The 1970 Plymouth Superbird was truly one of a kind when it comes to American muscle cars. Who could forget that iconic giant wing? This particular car, featured by the Road Test TV YouTube channel, sat undriven at a dealership for more than 19 years before someone realized what it was. When they looked at the odometer, they couldn’t believe this sweet ride had less than 700 miles under its belt. Take a look under the hood at the untouched original 440 Super Commando engine in the video below.
1970 Plymouth Superbird History
Produced only in 1970, the Superbird was a modified NASCAR stock car version of the Plymouth Road Runner that was made as a follow-up to the Dodge Charger Daytona. Fun fact: It was actually created to lure iconic race car driver Richard Petty back to Plymouth after he left for Ford.
Styling wise, “Superbird” decals were placed on the edges of the spoiler vertical struts featuring a picture of the Road Runner character holding a racing helmet. Also, the rear-facing fender scoops were meant to hide cutouts. As it turns out, the rear wing and wind-tunnel shaped nose cone actually made the Superbird slightly less aerodynamic, making it anywhere from one to three MPH slower than the Dodge Charger.
As far as engine specs go, the Superbird, which came with a 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic transmission, had three different engine options. There was the 426 Hemi V8 engine with 425 brake horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 490 lb⋅ft at 4,000 rpm of torque (which only 135 models were fitted with), the 440 Super Commando Six Barrel (also known as a six pack V8) with 3X2-barrel carburetors producing 390 horsepower, and the 375 horsepower 440 Super Commando with a single 4-barrel carburetor.
The Superbird was also actually sold as a two-door coupe in dealerships, because NASCAR’s homologation requirement forced race cars to be sold to the general public at a minimum number. According to Chrysler memos, most of the 1,920 Superbirds that were produced sat unsold in dealer lots. Nowadays, they tend to go for quite a great deal at car auctions.
1970 Plymouth Superbirds for Sale
Autotrader has more than a dozen listings for 1970 Superbirds, though they don’t come cheap, given their rarity. We’re talking an easy six figures. The most expensive model they offer goes for nearly $300,000. Offered in that eye-popping yellow paint job, this Superbird has a little over 9,000 miles on it and is stocked with a 440 Super Commando V8 engine.
Hemmings also has quite a few ’70 Superbird offerings, including one, restored in the mid-70s, that’s equipped with a six pack V8 boasting 390 HP. It comes in that sleek Tor-Red exterior and equally sleek black vinyl interior. Oh, and the engine’s air cleaner is signed by Richard “The King” Petty himself. So, you could say that it’s a car fit for royalty.
This post was originally published on November 13, 2019.