THE CAR THAT BEAT FORD: THE 1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI SUPERBIRD


Publish date: 2016-04-20 09:20:18
1970 PLYMOUTH HEMI SUPERBIRD

NASCAR legend Richard Lee Petty was a part of Plymouth NASCAR racing team but left the team in 1969 as he believed Plymouth cars was not keeping up with other cars. Richard Petty joined the FORD racing team. A year after, Plymouth released the 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird and used it so win back Petty and Petty giving the Plymouth racing team 8 wins and placing in several races. The blue Plymouth Hemi Superbird driven by Richard Petty was featured in the Pixar movie “Cars”. It had the exact same blue paintjob and same race number.

PLYMOUTH HEMI SUPERBIRD

The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird was heavily modified race ready muscle car based from the Plymouth Roadrunner. Because it was built only for racing, specifically in the NASCAR, only 135 of these Superbird were built. The Superbird rivaled the 1969 Ford Torino Talladega during the 1970 NASCAR. A 426 cubic inch 7 liter Hemi engine was installed in the standard Superbirds. Together with a pair of Four Barrel AFB Carburetors, the superbirds were able to produce 425 horsepower. They were able to reach speeds from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. The 440 Super Commando V8 and 440 Super Commando Six Barrel V8 were also installed in some Superbird configurations. 77 Superbird were installed with a 3 speed automatic transmission.

70 PLYMOUTH HEMI SUPERBIRD

The aerodynamic body of the Superbird was based from the Charger Daytona but it was not an easy task. The Charger Daytona’s aerodynamic body was not made for the Road Runner chassis and actually increased the drag. Wind tunnel testing showed that the front fenders of the Road Runner was causing drag. The design was remodeled into a fastback. Although the fastback increased the cost of production, it solved the aerodynamic problem. The front fenders were also remodelled and used Dodge Coronet units. The downward pointing nose of the Hemi Superbird was also raised and redesigned the air intake for cooling the powerful engine. After several other modifications, the Superbird was finally finished and the final testing show great potential for the new Superbird and was later proved by Richard Petty as he used the Plymouth Hemi Superbird to dominate the 1970 NASCAR season.

1970 PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD

It is considered to be one of the rarest American muscle cars today. Easily identifiably by its extended spoilers and a sharp nose, it is certainly a rare sight. This particular blue Hemi Superbird is a 4 speed manual transmission and only 58 of this configuration was built. It has a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter, the original Superbird power front disc brakes, and power steering.

Released on December 18 1969; this blue Hemi Superbird with a serial number RM23R0A181254, was one of the last Superbirds produced and is one of the well restored 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird today.

Reference:

https://www.mecum.com/lot-detail/HA0415-208399/0/1970-Plymouth-Hemi-Superbird/4-Speed/

Photos:

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/RichardPettyRoadrunner.jpg

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