Plymouth Superbird był najbardziej ekstremalną wersją Road Runnera, czyli Strusia Pędziwiatra. Nazwę i wizerunek wziął z kreskówki Warner Bros., charakterystyczny wygląd z długim nosem i ogromnym skrzydłem był efektem badań aerodynamicznych. Dzięki nim superptak mógł być stabilny przy wysokich prędkościach w amerykańskich wyścigach Nascar, do których został stworzony. Z silnikiem Hemi i 4-biegową skrzynią manualną wyprodukowano ich zaledwie 58. Ten – będzie jedną z głównych atrakcji aukcji Mecum w Houston, która odbędzie się w dniach 9-11 kwietnia.
1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI SUPERBIRD
426/425 HP, 4-SPEED
Plymouth management reacted quickly to the news of Dodge’s plan for an aerodynamically improved version of the Charger for the 1969 NASCAR season. Even as the Daytona’s design was being finalized and prototypes were undergoing track testing, in July 1969 a mock-up of the Plymouth Superbird was already under construction at Creative Industries of Michigan, Inc. But Plymouth aerodynamic engineers had warned management that the challenge of instilling the Daytona’s aerodynamic efficiency into the Belvedere-based Road Runner was not as simple as believed, a fact that was borne out when initial wind-tunnel tests showed that using Road Runner front fenders actually increased drag. The rear window and roof design were also problematic; a new fastback design would have been cost prohibitive, requiring all new rear sheet metal, a new roof trailing edge profile and new glass.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird The front fender problem was solved by grafting Dodge Coronet units onto the front end. The solution to the rear window profile was somewhat less elegant: a sheet metal window surround “plug” was welded on to smooth the transition from the roof to the rear deck; one-step Plastisol filler was used to finish the welded seam, and money was saved by covering the entire affair with Black vinyl. Based on information gleaned from Daytona test data, Plymouth engineers raised the profile of the nose and redesigned the air inlet to eliminate overheating. More importantly, they revised the rear wing design, increasing the area of the side stabilizers by 40 percent, sweeping them back and tilting them inward slightly from the vertical. While not quite as slippery as the Daytona, the new Superbird was as close as Plymouth engineers had hoped. Test results showed potential that was proved out when Richard Petty returned to the Plymouth fold to enjoy one of the most dominant seasons in NASCAR history.
In contrast to the Daytonas, the Superbirds were not completed at Creative Industries. When NASCAR upped the homologation requirements from 500 cars to 1,500, it created time constraints that made it more efficient to build running Superbirds, minus the nose and rear wing assemblies, at the Lynch Road assembly plant and complete the cars at the Clairpointe Pre-Production facility. Creative Industries supplied those crucial elements to Clairpointe, where they were added to the cars delivered from Lynch Road.
In addition to the standard work performed at the start of production in the Metal Shop, work on the Superbirds also included welding in the rear window plug, wing support plates under the quarter panels, trunk floor brace brackets, special hood latch tray and, in the case of Hemi-equipped cars, a special reinforced trunk pan. Despite these extra steps, construction of a Superbird typically took just two days from the Lynch Road Metal Shop to the transporter, as indicated in the Superbird NASCAR VIN list. Records show this Blue Fire Superbird’s serial number, RM23R0A181254, was recorded on December 16, 1969, and that it was shipped on December 18, making it one of the very last Superbirds to leave the factory.
One of only 58 Hemi 4-speed versions produced, this car incorporates a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, Superbird-standard power steering and power front disc brakes, heavy duty suspension and A33 Track Pack Dana 60 rear end. Rolling on White-letter Goodyear Polyglas GT F60-15 tires and Rallye wheels, it also incorporates a Black interior with contrasting White bucket seats and door panels Rallye instruments including Tic-Toc-Tach and a Solid State AM radio. Offered after a decade in a private collection, this milestone Mopar sports one of the best color combinations available.
– 1 of 58 Hemi 4-Speed Superbirds produced
– B5 Blue with Black vinyl top and White/Black interior
– 426/425 HP Hemi V-8
– 4-speed transmission
– Two 4-barrel carburetors
– A33 Dana 60 Track Pack
– Power steering
– Power front disc brakes
– Hurst Pistol Grip shifter
– White bucket seats and door panels
– Rallye instrument cluster
– Solid State AM radio
– Rallye wheels
– Goodyear Polyglas GT F60-15 tires