Lot 19
1970 Plymouth Superbird 440-6

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Selling on Wednesday

CHASSIS NO: RM23V0A172631

• Numbers matching 440 cubic-inch engine with four-speed manual transmission
• Inspected and decoded by Galen Govier with original broadcast sheets
• Highly detailed and accurately restored throughout
• Regarded as one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time


440 cid V-8 engine, 390 HP, triple two-barrel carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front coil spring suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, power disc brakes; wheelbase: 115”


The legendary Plymouth Superbird was a highly modified, short-lived version of the Plymouth Road Runner that was designed to lure Richard Petty back to the Chrysler racing fold. With clever, well-known graphics and that roadrunner horn sound, it was the factory's follow up stock car racing design for the 1970 season. Closely related to the Dodge Charger Daytona of 1969, the Superbird incorporated many engineering changes and modifications garnered from the Daytona's first season in competition. Developed specifically for NASCAR racing, the Superbird utilized the experience of the 1969 Charger Daytona as the first American car to be designed aerodynamically using a wind tunnel and computer analysis. The result was the iconic sleek, low nose and huge tail. The Superbird's smoothed-out body and nosecone were further refined from that of the Daytona, and the street version's retractable fiberglass headlights added nineteen inches to a stock Road Runner's original length. The rear wing was mounted on tall vertical struts that put it into less disturbed air, thus increasing the efficiency of the downdraft that it placed upon the car's rear axle. Interestingly, for nearly 30 years the mathematic formula used to determine the exact height of the enormous wing was thought to be a highly guarded Chrysler secret. In fact, it’s been revealed that the height was determined in much simpler fashion: it was designed to provide clearance for the trunk lid to open freely. The rear-facing fender scoops were to hide cutouts that were to allow wheel clearance due to the taller, wider wheels and lowered the height of the vehicle for NASCAR competition. NASCAR's homologation rules demanded that vehicles to be raced must be available to the general public and sold through dealerships in specific minimum numbers. For 1970, NASCAR raised the production requirement from 500 examples to one for every two manufacturer's dealers in the United States; in the case of Plymouth, that meant having to build 1,920 Superbirds. Due to increasing emissions regulations, combined with insurance spike for high performance cars and NASCAR's effective ban on the aero cars, 1970 was its only production year.

This lovely example features a numbers-matching drivetrain, powered by the 440 cubic-inch “Super Commando” with 3x2 barrel carb set up. A Hurst pistol-grip manual shifter and Dana 60 rear end with 3.54 gears put the power to the road and, make no mistake, at high-speeds these are incredibly stable and powerful race cars. This example is properly equipped with power steering and disc brakes and features the “tic-toc-tach” that registers up to 8,000 RPM and the corresponding 150 MPH speedometer. The correct AM/FM radio, two-speed wipers, and day/night mirror are all in place, and the coveted black vinyl bucket-seat interior is just like new. Outside, the Tor-Red (Hemi Orange) paint is correct for the car, with the factory black vinyl top, and this car rides on the factory 15” Rallye wheels and Goodyear Polyglas tires. Pop the hood pins, and you’ll see a highly detailed engine bay and undercarriage, with bone-stock details and a brute elegance that few other cars can match. This well-restored numbers matching, six-barrel, four-speed example is accompanied by both original broadcast sheets and the Govier inspection sheets, making this one of the most accurate, documented and highly desirable Superbirds available. It is certain to be an impressive icon of any collection of significant muscle cars for the lucky new owner.