Richard Petty’s ’71 NASCAR

1971 Plymouth Road Runner NASCAR

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Richard Petty drove a Ford in 1969 and was lured back into a Chrysler product in 1970 with the fantastic Plymouth Superbird. After it dominated the 1970 season, NASCAR tweaked the rules out of the be-winged cars’ favor, so Chrysler decided to put Petty in a redesigned 1971 Road Runner for the next season.

The second-generation Road Runner debuted in 1971, which was also the final season that a car won the Cup championship “using a production-based body and engine” per Mecum’s lot description. It’s powered by a 426ci Hemi V8.

Petty won his third championship in this car (and 21 races that year). The following season would begin NASCAR’s “modern era,” making this car the last of its kind. It was also the final season for the all-Petty Blue livery. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Hemi Superbird

1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 20-22, 2012

The Plymouth Superbird is the most outlandish of all muscle cars. Nothing competes with that wing. It’s original purpose was a homologation model for the road so Chrysler could go beat up Ford and General Motors in NASCAR.

Basically, they took a Plymouth Road Runner (the sister car, the Dodge Charger Daytona was based on, well, a Dodge Charger). From there, a streamlined nosecone was added to the front and there were cutouts above the front wheels, covered by rear-facing scoops. Then there was that wing. Why is it so tall? Well, so they could still open the trunk. There were also some cool decals here and there.

Engine choices were limited to the base 440 Super Commando V8 making 375 horsepower. A step up from there was to the six barrel carb setup for 390 horsepower. Or you could go all out and get the 426 Hemi making 425 horsepower.

The car was pretty successful in NASCAR, enough so to get itself banned for 1971. Chrysler only needed to produce 500 road cars to satisfy NASCAR, but, in total, 1,290 Superbirds were built – but only 135 had that oh-so-wonderful and sought-after Hemi engine. This is a matching-numbers Hemi car in Lemon Twist Yellow with 20,000 original miles. It has been restored and looks great. My best guess for price would be around $275,000. For more info, click here. And from more from Barrett-Jackson in Vegas, click here.

Update: Sold $297,000.