It is possible that the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird is the fastest NASCAR race car of the muscle car era. While that statement could be passionately argued, there are some good reasons to make it.
At the pinnacle of the “muscle car wars” between the major American auto manufacturers in 1970, Plymouth intoduced its Winged Warrior, the Plymouth Superbird. It became the cousin to the Dodge’s Daytona Charger introduced in late 1969. The aerodynamic big wing was thought to give an incredible advantage to Mopar’s legendary muscle cars on race tracks across America. When they dropped the 426 Hemi engine in one of these winged wonders it made them truly unbeatable.
In order to compete in NASCAR, Plymouth had to produce their winged race cars for sale to the public. In 1970, NASCAR’s rules said that in order to homologate a race car for NASCAR competition the factory had to produce two street cars for every dealership they had in the country. Plymouth is said to have produced 1,935 Superbirds in 1970. But only 135 were built with the monster 426 ci Hemi power plant.
The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird you see pictured here is one of them. It was just posted for sale by Legendary Motorcar Company, a world famous restoration facility and widley known for hosting the TV series Dream Car Garage. They tell us this particular Superbird was built on November 30th, 1969 at the Lynch Road Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. The Hemi Superbird was factory ordered Tor-Red or Hemi Orange as it is commonly called by Mopar fans, complemented by a black vinyl interior and the mandatory black vinyl top. This car also came factory equipped with power steering, power disc brakes and an automatic transmission. (Follow this link to see dozens of photos and find contact information for Legendary Motorcar Company.)
The Hemi Superbird has undergone a true no expense spared nut and bolt rotisserie restoration “to the highest level,” according to Legendary. “Every nut and bolt was painstakingly removed, restored and refinished. The paint has been wet sanded and polished from the rockers up to an absolute show finish. We have had the pleasure of seeing many cars in our travels; but rarely do we ever see any car done to this level of quality.”
In order to get these Superbirds into production for the 1970 sales year Plymouth had to graft a Dodge Coronet front fenders and a hood on a Belvedere body to avoid having to redesign the car from scratch. The Superbird wing had to be 40 percent larger than the Daytona wing and swept back further. The “beak” of the Bird contoured differently and is slightly higher than the cone of the Daytona. The front inlet was also redesigned to cure an overheating problem found on some Daytonas. Although the Daytonas graded better in aerodynamic tests, the Superbird had a 99.5 percent stability rating, giving it a distinct advantage on the high banked NASCAR tracks. The winged cars won 75 percent of the NASCAR races in 1970. The next year NASCAR changed its rules again to eliminate the Superbird from competition. Thus Plymouth dropped its Superbird program, making it a one-year wonder and an incredible piece of automotive history.
Included with this beautiful Superbird is a complete Galen Govier Visual Inspection, Fender Tag Decode, Broadcast Sheet, owner’s manual and more. Over time their low production numbers and limited availability have made them extremely sought after and highly desirable by collectors around the globe. This fully documented, factory “R” code, numbers matching 426 Hemi Superbird with a cost is no object restoration; is one of those true collectors’ dream cars.