Clinton Township  resident Michael Belcarz  and his son, Daniel, 7,  pose with Michael’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.

Clinton Township resident Michael Belcarz and his son, Daniel, 7, pose with Michael’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Behind the Wheel: Road Runners run in the family

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published October 3, 2018

Photo by Deb Jacques

Photo by Deb Jacques

Photo by Deb Jacques

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — For Clinton Township resident Michael Belcarz, the Plymouth Road Runner is a car that has stood the test of time for three generations. 

When Belcarz was a kid, his father, Steve, bought a green 1969 Road Runner convertible. 

“He bought it when I was 7, which is the same age as my son is now,” Belcarz noted. 

In 1984, Belcarz’s father sold the car, but from 2003 to 2005, Belcarz helped the new owner restore it. A few years later, Belcarz bought it back.

“I eventually purchased it in 2011, a few months after my son was born,” he said. 

“The main reason was to try to relive my youth.”

The 1969 Road Runner convertible, he explained, was — and still is — his dream car, and he hopes to pass that same passion for cars down to his son, Daniel. 

“He’ll be able to relive the same experiences I did — basically riding shotgun with his dad,” Belcarz said. 

Belcarz explained that the Plymouth Road Runner was inspired by the Warner Bros. Road Runner cartoon character, and its horn makes a distinctive “beep beep” sound. As an homage to its namesake, Belcarz’s ’69 model is adorned with Road Runner decals on the sides and the dashboard. 

Two years ago, Belcarz purchased another Road Runner — a 1970 model, also in green — and it is currently undergoing a full restoration. Belcarz, who works as a calibration technologist for Ford Motor Co., has enlisted his brother, his dad — who now owns yet another Road Runner — and his son to help with the project. The 1970 model, he said, will belong to Daniel when he’s older. 

Belcarz said that he’s starting to teach his son some auto basics, like what a spark plug is for and how to install a bumper. 

“He likes to go to car shows with me,” Belcarz added. 

Belcarz takes the ’69 Road Runner to car shows and cruises throughout metro Detroit, and he participates in Factory Appearing Stock Tire, or FAST, racing, which is specifically geared toward muscle cars from 1955 to 1979. In 2017, Belcarz and his son also had a rare opportunity in which the car’s creator, Jack Smith — known as the “Father of the Road Runner” — rode with them in the ’69 Road Runner during the Harper Charity Cruise in St. Clair Shores. 


SHARE YOUR STORY
Do you own a vehicle that has an interesting history? Contact Staff Writer Jennifer Sigouin at jsigouin@candgnews.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Behind the Wheel.