoke of “technical advances like 16-plug Hemi heads for our professional drag cars,” and noted differences in the new cars, including a 20 horsepower increase in the Sport Fury’s standard 440 engine.

road runner

The 1971 text: “The Rapid Transit System. Or, everything goes.”

First there was the car ... next evolved the “Supercar” ...then came THE SYSTEM.

Plymouth’s Rapid Transit System — The ultimate answer to the performance enthusiast’s search for a complete high-performance program.

The System. It’s more than a big motor, fat tires, and a straight line. Almost anybody can build a machine like that. What the system does differently, is come through with everything connected to high performance. Puts it all together. And winds up producing some of the best stockers that have ever rolled off an assembly line.

1971 Plymouth rapid transit system brochure

The 1971 Rapid Transit System. You’ll find some changes, but the formula still calls for the same basic ingredients. Because the RTS still means things like racing experience. Riverside to Daytona. Indianapolis to Talladega. Road courses. Ovals, strips. It still means high-performance centers. With hot cams, special wheels, carbs, headers, etc. All located so you can get to them. Fast.

RTS still means high-performance information. How to tune, modify, set your machine up for your kind of driving. It’s still run by performance people. Who dig machines. Build ’em. Race ’em. Take ’em apart, and bolt ’em back together.

And above all, the Rapid Transit System means cars. Specifically: Road Runner, ’Cuda, GTX, Duster 340 and Sport Fury GT.

The Rapid Transit System 1971. It was inevitable. It’s here. And it’s coming through for you.

duster 340

What’s new in the System for ’71? Since last yeor at this time, the System has added many victories to its already impressive win record. Not to mention SuperBirds, a factory Trans-Am effort, or technical advances like 16-plug Hcmi heads for our professional drag cars.

As for the hardware we arc offering this year is concerned, there have been several important advances. Road Runner and GTX, for example, sport all-new bodies.... these streamliners boost of a rear track nearly 3 inches wider than last year— the result, even better handling than ever. And that’s just the beginning for Road Runner and GTX...

Duster 340 is coming through with several important new features for 1971. Not the least of which is the incorporation of a huge Carter Thermo-Quad carb onto our 340’s already well-endowed breathing system. Plus, Duster 340 comes through with: new front-end styling, 12 new colors, new side tape treatment, and more.

1971 gtx

’Cuda comes through with enough optional/standard equipment combinations to fill a phone book. For GT buffs, there is the stick handling ’Cuda 340 complete with front and roar stabilizer bars. If you’re a straigt liner, there is a 440 6-barrel or Hemi to choose from. And if drive-in cruising is your sport, there’s a list of dress-up options that run the gamut from backlight louvers to chin spoilers, not to mention Shaker hoods, and super slick paint treatment....

Sport Fury GT comes through in 1971 with the quietest, most secure ride this luxurious performance car has ever had, as a result of Torsion-Quiet Ride. But don’t start thinking we’ve taken any of its zap away. As a matter of fact, the standard 440 V-8 is 20 horsepower stronger than last year. ...

duster 340

What does the System do for you? When you join the Rapid Transit System, you’re getting a lot more than a big V8, a 4-speed, and a jillion dollar option list. That’s because RTS philosophy says performance cars do not live by cubic inches alone. So the System devoted great quantities of time to developing such things as suspension systems, brakes and transmissions. All the underpinnings that make the difference between runners and also-rans. Then they’re mated to just exactly the right body configuration. And just exactly the right engine. You could say the RTS produces complete performance, not just cars.

So before you join the System, consider your primary driving needs. And order accordingly. You can modify if you want to, but it won’t really be necessary. The System has already come through for you. ...

1971 engines

textAnd for those who really like to get into the machinery— the "Howcanlmakeitreallyrun" people, the System’s got a lot to give. Quads, cams, scatterproof housings, the works. And, to back it up, there are tunc-up brochures, and supercar clinics. And to back those up, a list of performance parts companies a mile long covering everybody from Isky cams to Fram filters. To lay your hands on this stuff, see your Rapid Transit dealer, or write to the Rapid Transit System, P.O. Box [removed by Allpar], Detroit, Michigan 48207. If you can’t get what you want there, you probably don’t need what you’re looking for.

As for finding out just what you get with each RTS package, what’s standard with what, and where do the extras go, that all comes clear in the next 11 pages. But before you start going through the book, whip out the back cover. That’s where the nuts and bolts are, and the layout’s designed to make comparing standard things to extra things easier. Plus showing how the Rapid Transit System comes through....

1972

1972

As the muscle-car era started to wind down in the face of high insurance costs and factories realizing that making small numbers of high-performance cars was not a way to earn big profits, and shortly before oil crises would make both large and powerful cars far less popular, the Rapid Transit System was still running. The 426 Hemi was gone, but there was still plenty of performance, especially from the Duster 340 and any car with the 440 Six-Pack; the 383 was still plenty of motivation for the light Road Runner, too (and standard in ’Cuda). Once again, the lineup was Road Runner, ’Cuda, GTX, Duster 340, and Sport Fury GT — the same as in 1971.

Sox & Martin Drag Tests: 1970 Plymouth Rapid Transit System cars

tests 1

tests 2

cars

car brochure

1970 specs

1970 plymouth muscle car specifications

More: Scat Pack newsletter | Scat Pack brochure | 2014 Scat Pack

We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy. Copyright © 1994-2000, David Zatz; copyright © 2001-2016, Allpar LLC (except as noted, and press/publicity materials); all rights reserved. Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Mopar are trademarks of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.


Jeep: behind the Cat Stevens ads
race-pickup
Supercharged Rebel TRX: 100+ mph, offroad (video)
2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star 10th Anniversary Edition
Why Texas matters

2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver (video)

All Mopar Car and Truck News


Supercharged Hemi Ram TRX  •  Rally ’Cat  •  2018 Jeep Compass  •  2016 Allpar show-meet  •  2007-10 Jeep Wranglers


Neon SRT4 Killing the buzzes Dodge pickup trucks, 1961-71