Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

We’ve featured a pair of Plymouth Superbirds in the past. One was a former NASCAR race car, and the other was Hemi-powered. Aside from the 426ci Hemi, Plymouth offered another engine in the “base” Superbird – a 440ci V8.

It came in two forms. One had a single four-barrel carburetor and made 375 horsepower, and the other, as this car has, is the same 7.2-liter V8 but with three two-barrel carburetors (the “Six-Barrel”) good for 390 horsepower.

This car is finished in Limelight Green, and it looks amazing. Production numbers, somehow, aren’t quite known. Everywhere you look gives you a different answer. It’s thought that about 1,920 Superbirds were produced in total. Only about 665 of those were Six-Barrel 440 cars. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Richard Petty’s Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird NASCAR

Offered by Mecum | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | July 13-August 3, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Well here’s something you don’t see every day: an actual ex-Richard Petty be-winged Superbird. Plymouth built the Superbird in the hopes of dominating NASCAR. Also, it had the intended effect of luring Richard Petty back to driving Chrysler products, as he had jumped ship in 1968 to go run Fords.

This Superbird was restored by the Pettys and has apparently been authenticated as the real deal, though he likely ran multiple cars throughout the season as this is described as the superspeedway and large oval car. Petty won 18 races in 1970, leading to the huge wing and other aero effects being quickly banned from competition.

Power is from a 426ci Hemi V8 that was built by Petty Enterprises, which means it is probably producing more than the 425 horsepower quoted by the factory. The top speed of these cars is over 190 mph, which is pretty impressive if you consider the gearing the street cars had.

This piece of NASCAR history should draw inspired bidding. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $3,500,000.

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.

Mecum Kansas City Highlights

The Mecum muscle car show recently traveled through Kansas City, Missouri. The top sale of the auction was this 1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible.

The restoration on this car was completed in 1997, meaning it isn’t Concours-fresh so it can definitely be driven. It sold for $165,000. Other interesting cars include a 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible seen here:

Finished in its original, attractive color, Ridge Green, this fully-optioned, 188 horsepower Skylark sold for $120,000. The other big sale was an awesome, white 1970 Plymouth Superbird with a 440 Six Pack which brought $122,500. More info on the sale and results can be found at Mecum’s website, here.