Click above for a high-res gallery of the Plymouth Superbird Tribute
Few muscle cars are as recognizable as the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, with its rear wing that stands proud over the car's rear haunches undoubtedly being the most striking visual modification, followed closely by the front snout that extends well past the front wheels for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. These cars were initially conceived to terrorize NASCAR race tracks in the late '60s and early '70s and were easily capable of cresting 200 miles per hour in race trim.
This is not an original Superbird, but it's been designed to replicate that car's iconic looks by a team consisting of the restoration specialists at YearOne and led by Bill Goldberg of Bullrun fame. Everything about this car is meant to recreate the original's NASCAR heritage, including the 800-horsepower race-spec 358 cubic-inch V8 engine. Unlike the real thing, though, this car was built to be totally street-legal. After all was said and done, the car earned $501,000 at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction, all of which will be donated to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation to benefit research of spinal cord injuries. In addition, another $175,000 was donated by other bidders to help the cause. Read the car's official auction description after the break.
Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.
1970 Plymouth Superbird Custom Tribute:
YearOne has teamed up with Gillette Evernham Racing, Musclecar TV and automaniac Bill Goldberg to create an updated legend -- a NASCAR Superbird. "Goldberg said he wanted it to be as close to a real NASCAR as possible; for the street," said YearOne project designer Phil Brewer. "It's pretty much going to be an old-school NASCAR, in particular, how we're going to handle the body." To help with the direction of the build, cars from the Talladega Motor Speedway museum were photographed extensively. Period-correct NASCAR modifications include raising the transmission tunnel, moving the rear spring pockets further up into the floor, a stout X-brace to tie the sub-frames together, wheel tubs installed and a generous radius of the wheel openings. While the originals moved the torsion-bar cross member up into the floor, a more modern coil spring approach is going to be employed, which will simplify things and get the nose down. A full roll cage and early NASCAR-esque bare bones interior (with two seats) pretty much sum-up the office space. "Goldberg mentioned that he might want to do some top-speed stuff with the car, so it's going to be built as though it is a competition car," Brewer said. While the body is all retro, the power is all modern. Gillette Evernham Motorsports is contributing a NASCAR-spec 358cid Dodge engine, without the NASCAR-spec restrictions. Producing close to 800hp, the engine has been de-tuned enough to run on pump gas, but is otherwise pretty much off-the-shelf NASCAR. Backing it is a feather-weight Tex Racing 4-speed manual transmission feeding an 8 ¾-inch rear. At this point, the biggest problem with the design of the car was the wheel and tire package, as finding the right tires is proving difficult. "You can't really run NASCAR slicks on the street," Brewer said. "And modern tires just don't look right." While the plan for the Superbird is impressive, the reason it was built is even better. The car will be shown for a few months and taken to the Barrett-Jackson Auction in 2009 where it will be put up for sale with all proceeds going to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation to benefit research of spinal cord injuries. Former NHRA driver Gwynn launched the foundation after suffering a severe spinal cord injury following a horrific 1990 accident. Making the most of his contacts in motorsports, The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is dedicated to injury prevention, with special emphasis on programs targeting children, and is the official charity of Barrett-Jackson and the NHRA. **TITLED AS A 1970 PLYMOUTH SATELLITE**