Meep! Meep! Although it was a “one-year wonder” back in 1970, indeed what a wonder it was. The 1970 Plymouth Superbird was purpose built to win NASCAR races. And, man, did it ever. With speeds approaching 200 miles per hour it may have been too fast for its own good. By 1971 NASCAR had changed the rules making it impossible to run the Superbird ever again. Chrysler had to abandon the “Winged Warrior” program.
Featured in Alpine White with Black vinyl bench seat with a special order black vinyl roof this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird is one of only 135 such Hemi Birds ever produced. Exotic Classics.com, a New York dealer currently selling this beauty, tells us it is in Galen Govier’s Registry and comes with a very strong and highly detailed Galen Govier inspection report. Govier is considered a top expert and Mopar historian.
The 1969 Dodge Charger 500, then the 1969 Dodge Daytona Charger and finally the 1970 Plymouth Superbird were among the first cars ever designed using a wind tunnel to test drag coefficients. Fast and low with a huge nosecone in front, the Plymouth Superbird had a huge three-foot high rear spoiler (wing) to hold the rear end to the ground. A car that fast wants to get airborne. It was estimated that the Plymouth Superbird could do about 180 miles per hour in street trim. The Dodge Daytona Charger and Plymouth Superbird dominated NASCAR for an 18-month period during 1969 and 1970. It is said that they won over 75 percent of NASCAR races during that period.
Plymouth wanted to produce the Superbird so they could lure Richard Petty back to their camp after his one-year stint with Ford in 1969. He won 18 NASCAR events out of 40 races in 1970 in his iconic Hemi Superbirds. Davey Hamilton, another driver for Petty Enterprises, won three more.
This past week we’ve seen two Alpine white Hemi Superbirds listed here on the Cars On Line.com website. In addition to the one above, you may want to view the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird (shown here left) which was just listed by a private seller from Savannah, Georgia. They are almost identical cars. But this one is one of only 58 Hemi cars built with a 4-speed. They say the car has been meticulously restored to as new condition using almost all original or NOS parts. The Hemi Bird is totally correct to it’s factory configuration and was restored back to the build sheet specifications.
Talk about synchronicity! Both of these Alpine white Hemi Superbirds look exactly like the one that sold at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale two weeks ago. Click here to see what that one went for in our review of the Barrett-Jackson Auction.
Production Superbirds sold new for $4,298, or about $1,000 more than other muscle cars of the era. But it was the extreme racing build that scared away buyers for the street versions that were offered through Plymouth dealers. The wing and the nosecone were a little too space age for joe public.
One of the guys who had something to do with the design wrote in his book that the rear spoiler was raised up three feet high so you could get the trunk open on the car. Another story has it that in testing they just kept increasing the size of the spoiler, and each time they did the times got faster. They finally stopped testing at the three foot height.
With the Dodge Daytona Charger already designed and tested in 1969 everyone at Plymouth thought converting the Belvedere into the Superbird would be pretty easy. But the Belvedere had a problem with the front end wanting to raise up. Thus the Superbird nosecone had to be used and extended the front end 19 inches. Dodge Coronet front fenders and a Coronet hood were grafted on the Belvedere body to make the Superbird. The side mounts for the wing were much bigger on the Superbird than the Daytona. During testing Plymouth noticed the Superbirds were a little faster on high banked tracks where the larger wing held it more stable through the corners and improved lap times.
Cars On Line often has Plymouth Superbirds for sale in the Mopar Muscle Car Section of their website. Click the link to see what you can find now listed under 1970.