CCOTY 1969: Beep-Beep? Or?

I’ve given mine (BMW E3). And Motor Trend gave their COTY to the 1969 Plymouth Road Runner. Not to denigrate the RR, but since it came out in 1968, why the award in 1969? Was the golden age of the American car really that lacking in new product? In Europe that year, three superb all-new new cars (Peugeot 504, BMW E3, Alfa 1750) fought for the title. And what did they bring to the fight: all-wheel independent suspension, OHC engines, four-wheel disc brakes, etc…

Plymouth Road_Runner_Hemi_va-r

What was the Road Runner? A low-trim Satellite coupe with a few taxicab heavy-duty parts, drum brakes, and a four-barrel 383 that had been tweaked for an extra five(!) hp above the 330hp 383 that had graced hundreds of thousands of Mopars for years. A brilliant achievement! Ok; I admit: Even I thought the RR was cool, with its beep-beep horn, but then I was fifteen, and what did I know? And the PR and hype-machines were running as hot as its optional (but rare) 426 hemi. Well, even back then I wondered why it won COTY a year after it came out. And yes, the RR brought joy (and dreams) to many a young man in 1969.

But now we’re grown up, and have the benefit of perfectly objective 20-20 hindsight. So what was the CCOTY of 1969?