1970 Plymouth Superbird
If there's anything memorable about the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, it's the massive rear wing. This car was Plymouth's dare on the Nascar track. Burning tires on the track going 200mph was business as usual for the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. It was a racing version of the famous Road Runner, which originally was a tuned-up Belvedere. Although Nascar only needs 500 eligible cars to be manufactured, Plymouth ordered one Superbird to be built per dealership. They ended up producing nearly 2,000 Superbirds, which came in one of three engine types: Super Commando 440 V8 (375 horse powers), 440 Six Pack (390 hp), and 426 Hemi (425 hp). The latter was only made for less than 100 buyers – it's the rarest 1970 Superbird out there. What made this car more well-known than many other Nascar-oriented muscle cars was the same thing that set Dodge Daytona apart: it was available to public for purchase.
Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird even looked similarly, but they were significantly different in their structure. Superbird's special hood nose was longer, the sheet metal was different – and so was the airfoil. Both had a rear spoiler, but the 1970 Plymouth Superbird really deserves the name "wing" because it was much larger (a whole 2 feet tall), and it was also angled differently. You could show off in the streets, but unless you were racing over 100mph you really couldn’t feel any aerodynamic improvements stemming from the rear spoiler.
You may remember the graphic style of the Superbird – with a decal picturing Road Runner bird holding a racing helmet in its right wing, and waving with the left. This decal was on the left-side headlight door (the headlights retracted), and on the side of the rear wing. To allow breaks to cool, Plymouth designed rear fender scoops that blew air from the wheel wells. Every 1970 Plymouth Superbird came with a hardtop vinyl roof and Rallye rims on the wheels. Upon ordering, drivers could enjoy the heavy duty suspension with a choice of transmissions: either Torqueflight, or the unbreakable Hurst-Shifted four-speed gear. It was capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds, and this made it an impressive show out on the racing track. Among normal drivers, though, it wasn’t very successful – the majority of prospective buyers went with the old-styled Road Runner, calling the Superbird's style "too extreme." Many unsold models remained at dealerships for over 2 years, so Plymouth decided to convert a large portion of those into Road Runners and sell them off. Other factors that have contributed to its poor sales were increased insurance premiums for race cars, and stricter emissions regulations. As a result, Plymouth did not manufacture the Superbird ever since the 1970s.
Fun fact: the Superbird has won 8 Nascar races. Today, this sexy 2-door coup fetches around $800,000 on eBay, with actual sales known to go for between $80,000 - $300,000 for the original 1970 Superbird. Its original Detroit build gives it a solid feel on the road, and the B-body platform was definitely the right choice for Nascar. It will be interesting to watch if Chrysler will ever revive the Superbird.